Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dead Baby in Parcel Left on Bus

Chris Stapleton and Chris May, African Rock: The Pop Music of a Continent (New York: Dutton, 1990), p. 24.

[In the mid-1950s] Eddie Edem, a Nigerian trumpeter now based in London, worked as a merchant seaman in the Nigerian town of Port Harcourt, of which he says:

[…] Every street was full of clubs and hotels, with seamen
from all over. You could go into bars and hear
palm-wine singers. This Ibo guy, Djamanza, was very
popular. He had a song about a woman whose baby died
and she left it on a bus, wrapped in paper. Someone comes
and opens the parcel…He used to sing in local hotels.

[Stapleton interviewed Edem in London in 1986. A “palm-wine singer” plays the acoustic guitar.]