Description of Love Songs. The love songs among the Anuak seem to be of fairly recent development and though popular among the young people, meet with less favor by the old. The adults believe that the singing of these songs will take the young people’s attention and interests away from the war songs and the traditional interests of the tribe. They see love songs as an indication that the young people are moving away from Anuak traditional cultural values. The words of a love song are not too important. It is the occasion that is important. Love songs are sung in small gatherings or as the young people participate in a dance among their peers. A dominant theme of love and lost love quite accurately reflects actual courtship problems among the tribe. The dominant theme of love songs is the need of the young for marriage wealth so that their love objects will not be taken by the old men (or rich men) of the village.
The Setting: Nyigwo Nyang, male about 12 with a girl singer about 16, both from Gok. the boy accompanies on the one gallon Shell gasoline can "drum."
The Song:This is a very clever duet. the boy sings a phrase and the girl echoes the phrase.
The Text:I have gone to foreign lands and inside the forests but I’ve decided that the best is to join the Anyanya (Freedom fighters in the South Sudan). The boy says, “Stay, God will help you.” The girl replies: “Stay, you will be helped by God.” The girl continues, “Stay, but after ten years, if you don’t get anything to pay for the dowry, I better give myself to the government.” Boy says, “I will give myself to a rich person so I will get some demouis (bride price) and pay for the dowry.