Salia Koroma’s “Manawa”: The First Recording
This is the first recording of the Manawa song, done some two years after the Second World War, according to Salia himself in his 1993 interview. This early recording is quite obviously a shorter version, edited by the singer to meet the demands of the recording practices of the day. With the advent of cassette tapes, Salia was able to record the full version of the song.
Here, the urgent style of the younger man stands out, as does the movement away from the dirge that was sang by the widows of the Kaiser’s War (The Great War). (But then there’s always a movement away from the plaintiveness of the opening verse across the various recordings of the song.) The urgency in the style of singing could be due to the pressure of having to boil down seven or so minutes of lyrics to just under three minutes. I hope you enjoy this Decca recording.
Posted on November 10, 2011, in Salia Koroma and tagged dirge, Mende musician, Salia Koroma, sierra leone, war widows, Wars and Conflicts, World War I, World War II. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.