Bagua Osi

Lyrics: Hart plus ?
Music: Hart plus ?

This is one of the new songs played on the Mickey Hart Band summer 2000 tour.

Chon chon bainle (forward forward forward)
(Go forward to magic medicine)
Ile baba chon bainle (in the house father forward)
(Go forward to magic medicine)
Bagua osi bagua osire (save us and bring us goodness)
Olokun bagua osi (orisha of the bottom of the ocean save us)
Bagua orisa bagua o ae (save us selected head to be alive)

Still water
[this is the spoken word part of Bagua Osi]

Olokun olokun

A spirit at the bottom of the ocean
Deep energy
Uniting as one

Still waters
At the bottom of the ocean

Deep rhythms
So very deep
Mysteries of the blue
The beginning of time
The first thing we ever knew

Olokun, Olokun, Olokun

Father oh father
Glory sweet glory
Deep glory

Glory glory, deep glory
In the sea of time
The wheel of time
Glory glory, deep glory

Olokun, Olokun, Olokun

Deep glory
Deep glory

Olokun bagua o     (save us to be alive)
Mickey Hart describes the background to his song in his road journal
"The song is for Olokun the orisha of the bottom of the ocean. This rhythm is played at the closing of the bembe. A bembe is a celebration in honor of an orisha. It has three parts, the opening, the calling and the closing. In the opening you address the orisha with rhythm only. Next is the calling where you use rhythm and song to call the orisha to come. In the closing you sing to two orishas only, Elegua and Olokun. The ceremony is about playing for the orishas.

"The bata drums are a family made up of double membrane drums. One head large the other smaller. They are tuned very high so as to pierce the veil, to penetrate deep inside the body, to reach the soul, and are played for the trance. They are the primary possession trance drums that are played in the santeria religious tradition. The large drum is called iya. Iya is the mother drum. It is in charge of making the call. The call to announce the rhythm to the other drummers. The second drum is called ito'tele. This is the harder drum to play. We call it the hot seat. It has to be ready to answer. The conversation is between the iya and the ito'tele. The third drum is called the okonkolo. This drum is the smaller one, the baby. It's for keeping time, for keeping the clave. So the three drums symbolize the family unit. It is the combination of the three drums that call the orishas. The orishas hear the call and and come. Iya calls the second drum and the conversation begins.

"This song is based in the Yoruba tradition and comes from Nigeria. It encourages Olokun, god of the bottom of the ocean, to listen, asking for blessings, asking for stability and asking to keep things clean at the end of a ceremony. The ceremony of Olokun is a mask ceremony that comes from a tradition in West Africa called the gelede--the dance of the mask. We play for Olokun at the end of the ceremony in honor of the gelede. Females originally exercised this tradition in Yoruba land and females brought it to the Americas. And it is used to celebrate Olokun and Yemaya. The sun-penetrated ocean is called Yemaya and there is a specific road of Yemaya called Okute which is the boundary for Yemaya and the door or gate for Olokun. Olokun involved all of the fishes and life form that dont need eyes or ears--they function only with sensors of different kinds."


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