After topping the 2013 charts with his collabo with Mwenyehaki, Wanajua, Pitson started out 2014 by releasing another catchy tune in Lingala ya Yesu (The Lingala of Jesus). I may be three months late in reviewing the song, but the mark of a great song is its timelessness. The lyrics to Lingala ya Yesu are self-explanatory.
Here is a loose English translation of the lyrics:
It’s been a while, and I haven’t sung Lingala to you Father,
I have been busy with Reggae and Ragga,
And The Blues sent me to sleep,
But I’m now awake, Father, and I’m singing Lingala
They told me in a good Lingala song it’s good to tie my belt high above my belly,
And for me to speak Lingala like “petit Lingala le eza moke”
They told me a good Lingala song must have a speaking part
(Spoken) “I am speaking, but I really have nothing to say”
I say that the Lingala of Jesus’ is not complicated
When you’re given the guitar chords x2
You just lift your hands and praise Jesus)
The Lingala of my Jesus saves
The Lingala of my Jesus blesses
The Lingala of my Jesus is not complicated
You simply praise x3 Jesus High
Dear artiste, you don’t need to have piercings all over to be heard
No need for luxury cars for your videos to be hits
You don’t need to speak Lingala to get to Congo
And the dancers, their clothes too tight
Yes, the song is self-explanatory. But what I find even more fascinating is that this is a song about music. More specifically — Christian music. We have all encountered the debates on what constitutes Christian or Gospel music. Some believe that there are genres in which Christian music should not reside — such as hip-hop. Others are persuaded that it is only the lyrics that matter, and any secular song can be borrowed and adapted and redeemed to make it more relevant. And others insist that a good Christian song must be a song that is designed to be sung in a congregation context, and not just performed on a stage in front of a passive audience.
The issues are diverse, but Pitson steals just 5 minutes and 14 seconds of this long-winded debate to drive home a simple point, what matters is that your music praises Jesus and blesses His people. In other words, a song is considered Christian not just because it is about Christ, but it is also for the glorification of Christ and the edification of the people. After all the debates about form and genre and style and context, is the gospel being preached? Is Jesus being praised?
The rest is details.
Thank you Pitson, for sneaking this one right in front of our eyes without coming off as polemic like some of us often do.