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The Banana Boat Song in Toki Pona

3 min read

Text

suno o! tenpo suno o!
 suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo
suno o! tenpo suno o!
 suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo mi

o pali lon pimeja tan telo wawa
  (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)
o pana e kili tawa kama suno!
  (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)

jan nanpa o kama o nanpa e kili mi
 (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)
jan nanpa o kama o nanpa e kili mi
 (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)

o suli mute e kulupu kili!
 (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)
o suli mute e kulupu kili!
 (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)

kili mute li pona li pona lukin
 (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)
li jo e pipi pi pana moli!
 (suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo)

suno o! tenpo suno o!
 suno kama la mi wile tawa tomo mi!
suno o! tenpo suno o!
 suno kama la mi wile tawa tomooooooooo

- jan Ali Pelaponte

Literal Translation

O sun! O day!
When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house
O sun! O day!
When the sun comes, I wish to go to my house

Work in the dark because of powerful liquid 
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)
Place the fruit towards the coming of the sun!
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)

Number person, come! Number my fruit!
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)
Number person, come! Number my fruit!
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)

O make very large the pile of fruit!
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)
O make very large the pile of fruit!
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)

The group of fruits is good and good to look at
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)
It has a death-giving insect!
(When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house)

O sun! O day!
When the sun comes, I wish to go to the house
O sun! O day!
When the sun comes, I wish to go to my hoooooouse

Notes

The third verse, about Mr. Tally-Man, (jan nanpa) is actually the one that inspired me to do the translation in the first place. It's virtually a word-for-word translation

I do love the fact that Harry Belafonte's name is so euphonious in Toki Pona, as jan Ali Pelaponte.

Source

I assume everybody already knows the Banana Boat song, but if you haven't heard it before, well, maybe watch Harry sing it on the Muppet Show!

Update

Made some changes in the text, to simplify and shorten.  Would like this to be actually singable.