Onikaluku jeje ewure (everyone promised to offer a goat)
Ewure, ewure (goat, goat)
Onikaluku jeje aguntan (everyone promised to offer a sheep)
Aguntan bolojo (A fleshy sheep)
Oluronbi jeje omo re (Oluronbi promised to offer her child)
Omo re apon bi epo (Her child who is as light skinned as palm oil)
Oluronbi O! (Oluronbi O!) Jo’in jo’in (make that up), Iroko (a mighty tree in the forest), Jo’in jo’in (make it up), Oluronbi O! (Oluronbi O!) Jo’in jo’in, Iroko Jo’in jo’in.
THE STORY …
There was a massive tree called Iroko (a mighty tree in the forest) at a certain ancient village in Yorubaland where people would go to implore the spirit of the tree for different favours.
The magical Iroko was often kind, it would at most times consent to their wishes but they must reciprocate with gifts or anything really, and importantly, they must mention the item(s) they want to offer as oblation.
On one fateful morning, a number of persons approached the Iroko tree to ask for abundant sales as they were attending the annual market parade, many promised to offer the Iroko; sheep, goat, yam and things on that line in return, but when it was Oluronbi’s turn, she flippantly promised to offer her beautiful daughter. It was believed that the nicer the item one promised, the better and quicker one’s request would be granted.
After the day’s sales, the people were contented, it was a good day, Oluronbi actually recorded the highest sales ever, they were all happy and elated. They all brought various items they promised the Iroko but Oluronbi who refused to turn up.
Oluronbi knew the consequences of not agreeing to appease the Iroko hence, she offered animals, cloth and foods to the Iroko which it rejected.
Sometime later, Oluronbi was going to the stream with her beautiful daughter who was wrapped on her back, she walked passed the Iroko tree thinking perhaps it must have forgotten she made it a vow, as she walked passed the tree, her daughter disappeared and changed into a doll and was resting at the bottom of the Iroko tree.
Oluronbi started screaming; Iroko bami gbe omo mi o (Iroko return my child!). The villagers gathered at the scene and started singing the epic song thus
Onikaluku je je ewure
Onikaluku je je aguntan
Oluronbi je je omo re
Omo re apon bi epo
Iroko Jo’in jo’in
Jo’in jo’in .
Basically, the Iroko seized her daughter as agreed and Oluronbi forever lost her to the tree. Very saddening indeed. A promise is a debt especially ones made to Gods, don’t promise what you cannot fulfil.
(Source From: Proudly Yoruba, Written By: Bola Olalekan)