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Topic: Amarok - Son Dela< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
GMOVJ Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2000, 05:11

Hi to all fans,

Amarok, 52:48-59:41 , I hear something like that :
"Son Déla, u somanda sukuma wéna, ha bengué séla" (French phonetical transcription...é could be change in 'ay' and u... in 'oo')

Does someone know the correct spelling, the language, and the signification of these words ?

Cheers,
GMOVJ




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Cheers,
GMOVJ
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Inkanta Offline




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Posted: Feb. 29 2000, 09:47

Hi CarstenKuss, GMOVJ and everyone,

Last week, or maybe the week before (time flies!) one of the Dark Star editors put me in touch with Ron van Lingen, regarding the Zulu or Xhosa (at that point I didn't know which!) lyrics of Amber Light. Ron has studied both languages at university, and he also went ahead and translated the Amarok as well.

I was hoping that he would have time to respond to this forum topic himself, but in that he had addressed the Amarok lyrics letter to two of the DS editors, me, "and other interested parties," and I've posted his letters to the Amarok mailing list and included in Elements (cc: ed him!), it seems ok to post the Amarok part of his letter here, as well! Still hope he has a chance to drop by!

From Ron van Lingen:

The "deed" has been done; the conclusion to AMAROK is a secret no more!
What pleases me most is that I could manage it all by myself! No, no
interuptions! I wish for a change to blow my own horn, thank you!

First of all: the lyrics are in Xhosa (as mentioned in previous
correspondence: it does not really matter whether it is in Xhosa or Zulu,
as these two are so closely related) but for the official records we shall
stand by Xhosa since my translation was done with the aid of my Xhosa
dictionaries.

Do not ask me what the choir members are talking about before they start
singing the epilogue - the sound of the drums and other instruments nearly
completely filter these conversations out. But from the little I can make
out it sounds as if they are just making "small talk" in between. I
recognise a part where it sounds as if one of the members is refering to
iBhayi. This is Xhosa for Port Elizabeth, one of SA's important harbour
cities, situated in the Eastern Cape, about 800km (500 miles) from Cape
Town, along the Indian Ocean.

Now the Eastern Cape is traditionally Xhosa country where you will find
some of the "southern clans" - like you mentioned to me in a previous
conversation, Mary-Carol.

Herewith the lyrics as they appear on the album:

Sondela uSomandla sukuma wena obengezela
(I must just confirm this word, because I cannot clearly make it out on the
song - but in a process of eliminating posibilities obengezela stuck.)

It is broken up as follows in the song:

Son/de/la u/So/mandla su/ku/ma we/na o/be/nge/ze/la


Sondela uSomandla sukuma wena obengezela
Come closer the Almighty stand up you who glitters

Once again in western grammar this does not make sense and the sentence
must be modified, but without it losing its original meaning.

We can readily accept that the Almighty refers to God and not one of their
traditional gods. (Many Blacks in SA are devoted Christians.) So, here goes
...

Come closer, God. You who glitter ( because of the Light that shines from
You) must stand up (and be seen by us mortals).

I do not think that anybody will take me on about this translation. If
obengezela is not the word, the other possibilities (translated) should be:
"who needs Him" or: "turn to Him". But I am pretty sure of my case!

Please convey to Mike that should he make use of South African Black
musicians again, he must please ensure that the lyrics are noted in proper
grammar (ie. correct spelling, word order, etc.). Then translation should
be no problem.

You will notice that in no western language (well, at least not in the
Germanic ones such as English and German) can one use a single word,
SONDELA, and put a melody to it. Put a melody to "Come closer". It will
sound stupid, won't it? Or to uSomandla. But in the Black languages
(anywhere in Africa?) this is well possible.

In Xhosa we find a traditional lullaby: Tula, Sana - composed in a
beautiful, calm melody. Now you try to sing: "(Be) Quiet, Child" in such a
way that it will put your child to sleep! Can't be done - not in English!

Is Xhosa/Zulu not a beautiful, musical language?

<snip>

Best wishes.

Ron van Lingen
<ronscars@mweb.co.za>



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"No such thing as destiny; only choices exist." From:  Moongarden's "Solaris."
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GMOVJ Offline




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Posted: Feb. 29 2000, 11:32

Hello,

'Happy' ! Thanks a lot !
Xhosa/Zulu is really a very beautiful singing language ! (Think about songs sung by SA in a Rugby Stadium !)

Maybe this information should be insterted in FAQ ?

Thanks again,
GMOVJ

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Cheers,
GMOVJ
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CarstenKuss Offline




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Posted: Feb. 29 2000, 15:51

This is very interesting, Mary-Carol.
But what about "Tsum-pay-dah"? Is it "son/de/la", and I just have bad ears, or is it something different?

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-Carsten-
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GMOVJ Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2000, 04:57

Hi CarstenKuss

Can you tell us the exact time where you heard that ?

Bye
GMOVJ

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Cheers,
GMOVJ
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CarstenKuss Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2000, 17:35

Yes. From 09:56 to 10:23. Male voice thru a vocoder or something, female voice in background. The phrase is repeated 24 times.

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-Carsten-
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GMOVJ Offline




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Posted: Mar. 02 2000, 02:19

Yes it is !
Male voice thru Vocoder+Female Voice says 24 time "Sondela"

Exctract from 'Amarok' APlayer Tracklist :

01:07:59:10 Rachmaninov II
01:08:17:10 \___ Rachmaninov Goes Heavy
01:08:35:00 Roses
01:09:02:30 \___ Bridge
01:09:29:10 \___ Sweet Scent of Roses
01:09:56:00 \___ Sondela
01:10:23:10 Reprise I - Intro...



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GMOVJ
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CarstenKuss Offline




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Posted: Mar. 03 2000, 15:56

Right. Thank you, GMOVJ. How can I get this track list? I only have the CD, and the sleeve notes are difficult to read and (probably) incomplete.

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-Carsten-
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Fox Offline




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Posted: Mar. 05 2000, 02:11

All that's great. It definately opened up my ears to what they were saying, and how much "sondela" appears in the album(constantly smile).

But, listen to about minute 44:48 - 48:00. What are they saying there? It can't be Sondela; the tempo is different than that.

It sounds more like: "So-bas-o bas-o-la-bas-o bas-o fas-o-la-bas-o"

Does this have any special, foreign meaning?
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GMOVJ Offline




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Posted: Mar. 06 2000, 03:26

Hello everybody

About Amarok Player (for PC)
You can find this freeware (auto install with good stuff (lyrics with timing)) there : http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/~d2goran/

I've heard about an Amarok Plugin for WinAmp, but I dont know anything else about it...

Cheers,
GMOVJ


[This message has been edited by GMOVJ (edited 03-06-2000).]

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GMOVJ
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GMOVJ Offline




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Posted: Mar. 08 2000, 03:38

Hi Fox and everyones

You right, there's no sondela here (Africa I). And there are others "So Bas o - So fa So" in "Intro" 03:04 (with some "happy" and "ha-ha-ha-hap" samples)

I dont have the slightest idea of what are thoses "So bas o ...", but in the section you mentioned, just After "Phone call for Piltdownman" near 46:54, there're some others "Sondela" !!! ;-)

Does anybody knows something about "So Bas o" ?

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GMOVJ
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Rob Miles Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2000, 05:07

>Does anybody knows something about "So Bas o" ?

You must be thinking of 'so far so'

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Fox Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2000, 11:49

>You must be thinking of 'so far so'

I don't believe it's 'far' instead of 'bas'. That's not what I'm hearing in that section. All I want to know is IF it has any special, foreign meaning.

[This message has been edited by Fox (edited 03-12-2000).]
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: April 17 2000, 20:46

The lyrics provided with the sheet music (in the 'Elements' book) say 'So far so'. These lyrics turn up in other sections as well (I can't remember exactly where off the top of my head), and certainly at these points they sound very definately like 'So far' (to me, at least)...I might still be wrong, of course...
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Aug. 30 2000, 19:30

Hi Fox, and sorry for being this late in replying...but I just listened for the first time to the Amarok "Africa 1" excerpt on Elements 4...I still don't have the whole Amarok, unfortunately... frown
Anyway...the bit you mention is a combination of two chants: the So Far So bit from the beginning of Africa 1 AND the Sondela bit, the first intertwined with the second ...the "bas" and "fas" sounds are caused by the superimposition of the words.

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Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
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Archangel Foster Offline




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Posted: Oct. 31 2000, 18:00

Couldn't it be that's 'so fa so' (solfege syllables)? Mike might have that from Philip Glass, in whose opera 'Einstein on the Beach' the singers sing nothing but solfege and numbers.
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Man In Rain Offline




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Posted: Nov. 02 2000, 11:19

Yes, they are singing solfege syllabes! It goes: 'so-fa-so/fa-so-re-fa-do/do-fa-so/fa-so-re-fa-so' or something similar.
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oni Offline




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Posted: Nov. 04 2000, 10:56

I think those bits are just
so fa so
fa so fa
so fa so
fa so etc

Technically it's not solfege because the syllables don't correspond to the notes.
Just think Sound of Music.
(shudder)
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CarstenKuss Offline




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Posted: Nov. 04 2000, 14:44

By simple listening (without any sound processing), I agree with oni: Just 'so fa so...'. I can't hear any 're' or 'do'.

But the solfege idea is interesting. Can anybody tell me exactly what solfege is? I remember only a little of it from school days...



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-Carsten-
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Archangel Foster Offline




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Posted: Nov. 04 2000, 17:15

As far as I know, it's the practice of applying the syllables 'do re mi fa so la si' to a diatonic scale in such a way that any tone can be the tonic 'do'. Thus, in C-major, 'do' would b C and 're' would be D while in E-major, 'do' would be E and 're' would be F#. That would mean that oni is wrong saying it can't be solfege because the notes don't correspond. In some countries, though, as far as I know, the 'do re mi' and so on represent what's known as 'C D E' in other countries. To be honest, I'm not quite sure about all this.
There are a number of other methods of applying syllables to tones, some of them more logic, but I don't know whether these are also called solfege.
The syllables originally were invented by Guido de Arezzo who used the first syllables of the hymn:
Ut-queant laxis
Re-sonare fibris
Mi-ra gestorum
Fa-muli tuorum
Sol-ve polluti
La-bii reatum
Sancte Ioannes!
(The 'si' (or 'ti') was added later, and the 'ut' was changed to 'do' because it's easier to sing.)
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