Dem on an’ dem off

(with apologies to Fela Anikulapo Kuti2and Benjamin Zephaniah3)

(for those who died on 20/7/2011)

[Brass and choppy funky guitar in key of E]

Tiye! Bwela! Tiye! Bwela!

Ah!!! Dem on an’ dem on!

Ashiki! Ashoko! Ashiki  Ashoko!

Ah! Dem on an’ dem on!

Dis people power gone all crazy

We  follow dem into a mad tizzy

Politicos and civicos dem gone crazy

Kwende! Ima! Pita! Bwela!

Dem on an’ dem on!

Dem on an’ dem on!

Organise, strategize, oppose, diffuse!

Olala! By the power of the almighty!

Burn, blame, kill; don criticise!

Olala! Politics in the God-fearing entity!

Bwela! Choka! Pita! Luta!

Lalalalalalalala!

Ashiki! Ashoko! Ashiki! Ashoko!

[Here accompanied by bubbly bass alone]

Dem go crazy for democracy!

Dem go mad for people power!

Dem go cry for people power!

Dem go refuse dema-dialogue!

Dem off an’ dem on!

Ima! Khala! Ima! Choka!

Dem off an’ dem on!

Dem off an’ dem on!

[Intense but quiet drum solo background]

Dem workers dey be leaderless

Dem civicos dey be fearless

Some intellectuals dey go mindless

Dem argue on internet, clueless

Dem argue ignorance, tolerance,

Docility, dem zombied into a trance

Dem say government done kill freedom

And government strangle Miss Academic

But puzzled and lacking comprehension

I say Malawi is one God-fearing nation

Dem say I eat Obama scone to speak shit

For I say Malawi is a beautiful nation

An dem would kill me for my notion

Ashiki! Ashoko! Ashiki! Ashoko!

Poverty push vendor to government

Kaliati push vendor to civicos

Civicos push worker to government

Government push worker to street

Dem tight, no one will be beat

Ashiki Ashoko ashiki ashoko!

Lolololo! Aaah!

Miracles in God-fearing land!

Look students learn with no college!

Minister travel with no forex

Witches drive cars with no petrol

As workers and vendors get no pay

Making priest, minister and sheikh pray

For nation, person an property

But the British they take back donation

And Americans keep us in blackouts

Now dem say no to aid with strings

Dem claim dollar make African gay

Dem say principle better than pay

Shaaaaaaaaaame! Daaaamnation!

Empty libations offer no solution

Ashiki! Ashoko! Ashiki!

Ah! Lalalala!

Dem on an’ dem off!

Dem on and dem off!

Guns blaze covering the nation in red

Dem worker, civicos, vendor lie dead

Some mourn and cry and some curse

Trouble makers an ungrateful devils

UN say civicos an government need help

Why UN for peaceful God-fearing nation?

Dem say donor want elite solution

For donor give us money for hunger

But government say it has sovereignty

So it tell donor to keep money

Now we wait for rain and starter pack

And democracy to get back on track

[fade with blistering discordant guitar or trumpet solo]

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