Roforofo Fight
Fela Kuti Lyrics


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From Abeokuta city
Translation to original English:
She tear pata, he tear buba
She tear pata, he tear buba
She tear trouser, he tear pant
She tear trouser, he tear pant
She pull the thing commot, he tear the thing
She pull the thing commot, he tear the thing
All don scatter
From Abeokuta city

Get away
Fuck off
Who are you?
Go and die
Fuck away
Get away
Who are you?
Go and shit
You dey craze
I no craze
Fuck away
Who are you, eh?
Na two people dey yab so
Na two people dey yab so
Where them dey yab, roforofo dey
Where them dey yab, roforofo dey
Now listen to me now now
Huh!
Two people dey yab
Crowd dey look
Roforofo dey
Two people dey yab
Crowd dey look
Roforofo dey
Wetin you go see?
Roforofo fight eh
Wetin you go hear?
Roforofo fight eh

If you dey among the crowd wey dey look
If you yourself
You yourself dey among the crowd wey dey look
And your friend
Your friend dey among the two wey dey yab
Tell am, tell am, tell am, tell am
Tell am make him no fight o
Make him no fight
Make him no fight because Roforofo dey
Your friend him don vex
Him don vex patapata, him no go hear
Your friend him don vex
Him don vex patapata, him no go hear
By and by
By and by the fight go start
By and by
By and by them go fall for roforofo o
Them face go be roforofo face
Them yansh go be roforofo yansh
Them body go be roforofo body
You no go know
You no go know who your friend be
You no go fit help your friend
Just because roforofo dey
If you wan help your friend
Roforofo go rub for your face
If you wan help your friend
Roforofo go rub for your yansh
You go tell am make him no vex
You don tell am before make him no fight o
Make him no fight
Make him no fight because roforofo dey
Now listen to me now now now now
Huh!
Roforofo don change them
Them go look like twins
You no go know who be who
Roforofo don change them
Them go look like twins
You no go know who be who
You no go know your friend from who
You don tell am before
Make him no fight o
Roforofo dey for there
Two people dey yab
Crowd dey look
Roforofo dey
Wetin you go see?
Roforofo fight eh




Wetin you go hear?
Roforofo fight eh

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Fela Kuti's "Roforofo Fight" describe a chaotic and violent situation in Abeokuta city, where two people are exchanging insults and tearing each other's clothing. As the crowd gathers to watch the confrontation, tensions rise and the possibility of physical violence looms. Fela warns the onlookers to avoid getting involved, as the situation is likely to escalate into a full-blown fight, leaving them unable to tell their friends apart and with roforofo (scattered) faces, bodies and yanshes (buttocks).


The song can be interpreted as a commentary on the dangers of uncontrolled conflict and violence, and the need for people to avoid getting caught up in it. Fela also touches on themes of identity and perception, suggesting that in the midst of chaos, it can be difficult to know who your friends are and where loyalties lie. Ultimately, the song reminds listeners of the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence.


Line by Line Meaning

She tear pata, he tear buba
She destroyed her lower garment, he destroyed his upper garment


She tear trouser, he tear pant
She destroyed her pants, he destroyed his underwear


She pull the thing commot, he tear the thing
She pulled out the thing, he tore it apart


All don scatter
Everything is in disarray


Get away
Leave immediately


Fuck off
Get lost


Who are you?
What is your identity?


Go and die
Leave this world and go away forever


Fuck away
Go away in a vulgar manner


You dey craze
Are you crazy?


I no craze
I am not crazy


Na two people dey yab so
Only two people are joking around like this


Where them dey yab, roforofo dey
Whenever people joke around, there is a possibility of fighting


Now listen to me now now
Pay attention to what I am saying


Huh!
An exclamation of emphasis


Crowd dey look
The spectators are watching


Wetin you go see?
What are you going to see?


Roforofo fight eh
A fight where people are unrecognizable due to injuries


If you dey among the crowd wey dey look
If you are among the spectators


Tell am make him no fight o
Tell him not to fight


Him don vex patapata, him no go hear
He is extremely angry and won't listen


By and by the fight go start
The fight will start soon


Them face go be roforofo face
Their faces will be unrecognizable


Them yansh go be roforofo yansh
Their behinds will be injured


Them body go be roforofo body
Their bodies will be battered


You no go fit help your friend
You won't be able to help your friend


Just because roforofo dey
Because of the high possibility of fighting


Roforofo go rub for your face
You will end up injured and unrecognizable


Roforofo don change them
The injuries from fighting have made them unrecognizable from each other


You no go know your friend from who
You won't be able to differentiate your friend from the other person




Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT (FRANCE), BMG Rights Management, EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING FRANCE, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing
Written by: FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@WinstonWillams-pv7th

I am 67yrs young .I was a teenager DJ when I bought this álbum. This is music. Jah Bless. Great. Pump it up.

@VishnuVaratharajan

I'm writing this comment with an immense weight over my chest. Listening to this album was a spiritual experience for me. The Fela I knew before through his music was a rebel; a non-conformist from a distance. But today he spoke to me up close, almost infused. He connected with the depths of my soul and was communicating something to me. His meaningless humms evoked something historical; the remnants of pain of a body and mind oppressed for generations by systems of power. The world around me started to lose its shape. A century earlier, there would have been no way a person from remote Nigeria could have communicated with someone in the future from remote southern India. The intermediate structures appear before me now; his message travelled through electricity, electromagnetism, LP, digitisation, YouTube, and then one fine morning at 5am when I was struggling to sleep I decided to hear Fela, and then it reached me, after passing through a series of conduits. This is a universal moment for me. I stare at the Neem tree outside my house right now, and there is a line of ants climbing up. Fela once breathed on this Earth like this Neem tree, like these ants, like me, and he reached me across the barriers of time and space. I am just sad how many of such messages were lost forever to humanity because it couldn't be recorded. As I finished listening and was in utter shock at the witnessing of present, past and future intertwining before me, my father came to me with a cup of honey water. I looked at him and he had grey hair. The last time I seriously looked at him like that, he was younger. Live the moments people, please live it. We are drowned by technologies and structures that many times we miss to see what is in front of our eyes. 100 years later someone would feel the same way for something else that is unrecordable now, but recordable then. Our every breath is precious people. I see you Fela, I see you from 5,000 miles apart, from 50 years away. I see you up close. I feel you. And I thank you.

@rusticpoet

This is from a deep place. I was drawn to him first by what I read in the media about his eccentricity and what some people chose to call madness. Roforofo Fight happens to have been my first listen.
Having grown up in the gritty world of hardcore hip hop I found this a truly liberating experience.
When I listen to him I understand with clarity how he fashioned his own life the way he did.
He is a truly iconic man blessed with uncommon artistry..

@kimberlybush2001

Let us see each other, and not weep for the moments lost, but rejoice in the moments to come. The world is ours if we see it, and speak to each other.

@trista4congress827

beautifully expressed. Nice how Fela's music evokes such depth of feeling

@jorgegonzalez-larramendi5491

it is an achievable human state.
" samadhi" !! ,: ) haréee krishchnaa

besides that the musicians Have to be in samadhi to play this. imagine the Percussion College of Karnataka mixed in here jaya !

@devendrasinghgautam4638

Very well written brother. It's a divine experience indeed. I'm a proud Indian and a huge fan of Africa, it's people and of course it's rich earthy music. I adore Osibisa and have most of their albums on record/LP. Also love Miriam Makeba and Salif Keita.

I very recently discovered Fela and am getting more and more absorbed in his music with every listen.

Just discovered Fela

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@tarcisiolinharesfilgueiras9452

I've been discovering the magic of Fela during the pandemics, and since then I can't stop listening: it's really groovy, critic, spiritual and beautiful!...
I'm shocked with "Question Jam Answer", what a tune! My god!
Lots of love from São Paulo, Brazil, to all african brothers and Fela family fans all over the world!

@karlherve8719

hello! the music is a weapon, welcome!

@brotherrabbit8539

The dialect is called "Pidgin" not "Broken English".
It is universally understood in Nigeria, has its own rules, and vocabulary.
Needless to say it is very expressive, especially with a poet like Fela.

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