I was just going about regular chores today when this song won’t stop ringing in my mind. I gave the lyrics a closer inspection for about the first time since I’ve known the song. What did I find? Tope Alabi’s Mori’yanu has such lyrical depth that I can’t believe I didn’t notice all these years.
Mori’yanu is a Yoruba track released together with others in Tope Alabi’s album titled after the track in 2016. Mori’yanu as a Yoruba phrase will be translated to mean, ‘I’ve seen miracles’ or more accurately, ‘I see wonders’. Iyanu literally means something that leaves one slack-jawed. In this song Tope takes us through a litany of miracles we might have come across or heard of during the course of our lives; such things as someone being the only survivor in a ghastly motor accident. But then, she opines that the greatest of all miracles she’d ever witnessed or heard of, is the coming of Christ to redeem lost sinners.
It’s amazing to realize that in one track, Tope Alabi takes us through the entire life of Christ. Starting with Mary’s story and the virgin birth, onto Herod’s wrath and his order to kill all children under the age of 2 just for Jesus’ sake. She alluded to a number of miracles worked by Jesus and climaxed with ‘Pari pari e l’ori igi agbelebu lo ba so po tan’ (Finally, on the cross of Calvary he said it is finished).
Another thing I discovered is the richness of creative Yoruba expressions Tope Alabi employed in crafting the lyrics of this song. A line says,
‘Eni ori e pe n’ile ta ropin t’olorun wa gbe ga..’
English won’t do justice but I’ll try. Literally that means, ‘A person whose head has since been on the ground and we’ve written off, gets lifted up by the Lord’.
It’s wonderful that with one song, Tope Alabi fully captures the essence of the gospel and narrates a good part of the gospels.
Some of the songs we sang growing up had so much depth that we mostly missed cos we just sang them for the sake of church, rhythm and trend. Those powerful lyrics became to us, rote words that just flowed from our lips absentmindedly.
The good thing about the word of God is that, it’s ageless and this explains why ‘old’ gospel songs still bear the same power as ever.
Why don’t you share an old song that still ministers to you till date in the comment section?