Mamady Keita - Keiko lyrics

I am running a Djembe class and we are doing Keiko this semester. There is some singing in the piece that we would like to incorporate, but I can’t seem to find the lyrics anywhere. I am not looking to the English translation, just the words of the song in malinke (I think that is the language)

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Hi @jbanchiere ! Thanks for posting this and welcome the Forum!

I wasn’t familiar with the song, but I have had a listen. Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to make the words that start around 1:11. I had a vague idea and then I did some hunting online and found this drum transcription reference by Malcom Smith. It includes some hints about the lyrics:

Call: Fanta bori ni keiko
Response: Eh dji kalamanda le kei di eh

The song is sung by young girls teasing each other: “Fanta chases after men.”
The other girls’ response is a warning not to do so, since
“Men are like a boiling cauldron!”

His Maninka (or “Malinké”) lyric transcription is very rough and doesn’t use standard orthography, but it’s helpful to confirm some of what I thought I might be hearing. I’d revise the transcription as such:

Fanta borila i kɛ kɔ

“Fanta goes/runs after your man”


Ɛ! Ji kalaman daa le kɛ di, ɛ!

"Oh! A man is a hot water kettle, oh!

I don’t know if there are further lyrics to be analyzed elsewhere in the song, but I feel pretty good about this interpretation for the initial call and response.

Let me know if that helps! :slight_smile: