Miro

by Seckou Keita

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about

On the eve of the historic Presidential elections in Senegal on 25 February 2012, there was one song that quietly took over the airwaves of every radio and TV station in the West African heartland, one song that served as the backdrop to the fall of the incumbent Abduwale Wade signaling the arrival of a new democratic era. The song was Rewmi (‘Country’ in English), written, performed and recorded by Senegalese Kora Master, Seckou Keita. Rewmi is a powerful call for Africa to unite, for fellow countrymen to stop fighting one another and instead come together to fight disease and hunger and work towards a new and positive future.

Over six months on, Rewmi forms the opening track on Keita’s latest album release, Miro, the fourth since his debut album Baiyo launched to great acclaim 12 years ago and marks his own powerful steps towards a promising and positive future. Miro means ‘Positive Thought’ in English and represents the direction of Keita in this album, a lyrical and masterful journey across continents with contributions from musicians of Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Colombia, Madagascar, Guinea Conakry, Mali and Spain.

The Miro project represents a return to Seckou's roots combining the original Mandinka and Wolof traditions that inspired him as a child, together with his contemporary experiences collected all over the world on the way. The results are truly magical.

credits

released October 1, 2012

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Seckou Keita UK

Seckou Keita is one of the leaders of the newest generation of African traditional musicians, fusing the traditional forms and instruments with those of other cultures.

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Track Name: Rewmi
Friends of mine, cousins of mine, family of mine,
We are all on the same road, in the same line for good or bad.
(We are lost, we are not understanding.)
I thought I was not part of it but I realised it is all around me
So I cannot stay silent.
I ask for prayers from all beliefs around Africa and the globe to help us.
Someone who is planning to do something bad in this street will not let his children play here.
Your neighbours are not your enemies.
The leaders do not live in your street.
(We are lost, we are not understanding.)
The situation is wider than the landscape you can see.
(Oh my God, the flood is spreading)
Where is the water coming from? We have been looking for years.
(When the eyes are full, the water will fall.)
Talk and agree.
Between us, between all our groups and neighbours, let us talk and agree.
We are looking in the wrong place, on the wrong side of the stick.
Brothers, Sisters, Friends, Neighbours, Everyone,
We need you. Let's fight this disease and the hunger.
he community needs us, the country needs us, everybody needs us.
Our hands are dirty, let’s cleanse them.
Even if we think they are clean, cleanse them even further.
Let’s share the little we have and stop putting each other down.
We have to keep Africa moving forward or we will get left behind.
A bird in the tree will not feel safe to fly down to a land that has nothing to offer.
Brothers and sisters we can't go back to our beginning but a fresh start is possible.
Our hands are dirty, let’s cleanse them.
Even if we think they are clean, cleanse them even further.
Track Name: Keneh
I have run far but I have never left
I was close to my destination but I realise I was not far away.
My hands on my head, my eyes looking around, I feel I am abroad, but I am at home.
My words were not landing in the right places.
It’s hard to find one’s space. My Dad is behind me.
It’s hard to find one’s space. My Mum is on my feet.
Is that me or you in this space? It is hard to find the space I'm looking for.
Where is this space?
How can I find it when from top to toe there is someone with something to say?
Uncle is next to me, Auntie is next to me,
Older brother is next to me, younger brother is next to me, with their partners as well.
Everyday there is judgement but no one to end it or stop the talk.
Everyday crying but no reason why.
If this is your life, you must learn to accept it and love it.
If that is the choice you are born into, work together.
To find your own space is hard but tolerance works.
Everyday crying and everyday judgement.
My mother is around me, my father is around me, my brother is around me.
But don't just focus on the negative side because this is all part of the spice of life.
Track Name: Hakko
I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to let it happen.
I'm not going to have a winding path. I'm not going to run or try to hide myself.
If you borrow from people, you might not be able to pay it back.
Whatever you say, I'm not going to take it.
Whatever you think, I'm not going to do it.
I don't want to be ashamed and keep my eyes lowered.
I want to be able to look you in the eye and walk tall.
Yesterday has gone and today is today. I want to live for today and not be troubled by something I have done in the past.
Make a fresh start.
Please forgive me if I have done anything to you in the past.
My wish is to walk in the bright light, under the roof of the sun.
Not to be scared of anything. To be clean of all guilt.
Even though I know I cannot go through life without making mistakes,
I will have fewer enemies if I try to live this way.
Falseness and deception cannot last. The truth will come out.
Why pretend? Live in truth.
Let me also not be the victim.
If you do something to me, I forgive you. Even if you do not ask me to.
Tomorrow I might need your forgiveness.
It is easy to say sorry, and yet it is so hard when you are angry.
You may not want to ask me for forgiveness, but I will still forgive you.
The day of judgement will come someday, so why not be tolerant now and forgiving before it all catches up with you?
Track Name: Miro
Positive thought, Forward thinking thought,
a thought that brings a positive tomorrow,
I celebrate that thought.
Positive thought, beautiful thought,
a thought that is fair to all of us,
I celebrate that thought.
Negative thought (like to blackmail someone),
Please God, don't let me think that thought.
Negative thought that will break a relationship or stop someone's future,
My God, help me not to have that thought.
I don't see the interest in it.
I'm not into love for only today, but a love for tomorrow as well.
Let's wish for a long lasting love.
I celebrate a love of friends. A sharing and loving community
Do not think bad thoughts against others so that you can be happy one day.
The world we live in is just part of a longer journey. Negative thought will just slow you down.
People that have negative thoughts and have the power to use them against others will find that it isn't worth it.
Real positive love is universal for everything around you and not just those you like, so think how you love and keep loving.
Track Name: Hino
Spanish:
My hands smell of fresh lavender
Because of a stem I was cutting
Of fresh lavender …
That the river took with a kiss
You took my heart

In the wind that whispers in your ear

Like sunlight amongst the leaves
You came and filled my life
Like sunlight that illuminates the water
Lighting to the bottom of my soul

Between the clear river water
And the wind that whispers in your ear
My free soul flies with you

Like wheat facing the sun moves in the breeze
Your kisses move me
And your laughter caresses me

Between the clear river water
And the wind that whispers in your ear
My free soul flies with you

In the cool shade of a lemon tree
I hang my dreams and desires
And in each branch
Blossom flourishes if you call me

Bambara:
Hino is a word that describes the beautiful things and intents with which I fill my heart.
I hope I never betray what I have created there.
We should all use the best of our ancestors' Hino as well as our own to learn to forgive and walk forward in beauty.
If we are to fulfil our desires in this life, we must follow the path of the past to learn for the future.
Let's learn from the Hino of those who came before and welcome a future of true friendship and love
Track Name: Kouma
Please tell him. Tell him not to misinterpret my words.
I'm talking to those who listen carefully.
A mentor gives advice; a griot sings his truth,
Someone who speaks likes his words but must remember that those words will be repeated many times.
Please tell him not to misunderstand what I am trying to say.
Please do not destroy their meaning.
A griot will choose their words carefully.
I send my words to you but you will try to hear what I am not saying.
I know you are clever but that is not my intention. Do not read between the lines or choose what you want to hear.
A trouser with only one leg full of words will fall over. You must get the other side of the argument and fill the other leg.
We have two ears, two eyes but one mouth.
Listen with both ears, watch with both eyes but speak only once.
When you say something, be careful and make sure you only have to say it once.
For goodness sake let’s not re-interpret the truth. Don't make it up.
Sometimes words have different meanings so be careful that you understand correctly.
It is not always easy to see the good in someone and what they do until much later.
Don't make me say something I didn't say or suggest I did something I didn't do.
You may not fully understand what I am saying now, so wait until you do before you speak.
Track Name: Bading Ya
When the heart and soul is clean, our world becomes beautiful.
Searching and learning becomes enjoyable and living is easy.
When that happens then more positive dreams will happen.
We are given our relatives at birth so let’s accept our differences.
Sometimes there is something you want to do but cannot even if your relative can.
We can complement each other.
If only I could make people understand this.
It is better to work together than push each other away.
Shake my hand, I’ll shake your hand back.
Let’s bring peace and be happy.
Smile at me and I'll smile back.
The best medicine for unhappiness is to reconnect.
God bless the long and lasting communities.
Let’s dance and jump together.
Play together.
Track Name: Tara
A song of praise and thanksgiving to Seckou's family line of Griots, sung by Mohamed Diaby.

Where is Jali Bamba?
Where is he?
Gone
Where are the Soras?
Where are they?
Jali Keba, Jali Kemo, Jali Messing, Jaly Mory?
Gone
They have blessed with their gifts their grandson Seckou who is from the line of kings and son of Fatou Bintou Cissokho Sora.
Seckou is blessed on both sides of his family and is on the right path.
He should not falter.
Also I remember the wonderful nephew of the late Aliou who taught Seckou so much. And all his other grandparents and relatives before who have given so much.
And they are now gone.
Track Name: Fanta
She can say it and do it and make it happen.
She believes in herself.
She has a strong mind and isn't afraid of anything.
Hey Fanta. I'm talking to the real Fanta.
You can make it happen no matter what but remember
We will propose, God will dispose.
It is up to him and you are human.
A horse can gallop but needs reins to be controlled.
I am wanting to use those reins now.
You are stubborn and you have not met your match. Yet.
Dance Fanta. Dance with me. Dance my words.
Whirl stubborn but beautiful Fanta.
Feel what we are saying and forget your stubbornness.
Fanta, you must give up sometimes. Accept sometimes what life gives you. See your limitations and receive as you give.