Rain clouds gather, but only, for they will not break.
They will not break at all; only the Society is passing by.
Something weighty billows across the sky, hemmed in by rain clouds.
A Know-nothing may see it but will not, foolhardily, give it away
If you blab on about it you will not be back when you go.
As I promised in my last post, here’s a longer version of Nje Iwa, a version that dates in all likelihood to the early or mid-1970s. There isn’t much of a commentary here, if any. I noted in the previous post that Salia ‘foresaw’ (if we can allow for singers ‘to foresee’) an era of sterility and tyranny that only the prudent and the upright would escape. The longer version expands on this idea.
The translation that follows is from the last forty or so seconds of this recording.
(Sallon nyanga, Sallon gonga, a hei yo!
Temaye lɔ wa ma, kɛ ɛ fo be. Nje iwa!..)
Young women, Young fellows of Sierra Leone, sit up!
It will rain domination, but it won’t touch these parts. Let it rain!
Let it rain, let it rain! Let it rain my share of salt.
A young man with no cares in a town says:
‘Let it rain my share of salt. Let it rain!’
A young man with nothing in a town says:
‘Let it rain my share of salt. Let it rain!
Plantains big as mortar!
Let it rain my share of salt! Let it rain.’
O what an abject figure a singleton cuts at night!
So it was said: “A single person cuts an abject figure at night.”
This mean mean shutting of doors can drive one to distraction.
Eh there’s no work in town. What’s become of the town?
Milled ‘rough’ rice: That thing is sweet with pumpkin!
Save me, save me, my fellow singleton, save me!
Salia Koroma: “Kpokpo Yega”