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Upside Down (1976)
Knitting Factory Records
Upside Down (1976):
Sandra, the woman who stood by Fela and also brought him in contact with the Black Panther during his transformation years in the United States, came back to visit a highly popular and successful Fela in Nigeria in 1976. Upside Down was written by Fela to portray a worldly travelled African, who searches the dictionary, and finds the definition of upside down—a perfect description of the African situation. ‘I have travelled widely all over the world like any professor…’ Fela makes Sandra sing: “The thing I have seen I will like to talk about upside-up and downside-down, in overseas! Everything is organise. Their system organise! They have their own names!” But back home in Africa, everything is: ‘head for down yanish for up! Everything is disorganise!’. Meaning back home, everything is totally disorganized—Upside Down
Go Slow: Go slow is about the crawling Lagos traffic jam that symbolizes the confusion that reigns in Nigeria. Fela compares the traffic situation with a person in jail. He says: ‘you have to be a man in life!’. That is a natural instinct in man but when caught in Lagos traffic, all your aspirations and confidence as a man will wither away. You feel suddenly incapacitated, like a man in jail. Or how would you feel driving on a Lagos road and suddenly, in your front there is a lorry to your left a taxi cab, all vehicles in a standstill. Also to your right, a tipper truck and behind you a ‘molues’ passenger bus and above you a helicopter flying. To complete the picture of you imprisoned on the Lagos highway.
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