Aesthetics of narration in selected Mike Ejeagha’s folk songs
This study identified and analysed the narrative devices used by Mike Ejeagha in the performance of the selected songs which include Onye Isi Oche and Omekagụ. It discussed the literary implications of the narratives and highlighted the aesthetics inherent in the selected Mike Ejeagha’s songs. This was with the view to shedding light on the creative ingenuity of Ejeagha as a folk narrator who is committed to the exposition and preservation of Igbo traditions/cultural practices. Both primary and secondary sources were used for data collection. The primary data comprised Onye Isi Oche and Omekagụ from Mike Ejeagha’s folk music Album titled: The Omenala Series Number One. The songs were selected because of the narrative devices that characterised them. The selected songs were translated from Igbo Language into English Language and analysed to identify the narrative aesthetics used in the performance of the songs. Secondary source included books, journal articles and the Internet. The tales in the songs were analysed with Roland Barthes’s proairetic and semantic narrative codes. The results of the study showed that there were artistic beauty in selected Mike Ejeagha’s folk songs which were evidenced in the narrative devices - repetition, digression, ideophones, and parallelism. From the analysis, it was discovered that the repeated lines increased the temporality of the songs and also captured the interest of the audience in the performance of the songs. The study also revealed that parallelism enabled the narrator to arrange the wordings of the songs to express the actions and emotions of the characters in the tales. The study further showed that the narratives in the songs addressed some aspects of Igbo customs especially issues of inheritance and injustice as explicated in the story of Omekagụ while the story of Onye Isi Oche condemned desperation for power and fame as an attitude for failure. Using Roland Barthes narrative codes - semantic and proairetic in analysing of the narratives in the songs, it was discovered that there are cultural and aesthetic meanings in the two selected songs of Ejeagha. The study demonstrated that narrative devices abound in the selected songs of Mike Ejeagha. The study also analysed the tales as well as the narrative styles in the selected songs. The literary implications of the narratives to the Igbo genre and society where the selected songs domiciled were also discussed. It was concluded that the aesthetics of Ejeagha’s songs was in his narrative style.