Sunday, 3 June 2012

5 million Ghanaians will go gay

"This is the day, 5 million Ghanaians will go gay. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be here that special day. We'll drink and dance the whole day and put on kente fine [Ghanaian woven cloth] on that Thursday 12th November 1959."

Chorus : "May God bless this fine Thursday, when all Ghana will go gay. Elizabeth we love you, akwaba wa wa too [Ashanti welcome] "

"Seven long years we waited since Co-ro-na-tion, to Canada and then Nigeria, she brought jubilation. Now hear the drummers thumping on the mighty fontonfrom, the Queen has come at last to Ghana from United Kingdom,"

"With one accord we welcome you to Ghana. The people are rejoicing, from  Axim to Bolgatanga. From our leader Dr Nkrumah to the lowest in the land We all join this song of love, we know you'll understand. "

The song is by King Bruce and The Black Beats, a big Ghanaian highlife band. King Bruce (1922-98) was well educated and spent several years in London, returning to Ghana where he became a senior civil servant. John Collins, an authority on West African music (who also plays in highlife bands) interviewed King Bruce about his dual careers.

"At first the opposition from my employers came in hints. Then in 1967 the opposition came in black and white as a result of a letter I received from the government. It was from the head of the Administrative Civil Service and they told me that I had now got to the stage where I was due for promotion from assistant to full principal secretary and that the only thing that stood in my way was my dance band playing. So I had to decide whether to continue playing or accept promotion. I replied that I had commitments to play up to Easter 1968, but that from April and thereafter I would comply with the undertaking and wouldn't play in public anymore. .....I was very much annoyed because I had always believed that it was the actual playing in a band that sharpens your faculties and brings new ideas. When you sit down doing nothing you don't create new music. So the ban on my playing hurt me very much as I had to sacrifice a lot to play music and had always wanted to pursue it and make something out of it." 


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