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Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?

Allan C. 10 Jul 01 - 08:38 PM
Allan C. 11 Jul 01 - 04:49 PM
SINSULL 11 Jul 01 - 08:20 PM
SeanM 12 Jul 01 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Sorch 02 Sep 01 - 09:46 PM
raredance 02 Sep 01 - 10:46 PM
masato sakurai 02 Sep 01 - 10:59 PM
Allan C. 03 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Bill Fairchild 20 Jun 15 - 06:54 PM
Allan C. 01 Aug 15 - 08:55 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: UTA WENA (Nick Reynolds/Adam Yagodka)
From: Allan C.
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 08:38 PM

The lyrics are here. I am guessing that they are in Tsonga. I wonder what the odds are that any of you might be able to translate them. Thanks (he said hopefully).

UTA WENA
Nick Reynolds/Adam Yagodka

Ameniza bala la la, ameniza bala la, la,
ameniza bala la, la, ameniza bala la.

(Counter melody)
Uta wena, uta wena, bawo we the
uka da a banto kwakho.
Waba dala, waba dala baba bini,
bayindo da ne nha zana.

Wali the the ne loli silli,
semi yo kwa anamklanje.
Umntu maka, umntu maka, shiyn yise
amanya nay nomfay wakay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: Allan C.
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:49 PM

For those of you who might wonder where you ever heard this song: It appeared on the Kingston Trio's MAKE WAY album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:20 PM

Allan, I have checked a number of K3 sites and none give a translation. Maybe the UN can help???


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: SeanM
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 06:58 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: GUEST,Sorch
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 09:46 PM

Allan, is Tsonga an African language? It is not listed in the Humongous Dictionary site. Uta is a Swahili prefix, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: raredance
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 10:46 PM

The book that accompanies the Bear Family box set "The Kingston Trio: the Guard Years" offers no help. It calls it a "non-English bouncer...a vocal vehicle for Nick Reynolds, who also co-wrote it." I think we all are in agreement that it is not English, but it begs the question of whether it is any legitimate language or just nonsense.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 10:59 PM

According to this site, there are 3,165,000 speakers of Tsonga. It is an all-inclusive name for the Tswa-Ronga or Tonga Group of Bantu, and these dialects or languages are spoken in Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia.

Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM

Since I posted this I have been in contact with a number of professional translators and teachers. This song seems not to be written in a language that is among those with which they are acquainted. None so far have offered a better guess as to precisely which language it is.

I also tried using a wonderful translating resource by which means, I searched through a variety of languages for matching words. There were not enough matching words to create anything close to a meangful translation of any phrase in any line of the song.

I left an email request with the webmaster of one of the Kingston Trio websites in the hope that he might query Nick Reynolds about the meaning of this song. So far, I have received no response.

I have also been in contact by phone with the widow of Adam Yagodka, who co-wrote the song. "Uta Wena" was among the songs that were played at Adam's funeral a couple of years ago, by the way. I learned that Yiddish was the only language other than English that Adam could speak (as far as she knew). She had no other information to offer about the song.

Adam Yagodka, I am told, was a member of a small folk group during the 60's. Linda, Adam's widow said she would try to find a copy of a recording they had made and send it to me. Adam, she said, was often found in the company of the Kingston Trio as well as with Peter, Paul and Mary and a few other well known groups.

At this point the only avenue for information that appears to remain is the possibility of the contact with Nick Reynolds.

Thanks so much for the input, folks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: GUEST,Bill Fairchild
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 06:54 PM

I don't know what language it is, but Tsonga looks like as good a guess as any. The tune, however, is VERY similar to that of Shosholoza, a song with mixed Zulu and Ndebele lyrics. The lyrics to Shosholoza which I found on the Internet bear no resemblance to the lyrics of Utawena. Many people copy a tune and change the words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uta Wena - Translation?
From: Allan C.
Date: 01 Aug 15 - 08:55 PM

I did, by the way, follow up with a phone call late in '01 to Nick Reynolds at his home in Coronado, California, (not far from where I was born). When I was done gushing about how much I loved the KT3 and what an influence they had been upon me, I asked about "Uta Wena" and its meaning. He had no answer except to say, "Gee, that was a long time ago." And so the mystery may forever remain unsolved.


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