Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The best of Old School Ghanaian Church Songs


I hadn't been to a church in a while. But two weeks ago, my brother-in law to be got married so I went to church. It was nice. I'd missed something about it. It was a Catholic Church so I guess it reminded me a bit of my childhood.At one point I was even thinking...hmmm, I should be doing this more often.

But when it came time for collection, they started singing and it struck me how even though I hadn't been to church in a while, not much had changed. The songs were pretty much the same. One very old school Ghanaian church song made me smile. I dunno, something very typical about it. Very Old School. Very Gh.The very Ghanaian-ness of it is what made me smile, I guess. Almost gives you a sense of belonging.

So I started thinking of other very typical Ghana church songs. Songs that have been there since 19-kojohoho. Songs your grandmother sang. Think singing band. Songs your mamma sang. Think Charismatic. And we are still singing.Think SU. And songs we know our children will be singing. Think Sunday School.Not all of them are "Ghanaian" songs in the sense of them being in a Ghanaian language, but a song like our number 3 song for example is so Ghanaian, so us.

So here is my list. Enjoy and see if you can over (ghanaian slang for beat) my list.
Now i wish i knew some ebibi nwom! kronkron!

1. yɛ bɛɛ to Ebenezer, Nyame n’adom ara kwa
2. ɔwɔ m’enim ha, ɔwɔ m’ekyiri ha, ɔwɔ me sesei halleluya
3. Cast your burdens, onto Jesus, for he cares for you, higher higher
4. Da n'ase, da n'a ase, da Onyame n'ase. Efri sɛ oye …
5. Me hwɛ nea w'ayɛ a, ɔsɛ ayeyi, Yesu Kristo bɛ gye wo ayeyi

I gleefully await your additions:)

20 comments:

  1. Hi Esi, I was in church too this weekend and my mother-in-law, laughing around with her oldest friend (yes, laughing in church!), showed me a song in the hymn book that she thought was old-school. Haha, ok, she didn't use that expression...

    Esi, can you tell us how you type in Twi? Have you downloaded a Twi alphabet...? What is the best way of going about this? Meda wo ase!

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  2. Hola!
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    http://findestemundo.blogspot.com

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  3. Everybody blow your trumpet- pah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-naaaaah!

    This one is a killer! On a side note- why do Ghanaians insist on calling EVERY instrument you blow into a trumpet? I fought many useless battle in my youth against the insistence that my saxophone was a "trumpet".

    Back on topic- you know you've hit an old-school nerve when the handkerchiefs come out in force!

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  4. @Kajsa, which church did you go to? Do you remember the song?

    As for typing in twi, i just use my regular keyboard and copy and paste the few characters that aren't on the keyboard from my old posts.Used to have akan fonts...i believe i got it from PK Imbeah but that was on my old laptop. Now i just copy and paste as necessary.

    @Sankofa, obiara nyi ne handkerchief. haha!

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  5. 'me tia abonsam so, me tia abonsam so..mehwiri m'akor osoro, na me tia abonsam so.....'

    ps. u jus made my day with this one.

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  6. Oh oh oh oh I remember one......Abrahaaaaammmmm Nyame obaatan paaaaaa,

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  7. Lol. Esi.
    That you were at church and you enjoyed it is a good thing. Number 3 and 4 are still sung around me pretty often.
    I soooo enjoyed this!

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  8. Da da da da, da da da-aa da, da da nyina Onyame ye Ohene!

    Onyame krokoko!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. @Esi and Kajsa, you can also find akan characters here: ipa.typit.org

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  10. Sorry, there's a typo in the address. It should be ipa.typeit.org

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  11. Twi alphabet.
    Get it here - http://kasahorow.com/content/windows-keyboard-ghana-updated

    Super duper post. A lot of these church songs must have been composed by somebody a long time. I just wonder who. Some of the newer gospel jams may enter this conversation in a decade or so.

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  12. This one is classic, we conquer satan, we conquer devil we conquer principality we conquer them all,shout halle hallelujah halle halleluja (2x. you should see the people stamping their feets when this tune came up... you would think demons and principalities were lying right there.... love it..

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  13. There is one song which goes something like : "Send you fire/power , holy ghost fire/power , send your fire/power again.... ". I don't know the rest of the song- but somebody her might know what I'm talking about.
    @ Nasa, we conquer satan......, I haven't heard that song in soooooo long.

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  14. aboso singing band jerusalem jerusalem jerusalem jerusalem debie yebe ko ho yekedzi dew

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  15. Friends, check out http://museke.com/taxonomy/term/7,805 for some good old Ghana songs including some of the ones mentioned here.

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  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpJvI99bgUA

    I was expecting Lucky Mensah to make an appearance

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  17. haha, Pablo. That video sure is fun. But i don't think they sing this song in churches.

    come back, come back, come back to me...isn't it a love song?

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  18. It's really a very funny post I have come across.This was a very well-written and enjoyable post to read.Thanks a lot for sharing all the things with us.Keep blogging.

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  19. i have a question that mayb u guys can help with. i am in america and we have a visiting priest from ghana that translated a hym into english that says " come o come o cme and receive our gifts come unto our alter ooooo come"
    the only problem is he cannot sing very well and when he taught it to us we all were confused as to the tempo and the pitch... do any of you know this song? or know where i can i find it/

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  20. yen yen yen yen yen m'atumi agyina...

    My body eee na God i go give am oooo, my body eeee ed3 for my God!

    Hahahah...I love this blog got me cracking up so much!..Great work!

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