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Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}

Azizi 26 Jan 08 - 09:59 AM
Azizi 26 Jan 08 - 10:10 AM
Azizi 26 Jan 08 - 10:25 AM
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Subject: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 09:59 AM

"Kye Kye Kule" {pronounced "Chay Chay Koo-lay"} is a Ghanaian children's song.

"Kye Kye Kule" is one of a handful of African folk songs that I'm aware have been included in American music textbooks for elementary school children. That's how I learned this song. Kye Kye Kule may have been included in American music textbooks because of the textbook publishers nod to multiculturalism and because the words to this West African song are relatively easy to pronounce. In addition, Kye Kye Kule may have been selected for inclusion in these music books because children love to do movements with songs, and the custom in Ghana-and now in the USA and elsewhere is to perform this song with easy to do movements.

I've been fortunate to receive information about Kye Kye Kule from talking directly and online to several persons from Ghana, West Africa. As a matter of fact, I'm pleased that it was through my exchange of emails with Quarcoo after he wrote to my website http://www.cocojams.com to share information about Kye Kye Kule, that Quarcoo learned about, and subsequently joined Mudcat. Here's a big shout out to Mudcat member Quarcoo!

As a means of enhancing access to information about Kye Kye Kule for Mudcat members and guests {including those who may find this thread while using this song's title}, I will repost from my website versions of Kye Kye Kule that I've collected. I'll also repost information that I have learned about this song from Quarcoo, and from other folks. In addition, I'll also repost on this thread an example of an African American foot stomping cheer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that I believe was inspired in the folk etymology tradition by the African song "Kye Kye Kule".

Please join in this presentation of information and this discussion by posting any additional versions of Kye Kye Kule that you know, and any other information about this song. I'm particularly interested in knowing whether this song is taught in music classes and/or included in children's music textbooks where you live.

This thread may also be used to post lyrics and information about other African children's songs.

Thanks in advance for your participation in this thread!


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 10:10 AM

Here's the words to Kye Kye Kule that a Ghanaian man whose name I don't remember shared with me {Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1980s}:

Kye kye kule.
Kye kye kofi sa x2
kofi salanga x2
Salatilanga x2
kum ayede , kumayede , kumayede

-snip-

Here is the version of the song that I found in a music book used by the Pittsburgh Public School District in the mid 1990s:

Che Che Kule
Che Che Kofisa
Kofisa Langa
Langa te Lange
Kum Adende
Kum Adende. Kum.

-snip-

Here's the lyrics of this song that I received from another Ghanaian man who I met {Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2004}:

Kyekule,
Kyekyekule.
Kyekye kofi sa x2
Kofi salanga x2
Salatilanga x2
kum ayede , kumayede , kumayede


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 10:25 AM

Here's an excerpt of the email that Quarcoo sent to cocojams.com * about Kye Kye Kule in response to my questions to him about this song:

"I made some enquiries about this song. It is a Ga game but because of our school system which promotes ethnic fusion it has become a national thing. My dad couldn't really tell me the meaning of the words, but said that the words: "Salanga" is a name used by northerners [members of ethnic groups who live in the Northern part of Ghana] (could be Dagomba, Frafra or Gonja) so Kofi Salanga is a northern boy. And when singing the song,with the pronouncement of every sentence you touch your body in ascending and descending order. When you start "kyekye kule" (you touch your shoulders with both hands and those responding kyekye kule will do likewise, continue to your waist, knees and the toes) and this continues till you reach your toes and then you start all over again.

Kyekye kule on national t.v (called Ghana T.V or GTV) was a children's programme, and it was so popular that I never for once missed an episode. It was hosted by an old teacher. It was filled with several other Ghanaian games"...

-snip-

"Ga" is the name of an ethnic group in Ghana, West Africa. The Northern region is one of 10 regions in Ghana. Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghana and other websites for more information about Ghana, West Africa.


* Any material sent to www.cocojams.com may be used by me in other publications including reposting that material on websites such as Mudcat. That said, I have sent a private message to Quarcoo letting him know that I am reposting excerpts of his Cocojams email on this Mudcat thread. Btw, I just recently heard from Quarcoo. He is well, and he indicates that he plans to resume posting on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 10:42 AM

I received an electronic message on Jeremy H.; 1/23/2008
from Jeremy H. via cocojams.com which indicated that Public School District Five in Anderson, South Carolina has music textbooks with this song printed as: Kye, Kye, Kule from Ghana, West Africa.

Thanks for that information Jeremy H.!

I'm curious to know what other school districts {in non-African nations} teach this song and other African children's songs.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:02 AM

Here's some information that I wrote down from my casual conversations on two separate occassions {in the 1980s and in 2004} in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with two men who were born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. I can't vouch for whether the information about the meaning of the song is accurate and/or whether the song is {was} performed the same way throughout the entire nation of Ghana. However, there is no doubt that the name "Kofi" which is part of the song Kye Kye Kule is a Ghanaian day name meaning "male born on Friday".

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akan_name and other websites for information about Ghanaian day names.

**

"In the 1980s, I met a Ghanaian man from the Ewe ethnic group, and asked him about the Kye Kye Kule song. This man, whose name I don't recall, told me that with the exception of the "Kum" at the end, the lyrics that I recited for him were basically as he had sung it in his childhood. Though most of these words didn't mean anything, I was told that "Kofi" is an Akan (Ghanaian) word that means "male born on Friday" and "langa" means a person of low status, "an unclean person". This chant was recited as prelude to a hide & go seek game. One person is chosen to be Kofi, the langa. Kofi chases other people and, by touching them, he would make them unclean too.

In 2004, I asked another Ghanaian man I had met the same questions. Nana Kwesi Afriya, from the Asante (Ashanti) ethnic group, confirmed the information previously given about the meaning of "Kofi" and "langa". However, Nana Kwesi said that school girls and boys chanted this as part of a ring game in which one person {Kofi, whether male or female}, walked around the ring and at the end of the chant tapped someone. Those two then ran around the circle and tried to be the first one to sit in the vacant spot. The loser became 'Kofi"."
-repost from http://www.cocojams.com/games_children_play.htm


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:08 AM

Correction:

My recollections of the conversations that I had with the two Ghanaian men about Kye Kye Kule are posted on this Cocojams' page:

http://www.cocojams.com/Jay_jay_kukalay.htm

The information from Quarcoo about this song is posted on that Cocojams' Games Children Play page.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:38 AM

I've also found "Kye Kye Kule" in a number of other American children's music books. Usually the books indicate that the song is to be performed as a rhythmic head & shoulder touching game in the same manner as "Head & Shoulders, Baby 1, 2, 3".

In the Pittsburgh area in the 1990s, the highly regarded African American performing arts group, the Shona Sharif African Drum & Dance Ensemble often performed this song. The group asked for volunteers (children and adults) from the audience to come on stage to perform this song. The lyrics were taught as a call & response song in which the performers first touched their head, then touched both of their shoulders, then moved their hips from side to side, and finally jumped up or hoped on one foot on the last word "Kum". Of course, when the audience members leave the stage, the professional dancers used the song to "get down" {meaning they performed some real exciting African dance moves}.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:46 AM

For a basic idea of how this song sounds, click on this YouTube
link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o43bWHO9Zc0
che che kule


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:59 AM

Here's an African American children's foot stomping cheer* that I believe is based on the Kye Kye Kule song:

Soloist #1:
Jay Jay Kukalay
Group:
Jay Jay Kukalay
Soloist #1:
Shalesha Lahndah
Group:
Shalesha Lahndah
Soloist #1
Step back, Shalonda
Group:
Step back, Shalonda
Soloist #1
Oosh, my lover boy
Group:
Oosh, my lover boy
Soloist #1:
Oosh, Oosh my lover boy
Group:
Oosh, Oosh my lover boy
Soloist #1:
See ya later.
Group:
See ya later.
Soloist #1:
I'm callin on, I'm callin on, I'm callin on...
(the soloist's says the next soloist's name or nickname. That new soloist and the group repeats the entire song. This continues until everyone has had one turn as the soloist}.

The beat for "Jay Jay Kukalay" is "stomp clap/ stomp stomp clap/ stomp clap/stomp stomp clay". This beat continues without pausing throughout the entire chant. By the way, this is the beat pattern that is used for the majority of foot stomping cheers. When the soloist says (and the group says) "Back Back Shalonda", they step backwards to the beat in a cha cha like movement. When they say "See ya later" the soloist, and then the group waves goodbye.

I collected "J.J. Kukalay" in 1993 from my daughter, Tazi Powell. Tazi was a camp counselor at Lillian Taylor camp when she learned this cheer. The cheer was used as one of the songs that the girls and boys sang in front of the camp's "Singing Tree". In this case, the "group" was the entire camp and the "soloist" was a specific group (such as "I'm callin on. I"m callin on Group 3"). Since that summer camp was really "in to cheers", it's likely that the children in that camp learned this cheer from hearing it being chanted and informally performed by girls (and boys?). Unfortunately, I have no idea from which Pittsburgh neighborhood this cheer came from {meaning who introduced it to the rest of the camp}, and when, and how it was first introduced to attendees of that children's summer camp. At my suggestion, my daughter asked children attending Lillian Taylor camp what "Shalesha Langa" meant. None of the children had any idea what these words meant.

If you examine the title and lines of the African Kye Kye Kule song and the African American J.J. Kukalay foot stomping cheer, you'll see a lot of similarities.  The titles of the cheers certainly sound the same. "Shalesha Langa" sounds a lot like "Kofisa Langa". And the word "Shalonda" in the sentence "Step back, Shalonda", is pronounced like the word "salanga". Sticking with my folk etymology theory, I believe that, since they didn't know what in the world "salanga" meant, the children chose a word that sounds like a word they did know. In this case, it was a girl's name-or more specifically- a name like the African American female names that have cropped up since the 1970s that either start with "Sha" or "Cha", (pronounced "Shah" ) and/or end with "onda" or "anda" (pronounced "ohn-da" or "ahn-dah). In the context of this foot stomping cheer, I believe that "Shalonda" is used as a female name in the same way as the name "Sally" is used for all girls whose turn it is to be in the center of the circle in the older children's game "Little Sally Walker".   

* Jay Jay Kukalay is a modified foot stomping cheer, since it starts with the soloist's voice and not the group voice as most foot stomping cheers do. For more information on foot stomping cheers, visit this Cocojams page:

http://www.cocojams.com/street_cheers_example%200104.htm


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM

[Somewhat off-topic]

Hmm... I wrote that "Shalonda" is used as a female name in the same way as the name "Sally" is used for all girls whose turn it is to be in the center of the circle in the older children's game "Little Sally Walker".   

Perhaps I should have phrased it "in the traditional children's game "Little Sally Walker".

Based on my research, it seems that {at least in my neck of the woods}, few American children who are beyond pre-school ages play the traditional circle version of "Little Sally Walker". And nowadays few older girls would be caught playing the older circle game song "Little Sally Walker", though a newer version of this song has been documented. That song, "Little Sally Walker {Walkin Down The Street}". That song has been posted a couple of times {by me and at least one other Mudcatter}. Since I can't readily find it, here's one version {Pittsburgh, African American girls ages 8-10 years, 1999}

Little Sally Walker
was walkin down the street
She didn't know what to do
So she stood in front of me
and said
"Ooh girl do your thing*
do your thing and STOP.
Oh girl, do your thing
do your think and STOP.

-snip-

* This is also recited as "Ooh girl,shake your thang"

"Little Sally Walker {Walkin Down The Street}" is performed as a girl's circle game with one girl "Sally" in the middle of the circle. The girl in the middle doesn't chant the words but stands in the circle and dances to the beat of the rhyme. Girls forming the circle chants the words while they clap their hands {or the hands of both girls standing next to them}. The girls forming the circle also stomp their feet to the beat. On the words "Sally stood in front of me", the girl who is "Sally" picks someone to stand in front of and then does a popular dance move. The girl who she is facing and everyone else does that same dance move {but they may add their own unique "flava to the mix"-meaning they can perform the dance move their own way}. When the song ends, "Sally" quickly joins the girls forming the circle, and the girl she was standing in front of becomes the new Sally. This pattern continues as long as the "game" is performed.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 12:45 PM

Azizi, I've heard a version of the title song from school kids in North End Halifax, Nova Scotia, but years ago, so I can't recall where it came from. I didn't recognise it until I read your pronunciation note.

I love your children's games and songs threads, by the way.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 12:51 PM

Here's another foot stomping cheer that I believe is based on the Ghanaian children's song "Kye Kye Kule" :

JAY JAY KOOL AID
Soloist #1
J.J. Cool Aid
Group
J.J. Cool Aid
Soloist #1
Teresa Londa
Group:
Teresa Londa
Soloist #1
Back, back Tuanda
Group:
Back, back Tuanda
Soloist #1:
Whose my lover boy?
Group:
Whose my lover boy?
Soloist #1:
I said mmm my sweetie cakes
Group:
I said mmm my sweetie cakes
Soloist #1:
I'm callin on
I'm callin on
I'm callin on
Shakera

Source: an anonymous White female in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who responded to a written survey conducted by Azizi Powell, 1989 on children's game songs and cheers. The respondent indicated that she grew up in a predominately Black neighborhood of Washington, DC.

-snip-
I believe that "JJ Cool Aid" is another "folk etymologized" version of Kye Kye Kule.

"JJ Cool Aid" and "Jay Jay Kukalay" appear to me to be very similar in their words and beat patterns. And both of these foot stomping cheers have words and patterns which are similar to and could have been derived from the West African song "Kye Kye Kule".

Since that survey respondent was writing a song from the oral tradition, it's possible that the words JJ Cool Aid could have been written down as "JJ [or "Jay Jay"] Koolaid {the "koolaid" being spelled the same as that widely used American powdered sweet drink}.

Also, I believe that the words "Teresa Londa" and "Tuanda" are used as female names. Note that "Tuanda" has a similar "anda/onda" sound as the name used in Jay Jay Kukalay "Shalonda". In addition, "Tuanda" sounds like the {somewhat familiar to mainstream America} female name "Towanda". "Yolanda" is an even more familiar female name to mainstream {i.e. White} America. However, it seems to me that most White people pronounce that name u-LAND-dah while most Black people pronounce that name u-LAHN-dah}. But I digress...

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if either "Jay Jay Kukalay" or "JJ Cool Aid" are still being performed by girls in the year 2008. I've not conducted sufficient research to determine this. But I can say that I've not come across either of these cheers in my casual social intereactions with girls.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 01:01 PM

Hi Bee!

Thanks for posting on this thread. Thanks alsos for the compliment re these Mudcat children's threads. I enjoy collecting children's rhymes and cheers. And I love learning new examples and new versions from other folks who post on those threads. These rhymes & cheers and their performance movements demonstrate how creative children are.

Btw, Bee, I'm assuming that you meant the Ghanaian song and not the cheers. Is that right?


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 09:19 AM

Hi Azizi!

I haven't read this whole thread, but I believe this song was recorded by Sharon, Lois and Bram. I used to sing it with my kids when they were little. Fun one!

KT


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 09:32 AM

Hey, KT!

I also remember hearing Che Che Kule on a children's record recorded by some American singers. It might very well have been Sharon, Lois and Bram. I remember the cover of that record album had a multiracial group of children riding on a train with one of the singers {Bram?} driving the train.

Is this the same album that you remember?

I thought that version of Che Che Kule was really good and wish I could find it again.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: KT
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 02:06 PM

Azizi, S, L & B are a Canadian group. It's on their album, SMORGASBORD. You can buy it on ITunes for $99.00 . Search ITunes under this spelling, "Che che koolay"
and it will come up. For some reason, I'm not able to access a URL, so I can't make a link for you. You can listen to a sample. It's well done, as is the whole album.


It's also available here though I've never purchased a song there.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: KT
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 02:07 PM

oops...It's good, but not THAT good! It's $.99!


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,paula t
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 05:31 PM

I use this song in my music lessons with reception and year 1 children. I found it as part of a lesson plan in the teachers resource book called " Music Express". I use it as a call and response song - with the children using percussion instruments as they sing. They love it . It is also a very good way to get their attention atany noisier moments of the day! They can't resist joining in and answering me. Great fun!


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:14 PM

Thanks, for that info KT!

Thanks also, Paula, for sharing your experiences with this song. Paula, what do you mean by "music lesion with reception and year 1 children". Is this the same as pre-school ages and kindergarten children {children under 5 and children 5-6 years old}? If so, I'm curious about where those terms are used.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: KT
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:47 PM

You're very welcome, Azizi.

Fatou Yo is another song I have used with little ones. It's one of my favorites. It's been recorded by a couple of different groups. I learned it from the World Playground CD, and it was recorded by Toure Kunda (Senegal).

There is another version on ITunes which sounds very good, as well. Check it out. I think you'll like it.

KT


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 07:03 PM

Azizi, this is fantastic! I have several conflicting resources at school (I'm at home now) with different versions of Kye Kye Kule- I'll see if I can find time to post them in the next day or so.

Meanwhile, anyone here know of the song/game Tue Tue? (pronounced "too-ay too-ay")

Tue Tue, barima tue tue (repeat)
Ambasa dow, ama dowa dowa tue tue (repeat)
Barima tue tue

(a little girl is selling rice cakes in the marketplace)

Children stand in a circle, performing a complicated hand clapping pattern:
clap twice
pat legs twice
clap twice
pat partner's hands twice
clap twice
pat legs twice
clap twice
pat neighbor's hands (person on the child's other side) twice

According to my source, this is done whilst side-stepping around the circle! My 5th graders can manage the patschen but only one group several years ago could add the footwork!

I learned this from Carolyn Parrott, director of the women's chorus Songweavers in Concord, NH. The year they performed this they had a woman from Ghana in the audience who came up to Carolyn after the concert with tears in her eyes, saying they had sung it exactly as she remembered it as a child.

Allison


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,gvart
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 08:13 PM

Che as in chat, or loch?


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 08:40 PM

KT, thanks for that information about the song "Fatou Yo". I love that song.

**

Allison, I've also heard the song "Tue Tue". I've pronounced "tue" as "too-way", but I may be pronouncing it wrong.

**

gvart, if you question is how is che in che che kule pronounced,
"kye"="che" rhymes with "hey" {same as "chay" rhymes with "hay"}


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Subject: RE: LYR: ADD Fatou Yo
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 09:05 PM

FATOU YO
[Senegal; Mandingo language]

recorded by Toure Kunda {TOUR-ray KOON-dah}

Fatuo yo si diadialano
Fatuo yo si diadialano
Fauo faye faye fatuo
Fatuo klemaoundio
Fatuo yo si diadialano.

Botou mbele botou mbele
Botou mbele
Botou mbele botou mebel
Botou mbele
O mami sera
O mami casse o mami sera
O mami casse

Ja cana confa boulodi
Fayer corola sodiaye
Sodia sodia ina gambia
Coco inako soyango.

http://www.justsomelyrics.com/1693626/Fatou-yo-Lyrics


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,gvart
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 09:22 PM

I realise that, but how to pronounce the 'ch'? as in chat or china, or as in loch?


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 09:31 PM

Here's some information about the song "Fatou Yo" {fah-to yoh}

"Fatou Lo {I am Fatou}
Toure Kunda
Sung in Mandingo -- Senegal

Fatou is a little girl who lives in Senegal, a country in Africa. She likes to dance with the other boys and girls in her village, and dreams about singing with baby elephants and giraffes. The song is a sikko (SEE-koh), a dance where people get in a line and hold their hands towards the sky or hold the waist of the person in front of them.

Senegal is a country in Western Africa that borders the Atlantic Ocean.

There are many different tribes and ethnic groups, each with a unique culture. Languages spoken include Wolof, Fulani, Serer and Mandingo, but the common language is French because Senegal used to be a colony of France.

http://www.bestchildrensmusic.com/cd_pwp.htm

Putumayo's "World Playground"
"Best of '99" Scholastic's Parent & Child Magazine
Parents' Choice Silver Award
NAPPA GOLD Award
Parents' Guide To Children's Media Award

**

Here's a YouTube video of school children singing "Fatou Yo":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD42KHwWFew&feature=related

**

Btw, the name "Fatou" is probably a Mandinka language {and/or Wolof language?} form of the Arabic female name "Fatima". Tese names literally mean "weaned"; one who is no longer breast fed". However, the name "Fatima" is highly revered among Muslims since it was the name of the Prophet Mohammad's favorite daughter.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 09:44 PM

gvart, with regard to your question how is the 'ch' pronounced? and with regard to the examples you gave "chat" or china, or "loch?"- perhaps someone better versed in linguistics will provide an answer.

I'm tossing aside the "loch" example, partly because I'm not familiar with that word so I'm not sure how it's pronounced.

It's hard for me to see that much difference in the pronounciation of the words "chat" and "china". But I guess if I had to choose
{oh! that's another "ch" word. I didn't plan that}, I'd have to go with the word "china" as being the "ch" sound that used for the word "che" in the words "che che kule".

Of course, the word "che" is spelled "kye" in Akan or Ewe or whichever Ghanaian language that is.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 01:05 AM

Sorry, I should've said chat and china, or loch, you know, the scottish word.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Melissa
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 01:15 AM

"tech" has the same basic 'ch' sound as "loch"

I was wondering which one also..


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Kweku
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 03:20 AM

Gvart, about the pronounciation of the word "che" it sounds more like saying "chain" without the "in". so it is more of like saying "cha--i--ee" or like saying "chase". But please I am not a linguistic expert so I might be able to write it the right way for you to pronounce it.

And Azizi, in Ghana "kye" is an Akan spelling.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 08:31 AM

Hi, Quarcoo! Thanks for posting to this thread!

**
I wanted to correct some information that I posted in my post previous to this one:

"Akan" is the name of the people and the culture. Akan people speak Twi {which I think is pronounced "Twee"}.

Here is an excerpt from http://www.ushaka.com/akanpeople2.html about the Akan people:
"
The history of Ghana is, in fact, the history of the Twi speaking people who now call themselves the Akan. The Akan people are among the most prominent and traditionally well-cultured indigenous inhabitants of Africa. There are many groups that constitute the Akan people. They can be divided and subdivided into the Twi, the Fante, Akim, Ashanti, Juaben, and Agona people who respect and believe in tradition. As reflected in their life style, all-important events in life involve various rituals and rites. From the Adae to the Odiwira to the Homowo to the Damba to the Yam festival, Ghana is a land of rituals, shrines and festivals".
-snip-

Also see this information about one of the Akan people, the Ashanti {Asante}:

"The Ashanti tribe of the Akan are the largest tribe in Ghana and one of the few matrilineal societies in West Africa. Once renown for the splendour and wealth of their rulers, they are most famous today for their craft work, particularly their hand-carved stools and fertility dolls and their colourful kente cloth. Kente cloth is woven in bright, narrow strips with complex patterns; it's usually made from cotton and is always woven outdoors, exclusively by men."
http://www.africaguide.com/country/ghana/culture.htm

-snip-

In my previous post, I also mentioned the Ewe language. Here's a short excerpt about the Ewe people:

"The Ewe people are a people of southeastern Ghana, Togo and Benin. They speak the Ewe language and are related to other speakers of Gbe languages as the Fon and the Aja of Togo and Benin. They have come to their present territory from the east; their original homeland is traced to Oyo in western Nigeria."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewe_people

-snip-

I'm unsure if there are similarities between the Twi language and the Ewe language. But I'd like to know if there are. For instance, I think the Ewe day names are similar to the Twi {Akan} day names. {Quarcoo, help please!}

**

I once met a Ewe man in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who taught me how to say the word "Ewe", but I've since forgotten how that word is pronounced. I know it's not "ee-way" or "a-way". I think the "w" has a "v" sound, but I can't remember. Hopefully, Quarcoo and/or some others who know about the Ewe language and culture will also post information about this here.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: paula t
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 08:41 AM

Azizi,
Sorry for the delay in replying.
I teach in a small village primary school which has mixed age classes because of numbers( Makes life interesting!). Reception age children are 4 to 5 years old and year 1 children are aged 5 to 6.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Cole}
From: GUEST,wincal
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:43 PM

Puerto Rican Salsa artist's Hector Lavoe and Wille Colon did a funky adaptation of this children's song on their 1967 "El Malo" album. Hector succumbed to Aids in 1993 and was the subject of the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony movie, El Cantante. A video of their performance of this song can be viewed on Utube.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 11:11 PM

Hi, Paula!
Thanks for that information. I meant to also ask you where you teach {what country}. Sorry, I'm curious by nature. If you prefer not to say, that's okay. I'm also an accidental poet :o}

**

Thanks, wincal for alerting us to that version of Che Che Kule {Che Che Cole}

Here's the link to one YouTube video of these great musicians performing that song *:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL9bW6YRoEg
Hector Lavoe con Willie Colon - Che Che Colé Live

* There's other videos available of this song performed by Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon

-snip-

Here's a link to another YouTuve video of this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTFVPO2Z0ms&feature=related
Che Che Cole, Barrunto
"Venezuela 1978"


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Hannah
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 11:09 AM

Che Che koolay
Group:
Che Che koolay


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Pexy Dawg
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 03:48 PM

Willie Colon also did another song called Ghana'E a few years later. Che Che Cole I knew where he got the idea because they thought us that in school. but Ghana' E, I'm stumped! that also is from a Ghanian children's song but I can't find out which one can someone help me out.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:33 PM

Hi,Pexy Dawg!

Thanks for posting on this thread. Hopefully, you'll check back and read this post.

I'm not familiar with the song Ghana E. I've had no luck looking for lyrics for it online. Nor have I had any luck finding a video of Willie Colon performing this Ghana E.

If you're able, would you please post any information about this song, particularly its lyrics?

Also, if you don't mind sharing- where [in USA or elsewhere?] and when [in decade] did you go school and learned the song "Che Che Kule {Cole}"?

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Pexy Dawg
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 04:05 AM

The 70's in CT (kye kye kule).

Ghana E is off the Big Break album (La Gran Fuga). I've had no luck finding it on youtube, either. According to some websites,it also another Ghanian kids' song.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 08:23 AM

Thanks for your response,Pexy Dawg

Hopefully, someone will write the lyrics to Ghana E online sometime.

Meanwhile, I'll keep looking.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 10:35 AM

Speaking of other African songs for children, I absolutely love the song "Fatou Yo" {I am Fatou}, a song from Senegal, West Africa.

Toure Kunda (TOUR-ray KOON-dah) is given the credits for this song which is sung in the Mandingo language.

"Fatou is a little girl who lives in Senegal, a country in Africa. She likes to dance with the other boys and girls in her village, and dreams about singing with baby elephants and giraffes. The song is a sikko (SEE-koh), a dance where people get in a line and hold their hands towards the sky or hold the waist of the person in front of them".
http://www.bestchildrensmusic.com/cd_pwp.htm

**

By the way, here's some information about the female name "Fatou" that I wrote for the name page of my website Cocojams:

The female name "Fatou" {pronounced "FAH-tu"} is from the Wolof language of Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania {West Africa}, and/or the Mandinka {Mandingo} language of Mali, The Gambia, Senegal, and other countries in West Africa. From the number of online references to that name, it appears that Fatou is a widely given name in those nations. The name "Fatou" is a form of the Arabic female name "Fatima". The name "Fatima" literally means "weaned" {a baby girl who is no longer breast feed}. However, the name "Fatima" has taken on added significance because it was the name of a favorite daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.
http://cocojams.com/names.htm


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:39 PM

Azizi:

Thanks for the effort. I'll keep looking as well.

As for kye kye kule, I didn't make the correlation between the childrens version learned in school to the salsa song until I was a teenager in the 80's.

At any rate, take care.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 01:00 PM

Azizi:

If this will help.

Iata a yo yooooooo! iata, iata
iata a yo yooooooo! iata, iata.

Iata a yo yooooooo! iata, iata
iata a yo yooooooo! iata, iata.

Tangui sarangui oromi, tangui sarangui oromi!
tangui sarangui oromi, tangui sarangui oromi!

Ghana'e ae,
sansabarabaran
Matari ti gha'i
sansabarabaran
Ghana'e ae
sansabarabaran
Matari ti gha'i

Eh... LP
eh... eh!

Ghana,e ae, Oh mamá
Matari ti gha'i y epa!
~
Sarababanda!

Coro:
Ghana'e ae.

Oye que rico y es para ti mami, mami!

A ver que bueno en la punta'el pie tu vé.

Que Ghana'e que Ghana'e que Ghana'e ahi!

No me aguantes,no me aguantes, mujer, mujer.

"Sueltala que tengo ganas de boxear."
~
Oye que lindo, que lindo es para ti
Ae, ae, ae, ae, ae.

Ghana'e ae

The first part is in I guess Ghanian. The second part is Spanish.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 02:30 AM

GUEST,Date: 24 Jul 08 - 01:00 PM

Thanks for posting those lyrics. Did you get them from a book? If so, it would be great if you would post the book's title and author.

I agree with you that the second part is in Spanish, and I assume that the first part is in a Ghanaian language.

Now if someone could translate either or both of those parts, that would also be great...

Well I remember reading somewhere that "Step by step we'll get there". "There, in this case, is having the words and the English translaton {with full documentation of the source} of the song Ghana E}.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 09:37 AM

There's lots of postings of Children's action songs and discussion about teaching dancing to children on 'Pourparley'. They also run an annual conference and most people on that list go to it.
I'd never heard of Kye kye (in the UK) but saw it there.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pourparler/


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 09:57 AM

Hello, Mo!

I clicked on that link you provided. It appears that that is a group
"For teachers of ethnic or traditional dancing in schools and communities who have attended one or more annual Pourparler gatherings".

Well, that leaves me out :o(

I'm assuming from your post that you are a member of that group. Could you share more information about the Che Che Kule song and other songs that members of that group have discussed?

If you can't do so, because the information has to stay in-group,
I understand.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 06:29 PM

Well it does say that, but I haven't.
I put a question on here and Desert Dancer suggested that I asked them, so I tried to join and said why I wanted to, and they let me.

Sounds as though it might be your sort of thing, though a lot of the discussion is about the conference; plans, travel arrangements, accomodation, how much everyone enjoyed it. But also about working with children teaching traditional dance and action songs.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 06:39 PM

When they discuss the song they put a link to this site which has a video of that and many other African American songs


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 06:46 PM

Thanks, Mo. And thanks also for sharing the link to that resource page.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 06:53 PM

I got the impression that the Pourparler teachers thought it was a sure fire attention grabber, as Paula said (up this thread)


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,ada
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 06:18 AM

Wow,
the net is a wonderful thing. I was googlevideoing Che Guevera and I started thinking about this song from my childhood. During the late 60's early 70's there was an explosion of black nationalism and rediscovering African roots. People bought African culture to the communites and public schools. Daishikis and afros. I was taught the Che or Kye song and West African dances in public school and local community centers.
Now check this out. I'm thinking of this song and when I googled it, I came across "Che Che Cole", a salsa song made famous by Hector Lavoe and reprised by Marc Anthony.
Here is the chorus:

Che che colé, (que bueno e'………)
Che che cofriza, (muerto e' la risa……)
Coqui saranga (ay viene la malanga……)
Caca chilanga, (viene de catanga……)
Ayeiyeee, (a ver e' tu lo ve………)

Now doesn't that sound like the West African song?

Someboy get back at me on this one....

thanks,
ada


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Che che cole...
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 06:32 AM

Made famous by Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe....


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 03:36 PM

Yep. Guest, che che cole is right that this song was made famous by those two Latin performers.

GUEST,wincal's post on 01 Feb 08 - 10:43 PM was the first one in this thread to mention that "Puerto Rican Salsa artist's Hector Lavoe and Wille Colon did a funky adaptation of this children's song on their 1967 "El Malo" album".

I posted hyperlinks to two YouTube threads of Latin versions of this song in my 01 Feb 08 - 11:11 PM comment on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,ada (guest)
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:05 PM

I should've read the entire thread...
Another example of african/latino cultural roots...

thanks,
ada


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:53 PM

Ada, no problemo :o)

Please consider joining Mudcat. It would be good to have another Black person posting on this forum.

Membership is free and easy. Just click on the Membership icon at the top of this page on the right hand side.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 15 May 09 - 02:22 PM

Here is an email about "Kye Kye Kule" that I received today from a Ghanaian woman, Abena Gyebi:

"Sorry, cocoyam, You see I have always known the Ghanaian children's song Kye kye kule. The Kum adende or Kum aye dei was always part of it. I do not believe it is a later addition; I mean I'm into my fifties and I've always known it with the Kum. Maybe it's because the people you talked to were male. I guess when we as girls were playing kye kye kule they were busy playing football or so.(Or hunting rats?-:)

'Kum' apart from its Akan meaning - to kill- is also the sound made when something falls heavily on the ground,like a child falling or something dropping.

The other version of the game was,instead of running behind the circle and tapping someone on the shoulder, one bent down and dropped a piece of cloth behind one of those sitting in the circle. It was supposed to be done so artfully that the one with the piece of cloth did not notice it.The singing and clapping then got more exciting as the runner got closer and closer to where she had dropped the piece of cloth. If the sitting person still did not notice the cloth, she got a 'boo' or a smack on the shoulder for being inattentive. On the other hand, if she got alerted, she would then run as fast as possible chasing the first runner until the first runner took her place in the circle. Then she would take over the kye kye kule and look for another person behind whom she would drop the piece of cloth. This version of kye kye kule was an adaptation of another children's game we called 'anto akyire'"

-snip-

Abena Gyebi is correct that the only Ghanaians who have given me information about this song are males. I'm very grateful that she has shared this performance information and information about the meaning of the word "Kum" in that song.


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Subject: ADD: Che Che Cole
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 May 09 - 02:51 PM

Well, I woun't vouch for their quality, but here are the lyrics for "Che Che Cole."

Source: http://www.metrolyrics.com/che-che-cole-lyrics-marc-anthony.html

Movie: El Cantante
Artist: Héctor Lavoe
Song: Che Che Cole

Vamos todos a bailar
al estilo africano
si no lo sabes bailar
yo te enseñaré mi hermano.

A ti te gusta la bomba
y te gusta el baquiné
para que goces ahora,
africano es el bembé.

Che che colé, que bueno e'
Che che cofriza, muerto 'e la risa...

Oye tú sentado allá
pareces venezolano
ven aquí vamo' a bailar
que todos somos hermanos.

Lo bailan en Venezuela,
lo bailan en Panamá.
Este ritmo es africano
y donde quiera vá acabar.

Che che colé, que bueno e'
Che che cofiza, muerto 'e la risa...

Ya yo sé que te gustó,
quieres bailarlo otra vez,
bailalo en la punta del pie
y veras que bueno es.

Ya yo sé que te gustó,
quieres bailarlo otra vez
pues ponte bien los zapatos
que los tienes al revés.

Che che colé, que bueno e'
Che che cofiza, muerto 'e la risa...


You can hear sound samples here. Does it sound at all like the African tune?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Lolly
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 04:36 PM

omg my mum taught me this when me and my sisters were so young and i still remember. We were born in England but mum was raised in Ghana n shes ewe..but i dont remember the kum at the end. either way thankz 4 ur post azizi brought back happy memories!!! nw im goin 2 remind my sisters n laugh:)


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 05:59 PM

Joe, I'm just seeing your post of 15 May 09 - 02:51 PM. I can't answer your question does the Latin songs sound like the African version of this song. But the "che che cole/che che cofisa" part sounds like the USA song (and somewhat like the foot stomping chant). But of course, the tempo is quite different between all of those versions and the USA song (and the percussive foot stomping chant).

**

Greetings, GUEST,Lolly.

Thanks for sharing your memories of this song.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:51 AM

I was taught an Americanized version of this song in 5th or 6th grade by a music teacher named Daria Lacey...I also recently heard it performed by a GREAT band here in Pittsburgh named Machete


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 10 - 06:43 PM

Im from ghana and I have to say that Kofi is a ghana name and alot of the words in the song i can understand. I have been singing this song since I was a child. My mother knows it, my grandmother knows it and my great grand mother knows It. I recently caught the spanish verson on the radio and started singing along right away. I was very surprised someone else from another part of the world had made a song with my childhood play song. The song has been around for a least a few centuries Its not surprising that there have been different versions made


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Alondra
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 03:20 AM

Such a small world! Im from Puerto Rico and I have been singing this song for a long time too. I never really knew what the words that were not in spanish meant but have always loved this song. Is huge in latin america! Its nice to know that is so special to others too.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,guest (lonesome d stringband)
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:06 PM

I felt bad about reupping this old thread but noticed it's happened occasionally previously. I really need to sign up for this site. At any rate, just letting you guys know about the terrific Antibalas version of the Colon/Lavoe joint. Antibalas are nominally an Afrobeat band (and in any event are consistently excellent) and their Makossa arrangement more or less brings the chant at its center back home in a different form (even though Makossa is Cameroonian, and I'm not even sure how much of a makossa this arrangement is, but... you get the picture.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ20WrymXIs

I learned the chant in elementary school as well as a kid in the late 1970s in suburban Philadelphia (T/E school district). I recall learning it from a visiting arts troupe but have no idea who. I also think whoever was teaching it to us mistransliterated some of the syllables as we both distinctly recalled the last line as sounding more like 'CHI a ye ye' - but we did follow it with counting it to ten like in some of the videos of Ghanaian schoolkids available on Youtube.

Good blog entry on the subject I came across today: http://lapelanga.com/che-che-cole-0


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 03:57 AM

Interesting... I thought the lyrics were in a Bantu language. 'Viene de Katanga' means it comes from Katanga in The Congo.


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Hi
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 03:54 PM

I am an assistant teacher for the Somerville Community schools after school program in somerville, MA. We have an african druming club for the k-2nd graders. They learn rhythm, beat, and culture of african drumming and song. currently i am sitting in on the computer to their club time and they are learnign their song from the instructor. They sounds great! :)

He says one line and they repeat after him. They love it and i love it! it is so catchy and fun! He told us all about how it is from Ghana and was a popular childrens song.

Just thought that you would find this great!

Somerville is lovated 5 minutes from Cambridge, MA and 10 minutes from Boston, MA

Thank you :)


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Norway
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 09:33 AM

Hi. The soccer team SK Brann from Bergen Norway sings a version of Kye Kye Kula after matches in the lockeroom.

http://www.brann.no/nyheter/branntv/video/508421/


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Subject: RE: Kye Kye Kule {Che Che Kulay}
From: GUEST,Jones- London
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 09:28 AM

Chay chay kolay
repeat)

Chay Chay cap-e-sah
(repeat)

Cap-e-so-longa
(repeat)

Longa-te-longa
(repeat)

Kum ah-den-dey
(repeat)

I'd like to know if anyone has heard this version. I know it's a playground game and written this as it is spoken.

Is there a right or wrong way to say this.

Please help.

Many thanks


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Mudcat time: 20 August 2:50 AM EDT

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