Fela Kuti – Mr.grammarticalogylisatitionalism is the boss – YouTube

This is a great groove with Fela’s sly humor poking fun at the pompously educated intellectual class in Nigeria. Mr. Grammarticalogylisationalism uses his education as a cynical weapon against so-called ordinary people.

“Talking oyinbo” means to speak like a European – to put on the false pretenses of an educated “gentleman.” From Fela’s perspective, Africans should act like Africans: educated in their own way and not needing to copy Europeans in order to seem educated.

“The better oyinbo you talk, the more bread you go get.”

Now listen to me now
My brothers and sisters
I beg you now listen to me now
Oh now listen to me now
My brothers and sisters
I beg you now listen to me now

They na be man
(Which man?)
Wey talk oyinbo well well to rule our land o
(That man!)

Oh yes

[Chorus]
Him talk oyinbo pass English man!

Him talk oyinbo pass America man
Him talk oyinbo pass French man
Me I say him talk oyinbo pass Germany man

The better oyinbo you talk
The more bread you go get
School start na grade four bread
B.A. na grade three bread
M.A. na grade two bread
Ph.D na grade one bread
The better oyinbo you talk
The more bread you go get

They na be man
(Which man?)
Wey talk oyinbo well well to rule our land o
(That man!)

[Chorus]
Him talk oyinbo pass English man!

Oh yes
Him talk oyinbo pass America man

Hear it!
One more time
First thing for early morning
Na newspaper dem give us read
First thing for early morning
Na newspaper dem give us read
The oyinbo wey dey inside
Petty trader no fit to know
The oyinbo wey dey inside
Market woman no fit to read
The oyinbo wey dey inside
Na riddle for laborer man

Inside the paper
Lambastical dey
Inside the paper
Ipso facto, dey that one na Latin
Inside the paper
Jargonism dey
Inside the paper
Youth delinquency dey

Who be deliquent?
Na dem be deliquent
Who be delinquent?
The oyinbo talker delinquent
Who be delinquent?
It no be me o

They na be man
(Which man?)
Wey talk oyinbo well well to rule our land o
(That man!)

Oh yes

[Chorus]
Him talk oyinbo pass English man!

Him talk oyinbo pass America man

[Fela makes up some gibberish oyinbo]

Him talk oyinbo pass Germany man
Me I say him talk oyinbo pass French man

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pulamusic

I am a musician and academic living in Western, Massachusetts. I blog mostly about music, though I include the odd post about political or historical events that pique my interest.

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