Sometimes There’re Things You Just Can’t Avoid

I’m going ahead to post another Mende Gendei, albeit this one a live performance. In my previous post I mentioned that he had sung the truncated version before he was asked to perform the longer version with its litany of chiefs. This is that shorter version.

Of his numerous compositions, was Mende Gendei Salia’s favourite “accordion tune”? This is a question that needs asking. If it wasn’t, then

Salia Koroma, Kenema, 1993

it would appear that he put aside any concerns about it being a burden and eventually embraced the popularity of this particular composition.

And of his many compositions, this is the most “textually” consistent across all versions ( and Salia’s compositions are very consistent across versions). Had Salia been a man who could read and write, I’d have arrived at the conclusion that he had written down the text of this song and that he was singing off a piece of paper. (To which he would naturally have responded, “And what white paper is that?”) The one line that is different (perhaps because the audio is better here) is : “The Rice Barn’s end are the Supporting Pillars,” where the others sound like: “The Forest’s end are the Trees.”

Or it could be that I just need to have my hearing checked. Tell me what you hear in the different versions.

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Posted on June 15, 2011, in Mende Gendei, Salia Koroma and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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