Bwana Karani


SONG OF THE WILD N.F.D.


(Written in May 1951 to the tune of "I'm a broken down cowboy")

We've left old Nairobi and come all way here
Though the City folk at us so often do jeer;
"You N.F.D. guys have a 'gold mine' up there,"
For such idle gossip we sure couldn't care.

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

Our friends in the City and round everywhere
A welcome to you all comes from us up here,
Moyale, Mandera makes no difference to us
Our N.F.D. camels sure beat 'Kenya bus'.

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

Ignatius Carvalho is now homeward bound
While Marsabit's Maciel sings in tones so profound;
Young Capy Moraes is so thrilled at Wajir
Now Isiolo's Thomas (Fernandes) goes there as Cashier.

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

Marsabit's cold now, says old Victor Ferns (Fernandes)
While our friends in Turkana complain of the burns;
Isiolo's comrades have naught to complain
They're always so happy, but still ask for rain!

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

Faria at Garissa has a surplus of rice,
We'll sure buy it off him for that generous price;
Mandera's John Falcao seems quite happy there
Old Martin now joins him — they'll make a good pair!

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

Our friends in Turkana we greet you aloud
'Tis pleasant to class you in our frontier crowd,
You're surely content with Lake Rudolf's fresh fish
While we are so tired of our Njoro pea dish.

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

Isiolo's da Lima is quite hale and blithe
While poor Luis Fernandes still fights for his rights
Furtados left Mandera and Almeidas also here
Now Marsabit's Falcao is all full of cheer.

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

On a well earned vacation, old Santimano goes
While Isiolo's Pacheco can't save any dough
Moraes is now tired — he wants City life,
Look out of my comrades, he'll soon have a wife!

Somali Somali, we're here for your sake
But what the hell difference does the N.F.D. make
We're all hale and hearty and sure full of cheer
When wearied or downcast, we just sip a beer!

We've left distant homeland and come all way here
Oh leaving behind us our near and our dear
But Somali Somali, we're still full of glee
Amidst frontier tribesmen, it's such comp-a-ny.

Now Somali Somali we're leaving you not
To live in the frontier 'tis surely our lot
We'll always keep singing wherever we go
The song of the wild N.F.D. ever more!


Bwana Karani: The Memoirs of Mervyn Maciel




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