Asa’s “Bamidele”: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis

When Bukola Elemide (a.k.a. Asa) released the song, Bamidele, which would become a bonus track on Beautiful Imperfection, her 13-track album, I wonder where in the world I was. I never heard of the song until I stumbled on the MP3 last week and I must have listened to it well over a hundred times by now. Truth is: I love really good songs (and who doesn’t?), but it’s been a while since I fell totally in love (obsessed, even) with a song to this magnitude. In this masterpiece, Asa has proven herself again as a force to be reckoned with in the world of music!

Bamidele is a piano-and-other-strings-driven, jaunty jazz ballad that satirizes a recurrent story of love, lies, betrayal, and family values, from the point of view of an impressionable and naïve young girl; in this case, she could easily be a secondary school girl from the inner city of Ibadan, Oyo State, as Asa deftly infuses the native dialect, mimicking the poor girl. Asa invokes feelings of pain, frustration and regret as she repeats the villain’s name – Akinyele, a native Oyo name. I particularly find the chord progression (7-3-6-2-5-1) at the refrain quite alluring and soul piercing even as she sings on the pentatonic scale. This song, like any other work of art, is subject to a variety of interpretations, so here goes my lyrical analysis:

Bi’nu e ba dun, bi’nu e o ba dun (Whether you are happy, or not)
On’ lati bami dele (You need to follow me home)
Bi o ba fe, bi o ba ko ye (Whether you like it, or you refuse to)
On’ lati bami dele ba’mi (You must follow me to my father’s house)

Akinyele wants to marry wife/ He don’t want to pay some bride price/ You better find it
Akinyele omo Jinadu (Akinyele Jinadu)
He don’t want to pay some bride price/ You better find it
Akinyele o… (x8)

Click here to finish reading!

Photo Credit: Asa (c) Nicolas Esposito


    • says

      Uwa201, great to have you come around again! Yes o, Nigerians are artistic by nature and Asa is simply a genius! :)

      PS: I just checked your blog again just now and it appears you’re still trying to get a hang of the WordPress thingy (?) Perhaps you could do with some support? Cheers!

  1. Angelmichey says

    I love this analysis, its sweet. You just made the song and lyrics rich, sweet and interesting with the story, the theme and cultural undertones. The song ( the lyrics) is just like a poem which could be more understood and appreciated with more words and deeper meaning like you’ve just done.

  2. says

    Really nice review you have given of this aritst. Because of your review, I will most definitely be checking out Ms. Asa. I stumbled upon you via your comment on a Freshly Pressed submission. Greetings from another Sister Singer.

    • says

      Great to hear from you ‘WhenQuiet’! :) I’m happy you loved the review and will be checking on the music of an artiste I adore so much. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed… I just checked out your blog and it’s sooo colourful. I think you’re doing a wonderful job over there. Kudos!


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