Cockie Lobin: Ena zwili ena fili

May 3, 2007 at 9:02 pm 8 comments

Do you remember this ditty? Please tell about it!

Cockie Lobin in Chilapalapa

Zonke nyoni lapa moya ena kala ene kala,
Ene zwile ena file lo nyoni Cockie Lobin,
Ena zwili ena file ena zwili ena fili Cockie Lobin

Kubani ena blalile cocky lobin,
Mena kluma lo fly,
Na lo piccanini astromomical microscope,
Mena blalile cocky lobin.

Zonke nyoni lapa moya ena kala ene kala,
Ene zwile ena file lo nyoni Cockie Lobin,
Ena zwili ena file ena zwili ena fili Cockie Lobin

Kubani ena blalile cocky lobin,
Mena klumu lo sparrow,
Na lo picannini intercontinental ballistic missile
Mena blalile cocky lobin.

Zonke nyoni lapa moya ena kala ene kala,
Ene zwile ena file lo nyoni Cockie Lobin,
Ena zwili ena file ena zwili ena fili Cockie Lobin

Kubani ena digga lo grave,
Mena klumu lo owl,
Na lo earth moving equipment kamina,
Mena digga lo grave.

Zonke nyoni lapa moya ena kala ene kala,
Ene zwile ena file lo nyoni Cockie Lobin,
Ena zwili ena file ena zwili ena fili Cockie Lobin

Kubani ena klumu lo prayers,
Mena klumu lo vulture,
Ndaba mena kona maningi culture,
Mena klumu lo prayers.

Wrex Tarr

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Entry filed under: Rhodesian.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mike Raath  |  September 24, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I remember the ditty well from my own childhood in Rhodesia back in the early 1950s. I grew up on a “small-worker goldmine” in the Colleen Bawn district south of Gwanda. At almost every party that was held sooner or latersomeone among the adults would start to sing “Cocky Lobin”. However, my recollection of the chorus is slightly different from the one given. As I remember it, our version went:

    “Zonke nyoni la-pezulu yena kalile kakulu
    Yena zwili yena fili lo nyoni Cocky Lobin
    Yena zw-i-i-li yena fi-i-ili
    Yena zwili yena fili Cocky Lobin”

    It’s good to have the words of the verses again, which I had forgotten. I remember that the challenge was to cram as much high-tech verbosity into each verse as possible for the comical effect (e.g. “Mina, na lo turbo-charged, 12-cylinder steam-powered shovel ka mina, mina mina digga lo grave”)

    Thanks for the memory!

    Reply
  • 2. Gail van Vuuren  |  September 22, 2008 at 5:45 am

    I spent 25 yrs in Swaziland….there was an ex police officer by the name of John Olivier who could sing both English and Fanagalo version of this song in depth…………it needs to be documented. I hope and pray you are the one and will send us the finished copy for our children and grandchildren…..I hope I will not get in trouble by sending you his email….jwo638@swazi.net……..you can tell him it was from US friends whom remember he and his songs well, with love.

    Reply
  • 3. John Jones  |  September 23, 2008 at 7:19 am

    This was taught to me by my mother, so I think it pre-dated Wrex Tarr. I was 73 this year.

    The beginning I remember was
    “Zonke nyoni lapa pezel ene kall ena kalla …”

    Reply
  • 4. John Crosby  |  August 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I too, recall the Wrex Tarr version, but not well enough to comment on the correct wording. I do seem to recall a disgruntled Dad saying, “Stop singing that song! It’s driving me mad!”

    By the way, Mike Raath, do I know you? Toc H house Bulawayo, early to mid 60’s?

    John Crosby.

    Reply
  • 5. Phil Taylor  |  April 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    AS I remember it, it went-

    Chorus

    Zonke nyoni pezulu yena kala kakulu
    Skat’ izwile yen’ ifile inyoni Cocky Robin
    Skat’ izwile yen’ ifile
    Skat’ izwile yen’ ifile Cocky Robin

    Ubani yena bulalile Cocky Robin?
    Mina, kuluma lo sparrow
    Indaba ka lo bow and arrow ka mina
    Mina bulile Cocky Robin

    Chorus

    Ubani yena bukile yen’ ifile?
    Mina, kuluma lo duiker
    Indaba ka lo verkuiker ka mina
    mina bukile yen’ ifile

    Chorus

    Ubani azi enza lo ngodi?
    Mina kuluma lo owl
    Indaba ka lo foshol ka mina
    Mina az’ enza lo ngodi

    Chorus

    The fourth verse I forget but I might be able to dig it out

    Reply
  • 6. Ian Rich  |  November 15, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Another verse goes:

    Ubani driva lo hearse ?
    Mena said the weasel
    With my twin carburetor special,
    Mena driva lo hearse.

    Zonke nyoni …….

    Reply
  • 7. Charlotte Vlok  |  September 25, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    My father used to sing this to us. He studied Theology at Tuks and used to sing this with the other students at Loftus when they were watching Northern Transvaal play. If he was in an exceptionally good mood he would honour us with his rendition. He passed away in 1999
    I am now directing a school choir and would love to surprise my mom with the choir performing it.

    Reply
  • 8. Barry Myburgh  |  April 21, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I studied at Wits from 1968 to 1972, Cocky Robin was definitely sung at rugby matches. can’t add anything to the lyrics, though.

    Reply

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