Mormon Observations on “The Book of Mormon” the Musical – Hasa Diga Eebowai

For a list of all the posts in this series, see here.

In the interest of giving you a fair warning, there is a lot of offensive language in this song. I’m going to censor some of the language, but it’s not difficult to get it from the context.

Background

The two missionaries arrive in Uganda, only to be robbed at gunpoint by soldiers of a local warlord. Dejected, they meet Mafala, a local tribesman. Mafala and local villagers explain the extreme conditions they live in, including famine, violence, poverty, and AIDS. Their song is a way of making their lives seem better.

Full Lyrics – “Hasa Diga Eebowai”

Mafala: In this part of Africa, we all have a saying. Whenever something bad happens, we just throw our hands up to the sky and say “Hasa Diga Eebowai”!

Elder Cunningham: Hasa Diga Eebowai?

Mafala: It’s the only way to get through all these troubled times. There’s war, poverty, famine…. But having a saying makes it all seem better!

There isn’t enough food to eat.
Hasa Diga Eebowai.
People are starving in the street.
Hasa Diga Eebowai.
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Elder Price: Well, that’s pretty neat!

Elder Cunningham: Does it mean no worries for the rest of our days?

Mafala: Kind of!

We’ve had no rain in several days.
(Hasa Diga Eebowai!)

And eighty percent of us have AIDS.
(Hasa Diga Eebowai!)

Many young girls here get circumcised,
Their ***** get cut right off. (Way oh!)
And so we say up to the sky
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Now you try. Just stand up tall, tilt your head to the sky, and list all the bad things in your life.

Elder Cunningham: Somebody took our luggage away. (Hasa Diga Eebowai!)

Elder Price: The plane was crowded and the bus was late. (Hasa Diga Eebowai!)

Mafala: When the world is getting you down,
There’s nobody else to blame. (Way oh!)
Raise a middle finger to the sky,
And curse his rotten name.

Elder Price: Wait, what?

Elder Cunningham: Hasa Diga Eebowai!
Am I saying that right?

Elder Price: Excuse me, sir, but what exactly does that phrase mean?

Mafala:Well, let’s see…’Eebowai’ means ‘God’, and ‘Hasa Diga’ means ‘**** you’. So I guess in English it would be, “**** you, God!”

Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Elder Price: What?!!

Mafala: When God ***** you in the butt.
(Hasa Diga Eebowai!)

**** God back right in his ****.
(Hasa Diga Eebowai!)

Hasa Diga Eebowai!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Elder Price: Excuse me, sir, but you should really not be saying that. Things aren’t always as bad as they seem.

Mafala: Oh, really? Well, take this ****ing ***hole, Mutumbo, here. He got caught last week trying to rape a baby.

Elder Price: What!? Why?

Madala: Some people in his tribe believe that having sex with a virgin will cure their AIDS. There aren’t many virgins left, so some of them are turning to babies.

Elder Price: But…that’s horrible!

Madala: I know!

Here’s the bucher, he has AIDS.
Here’s the teacher, she has AIDS.
Here’s the doctor, he has AIDS.
Here’s my daughter she has A…

…Wonderful disposition.
She’s all I have left in the world.
And if either of you lays a hand on her –
I will give you my AIDS.

If you don’t like what we say 
Try living here a couple days.
Watch all your friends and family die.

Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Hasa Diga Eebowai!
**** you, God, in the ***, mouth, and ****
**** you, God, in the ***, mouth, and ****
**** you, God, in the ***, mouth, and ****
**** you in the eye! 

Hasa Diga Eebowai!
**** you, God, in the ***, mouth, and ****
**** you, God, in the ***, mouth, and ****
**** you, God, in the ***, mouth, and ****
**** you in the other eye! 

Hasa Diga Eebowai!

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