Arts, Music
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African group singing Kuo — ‘the devil is a liar’


A men’s group from Liberia singing a native African song — Kuo.  It means “The devil is a liar.” I love their voices and incredible sound without the benefits of the best in modern electronics.

Liberia’s population of 3.7 million is made up largely of Christians 85.5%, followed by Muslims at 12.5% with the remaining 2% made up of a mix of tribal religions, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh . The country considers itself a Christian nation. Stores are closed on Sunday and Christian holidays. Public schools offer Bible classes, though these are not mandatory.

Located on the West Coat of Africa, Liberia is unique in that it was the only African country colonized by the United States of America. The American Colonization Society used mostly freed black-American slaves to colonize the area in 1820.  The organization believed freed slaves would have greater opportunity here than in America. Slaves freed from captured British and American slave ships were also sent to the area instead of the country from which the slavers captured them.

In 1847, the area gained its independence and was re-organized as the Republic of Liberia. It modelled its government after America. As a result, freedom of religion is entrenched in the constitution and is mostly recognized by the government.

Monrovia is the name of the capital city in honour of the fifth president of the United States James Monroe who supported the colonization.

Because of these roots, English is the official language. The original colonizers and their descendants ‘Americo-Liberians’ dominated the culture and politics of the country for 130 years.

In 1980, the country experienced a military overthrow. And since then it has been rocked by a number of civil wars, some of them considered the bloodiest in Africa. Since the 2005 national election, the country has been somewhat stable.

According to the YouTube channel, this group of Christian singers “have struggled as a group throughout Liberia, Africa during the civil war, and are now trying to come to the U.S. and share their song and stories.”

Here are the words for the song also from YouTube:

Kuo- The devil is a liar

Chorus

The devil can fool you
the devil is a liar
and he will take you to hell
if you are not careful

1st lead

During the time of the war
nothing happens to us
because the Lord protected us
with his hands

2nd lead

I want you to know
that the devil is
defeated forever
he can not save you

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