Nxae nxae nxae
Nxae nxae nxae

Kgaitsedi ya tsona
Mmantsho yo o mosetlhasetlha
Mmelegi wa ditshabatshaba
Kgalala ya malata
Tlhaba dikinane
Tsa nako tsele tsa ga Lowe
Fa o ne o le lekgarejana
Pono maratagolejwa

Tsa ‘go dinamane
Tsa go wetsa mogobeng
Ba go kgadisa maswi
Le madi ditshikeng
Ba go phunyaphunya
Ba utswa le motlokolo
Ba re o gouta mpeng
Wa sala o le seleng

Ba Yuropa ba a re: Nxae nxae
Ba Amerika ba a re: Nxae nxae
Ba botlhaba ba are: Nxae nxae
Ba Aforika ba are
Kwa bophirima ba are
Kwa bokone ba are
Kwa botlhaba ba are
Kwa borwa ba are

Ba boge ba megagaru
Ba itana ka noga e tshela
Ba lwela tswina le dibenya
Ba boe ba le botse phokoje
A e nne modiga Mma!
Keledi tsa’go di re nyorol’le
Madi ago a re nonofatse
Go ya go ile

Tsa go di namane
Tsa go wetsa mogobeng
Ba go kgadisa maswi
Le madi mesifeng
Le fa o ole, o le matsadi
Ga o fele bopelotlhomogi
Kgosigadi Mokhutlolo
Se re tlhanogele iyo

Sorry sorry sorry
Sorry sorry sorry

Ashen dark sister
Bearer of nations
Star among the slaves
Tell us of tales
Of a time long ago
When you were a mere maiden
A vision, a sight for sore eyes

It was your own calves *1
That caused your fall into the pit *1
They caused your milk to dry up
And the blood in you veins
Then they dug holes into you
They even stole your Motlokolo (*2)
They said you have gold in your belly
leaving you stripped bare

Those of Europe say: Sorry sorry
Those of America say: Sorry sorry
Those of the East say…….
Those of Africa say…
From the West they say
From the North they say
From the East they say
From the South they say

Behold them and their greed
Hitting each other with a live snake (*3)
Fighting for honey and all that glitters
And then turn and “ask it of the jackal” (*4)
Weapons down Mother!
May your tears quench our thirst
May your blood nourish/strengthen us
To the ends of time

It was your own calves *1
That caused you to fall into the pit*1
Causing your milk to dry up
And the blood in you muscles
Even when you have fallen and been battered
Your mercy is unending
Our Queen our Pillar
Desert us not

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NXAE: an almost obsolete word in Setswana. The tune together with the word came out of the blue while I was on the obitrek (exercise) machine: 3/11/12

*1 An idiom implying an adult may unwittingly be lead astray or into jeopardy while trying to honour the best interest of their young

*2 Motlokolo is a leather skirt worn by mature women naturally to preserve modesty during pre-colonial times

*3 Fierce feud taking place

*4 Setswana folk tales largely  include  animal characters and generally,  phokoje (the jackal) is known to be a cunning, treacherous con.  So to ask (it) of the jackal’s whereabouts means someone has vanished the way the jackal would do once he’s duped his victims