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Iko Iko (My Bestie) (Justin Wellington feat.…) (Papua)
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I fresh new version of this classic. Makes you wanna be in the Caribbean! The song, nevertheless, is traditional New Orleans style. Here, Justin Wellington, from Papua New Guinea, turned the old song about war into a beach party song, and it works!

The accent of the singer sounds almost like Australian most of the time, but the part of "whine up, go down..." probably has a local Papuan accent. Some bits, though, (i.e. di for the) are probably in immitation of a Caribbean (reggae) accent.

Ayo, Big Wave (welcome)
Turn the mic on
Small Jam alongside J. W.


My bestie and your bestie
Sit down by di fire
Your bestie says she wan' party
So can we make these flames go higher?
Talkin' 'bout hey now (hey now), hey now (hey now)
Iko, iko a nae
Jock-a-mo fee-na a na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae
(boom)

Start my truck let's all jump in
Here we go together
Nice cool breeze and big palm trees
I'll tell you life don't get no better
Talkin' 'bout hey now (hey now), hey now (hey now)
Iko, iko a nae
Jock-a-mo fee-na a na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae


A keia mamang gwele step on di dancin' floor
Hips be windin', DJ rewindin'
Take it to the island way
Keio baby mama put on your dancin' shoes
One drop it, pop it low now, take it to the max now
Jammin' the small jam way
Jammin' the small jam way

My bestie and your bestie
Dancin' by di fire
Your bestie says she wan' party
So can we make these flames go higher?
Talkin' 'bout hey now (hey now), hey now (hey now)
Iko, iko a nae (whoa)
Jock-a-mo fee-na a na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae


Let me take it from here

Solomon girl straight up right hoochie mama
Make we party non stop in a island banda
Swing those hips and back it up to mi ragga
A chance fi party ladies, do the Dougie Dougie
I'm jammin' island reggae reppin' blue, green and yellow
Me tappin' on mi beat, make you slow whine for me, baby
Speakers pumpin', people jumpin'
We're jammin' the island way

Shout out to the good time crew
All across the islands
Grab your shoes then we'll two-by-two
And now we're shinin' bright like diamonds
Talkin' 'bout hey now (hey now), hey now (hey now)
Iko, iko a nae (whoa)
Jock-a-mo fee-na a na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae


Yes
One drop it, pop it low now, take it to the max now
Jammin' the small jam way
Wind it

Whine up, go down, whine up, go down
Twist your body backwards (we go, we go)
We go left left, we go right right
Turn it around and forward (whine and go down again)

Whine up, go down, whine up, go down
Twist your body backwards (twist it back)
We go left left, we go right right
Turn it around and forward

My bestie and your bestie
Dancin' by di fire
Your bestie says she wan' party
So can we make these flames go higher?
Talkin' 'bout hey now (hey now), hey now (hey now)
Iko, iko a nae (whoa)
Jock-a-mo fee-na a na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae
Jock-a-mo fee na-nae

BESTIE= Best friend

DI= (black creole) The

WAN'= Wants to

FLAMES= If they want to sit by the fire to get warm, let's make the flames go higher, that is, let's make put more fuel into the fire. But also in a figurative sense, since they both want to party, the flames are a figure for passion (not necessarily sexual, since all this is about dancing and having fun).

'BOUT= About

IKO= See under the Meaning tab for explanations about these words.

START= (start the engine) Make your car start moving.

TRUCK= Car

JUMP IN= (coll.) Get into (the car)

LIFE DON'T GET NO BETTER= Things are perfect, life can't be any happier than this.

HIPS BE WINDING= Let everybody dance (winding, moving your hips)

REWINDIN'= Going back in the music track (an obvious expression for those who still know what a casset is).

THE ISLAND WAY= The way we do things in the island.

ONE DROP IT= (referring to the bottom) Move it down.

POP IT LOW= (referring to the bottom) pull it out. All this is a reference to a sexy move made popular by Latin American Reguetón dance.

MAX= Maximum

JAMMING= SINGING

JAM= Song (though it might have a different meaning here, some local word maybe)

STRAIGHT UP= Stand proudly

HOOCHIE= Sexy, attractive.

BANDA= Band (music group) or gang (group of friends)

RAGGA= Reggae

FI= For

PARTY LADIES= Girls who like to have fun..

DOUGIE DOUGIE= The Dougie is an African-American hip hop dance generally performed by moving one's body in a shimmy style and passing a hand through or near the hair on one's own head.

REPPING= Showing, displaying

TAPPING= Hitting with my hand

BEAT= Rhythm, though here it probably means "drum".

WHINE= A high-pitch sound

SHOUT OUT= Shout, cry.

CREW= A group of people, maybe friends.

GRAB= (informal) Take

TWO-BY-TO= (used as a verb here) Walking in groups of two.

SHINING BRIGHT LIKE DIAMONDS= Looking great (an expresion taken from a song of Rihanna's)

 

The original song was recorded by James Crawford in 1953 and tells the story of a confrontation between rival Indian tribes in America. A "spy boy" (a lookout for one band of Indians) found the "flag boy" for another tribe and he threatens to "set the flag on fire". The original lyrics went:

My spyboy met your spyboy
Sittin' by the fire
My spyboy told your spyboy:
I'm gonna set your flag on fire

And the chorus, he explained, were some nonsense gibberish which tried to imitate that Indian language:

Talkin' 'bout Hey now, hey now
Iko iko an de
Jock-a-mo fee na ah na nay
Jock-a-mo fee na ne

Although in the original song these words were reportedly transcribe without any understanding of its meaning, present research has traced those words to West Africa, a mixture from French Creole and local African language. The original words probably were these:

Enòn, Enòn! = Code Language!
Aiku, Aiku nde = God is watching.
Jacouman Fi na = Jacouman causes it
ida-n-de = We will be emancipated.
Jacouman Fi na dé = Jacouman urges it; we will wait.

So wherever he got these words from, it was not from a tribe of Indians. He probably heard that from something chanted by African Americans.

But another theory says that the "jock-a-mo" part do comes from Native American language, where "chokma finha" means "very good". If that is the case, Crawford was right in what he said.

That "Jock-a-mo..." from the tribes in New Orleans is kept in Wellington's version, but in his version we can also encounter words and sentences from a South Pacific language (native to Solomon or Papua we presume).

Wellington took this oldie and turned the lyrics around to make it into a tropical beach song focused on dancing, not war.

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