Monday, January 25, 2016

Tiwa Savage, featuring Leo Wonder - "Ife Wa Gbona" (video, lyrics, English translations), Part I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on the Nigerian Afro-Beat love song "Ife Wa Gbona" performed by Tiwa Savage featuring Leo Wonder.

Part I showcases the official video of that song and includes the song's lyrics with some English translations of the Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin English, and African American Vernacular English words and phrases along with my comments about some of these translations and possible translations.

Click for Part II of this series. showcases the video of that song and features selected English language comments from that video's discussion thread. Those selected comments include Yoruba and/or Nigerian Pidgin English.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer of this song. Thanks also to Tiwa Savage, Leo Wonder, and all those who were associated with the song's and the video's production. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

I'm not a linguist. I know no other language but English. I made these attempts at translating the Yoruba and Nigerian Pidgin English words and phrases in this song because I couldn't find any interpretations for these lyrics online.

The following online sources were used for these translations: (Yoruba to English translations), Google translates, and Federal Government Girls' College Bwari Abuja, Pidgin Dictionary.

Also, gave some information about the meaning of the song title.

The results given at Google translate and the Yoruba to English translation site almost always the same. Sometimes I had to put individual words in the lines in these translation boxes to get any English results that made some sense. I searched the Pidgin dictionary when the meanings given by those first two sources didn't make any sense in English.

I was unable to find translations for some words. I'm not sure if these words/phrases are just not in those resources I cited above or if these words/phrases have been newly created since those resources were published. Sometimes I guessed at the meanings for these words. Those guesses are given in italics.

Additions, corrections, and comments are welcome.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Tiwa Savage - Ife Wa Gbona Ft. Leo Wonder [Official Video]

officialtiwasavage Published on Oct 8, 2012

"In the Yoruba language, "Ife" means "Love", and "Wa" means "Come" but in this context - it means "Our" or "Us". Not to forget, "Gbona" in Yoruba means "Hot". So, Tiwa Savage's "Ife Wa Gbona" means "Our Love is Hot""

The lyrics without these translations/comments are from the same website whose link is given immediately above.

The translations are given in brackets after the line, along with the language that the words/phrases come from.

hehn hehn
SoSick on the beat ["sick" African American Vernacular English meaning (the beat is) "very good", "hype"]
Tiwa Savage, pure wonder
hehn, awon na ni [Yoruba: for the]
Lovers and co.
Tiwa o ni baje [Tiwa (female name) it is broken- the old condition of being without a mate]
Adura nla [Yoruba - prayer]
Agbona na ni [Yoruba: for the (man named) Agbona]

[Verse 1]
Oya mama o, [Google translates gives Oya meaning as “income”. Oya also the goddess (orisa) of wind. Orisa’s name means “she tore” in Yoruba. In this context, does Oya mean "Hurry up?" or does "Oya mama o" mean "Listen, mama"?

According to Nigerian Pidgin site (and another online source) "O" is "placed at the end of sentences for emphasis and effect.". It serves the same function as an exclamation point in English]
Get ur gele o [Yoruba (my definition] -"gele" - a women's head wrap (fancy, hand tied piece of material wrapped in fancy styles on a woman's head- signifying a special occasion]
Daddy mi o [my daddy]
The time don come o
Cos I am flying high
His name is alone in my heart
Cos no be lie
Nothing can tear us apart
bobo bobo o nothing do you [Nigerian Pidgin - "bobo" - trendy guy; It isn't pronounced the same way as the English word "bobo". Is it pronounced like bahbah in Yoruba?]
Hey, my bobo bobo o, I can die for you
I must be
The luckiest girl in the world
Cos you chose me, to share this love in your world

[Verse 2]
Ti ba ni mi o ni fe e baby, iro lasan lasan ni [Yoruba (Yoruba to English site - I have wanted , baby, it sounds vain; Google translate sounds terrific]
Oju mi loju re baby [Yoruba with English last word - My eye on her baby (In the context of this song "her" is probably meant to be "him".]
Se ni ma tatan tatan ni [Do not tatan tatan [?]
Would you please hold my hands, wa lo mo mummy mi [wa lo mo ?]
My baby just say yes
Wa je toni temi [Yoruba - Our mine was today [?]

O gbona o gbona o gbona o gbona o gbona [Yoruba - It's hot (repeat word)]
woooo wuuuu yeaa [2x]
Ife wa o gbona [Yoruba - Our love is hot.]
tori O gbona o gbona o gbona o gbona o gbona [Nigerian Pidgin - "tori" - interesting or humorous story]
woooo wuuuu yeaa [2x]
Ife wa gbona gbona

[Verse 3]
Oya baby o
Take my hands lets go
I am ready to love my boo ["boo" -African American Vernacular English word meaning "my best friend", in this context, my lover; "Boo" rhymes with the word "too", but it's a folk processed form of the French word "beau".
Like there's no tomorrow
A long time ago, I must have done something good
So I thank you my God, cos he loves me the way that he should

Bobo bobo o, nothing do you
Hey, my bobo bobo o, I can die for you
I must be
The luckiest girl in the world
Cos you chose me, to share this love in your world

[Verse 4]
Oya come come follow me go
Je ka lo si ibi ti oju olomo o to [Yoruba- Let's go to the place of adoption (in this context- where we will be joined together (the marriage ceremony) replaces the meaning "adoption")]
Come build my home, along with me
Come be the one to bear my pikin [Nigerian Pidgin - children]
Along with me, come be the one to bear my pikin.
my pikin, your pikin, our pikin.

[Repeat Chorus]

[Verse 5]
Wa lo mo mummy mi
Mo egbon mi o [Yoruba - my brother and I
Tele miii to the land of love [meaning - take me?]
My baby o oo ooo [4x]

Tiwa (yes baby)
Sho gbon mi (I am listening) [These English words were given on the online lyrics page/s]
Ko n shey gbogbo kan ti a sho na yi [Don't I have it all.... ko n = "I have Shey?" Yoruba word meaning- Is it not? ; gbogko = all; this will (sho)]
ko n shey pe ko ye won [Yoruba - that they do not understand
Sho ye e [Yoruba - sho [?] need it]
Additions and corrections are welcome.

This concludes Part I of this series.

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