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Friday, April 2, 2010

NO BUREDI (NO BREAD)

(LP cover by: Ghariokwu Lemi)

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PREMISE:
In the early-70s in Nigeria, oil revenue was flowing and the government coffers busting with the proceeds. The government decided it was time to spread this wealth to workers-- (mainly civil servants) by doubling the prevailing salaries and wages. Thus, the UDOJI PANEL for salary reviews headed by an attorney, JEROME UDOJI, was formed to review and make recommendations to government about the proposed salary boosts for civil servants.

The salaries and wages increase were later implemented following the UDOJI panel recommendations.
However, the government did not make any accommodation about sharing this booty with the non-government workers; the private businesses, market women and shop owners whose goods would soon be chased by the glut of petro-Naira (Nigerian currency), soon to flood the market.

After the so-called UDOJI "salary arrears" were paid out? Private firms like oil companies and other multi-nationals that could afford it, followed suit and paid their employees per the UDOJI recommendation and some even went beyond that.

[SIDE NOTE]:
I worked at BP Nigeria, Ltd. then as an accounts clerk and got my salary doubled too. But, a big section of the population missed out on that.

The markets and shopping goods distributors reacted by doubling or even tripling the prices of goods and staple foods across the board causing the first wave of hyper-inflation in the country.

That act squeezed the common man/woman on the street, who were scraping out a living at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, who did not receive the "UDOJI AWARD."

Those UDOJI AWARD neglects of society became the subject of FELA's "NO BREAD / NO BUREDI" composition and he used that song to express the plight of those left out of the UDOJI pie.



NO BREAD:
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Raah-raah-raaah, raah-raaah....10x


Look-u, well-e, well-well-e, welle, well-e, well
Look-u you well-e, well-e well-e, well-e well-u well x2
Look-u you well-e, well-e well-e, well-e well-u well-wellu-well-e well-e weeeelluuu...


Looku you, looku well.. (Looku you, looku well!) X3


Look-u, well-e, well-well-e, welle, well-e, well
Look-u you well-e, well-e well-e, well-e well-u well x3
Look-u you well-e, well-e well-e, well-e well-u well-wellu-well-e well-e weeeelluuu...


Look-u you, wellu-wellu-well (looku you!) x2


You stand-e for ground, your leg-e dey shake (looku you!) x2


Nah your leg whey keep ground noh dey shake (looku you!)


Your face look like you don reach-e gbeee (looku you!)
You si(t)down for chair like e you don reach-e gbee (looku you!)


Your head dey ache, welle-welle
Mouth dey dry, welle-welle
Stomach dey turn, welle-welle


Hungry dey show him power,
Head dey ache, welle-welle
Mouth dey dry, welle-welle
Stomach dey turn, welle-welle


Hungry dey show him power,
You noh get-e power to fight... No Buredi!


Naah now...
You noh get-e power to fight... No Buredi!
Naah now...
You noh get-e power to fight... No Buredi!


Look-u, well-e, well-well-e, welle, well-e, well
Look-u you well-e, well-e well-e, well-e well-u well x3
Look-u you well-e, well-e well-e, well-e well-u well-wellu-well-e well-e weeeelluuu...


Look-u you, looku wellu-wellu-well (looku you!) x2
On the day or the night or the aftertoon (looku you!)
The trouble of the world e catch you for road (looku you!)
Man must wack nah him put you for the road (looku you!)
You noh fit make the thing now for your wack (looku you!)


You start to find excuse for your fault (looku you!)


You mouth dey shake, welle-welle,
Music noh dey, welle-welle
Eye dey roll, welle-welle,
Like thief-u eye, welle-welle,
(A beg, nah so e dey do you everytime, abi? henh?)


Mouth dey shake, welle-welle
Music noh dey, welle-welle
Eye dey roll, welle-welle,
Like thief-u eye, welle-welle,


Problem dey show him power,
You noh get-e power to fight... No Buredi!
Naah-naah-now...
You noh get-e power to fight... No Buredi!


One more time... aaaah... No Buredi!


You noh get-e power to fight... No Buredi!


Haahn-haaahnn... No Buredi!


For Africa here e be home... No Buredi! x2
Land-e boku-boku from north to south... No Buredi!
Food-u boku-boku from top to down... No Buredi!
Gold dey underground like water... No Buredi!
Diamond dey underground like san-san... No Buredi!
Oil dey flow underground like-e river... No Buredi!


Everything for overseas, nah here e dey goooo... No Buredi!
Na for here, man-e still dey carry shit-e for head... No Buredi! x2


Na for here we know the thing dem dey call... No Buredi! x2
Me I tire for the thing dem dey call... No Buredi! x2


Udota I don tire e... No Buredi!
Udorin I don tire e... No Buredi!
Udarun I don tire e... No Buredi!
Udofa I don tire e... No Buredi!
Udoje I don tire e... No Buredi! x2


Me I tire for the thing dem dey call... No Buredi! x3


No Buredi!
No Buredi!


Udarun I don tire e... No Buredi!
Uderin I don tire e... No Buredi!


No Buredi!
No Buredi!


Udoji I don tire e... No Buredi! x2

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TRANSLATION FROM "PIDGIN" to ENGLISH:


Do a thorough self evaluation; look at you!

You now have a shaky standing in the society
You are standing but your legs are shaking
As if it is your legs that are keeping the ground from shaking?

You sit down, with resignation, as if you have reached ("gb-ee") the end of your world.
(You don reach "gb-ee," from Yoruba alphabets.. "gb-ee" has a "thud" sound as if signifying "the END!" )

You have a headache
Your mouth is dry
Your stomach is churning (empty stomach)
Those are manifestations of HUNGER!

You are powerless; no fighting energy; NO BREAD! (No money)

Again, do a self evaluation...

During the day, night or afternoon
All the problems of the world meet you wherever you go
You can't even earn enough living to afford a meal
Now you start to look for excuses for your predicament

You start to stutter
There's no music rhythm in your world
Your eyes are rolling in their sockets, like a thief's eyes
(That's what happens to you in this situation)

Stuttering
No rhythm
Bulging, rolling eyes, like a thief's
Problem manifested
You are powerless; no fight in you-- NO BREAD!

Africa here, is our home
There's plenty of land and space
There's plenty of food from top to bottom
Gold is abundant like water
Plenty of diamonds like sand at the beach
Crude oil is flowing like a river
But we import so much foreign goods
Still no progress here, in some homes, we are still carting human excrement in pails
(Instead of building modern toilets)

It is only here that this nuisance called "NO BREAD" is endemic (In the midst of plenty)
Thus, I am tired of this nuisance called, "NO BREAD" (I am tired of poverty)

UDOJI, I AM TIRED OF YOUR "NO BREAD!" (for the common folks!)

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NOTE:

FELA did a comical word play on the "UDOJI" name (an Igbo name) using it to count a few Yoruba numerals.
FYI... The last syllable in UDOJI, "JI" sounds like the Yoruba "EJI" (TWO).
Saying... no matter how many multiples of the "UDOJI Salary Awards" doled out, I could care less because I, the common man, did not get any. Of course FELA doubled his nightclub performance entry fee too!

TWO = EJI (UDO-JI)
THREE = ETA (UDO-TA)
FOUR = ERIN (UDO-RIN)
FIVE = ARUN (UDO-RUN)
SIX = EFA (UDO-FA)
SEVEN = EJE (UDO-JE)


**THE POSTED IMAGE OF THE ORIGINAL LP (by Ghariokwu Lemi),
CONVEYS THESE GRAPHICALLY & EXPLAINED BELOW**

Depicted there:

The old, sick and infirm,
The shit carrier, (Dey Carry shit for head)
Mr. Inflation Is In Town"
"Brother, UDOJI No Reach Me o!"
(Brother, I've been left out of the UDOJI Awards!)
"Share National Cake Equally"
A prostitute having to work more and harder to make ends meet
"No UDOJI, No Work" protester carrying picket sign.
(NO UDOJI payment, No Work)

1 comment:

  1. this is amazing, i have been into this song for years and years and learned a lot today reading your post, thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete