Friday, February 17, 2017

Them Throw My Mama

Fela : Unknown Solider

On February 18, 1977, infuriated by the scathing remarks of "Zombie" (Go and kill! Joro, jaro, joro/ Go and die! (Joro, jaro, joro)", the government of Nigeria sent 1000 soliders over the walls of  Fela Kuti's Kalakuta compound and savagely beat the residents. Fela himself escaped death, but his activist mother was thrown through a window and broke her hip -- causing an injury that would take her life within the month.

 Fela's response to the incident can be heard in the 1980 albums that followed, including "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Solider".

  "Unknown Solider", titled as such because official government reports blamed the destruction of the compound on an "unknown solider",  has the lyrics that bear witness to the event ( his voice nearly breaking as he sings "Them kill my mama".

Them dey break,
yes Them dey steal,
yes Them dey loot,
yes Them dey fuck some of the women by force,
yes Them dey rape, ....Them break some some head
Them throw my mama
Seventy-eight-year-old mama
Political mama
Ideological mama
Influential mama...
Them throw my mama out from window
Them kill my mama
Them kill my mama

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. Wonderful piece of music.