Angelique Kidjo Sings in Honor of Fallen African Soldiers

On a wet and overcast day in Paris, beneath the Arc de Triomphe, you could hear Angelique Kidjo's haunting voice. Dressed in royal blue with gold circling her neck, she walked through a parted sea of world leaders. Blewu, she sang, her voice bold and unflinching. Blewu. Slowly.

November 11 is Armistice Day in France, a day to celebrate the end of the first World War. At this 100 year commemoration, Kidjo's song was a reminder of the African lives lost and often forgotten.

"Today Nov 11th 2018, I sung Bella Bellow's beautiful song "Blewu" to celebrate Peace and the memory of the fallen African soldiers of World War One in front of the leaders of this World under the Arc De Triomphe," she wrote on her Facebook page.

"Blewu" is a song in Ewe, a language spoken in Benin, Ghana, and Togo. Kidjo, originally from Benin, sang her own interpretation of the song composed by late Togolese singer Bella Bellow. Below are the original lyrics along with a translation.

 

Blewue, blewue [Slowly, slowly]
Blewue mia d'aƒe lo [Slowly we will get home]
Blewue mia d'aƒe lo [Slowly we will get home]
Blewu [Slowly]
Đɔɖɔɖɔ Kpɔ̃ me yɔna azɔli o [Slowly the tiger takes its strides (The tiger knows its own strength; it is not afraid) ]
Blewu, blewu, Kpɔ̃ me yɔna azɔli o [Slowly the tiger takes its time to walk]
Lã to asike me da ata dzo o [An animal with a tail does not skip over fire (To protect your children, you take caution)]
Blewu [Slowly]
Mawu si me miele [We are in God's hands]
Eya koe nya mia agbemenyãwo [He knows our future]
Dzitor si me miele [We are in God's hands]
Eya koe nya mia agbemenyãwo [He knows our future]
Minɔ ŋudzɔ, mido gbe ɖa [Be vigilent, pray]
Minɔ ŋudzɔ, mido gbe ɖa [Be vigilent, pray]
Agbe nɔ kaka megbea Tseƒe mayi o [No matter how long you live, you will one day die]
Agbe nɔ kaka megbea Tseƒe mayi o [No matter how long you live, you will one day die]
Blewue mia d'aƒe lo [Slowly we will get home]
Blewue mia d'aƒe lo [Slowly we will get home]
Blewu [Slowly]

 

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