From the recording Routes
Diali Keba Cissokho - Kora, Lead Vocals | John Westmoreland - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals | Jonathan Henderson - Bass, Vocals | Austin McCall - Calabash, Percussion, Vocals | Will Ridenour - Djembe, Congas, Vocals | Tony Williamson - Mandolin
Ndoli is a mythical character in Mandinka folklore; he appears when summoned and proceeds to tickle children. It’s a children’s song and game, kind of like a combination of the “Patty Cake” body percussion song, and a more playful version of the “Bogeyman” stories in the U.S. For generations, parents have been singing versions of this song to their children when they are acting up or feel sad and need some excitement. My mom sang this to me growing up, and now I sing it to my son, Ablaye.
Ndoli has a deep history / every generation has kept it / our children are gonna see Ndoli next / Saturday is play day / there’s no school / let’s play outside while our parents watch / if you find what I hide, you’ll get a baby chicken! / Ndoli is coming!