SONG TEXTS AS A MEANS OF CONVEYING CULTURAL MEANINGS
Keywords:Song text, meaning in songs, Ikerigbele songs, Abraka people, indigenous songs
Communities around the world culturally craft song texts to serve common identity and religious purposes. This paper intends to explore the ways in which this is embodied through Ikerigbele songs, which are indigenous and performed among the Abraka people in Delta State, Nigeria. The songs are part and parcel of the annual Ovwuvwe festival, a cultural festival celebrated by the people as part of their cultural tradition. This article was inspired by the possibility that song text could be interpreted in ways other than its literal meaning by considering other significant aspects of the songs. The Ikerigbele song text was understood to include the contextual cues and performance nuances including instrumentation, as vital elements. It was the totality of all these that were interpreted to constitute the song text. The people’s knowledge regarding the songs is vested in the extensive knowledge and experience of the elders in the community since the younger generations have been avoiding traditional practices due to cultural importation that led to identity albinism in most communities. Hence, this study utilized various data collection methods, which included participant observation and interviews. Data were obtained and examined during fieldwork. Each songs’ text is written in its native language (Urhobo), translated literally into English, then analysed for its usage.