Ghanian Poetry : Akan song as a poem

An Akan Highlife song from Ghana, popular in the 1970s. It is by the late, well-known singer Alex Konadu (1950-2011). The beauty of the words of this song is the poetic use of words to tell the story of death. Read it as a poem, rather than trying to sing it and it is beautiful verse.

Death does not like money oo! Konadu ee!
We shall all enter a hole in the earth, this death hmm!
If even there were two chances to die, I would not joke with one.
You will be put in a coffin.
The coffin will be nailed.
You will be sent to the cemetery.
While you are being carried away,
your head will be in front,
your legs at the back.
Your people will surround you.
Some will be dancing, others will be conversing about you.
You will reach the cemetery.
Put in a grave.
Covered with sand.
Hit by the shovel.
You will be left there while they return home.
Death is cruel.

from Oral Poetry from Africa (1984)
compiled by Jack Mapanje and Landeg White,
Longman

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