Brymo & the manual to overcome societal pressure (Se Bó’ Timo)

Brymo addresses the societal pressure mounted on the individual on Se Bó’Timo. The singer, executing his lyrics in complete Yoruba, uses the scapegoat in Yoruba traditional folktales, that’s the tortoise, to lay emphasis on how it is humanly impossible to please the society. An immediate reminder of this fact is Chief Ebenezer Obey’s The Horse, The Man and The Son.

Brymo’s opening lines portray the slowness of the tortoise and the scorn rained on the animal by the society. The second verse is a complete contrast when Brymo surprisingly makes a portrayal of the one with speed, falling. Even at that failure or fall, Brymo still opines that such should not be a cause of worry to the victim of a fall because such person owns himself.

Brymo progresses, but this time, with a Yoruba expression deep in pun and internal rhyme. Here on the prechorus, Brymo sings to create a circumstance where even if one places an egg (eyin) in their right hand, then a palm fruit (eyìn) in the left, then crawl with one’s back from here to “Ìséyìn” (a city in Oyo State, obviously a far distance from where Brymo sings); Brymo stresses that as difficult as doing those things are, the unappreciative society will still downplay such an achievement.

Brymo, beforehand, predicts that even when all an individual does is mind his business, he still gets criticized; that’s on the first verse.

The theme of this song is valid because a lot of humans still fail to recognize the impossibility of pleasing their fellow humans. In this oblivion, they continue to overwork themselves till they meet their doom. Hence, Brymo must remind his listeners that even the society whose pressure pushes one to make irredeemable mistakes, will never take responsibility for it. The message is simple: whatever consequences follow your actions, you are to be blamed, even if what spurred you to carrying out such actions is the society’s condemnation. Hence, “se bó’ timo” (cut your coat according to your size).

Sam George Mac is a music journalist known for the reviews of several music albums and songs. He is a singer and songwriter of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Highlife and RnB with the stage name SGM — a graduate of Mass Communication from The West African Union University, Cotonou.

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