Journal of West African Languages

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Language Family: Atlantic
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 A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Songs and Chants in Akínwùmí Ìṣọ̀lá’s Ṣaworoi A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Songs and Chants in Akínwùmí Ìṣọ̀lá’s Ṣaworoidẹ


Music, songs and chants are an integral part of the Yorùbá society. As a sequel to this, many scholars have carried out notable research works on the use of songs and chants in traditional festivals. However, not much has been done on their use for political satire, particularly as projected by Yoruba playwrights in their works. This paper therefore focuses on the use of songs and chants for the purpose of political protests, criticism and solidarity in Akínwùmí Ìṣhọ̀lá’s Ṣaworoidẹ, (2007), a sociopolitical satire against dubious politicians in Nigeria. Fishman’s definitional theory of sociolinguistics as modified by Olúwadọrọ̀ (2018, 2019) was used as the theoretical framework. Our data comprise 9 songs and 5 chants used by the actors in the play. The songs and chants discussed in this paper could be grouped into three major parts, on the bases of the singers/chanters position in Jogbo kingdom and the purposes for which they were rendered. The first groups were used by concerned elders in the land to criticize and condemn the duplicity, greed and corruption of the politicians and warn them on the certainty of Nemesis. The second groups were used by political activists to denigrate the political leaders’ incompetence and celebrate their downfall. The third groups were used by political sycophant’s to secure patronage from the politicians and enjoy protection under their leadership. Songs and chants as used in Ṣaworoidẹ are veritable weapons in the hands of socio-political activists to criticize, warn or express solidarity for politicians.


Created 2020-Jun-16
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