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 http://bit.ly/whycantweacoustic

I Am A Winner: MTN Project Fame 2010 All Stars Release New Video – Music & Lyrics

Yes o, yes o, yes! I’m a winner!!! I’ve been watching the recently released video by the MTN Project Fame West Africa 2010 finalists. It’s really brilliant, I must tell you. It is set in the University of Lagos and I’m pretty familiar with those locations, especially the Amphitheatre, very close to the Student Union Building.

Here for your enjoyment is the video directed by Bayo Alawiye (music was produced by highly respected Cobhams Asuquo), featuring all the ‘winners’ including Chidinma, Kesse (Ghana), Eyo, Yetunde, Tolu and Ochuko. This sure keeps our mouths watering as we anticipate the release of the other songs of the compilation album. Indulge!!!

I have written out the lyrics of the song here for you. Enjoy! :)

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh x3

Verse 1
I climbed so many mountains this time
I fought so many battles, but I came through stronger
I race across the finish line, yea/ I can hear the cheering crowd/ And that only means one thing

Bridge:
I can’t let my breath go/ I cannot believe no,
Is it really me? oh/ I’m a winner
I can hear the drum roll/ Feel my body explode
Gotta let the world know/ I’m a winner

Chorus:
See my name in gold I’m a winner
Let the whole world know I’m a winner
Even when my chances grow thinner
In the end I know I’m a winner
So, let the lights go up/ Let the crowd stand up
Then you hear the sound of a winner
Let the lights go up Let the crowd stand up
Time to take a bow, I’m a winner
Yes o, yes o, yes o, yes o, yes o, yes/ I’m a winner x2

Verse 2:
I’ve seen so many come and go…
Enough to make me give up/ But it made me stronger
No way I’m gonna let this go/
Cos the taste of victory is so much sweeter

Bridge:
I can’t let my breath go/ I cannot believe, no,
Is it really me? oh/ I’m a winner
I can hear the drum roll/ Feel my body explode
Gotta let the whole world know/ I’m a winner

Chorus

If you know you’re a winner/ let me see your hands go oh oh… [x2 –Eyo; Tolu]
If you know you’re a winner/ let me hear you say ‘Yes o’! (yes) ‘Yes o’!

(Where’re the winners at?)

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh x3

(Where’re the winners at?)

Chorus x2