View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:10 pm



Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
 Introduction to "Biko" 
Author Message
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:50 am
Posts: 316
Location: Washington, DC
Post Introduction to "Biko"
There are several lines of an African song heard at the beginning of "Biko". This appears on PG3 and the German version of PG3, but I don't believe it was ever played live.

Does anyone know what this is? Did Peter have a hand in its composition and/or playing, or did he just record an existing song? Does anyone know the lyrics or their translation?

Long ago I had PG3 in LP form, and I seem to recall that the lyrics insert included the words to this song. But maybe I'm imagining that, because the CD doesn't include the lyrics for this part.

_________________
- babylon5


Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:21 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:39 pm
Posts: 356
Post Re: Introduction to "Biko"
I just checked the LP; the inner sleeve lyrics do not include the African lyric intro.

That aside, the song is called Senzeni Na? and the recording at the start and end of Biko is the song actually being sung at Stephen Biko's funeral.

"There doesn’t seem to be one universally agreed on set of lyrics. Below are two versions, the bottom one being the more aggressive of the two:

Xhosa/Zulu original

Senzeni na?
Sono sethu, ubumyama?
Sono sethu yinyaniso?
Sibulawayo
Mayibuye i Africa

English translation

What have we done?
Our sin is that we are black?
Our sin is the truth
They are killing us
Let Africa return

Xhosa/Zulu original

Senzeni na senzeni na
Senzeni na senzeni na
Senzeni na senzeni na
Senzeni na kulomhlaba?
Amabhulu azizinja
Amabhulu azizinja
Amabhulu azizinja
Amabhulu azizinja
Kuyisono ‘kubamnyama
Kuyisono ‘kubamnyama
Kuyisono ‘kubamnyama
Kuyisono kulelizwe



English translation

What have we done, what have we done?
What have we done, what have we done?
What have we done, what have we done?
What have we done in this country (world)?
Boers are dogs
Boers are dogs
Boers are dogs
Boers are dogs
It’s a sin to be black
It’s a sin to be black
It’s a sin to be black
It’s a sin in this country (world)

_________________
http://genesislive.ning.com/profile/DavidRaphael


Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:46 am
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:24 pm
Posts: 449
Location: Wales
Post Re: Introduction to "Biko"
Incidentally, the African song on the album version is very different to the one on the single. Whether it is a different recording of the same song or two completely different songs, I can't rightly tell (and it's a long time since I played my single version).
It's possible that one version has the song David Raphael refers to, and the other is the African Anthem - Nkosi Sikilel' i Afrika.
David - your words are in quote marks - what's the source you are quoting from?

On the album, there's also a kind of scream at the beginning - and on the liner notes someone called David Ferguson is credited with 'screeches' on the song.

_________________
Old Henry walked past the pet shop that was never open, into the park which was never closed...


Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:39 pm
Profile

Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:26 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: Introduction to "Biko"
David Ferguson was the keyboard player of the band Random Hold, whose guitar player was David Rhodes. PG produced their first album around the same time Melt was being recorded.
I never listened to Random Hold material, but David Ferguson also appeared on "In Slow Time" from Peter Hammill's 1980 album A Black Box and his keyboards sound equally puzzling and scary.


Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:04 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:50 am
Posts: 316
Location: Washington, DC
Post Re: Introduction to "Biko"
Interesting! I should have checked Wikipedia more carefully -- its Biko (song) article there links to the Senzeni Na article.

I searched YouTube for this song, and found a variety of versions. The tune and the words both seem to vary. I found some that had tunes close to the one in PG's song but none that matched it exactly, and I haven't figured out how the words in the PG version match up to the lyrics that DR posted above.

_________________
- babylon5


Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:46 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 5 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.