Nursery Rhymes Nostalgia

I consider myself very blessed to be raised in one of the countries of the Diaspora where all the ethnic groups, whether they were of African or Asian descent, were able to retain a lot of their original culture. I recently stumbled upon these two lovely songs from my childhood. In the first song, children are taught about the Akan name days

Drawing by Noni Lichtveld (Ferrier 2010, 80), from, 2010

by the incredible Maranatha Men’s choir. The second song is about the Akan (Ashanti) folktale character Anansi the spider.

Den dei nen
Wi afo nanga wi trotro
ben gi den dei wan bigi nen
Now a fiti so dat’ wi alla maal
musu fu leri sabi den
Suma no sab’ den
no ab’ fu sjen
Pot’ yu yesi arki den
Wan manpikin fu sonde
Kwasi, Kwasi a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei
Kwasiba unu mus’ kari en
Wan manpikin fu munde
Kodjo, Kodjo a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei
Adjuba unu mus’ kari en
Wan manpikin fu tudewroko
Komlan, Komlan a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei
Abeni unu mus’ kari en
Wan manpikin fu dridewroko
Kwaku, Kwaku a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei
Akuba unu mus’ kari en
Wan manpikin fu fodewroko
Yao, Yao, Yao a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei
Yaaba unu mus’ kari en
Wan manpikin fu freida,
Kofi, Kofi a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei,
Afi unu mus’ kari en
Wan manpikin fu satra,
Kwame, Kwame a nen
Wan uma fu na srefi dei,
Amba unu mus’ kari en
Wans ope.
Wi mus’ opo un nen hei!
The name days
Our grands and greatgrands
gave the days a great name
Now it fits that we all
must learn to know them
If you don’t know them
you don’t have to be ashamed
Just listen to them
A boy born on Sunday
Kwasi, Kwasi is his name
A girl of the same day
Kwasiba you have to call her
A boy born on Monday
Kodjo, Kodjo is his name
A girl of the same day
Adjuba you have to call her
A boy born on Tuesday
Komlan, Komlan is his name
A girl of the same day
Abeni you have to call her
A boy born on Wednesday
Kwaku, Kwaku is his name
A girl of the same day
Akuba you have to call her
A boy born on Thursday
Yao, Yao,Yao is his name
A girl of the same day
Yaaba you have to call her
A boy born on Friday
Kofi, Kofi is his name
A girl of the same day
Afi you have to call her
A boy born on Saturday
Kwame, Kwame is his name
A girl of the same day
Amba you have to call her
Wherever you may be,
Be proud of your name!


The Maranatha Mannenkoor Suriname singing this lovely song

The second song starts with a dialog in both Dutch and Sranantongo. I provided the translation underneath.

M'Akuba: Anansi,... AnaANSI! 
              Waar zit die vent nou weer 
              Anansi,... AnaANSI!
              Now, where is this guy?
Liesje Loiri (Sloth): Hallo M' Akuba, hoe gaat het?
                      Hello M' Akuba, how are you?  
M'Akuba: Zo Liesje Loiri, ik zoek naar Anansi. 
         Zeg Barend Buriki...
         Well Liesje loiri, I'm searching for Anansi. 
         Say Barend Buriki (Buriki= Donkey)...
Barend Buriki: Sa na tori baya?
               What's the story/problem?
M' Akuba: Heb je Anansi gezien?
          Have you seen Anansi?
Barend Buriki: Iya, Iya, Ik zag hem nog net met 
              zijn gitaar langsgaan, niet waar Liesje Loiri?
              Eyeah, yeah. I just saw him 
              walking by with his guitar, 
              right Liesje Loiri?
Liesje Loiri: Ja, en of! En hij maakte "prodes". 
              Hij zong voor Sientje Sapakara een lovesong!
              Ohw sure! And he was showing off. 
              He was singing a lovesong for Sientje Sapakara 
              (Sapakara= big lizard)
Barend Buriki: Ef' i ben yer' a poku boi...!
               Man, if only you had heard the song...!
M'Akuba: Die gekke vent! Hij speelt de hele dag, 
         terwijl hij moet gaan werken voor de kinderen!
         That crazy guy! He's out playing the whole day,
         when he needs to work to provide for the children!
Liesje Loiri: Ja! En Kobus Kaaiman was ook met hem! 
              Hij blies de bas, en Kees Kakkerlak 
              speelde de fluit!
              Yes! And Kobus Kaaiman (Kaaiman= Cayman) 
              was with him, too! 
              He was blowing the bass, and Kees Kakkerlak 
             (Cockroach) played the flute
Barend Buriki: A poku ben bun boi! Kijk, kijk, kijk! 
               Hij komt! 
               Iya, Iya..Daar komt hij aan!
               The song was awesome! Look, look, look! 
               He's coming! 
               Eyeah, yeah... There he is!
Crowd: Dag B'Anansi, Hallo Anansi!
       Hi B'Anansi, Hallo Anansi!
Anansi: Hallo, niet allemaal tegelijk! 
        Ik heb maar vier armen en vier benen! Dag!
        Hello, not everybody all at once!
        I only have four arms and four legs! Bye! 
Crowd: Speel nog wat B'Anansi? Speel nog wat!?
       Play something for us B'Anansi? Play something?
Anansi: Hier zijn Kobus Kaaiman op de bas, 
        Kees Kakkerlak op de fluit, 
        en ik op de gitaar! 
        B' Anansi en de   Popiboys! Kaka yu yesi!
        Here we have Kobus Kaaiman on the bass, 
        Kees Kakkerlak on the flute, 
        and I will be playing the guitar
        B'Anansi and the Popiboys! Listen up!
Crowd: Yeah!
Koniman Anansi
Mi na koniman Anansi
Ai mi boi,
check fa mi moi
Luku fa mi futu e dansi
Mi na moi moi boi
Te m’e hari da ye lusu
ala dei mi wani frei
Ala suma e djarusu
te de sji me prei
Aah, yepi yaah,
yepi ala wi alamala
Aah, yepi yaah,
fu lolo sowtu bari
Ooh yepi yo,
prei gitara gi sapakara
Ooh yepi yo,
ai mi na gowtu stari
Gowtu Stari!
A na mi de kar’ stimofo
Tek yu ai en luku mi
Noiti mi kan habi nofo
Taig’ mi sa ye si
Smart Guy Anansi
I’m Anansi the smart one,
Yeah man,
look how handsome I am
Look at how my feet can dance
I’m a handsome chap
When I “show up”, you lose
Everyday I want to fly
Everybody turns jealous,
when they see me play
Aah, yepi yaah,
come and help everybody
Aah, yepi yaah,
to roll the barrell
Ooh yepi yo,
play guitar for the Tegu (large lizard)
Ooh yepi yo, yes,
I’m a gold star (A-class)
Gold Star!
They call me Stimofo
Come and look at me
I will never have enough
Tell me what you see


The Srio choir, I miss the old days

Disclaimer: I don’t own any copyrights to the music posted on this page. I don’t know who owns the rights. However, if you do know, please be so kind to let me know so that I can add the information on this page. If you yourself own the rights, and want the music and/or text to be removed, I will be happy to oblige.
I translated the text to the best of my ability. I’m sure there are some errors. Feel free to correct me..:-)





5 thoughts on “Nursery Rhymes Nostalgia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s