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5 Evergreen Classic Highlife Songs From Nigeria

5 Evergreen Classic Highlife Songs From Nigeria

No matter what generation you were born: this, the last or the one before that, these classics are ever a reminder that music is timeless. They came out at a time when music was more an art than a profession. Musicians played what the muses gave them and didn’t bother much about anything else.

We countdown to the top five of Nigerian folk/highlife music that will forever stay fresh whenever you hear it.

  1. Christy Essien Igbokwe, Seun rere

Apart from her stints on New Masquerade as Jegede Sokoya’s wife, Madam Apena, Mrs Essien Igbokwe released this classic song Seun rere from the Ever Liked My Person? Album in 1981. The song admonished children and youths to listen to and obey their parents so that it would be good with them in life. We say that to this instagram generation too.


  1. William Onyeabor – When The Going Is Smooth and Good

The song When The Going Is Smooth and Good hit the country like a storm in 1985. It was fresh off the album Anything You Sow released by Wilfilms Records. It was a rave from an age when a song must be accompanied by wisdom and the lyrics filled with philosophy candies. Today, the timeless pace and rhythm of the song is still as strong as it ever was.


  1. Sir Victor Uwaifo and His Melody Maestroes, Joromi

Sir Victor Uwaifo’s classic song Joromi came out in 1969 on the Sir Victor Uwaifo Big Sound album released by Phonogram/Phillips. Countless performers have covered the song across the decades since then, ensuring that the vibe of this evergreen wonder never gets faded.

  1. Dr Victor Olaiya, Omo Pupa

In 1982 Dr Olaiya dropped the song Omo Pupa from the In the Sixties album, released by Polydor. It has long since become an iconic song representing that happy period of our national existence when the US Dollar exchanged for less than N1. Yes, it did back then. We couldn’t find a good original cut but this cover by The Columbus Highlife Ensemble featuring David Aina is as close as it can get!

  1. Nico Mbarga and the Rocafil Jazz, Sweet Mother

I don’t care who wrote or performed any other Mama song, Nico’s Sweet Mother is the mother of all Mama songs. He was killed in a freak motorbike accident in 1997 but Nico Mbarga will live forever in this song, an everlasting tribute to not just every mother in the world, but to Mama Africa herself, the primordial Eve, mother of us all.

Sweet mother I no go forget you
for the suffer wey you suffer for me.

Sweet mother I no go forget you
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

When I dey cry, my mother go carry me, she go say,
‘My Pikin’ wetin you dey cry ye, ye,
stop stop, stop stop make you cry again oh no. “

When I won sleep, my mother go pet me,
she go lie me well well for bed,
she cover me cloth, sing me to sleep,
“Pikin sleep sleep oh my.”

When I dey hungry, my mother go run up and down.
Something she go find me when I go chop oh.

Sweet mother I no go forget you for the wey Suffer me Suffer for you

When I dey sick, my mother go cry, cry, cry,
INSTEAD say she go when I go die make she die.

O, she go beg God,
“God help me, God help, my Pikin oh.”

If I do not sleep, my mother no go sleep,
if I no chop, my mother no go chop, she no dey oh pull.

Sweet mother I no go forget you,
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

Another wife you get fit, you fit Get Another husband,
But You Get Another fit mother? No!

And if I forget you, Therefore I forget my life and the air I breathe.

And Then on to you men, forget, verily, forget your mother,
for if you forget your mother you’ve lost your life.

source: wiki

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Mcdonald Odijie also known as Softty, he's an influential Social Media Strategist and passionate Afro Soul singer, Mcdonald desires to make a change in our great country Nigeria and the world. “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

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