An Acoli girl’s love song from northern Uganda, collected and translated by the famous Ugandan poet Okot p’Bitek, author of Song of Lawino. It would be sung during the ortak or courtship dance.

Where has my love blown his horn?
The tune of his horn is well known.
Young men of my clan,
Have you heard the horn of my love?

The long distance has ruined me, oh,
The distance between me and my companion. (1)
Youths of my clan,
Have you heard the horn of my love?

The shortage of cattle has ruined my man!
The poverty of my love!
You men of my clan,
Listen to the horn of my love.

Where has my love blown his horn?
The tune of his horn is well known.
Young men of my clan,
Listen to the horn of my clan.

from The Horn of My Love (1974);
Okot p’Bitek


Footnotes

  1. The young man, unable to afford bride-price, has been forced to leave home and his lover.