News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fela Kuti Lyrics


By David McDavitt 

Check out the dedicated Fela lyrics page on the Afrofunk Music Forum here:
http://afrofunkforum.blogspot.com/p/fela-kuti-lyrics.html

This page includes lyrics for the following songs:

1. Authority Stealing
2. Beasts Of No Nation
3. Black Man's Cry
4. Coffin For Head Of State
5. Colomentality
6. Confusion Break Bone
7. Expensive Shit
8. Fear Not For Man
9. Fogo Fogo
10. Go Slow
11. J’ehin J’ehin
12. International Thief Thief
13. Kalakuta Show
14. Lady
15. Monday Morning In Lagos
16. Monkey Banana
17. Mr. Follow Follow
18. Mr. Grammarticalogylisationalism Is The Boss
19. No Agreement
20. Opposite People
21. Original Sufferhead
22. Power Show
23. Question Jam Answer
24. Shakara
25. Shuffering and Shmiling
26. Sorrow, Tears, and Blood
27. Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense
28. Trouble Sleep, Yanga Wake Am
29. Upside Down
30. Water No Get Enemy
31. Yellow Fever
32. Zombie



25 comments:

  1. authority stealing:

    [Chorus]
    Authority stealing!
    You be thief (I no be thief)
    You be rogue (I no be rogue)
    You dey steal (I no dey steal)
    You be robber (I no be robber)
    You be armed robber (No be armed robber)
    I no be thief (You be thief)
    I no be rogue (You be rogue)
    I no dey steal (You dey steal)
    I no be robber (You be robber)
    I no be armed robber (You be armed robber)
    [Chorus]
    Argument, argument!
    Argument, argument, argue
    Them argue
    Everbody dem argue
    Them dem dem argue
    Up and down them argue
    Everbody dem argue
    Them dem dem dem argue
    Yes yes, them argue
    Everbody dem argue
    Argument about stealing
    Somebody don take something
    Wey belong to another person
    Then you go hear:
    You be thief (I no be thief)...
    On top of the road, on the side
    People dey waka
    Office workers, labourer workers, workers' workers
    Them go dey waka
    Inside bus them go dey
    Motorcycle them dey ride
    Plenty, plenty crowd
    Inside this crowd
    Sometimes for one corner
    Sometimes for one street
    You go dey hear: ha ha!
    [Chorus]
    Thief, thief, thief!
    Rogue, rogue, rogue!
    Robber, robber!
    Catch am, catch am! Thief, thief, thief!
    Catch am, catch am! Rogue, rogue, rogue!
    Catch am, catch am! Robber, robber!
    Catch am
    Pull am
    Get am
    Keep am
    Ole...
    [Chorus]
    Catch am, catch am!
    Looking go start
    Watching go start
    Chasing go start
    Somebody go dey
    Wey them go grab
    Them go beat am well-well
    Them go lynch am well-well
    Police go come well-well
    Them go carry am go court
    Them go put am for jail
    Them fit put am six months
    (Them go put am for one year)
    Them fit put am two years
    (Them go put am for five years)
    Them fit put am seven years
    (Them go put am for ten years)
    If not them go shoot am well
    Them go shoot am for armed robbery
    On top of the road, on the side
    People dey waka
    Office workers, labourer workers, workers' workers
    Them go dey try
    To try to make ends meet
    Them go dey hustle
    To try to make ends meet
    Them go put hands for back
    To try to make ends meet
    Them go dey beg oga
    To try to make ends meet
    Them go be slaves for them town
    To try to make ends meet
    I say turn your face small
    To the right wing
    Oga patapata dey for there
    Authority people dey for there
    Instead of workers
    We have officials
    Instead of buses
    Them dey ride motor-car
    Instead of motorcycle
    Na helicopter
    Instead of them waka
    Na worker go waka for them
    Authority people them go dey steal
    Public contribute plenty money
    Na authority people dey steal
    Authority man no dey pickpocket
    Na petty cash him go dey pick
    Armed robber him need gun
    Authority man him need pen
    Authority man in charge of money
    Him no need gun, him need pen
    Pen got power gun no get
    If gun steal eighty thousand naira
    Pen go steal two billion naira
    [Chorus]
    Thief, thief thief!
    Rogue, rogue, rogue!
    Robber, robber!
    You no go hear them shout
    You no go hear them shout at all
    You no go hear them say
    You no go hear them say response at all
    Na different way be them way
    Na civilize style be them style
    [Chorus]
    Yes, yes, yes, yes!
    "Oh yes, of course, contract, have some money back in hand, ha ha"
    Hear the words them dey take deceive the people:
    Misappropriation
    Maladministration
    Nepotism
    Mitigation
    Make I remember another one wey them dey use
    Defraudment
    Forgerylization
    Embezzlement
    Vilification
    Mismanagement
    Public inquiry
    Authority stealing pass armed robbery
    We Africans we must do something about this nonsense
    We say we must do something about this nonsense
    I repeat, we Africans we must do something about this nonsense
    Because now authority stealing pass armed robbery
    Authority man him go dey steal
    Public contribute plenty money...
    [Chorus]
    Authority stealing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, thank you for this post! I love Fela, but sometimes it's hard to figure out all these lyrics. I also love Tony Allen and he sings in Yoruba a lot. Maybe someday someone will take a challenge and translate his words for whites like me.
    Big up!

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for this! love getting the translations and meanings of these powerful and historical songs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanx a lot: since years I always missed a couple of words listening to the songs. It's especialy annoying when you explain, to people who have much fun dancing on his music without figuring out what it talks about, what he is actually saying. And then comes a phrase you can't properly translate to them because you're not sure.
    Fela should be taught in school instead of the making-people-stupid Aristoteles.
    What he describes, this is what the REAL world is, and not Disney's.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for this! I was recording my old Fela albums, Army Arrangement and Black President, from vinyl to CD. So cool to find this page and more fully understand lyrics I haven't heard in 20 years. Now, I'm off for a road trip, with Fela on CD player!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks so much! This is a real labor of love. As an English teacher, I try to provide my students with as much politically motivated music as possible, but they often have trouble with the lyrics, esp. with someone like Fela. Are the great explanations yours? If so, double thanks, because they really help to unravel the otherwise hidden meanings that Fela's pidgin 'hides' from those who only know so-called standard English.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the lyrics.
    What a strong lyrics. It change from the craps the "commercial songs" are made of today.

    Cheers, keep to make us dance and to make us feel alive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for this, I was looking for Beasts of no nation but I didn't know the title so I googled the lyrics and your page came up, nice 1:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for this lyrics

    is posible lyrics de demo crazy

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks a lot from Paris. Afrobeat lives and still have a lot to do.

    Bless ya.

    Opposite Afrobeat Band

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm quite sure that in "teacher d.t.m.n." during the "boba la nonsense" it is written "He pass “redeem” em". I really think that the correct lyrics say "he pass regime" (o regime-o).
    Have a nice daY!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Monkey Banana....
    "Go buy am to chop"
    This has got to be about food:
    "Go buy yam to chop"

    ReplyDelete
  13. Baba 70 for life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You did an awesome job... Many thanks for your kind efforts. Bless ya.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome web! Many thanks and good luck in the future! Btw. anyone has lyrics for Monday Morning in Lagos please? :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. You did a GREAT job with the lyrics. I am happy to know about this site. Keisha

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the translations. Fela needs to be understood by the whole world for the music revolutionary that he is. Your efforts are a huge step in actualizing this.
    A slight correction. In 'Teacher' the lyrics should read as 'Baba nla nonsense', which translates as a 'big pile of crap'.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi all. I was wondering if anyone had worked at all on Just Like That off of Beasts of No Nation. I am having trouble understanding some of the lyrics (choral lines that are not in the liner notes and whatnot) and I was wondering if anyone could give me a hand!
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello everybody, I`m looking for the title of a particular song by Fela..parts of the lyrics says: Luku lawyer, e dey run o,luku lawyer e dy shout o!....does anybody know the tile of this song...thanks

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello everybody, I`m looking for the title of a particular song by Fela..parts of the lyrics says: Luku lawyer, e dey run o,luku lawyer e dy shout o!....does anybody know the tile of this song...thanks

    It is Kalakuta Show

    ReplyDelete
  21. Please... Perambulator Lyrics?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Excellent job, this guy Fela should be taught in school; what a soul? One of the bravest soul that ever lived, no apology whatsoever.

    ReplyDelete