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Yere Faga

Oumou Sangare, Tony Allen


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Yere Faga (Suicide) Don't kill yourself because of suffering No-one should commit suicide
because of pain My brothers and sisters, we should not take our own lives because of suffering
My brothers and sisters, no-one should kill themselves Life on earth is not easy, but-no one
should kill themselves Living among humans is challenging, but don't kill yourself Today's
people are not easy to live with, but don't take your own life When you succeed among your
peers, you'll suffer from their jealousy When you become the pride of your mother, your troubles
will also start When you become the pride of your father, your troubles will also start So why
would you kill yourself and leave your children in deep sorrow? They will be mistreated and be
called "sons of a whore" Uhumm, don't kill yourself over suffering, because it will not stop Don't
kill yourself because of suffering No-one should commit suicide because of pain Don't kill
yourself over suffering, uhumm Look at me Sangaré Oumou, I did not kill myself over pain
Yébé, don't take your own life because of suffering Humm Yébé, you should not take your own
life Madame (Mrs) Cissé, don't kill yourself over pain Your siblings count on you, please don't
take your own life Your children love you, don't kill yourself over any kind of pain Cissé loves
you, please don't kill yourself over suffering Your singer Sangaré loves you, don't kill yourself
over suffering So why would you kill yourself and leave us in deep sorrow? They will be
mistreated and be called "sons of a whore" Yébé, uhumm, don't kill yourself over suffering,
because it will not stop Don't kill yourself because of suffering No-one should commit suicide
becauseof pain Seydou, don't kill yourself over suffering Seydou Kane, please don't take your
own life Seydou of Mabine Alaher, please don't kill yourself over pain Seydou Kane of
Libreville, please don't kill yourself over suffering Cissé Ba loves you, please don't kill yourself
over suffering Your siblings count on you, please don't take your own life Your children love
you, don't kill yourself over any kind of pain Your fellow Malians count on you, please don't
take your own life Amadou Kane lovesyou, don't kill yourself over suffering Uhmm Seydou, no-
one should take their own life You are blessed by Yacouba Kane, don't kill yourself over
suffering The whole of Nioro town loves you, don't kill yourself over suffering So why would
you kill yourself and leave your children in deep sorrow? They will be mistreated and called sons
of a womaniser Seydou, uhumm, don't kill yourself over suffering, because it will not stop Don't
kill yourself because of suffering No-one should commit suicidebecause of pain Have you not
seen me? I did not take my own life
Saa Magni

O death; O death Death is so harsh Death is so cruel


Death who struck down Amadou Ba Guindo
But death spares no creature
Nothing can stop it
Not even fame
Or having many children
Great riches and many friends
Amadou is gone
And when I go to Douentza I will not see him again He will never be seen again in Bamako In Douentza
Tenin OngoTna cries for you Whilst in Bamako Amadou cries for you As Adja' cries for you
Your widow Fanta cries for her missing husband For Guindo has disappeared, struck down by
treacherous death
In Bamako your old friend Alou Tracre misses you
How bitter is death, how bitter separation
It is hard to break the links (of friendship)
How it is hard to be separated from one's people
Guindo
But death spares no one
The Grim Reaper of hope did not spare Amadou
Guindo
If it did not spare the Prophet Mohammed
Just as it struck down Amadou Cherif
Leaving his father Bouba in pain
May his soul rest in peace
How harsh is separation, how harsh death
And merciless death strikes without distinction
Villainous death crouches at a bend in the path
Lying in wait for us
May God preserve us from it
But death spares no one
It strikes in the prime of life
Perfidious death crouches at a bend in the path
O death; O death
You did not spare Guindo
No creature can escape you
0 death, O death, how you are cruel

It’s a real joy to see the re-release of this classic album Moussolou (Women), one that has been
in my current playlist since it was first released internationally in 1991. It brought to the world’s
attention the voice of singer Oumou Sangaré – a voice not only powerful in its own right but
one that spoke for the women of Africa in a way that went way beyond her contemporaries.
Seven albums and twenty-six years later the Malian diva and her Wassoulou style are well
known, but Moussolou remains her defining album.

The six-track package is re-released with expanded sleeve notes including an interview with the
artist and full translation of the lyrics – a vital addition considering their meanings. As a woman
singing about the struggles and suffering of women in an oppressive society Sangaré certainly
rocked the boat with her openness on topics such as romantic love, death and polygamy.
“Women have a hard time in Africa” she stated when the album first came out. “We have no
voice; our men do all our talking for us. My role is to speak directly to women…and show them
that they can make their own decisions”.

Brimming with confidence the youthful singer starts off with the song ‘Djama Kaissoumou‘
(Let’s talk a little). It begins with a dynamic introduction on kamale ngoni and violin, soon
launching into rolling rhythms and fluid vocal lines that rise and fall in the inimitable Wassoulou
style. Then follow ‘Diaraby Nene‘ (Shivers of love) and ‘Woulou Bara Diagna‘ (Cruel
Nostalgia), equally mesmerizing, with their rich textures and romantic messages. Track four, the
title track ‘Moussolou‘ (Women), urges women to work for their country. It is a delight of
memorable riffs with interweaving melodic and rhythmic patterns. Next up is ‘Diya Gneba‘ (My
beloved), which denounces forced marriage and sings once more of romantic love. The scraper
creates an hypnotic pulse. Emerging from the texture lovely guitar and violin riffs emerge,
balanced by soaring vocals you never tire of. Finally comes ‘Ah Ndiya‘ (Oh My love), Sangaré
biggest hit from the album. With its delightful unison riffs and strident vocals that burst with
self-assurance it was -and remains -a real winner.

The musicians were not credited on the original sleeve notes, so let’s give it up for the wonderful
Oumou Sinayoro & Nabintou Diakite (backing vocals), Brehima Diakite (kamala ngoni &
percussion), Boubacar Diallo (guitar) and Aliou Traore (violin). But one important reason this
recording has withstood the passage of time is due to Sangaré’s musical aesthetic and foresight
in collaborating with her arranger and bass player, the late Amadou Ba Guindo. At a time when
80s synths and drum machines dominated much contemporary African music they rejected their
use in favour of a more acoustic sound. The choice of instrumentation that gave Sangaré her
trademark sound was scraper, violin, kamale ngoni, percussion and bass with backing vocals.
Amadou Ba Guindo’s striking arrangements give the music a spacious, rolling and timeless feel
that perfectly supports and enhances Sangaré’s singing style, and without which this powerful,
trend-setting music may never have survived into the 21st century.