Ide Were Were

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Ide Were Were

This is a very old song out of the Yoruban & Santeria traditions – Nigeria, Cuba, & Brazil. I learned recently from Maggie Wheeler that it is about those who serve the Orisha Oshun (sometimes spelled Osun) and the brass bracelets they wore that Oshun asked them to rattle. This somehow managed to be mistakenly interpreted and shared by myself and many others as a “necklace of love,” perhaps due to the devotees adoration of the Orisha.

Oshun embodies love and sexuality and one of her elements is brass. One writer shares, “To understand Osun is to know the intelligence, vitality, caring and nourishing abilities of womankind. Long-suffering, cheated, overlooked, and over-worked, but always committed to the survival of humanity. Besides signifying wealth, brass never rusts, it is eternal. In Osun, we have the embodiment of prosperity, love, beauty, elegance, sexuality and sensuality and a divinely sanctioned feminist.

Oshun is the youngest Orisha (human forms of the sprits and protectors) and one of the most adored in the Yoruba religion. According to the patakís (sacred stories left by the ancestors), she was brought into existence by Olodumare, the Supreme Creator, once he realized something crucial was missing after creating the earth: sweetness and love. As one of the ancient Yoruba myths suggests, the human race would not exist if Oshun had not been sent to our world. It is said her sweet and fertile waters brought life back to humanity.

Composer & Copyright

Traditional, public domain. Choral arrangement by Lisa G. Littlebird, guitar arranged and recorded by Aimee Ringle.


Recorded by Lisa G. Littlebird with Aimee Ringle on guitar.

**UPDATE** – These parts and recordings were updated on 10/16/18.


Em*= 0 2 4 0 3 0
C+9= X 3 2 0 3 0

Em* Am7 Em* B7
Em* Am7 Em* C+9
Am7 —–  D ——
Am7 ——-   B7 ——
G  ——  C+9 ——-


Ide were were nita oshun
Ide were were
Ide were were nita oshun
Ide were were nita ya

Ocha kiniba nita oshun
Cheke cheke cheke
Nita ya
Ide were were

  • Beautiful song…ofcourse love Deva. Thank you for all the useful knowledge of this mantra and Goddess Oshun.

  • Tom B

    This website is incredible! THANK YOU 🙂

  • Chiara

    Thank you so much for this great work.
    I am deeply grateful for the beautiful resources you are sharing!
    May Abundance bless you in return!

  • Suzanne Barroso

    Also totally wanted to say thank you to Lisa G. Littlebird with Aimee Ringle
    and mention this was beautiful and thank you for your interpretation and soundtracks.
    Super in synch with some mockingbird songs I was recordings yesterday and the messages that came through them.

  • Mag

    Such a beautiful song, helped me a lot… Does anybody speaks yoruba and could translate it correctly?
    Wishing you all the best from my heart,


    I love this one! So beautiful. I’m learning this on guitar and noticed the notations here are not fully accurate based on this wonderful arrangement and just wanted to add info for anyone else trying to figure it out.

    Capo 2
    First section is accurate if by Em is meant Em9 and C+9 is meant Cadd9.

    The second section starting with Ocha kiniba..

    G/B Am7 D D/F#
    G G/B Cadd9 G/B
    Am7 G B7

    (the g/b and d/f# are more like walking bass notes between chords)

    Hope this is helpful to anyone wanting to learn this beautiful arrangement on guitar!

    • alison

      very helpful, thank you laura. i am wanting to learn this on guitar 🙂

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