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Abiyoyo Lyrics - Singles - Arlo Guthrie

Story by Pete Seeger 

traditional African music arranged by Rev. HCN Williams and JN Maselwa 



Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo 

Abiyoyo, yoyoyo, yoyoyo 


Once upon a time there was a little boy who 

played the ukelele. He'd go around town, 

'Blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, blmp, 

bImp blmp blmp, blmp blmp, blmp!' 

Grown-ups said "Get that thing out of here!" 


Not only that, the boy's father was a gettin' 

in trouble. He was a magician. He had a 

magic wand. He could go 'Zoop! Zoop!' make 

things disappear. But the father played too 

many tricks on people. Somebody doing a 

hard job of work, 'zzt, zzt, zzt', up comes the 

father with his magic wand, 'Zoop!' no saw. 

Come to someone about to drink a nice cold 

glass of something, 'Zoop!' the glass 

disappears, He'd come to someone about 

to sit down after a hard day's work, 'Zoopl' 

no chair. 


People said to the father, "You get out 

of here, too. Take your magic wand and 

your son!" The boy and his father were 

ostracized. That means they made them 

live on the edge of town. 


Now in this town they used to tell stories. 

The old people used to tell stories about 

the giants that lived in the old days They 

used to tell a story about a giant called 

Abiyoyo. They said he was as tall as a 

house and could eat...people... up. 

Of course, nobody believed it, but they 

told the story anyway. 


One day, one day, the sun rose, blood red 

over the hill. And the first people got up 

and looked out of their window, they saw a 

great big shadow in front of the sun. And 

they could feel the whole ground shake. 

'Stomp, stomp'. Women screamed, 'Ahh!' 

Strong men fainted "Ohh!" - "Run for 

your lives! Abiyoyo's coming!" 


He came to the sheep pasture, grabs a 

whole sheep, 'Yeowp!' Comes to the cow 

pasture, grabs a whole cow, 'Yeowp!' 

Daniel, "Grab your most precious 

possessions and run! Run!" Just then the 

boy and his father woke up "Hey, Paw, 

what's coming over the field?" - Oh, Son, 

that's Abiyoyo. Oh, if I could only get him 

to lie down, I could make him disappear." 


The boy said "Come with me, Father." He 

grabs his father by one hand. The father 

gets the magic wand, the boy gets the 

ukelele. They run across the field. People 

yelled, "Don't go near him! He'll eat you 

alive!" There was Abiyoyo. He had long 

fingernails cause he never cut 'em. 

Slobbery teeth, cause he didn't brush 

them. Stinking feet, 'cause he didn't wash 

'em. He raised up with his claws, the boy 

whips out his ukelele and starts to sing. 




Well, you know the giant had never heard a song 

about himself before, and a foolish grin spread 

over the giant's face. And the giant started to 

dance "Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo," the boy 

went faster, "Abiyoyo, yoyoyo, yoyoyo. Abiyoyo, 

Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo," The giant 

got out of breath. He staggered. He fell down flat 

on the ground 'Zoop!, Zoop!' people looked out 

the window, Abiyoyo disappeared. 


They ran across the fields. They lifted the boy 

and his father up on their shoulders. They said, 

"Come back to town. Bring your damn ukelele, 

we don t care anymore!" And they all sang: 


Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo 

(Oh, you sing it with me,) 

Abiyoyo Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo 


Copyright: The Bicycle Music Company