Oluronbi

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itan oluronbi je itan obirin kan to je iyawo oba ilu kan. oluronbi ko ri omo bi, debi pe owa lo si odo igi iroko ilu won lati lo toro omo, owa jeje fun iroko pe ohun ma funn ni omo ti oun ba koko bi ti o ba le fun oun l'omo. iroko fun l'omo sungbon oluronbi ko mu eje re she. oluronbi losi odo igi iroko lati lo fi ewure ati aguntan jeje sugbon igi iroko mun omo oluronbi. o ke pe gbogbo ara ilu pe ki won gbaa oun sugbon awon ara ilu nkorin fun pe.

        onikaluku jeje ewure (ewure, ewure)
        onikaluku jeje aguntan (aguntan bolojo)
        oluronbi jeje omo re (omo re apon bi epo)
        oluronbi o jo jo iroko jo jo


A very long time ago, there was a village where many of the women were barren. They desperately wanted children and decided to ask the spirit that lived inside the big Iroko tree for help.

One by one, they went to visit the Iroko tree to beg the Iroko tree spirit for help. The Iroko tree asked each of the women who showed up what she would give in return for bearing a child. And woman after woman promised the Iroko tree spirit goats, yams, handwoven cloth or whatever it was she sold for a living as many of these women were traders who sold their wares at a weekly market in an open field.

One of the women who was named Oluronbi also approached the Iroko tree for help. She was so desperate for a child that when the Iroko tree spirit asked her what she would give in return for a child, she eagerly offered her first born child.

Before a year ran out, many of the women had given birth to children and returned to the Iroko tree to fulfill their various promises. When it was time for Oluronbi to fulfill her promise, she went to the Iroko tree to plead her case. She could offer the Iroko tree everything, anything else but not her child. But the tree spirit would not be swayed and took the child despite Oluronbi’s cries and pleas.

Since then villagers have sang this song as a reminder of the event.

   Oníkálukú jèjé ewúré
   Others offered sheep
   Oníkálukú jèjé àgùtàn, àgùtàn bòlòjò
   Others offered goats
   Olúrónbí èjé omo re
   Oluronbi offered her child
   Omo re a pón bí epo
   Her beautiful child
   Olúrónbí ò jo jo
   Ìrókò jo jo
   [The last two lines are just chorus]