In this song, "Iro" is the name of the baby.

"This song is from the Ewe community in Benin. This song is to any child, it was also used to bless any woman who was going to be married.

Iro is a name so you can also take the name of your child, your sister or somebody that means much to you…" -Oceanne

Iro ye - Beninese Children's Songs - Benin - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*Literally, "Life will be happy for you".


Oceanne wrote, "The song says:

What should I give (you)?
I have nothing to give
But I will pray for you !!!
Your life will be good
And you will have a long life…"

This song is in the Gen/Mina language in the Niger-Congo language family (not to be confused with the Mina language of Cameroon). The language is also called Ge, Gebe, Gen-Gbe, Guin, Mina-Gen and Popo.



Thanks to Élodie Chebat for contributing this song and singing it for us!

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Sylvain Buttaro and his friends for providing the translation into French. Thanks to Oceanne for helping with the meaning of this song too.

Image: Van Gogh