The Suicide Note album consists of eight songs that tell a love story. It opens with “Adobea”, who would wake up early in the morning to go to the market to sell. The path to the market lay by my farm. And so as she often passed by my farm, I’d invite her to join me in singing a song of love.
But perhaps I’d taken her for granted, believing she was there for the taking from the way she seductively wriggled her bum and smiled as she passed by my farm. I was soon to realize, that she was merely being nice and not necessarily asking for it. So while I quickly fell in love with her, she needed more convincing, hence “African Woman”, where I make her aware of my frustration and plead with her to tell me she loves me too.
Finally she gives an answer, but not nearly what I wanted to hear. For she told me we should continue to be “Just Friends,” as she was struggling to actually get herself to love me and yet did not want to compromise the good friendship that had developed between us. I was livid, for I’d rather she hated me so I’d know she felt something stronger about me. All I really wanted was love.
She finally gives in and we have a humorous description of a bedroom encounter in “Oguaa Cedi”. This song was based on a little joke that used to make the rounds amongst adults in Cape Coast when we were kids. A man gets up to go to the toilet after a bout of sex. The woman enquires whether he has finished.
“Why do you ask!!??” The man barked
“Oh I just wanted to know whether I could dress and go” the woman responded
“Oh bloody hell, lie down there, we’re going to do it all night long. Oguaa Cedi is not a joke!!”
The relationship develops on the blind side of her very strict parents. Her father had been known to chase off potential suitors with a double-barreled gun. When I wanted to see Adobea, I would have to wait till her parents had gone to bed, then climb through her window. Soon I had had enough of this “Window Love”. I implored Adobea, as she was no longer a little girl, to go with me to see her parents so we could marry.
But she was very reluctant to do that. And I soon realized that the problem was not just the double-barreled gun under her father’s bed, but perhaps, that she did not love me enough or thought I had not the financial wherewithal to want to marry a girl like her. For soon she started to find excuses for avoiding me amidst rumours there were interests from some opulent sources. I was deeply hurt, and hence “you’ll see me no more;”
If we but knew what lay in store tomorrow
On this earth there would be no more sorrow
We’d fold our arms and go afloat
Wherever the wind of fortune blowed.
Our relationship deteriorated even further, and the last time I saw her, she had been at the train station. I had not even known she was travelling. We had stood in silence for what seemed an eternity. She avoided my tear-filled eyes as we waited for her train. Finally, I helped her unto the train, but as the train slowly departed, she had not even look back to wave goodbye.
On my way home I met an oldie
Who the love of God had blessed
She said boy, you got to believe
And The Lord will do the rest.
So if she comes looking for me
I’ll be in the church down the road,
With my troubles The Lord to see
That same “tradition of old”
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. My letters went unanswered. Soon, overcome by my depth of depression. I wrote to Adobea thanking her for her love, and that, whatever would be would be. It did sound like a “Suicide Note”, I must say.
Hence the song arrangement – Adobea, African Woman, Just Friends, Oguaa Cedi, Window Love, You’ll See Me No More, Old Tradition, Suicide Note.
So don’t be surprised that a title track is a last song. There is some design to the madness.