This was recorded 2 years ago today during the latest and greatest Killer Voyage session: Amphibious Dude Palace. We'd already recorded 7 songs, including the already highlighted "the power in question", "rudely dudely", "giant worlds over my head", and "welcome to my backwash". Pete wanted to play some guitar, and PeBo handed over his Parker Fly with a wailing lead guitar setting on his Line 6 POD XT (or so). Tommy had his slide guitar going, too, so we ramp up slowly with three guitars noodling --I'm on the left, Tommy's in the middle, and Pete's on the right. PeBo plays congas, Jon plays drum kit, and Tim plays bass, and pretty soon we are into a mesmerizing wash of sounds.... As it gets going, under Pete's wailing solos, I start laying in this bed of arpeggiated chords, similar to my song "fangs nails smiles hugs" and echoed the following night in "just 4 guys sitting by the fire" from the Magma Complaint Department album. Tommy eventually switches over to blues harp.
And in the midst of this beautiful soaring landscape of echoes and crying guitars PeBo starts singing -- something undecipherable at the time, but beautiful and fitting the mood so well. I remember that PeBo had told us the name of the song was "funga", and when I searched the web for "funga lyrics" I found a reference to a traditional Nigerian song called "Funga Alafia". According to songsforteaching.com, the lyrics are:
Fune-gah a la fee-yuh Ah-shay ah-shay Foon-ga a la fee-yuh Ah-shay ah-shay Cow-ah ey-lah-bah Ah-shay ah-shay Cow-ah ey-lah-bah Ah-shay ah-shay I welcome you into My heart today I welcome you into My heart today
Here are some word definitions from mamalisa.com:
Yoruba Words Alafia: A greeting, like hello with the meaning of "good health" or "peace" (like "shalom"). Alafia is a type of traditional welcome dance. Fanga: A traditional welcome dance. It's often misspelled as "funga". Ashe: (Pronounced "ah-shay") The Yoruba believe "ashe" is a basic force emanating from the Creator that unites all living and non-living things. Some translate it as "amen" (although that word has more western connotations).
I asked PeBo by email yesterday about this, and he confirmed it:
I learned funga, the song and rhythm, back in the '80s. It's a Nigerian children's song. Something you guys were playing reminded me of the beat and so I started blending it in and at some point I drifted off to the jungle and didn't come back. :-)
I love the juxtoposition of the off-the-rails guitar soloing by Pete with the mellow pad of tones the rest of us set up, then PeBo's sweet, welcoming singing. This night was a stellar one, with 17 songs recorded before we petered out (ha!). This was just the half-way point of that night. Still to come were the picks of the week "move the air", "plug that sucker in", "dudio", "it's not just a feeling it's reality" (!), "the evil twins are hoarding lucky charms" (?!?), and "doodamental" (???), and a few more. It was quite a night!
Thanks for listening! I welcome you into my heart today.
funga swimming by the pond you never know how crazy la la la la la la la yeah funga alafia ashe ashe lyrics improvised by Pete Bosanko and traditional Nigerian children's song music improvised by Killer Voyage on 13 August 2015 ©2015 by Killer Voyage