Well, I’m facing the most delicious of dilemmas, if you can imagine. I’m having to choose whether to make a logical conclusion to the ‘Ko Sao’ posting or to put up one of my favourite Salia Koroma recordings.
Let me explain. I’m tempted to put up next a recording that Salia did in about 1986, at the age of 83, that is thematically related to ‘Ko Sao.’ In that song we see a stark contrast in the singer’s world view as compared to the one in ‘Ko Sao.’ We see a young man’s swagger become an old man’s shuffle ( a very old man’s shuffle). From the younger man’s urgent playing style we arrive at a more measured style; the tired voice contrasts with the former firm voice. But it’s the difference in points of view that’s of most interest.
Now to the other problem. It’s a problem only because I wanted to showcase this Salia Koroma composition on the 60th anniversary of its (translated) publication in an academic journal. Of course, Salia wasn’t credited as the “professional… Mende singer in the service of a chief in middle Mende country… who accompanied himself on an accordion…” (Man, March 1948, No.26). I want it up before the year is out.
Would you believe it? There it is again- thinking through! So I’ll go with the thematic tie-in first. Much has been said about that theme and its social and personal contexts in the last two Salia Koroma postings. So when I put up the song within the next few days it’ll need nothing more than a brief preface. The other song needs more introduction because it presents more problems. So as soon as the first song is out of the way I’ll start a gradual introduction to the song that celebrates its 60th textual publication this year. I hope to give it as a New Year offering to the spirit of our late and unappreciated poet, Salia Koroma.