Awo
Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos Lyrics


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Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Gbogbo ohun ti ese fun wa
Awon to fe wa odun mo won
Awa o binu enikan
B'eniyan binu enikan omo
Oja oyingbo, ko mope enikan o wa o
B'oko kan o re ejinrin, egbe-gberun re a lo

Sugbon t'aba se won o
Agbagba won a foriji wa o awo
Sugbon t'aba se won o
Agbagba won a foriji wa o awo
Won afori ji wa, agbagba won a fori ji wa o awo

Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Gbogbo ohun ti ese fun wa
Awon to fe wa odun mo won
Awa o binu enikan, b'eniyan binu enikan omo
Oja oyingbo, ko mope enikan o wa o
B'oko kan o re ejinrin, egbe-gberun re a lo

Sugbon t'aba se won o
Agbagba won a foriji wa o awo




Won aforiji wa o, agbagba won aforiji wa o awo
Won aforiji wa o, agbagba won aforiji wa o awo

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos's song Awo speaks about secrecy and betrayal within social groups. The repetition of "Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari" in the chorus refers to the secret society of awo, and the verses describe how members of the group have been betrayed by someone within it. The lyrics mention how everything that the group has worked for has been given away and how they are angry with the person who has betrayed them. There is also a reference to the Oyingbo market in Lagos where it is suggested that the betrayer has gone into hiding.


The song speaks to the power dynamics within social groups and how people can be consumed by their desire for status and recognition, leading them to betray those they once considered allies. Fela's use of repetition and call-and-response in the chorus creates a sense of collective anger and frustration amongst members of the group who have been let down by someone they trusted. The use of Yoruba language in the lyrics gives the song a sense of cultural depth and meaning that further emphasises the message it conveys.


Line by Line Meaning

Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Chanting, oh ye initiated ones


Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Chanting, oh ye initiated ones


Gbogbo ohun ti ese fun wa
All that we do, we do for a purpose


Awon to fe wa odun mo won
Those who want to see us fail, we will outlast them


Awa o binu enikan
We are not angry with anyone


B'eniyan binu enikan omo
Human beings are angry with each other


Oja oyingbo, ko mope enikan o wa o
At Oyingbo market, no one is left out


B'oko kan o re ejinrin, egbe-gberun re a lo
When one drum beats, other drums will follow


Sugbon t'aba se won o
But if they want to try us


Agbagba won a foriji wa o awo
The elders will mar their own efforts, oh ye initiated ones


Won afori ji wa, agbagba won a fori ji wa o awo
They will try to defeat us, but the elders will be defeated, oh ye initiated ones


Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Chanting, oh ye initiated ones


Le-le-le-le-le-le, eyin awo lari
Chanting, oh ye initiated ones


Gbogbo ohun ti ese fun wa
All that we do, we do for a purpose


Awon to fe wa odun mo won
Those who want to see us fail, we will outlast them


Awa o binu enikan, b'eniyan binu enikan omo
We are not angry with anyone, human beings are angry with each other


Oja oyingbo, ko mope enikan o wa o
At Oyingbo market, no one is left out


B'oko kan o re ejinrin, egbe-gberun re a lo
When one drum beats, other drums will follow


Sugbon t'aba se won o
But if they want to try us


Agbagba won a foriji wa o awo
The elders will mar their own efforts, oh ye initiated ones


Won aforiji wa o, agbagba won aforiji wa o awo
They will try to defeat us, but the elders will be defeated, oh ye initiated ones




Writer(s): Fela Kuti

Contributed by Landon O. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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