Asa’s “Bimpe”: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis My faithful Nokia phone must still be wondering why Asa’s Beautiful Imperfection

album is still on repeat, three weeks after I uploaded them from an Original CD. (Yes o, O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L). Since my analysis of “Bamidele”, my favourite song on the album, was published here penultimate Wednesday, I’ve been enjoying Asa’s brilliant music almost-no-stop! More than a few people even asked me to do something similar for “Bimpe” another Yoruba rendition on the album. There’s been the pressure to better the last piece, but you know what, just enjoy reading because I can’t say much about that. Bimpe is an upbeat song, one of the numerous songs on the album that make you want to dance, shoulder-high, and snap my fingers on the street. A playful, yet serious song, it is an indirect warning to a sister-in-law who meddles just too much in the dealings of her elder brother’s wife’s business. It brings to the fore, the intricacies and dynamics of the role played by in-laws in the life of a young wife in the Yoruba culture. Also highlighted is the complexity of the human nature; how people seem to be overtly interested in what you do with what they give you, whether as a loan or as a gift. Here goes: Bimpe n ba mi wi (Bimpe’s scolding me) O f’owo si’nu business mi (she contributed money to my business) Emi ire ko l’egbe/ o kan s’aju mi bimo ni (we’re not mates, you only gave birth before me) Mo gbo n’pe on mo mi loju (I hear you eye me with disdain) O l’anu gboa ni’pa business mi (You talk recklessly about my business) Oro emi ire ko l’eni (Our quarrel’s not for today) Egbon re n fe mi ni (It’s just because your brother’s my husband) The narrator is presumably a young wife who suddenly needs financial help in sorting out her (petty) business. She receives money from her sister-in-law, only to be subjected to embarrassment from the ‘investor’. The sister-in-law, her husband’s younger sibling, begins to meddle in the young wife’s business affairs. Young Wife complains, but in the Yoruba culture, you ought to respect your siblings-in-law and refer to them like they were much older than you, even if you are a decade older. It is not clear whether the financial support was meant to be a ‘loan’ to be returned later, or a gift to support an in-law.

yeah) The soft piano sound rises to underscore the feeling of endearment and sentiment as Young Wife recalls that she’s is married to Bimpe’s elder brother. albeit in a subtle way.Young Wife gets wind that Bimpe’s talking recklessly about her business. In fact. that babe) T’o wole yen (that just entered the room) E ba n kilo fun/ e kilo fun. But the bitterness continues to grow as the narrator refers to her ‘tormentor’ in the ‘third person’ – a rather distant and somewhat disregarding way to address your relatives.your brother. but she does not confront the suspect openly. ‘cos it’s someone much younger that’s chiding me) Ile ana more l’Oyo/ won kunkun je m sinmi… (When I even visited my in-laws in Oyo State. warn her…) E ba mi so fun sisi yen (Help me tell that lady) fun sisi yen to kun atike (that lady who has painted her face with talcum) E ba n kilo fun/ e kilo fun. egbon re ha! (I respect him . fashion and lifestyle. yeah (Help me warn her/ warn her. this hints. Bimpe ri mi fin (Bimpe is disrespecting me) O wu wa omo lai si imoye (she behaved without understanding) Mo ronu p’iwa da / omo inu mi l’on ba mi wi (I repent. yeah (Help me warn her. like ‘plastering’ her face with talcum. and you want someone to marry you into his home) . The reason? She’s married to Bimpe’s brother! Egbon re t’on fe mi lowo ni o (it’s your brother who’s currently married to me) Mo ti ya fun ooo/ egbon re. they never even let me rest) Ire o l’aponle/ o de fe ki eyan fe e sile (You’re not worth the respect. that Bimpe is more-or-less lacking in education. She taps into the power of description to emphasize some of Bimpe’s idiosyncrasies. exposure. your brother ha!) E ba mi so fun baby yen/ fun baby yen (Help me tell that babe.

She ups the ante here. insisting that the accused lacks understanding. e s’oro fun (Help me warn her. yeah… (Help me warn her. The sound is loud and defiant. Egbon re ton fe mi lowo ni o (it’s your brother who’s marrying me) Mo ti ya fun ooo/ egbon re. she should split her own head on the floor) E ba mi kilo fun/ ekilo fun (Help me warn her. Asa took me in on . Then she runs through the final round of lamentation with the soothing electric piano (EP) sound. help me warn her. you are not worthy of respect and lack dignity. tell her!) E bami so fun baby yen ko fo s’oke/ k’o fi mi’le (Help me tell that lady to jump up. and trek to Offa –an ancient town in Kwara State) E ba n ki’lo fun. yeah (talcum on her face. talk to her!) Young Wife’s infuriation makes her say a lot more bitter things as she ends up asking Bimpe to take a long walk all the way to Offa town. “(Bimpe). egbon re ha! (I respect him. making an angry statement. and let me be) Tio ba wo k’o la’ri mo’le (If she doesn’t like. that babe that just entered) E ba n kilo fun/ e kilo fun. but you want some man to marry you into his home?” Asa sings the chorus all over again and gives in to a synthesized interlude which seems to help dissipate some pent-up anger. your brother ew!) E ba mi so fun baby yen/ fun baby yen/ t’o wole yen (Help me tell that babe. She tries to overlook the offense because she deems herself much older. k’o rin lo Offa (She should leave me alone. still fussing over Bimpe’s disrespect. warn her!) E ba mi so fun baby yen k’o fo s’oke (Help me tell that lady to jump up) K’o fi mi’le. but still recounts how her in-laws did not let her rest but torment her the last time she visited them in their home town in Oyo State. warn her…) E ba mi so fun baby yen/ to gb’omo pon (Help me tell that lady with a baby straddled to her back) T’o kun atike/ e ba n kilo fun/ e soro fun. your brother.

this one too. . and kudos as she ends this energetic rendition by lacing the synthesizer with Young Wife’s anger.

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