By Alemayehu G. Mariam
Aaahhh! Longing for the sweet earthy scent of Aba-I
Her beauty and bounty resounding to the sky
Waiting for July on the calendar
Hail Aba-I, I salute you from afar.
Aba for the Father
I, for the Son of the Light and Power
Aba-I, the Mother
Of the longest running river.
Strangers call you Baḥr Al-Nīl, Nile and Neilos
To me, you are the “River Gihon” of Genesis
“That compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia”
Destined one day to be a utopia.
There stood I at Aba-I
Starkly saw in my mind’s eye
A future so radiant and bright
My heart filled with gushing delight.
It is July at Aba-I
Pride glints in the lion’s eye
For July brings the light of prosperity
Farewell and begone poverty!
Aba-I many found you a source of plenty
As your people scoured the earth for charity
Aba-I now you are the source of our power
Our great equalizer!
Rushed to leave for thousands of years
Aba-I helplessly we stood and shed our tears
Now rest your feet for just a while
And make Ethiopia your domicile.
“A gift of the Nile”, they call themselves
Recite their history in superlatives
If anyone should tamper with “their water”
They promised a day of wrath and slaughter.
They call themselves the “Lords of the Nile”
Damned the GERD but it was all futile
In July we asserted our sovereignty
To last for all eternity.
Egypt has nothing to fear
They are our brothers and sisters so dear
We will share our Aba-I equitably
With malice towards none and responsibly.
Sudan shall tame its annual floods
As Aba-I mends their livelihoods
Let’s join hands in our Africanity
And together affirm our humanity.
[G]reat is the month of July in Ethiopia
[E]nergy for regional cornucopia
[R]ise up and shout in the dawn of summer
[D]amn! Behold the beautiful tower of our power!
No longer will we live in the dark
Aba-I today is our Ark
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
And today brought Ethiopians together by His design.
Aba-I shall power our industry
Commerce and agriculture shall follow in symmetry
Our youth shall gain employment
No more trouble, only excitement!
Aba-I dearest, have you heard?
Your children fighting unable to go forward
They beg for answers at the U.N.
Forgetting their own African Union.
Aba-I dearest, Lake Tana your mother can’t breathe
Choked by water hayacinth
We are standing idly by
Shame on us for watching as passersby.
Aba-I said Abiy will light our way to prosperity
Warned no one can tread on our sovereignty
Come hell or high water
Abiy said Aba-I will produce power.
Let us all enjoy Aba-I without acrimony
No more talk of hegemony
Aba-I is our gift to keep
There will be no reason for anyone to weep.
Let Aba-I be Aba-I for one and all
A source of life for nations great and small
Let our hopes overcome our fears
There is no more need to shed tears.
Let us gather around Aba-I and sing
Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan make a ring
Lets us lift every voice and shout in July, “I am Aba-I”
“I am Aba-I. Aba-I am.”