Archive for May 18, 2009

Revised lines

Ever sing a song for years only to find out you never really knew the lyrics? We did: me and my younger bro, back when we stood together against the world at school grounds & before he started kicking my leg with the front of his “Qoda chama” for a greeting.

Cleaning “the house” was our duty, you see. We were expected to carry the furniture out. Beat the “awara” off the “sofa” (the same “sofa” we weren’t allowed to neither sit on nor lay our sleeping head against the first few weeks it was brought. Like all the colorful plates my mother got from her “Arab” friends as a present, like wives and kids: it was there to be “seen”). We were then expected to broom, mop and wax the floor.

Neither carrying the furniture out, nor beating the dust off the sofa were “happy endeavors”. Still, we gave them the best we got. Our mother, whose “Gosh yene lijoch” we secretly craved for, was the typical Ethiopian mother who wasn’t satisfied a job is well done until she saw blood.

The “cleaning and waxing” part, on the other hand, we out did ourselves in. Not just because an “alenga” hangeth on the wall, signaling what would become of us if our dad failed to see himself on the shiny surface of the wooden floor. But because we loved gliding on the [s’um] waxed floor on the wings of a “bernos”. We loved the sensation tripping and falling gave us. Like “wuha”, like death, it took us down with a giggle.

Giggling and falling. Falling and Tripping. Tripping, giggling and falling. For once, we were allowed to be kids.

Still, there was fatigue involved. And one of those songs that helped ease this fatigue mw and my brother sung whole-heartedly was Billy Ocean’s “When the going gets tough”. I thought it was “among the gangisters”. My brother agreed. We had a special place for it, too, as it featured part of an action-movie we didn’t get to watch back then. So when my dad isn’t there, and we climbed the fence of our communal “gibi” and tried to out-scream the kids in the next “gibi” also hanging from their communal fence, we sung: “Among the gangsters”. I was 23 years old when somebody stopped my carefree singing to ask “what is that you said?”.

They teased me about it for months.

The other was a line from Dereje Kebede’s “YeniGatu Kokeb Aberra”. “Maan Yagidew, maan yitaGeLew” the song went. I heard “Maan yaGidew, maan yitaGeDew”. My luckless brother followed suit. So we shamlessly sung “Maan yaGdew, maan yitaGedew” at the top of our voice. The neighoburing kids fall silent, humbled by the sudden revelation of our godliness — no doubt.

My third, and substitute lyric, for Bizunesh Bekele’s “yeNuro fichie sawq” I’ve mentioned on the post Daddy’s too big a shoe already.

So when i came across a “Song Sung Wrong, Everybody Knows One” section on Reader’s Digest’s May 2009 issue, it was with more than a little mirth i remembered the revised lines mentioned above. The lyrics mentioned by Digest, we probably don’t know. But the following Movie Misquotes from Yahoo! Movies are quite international. See which had you fooled:

Top Ten Lasting Movie (Mis)Quotes
By Access Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. ….. May 13, 2009

May 18, 2009 at 5:39 am 37 comments


The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

Life quote:

"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

Recent Posts

Books by Ethiopian Writers


Favorite books

My Favorite Podcasts

ሙዚቃ [Ethiopian Music]

Some classic Some modernish And some Yirdaw... When I need a ringtone When I feel nostalgic When I need poetry

Free & Abridged Audiobooks


May 2009

Member of The Internet Defense League