A Gikuyu herdsboy’s song from Kenya. It sets up a chain of language which links together humorously all aspects of life (see also Who Will Throw Goat’s Dung at Me?).

Honey-bird, honey-bird,
Get arrows, get arrows:

Get your arrows, get your arrows,
We’ll fight a duel, we’ll fight a duel:

Then if you beat me, if you beat me,
I’ll kill you a lamb, I’ll kill you a lamb:

Then the meat, the meat,
Will be given to the smiths, will be given to the smiths:

Then the smiths, the smiths,
Will make knives, the smiths will make knives:

Then the knives, the knives,
Will be given to the rainmakers, will be given to the rainmakers:

Then the rainmakers, the rainmakers,
Will make rain, will make rain:

Then the rain, the rain,
Will grow grass, will grow grass:

Then the grass, the grass,
Will feed the calves, will feed the calves:

Then the calves, the calves,
Will buy a wife, will buy a wife:

Then the wife, the wife,
Will grind a paste, will grind a paste:

Then with the paste, the paste,
She’ll cook porridge, she’ll cook porridge:

Then the porridge, the porridge, We’ll eat, we’ll eat –

S – s – s – s – s – s – r – o – o – o – o -ro – o! (1)

from Agikuyu Folktales (1966),
Ngumbu Njururi


Footnotes

  1. That’s how good the porridge tastes.