Heesta Maqasha
Baby Caprine [Sheep/Goats]
Work Song

Hobey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Hobey hobeey, sawlaalacooy,
...bey hobeey, saalima yareey,
Beey hobeey, hoobeey hobeey,
Hobey hobeey, waxaraxa yaryari,
...beey hobeey, waxa leeyihiin,
...beey hobeey, "Waa daallayeey!"
Heey hobeey, "gaajoonayeey!"
Heey hobeey, "geel noo lisay!"
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, nayla waxara a yaryari,
Heey hobeey, waa eey dhaashaye;
Heey hobeey, ma layska qubo?!
Heey hobeey, naylaha yaryari,
Heey hobeey, naylaha yaryari,
Heey hobeey, waa wiil dhashaye,
Heey hobeey, ma loo waqlalo?!
Heey hobeey, hoobeey hobeey.
Hobey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, O you who scamper about,
...bey hobeey, O little Salimo.
Beey hobeey, hoobeey hobeey,
Heey hobeey, little, baby goats.
Beey hobeey, what they say is:
Beey hobeey, "We have grown tired!
Heey, hobeey, "we have grown hungry.
Heey hobeey, "Milk the camels for us!"
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey,
Heey hobeey, "little baby shee..., uh, goats,
Heey hobeey, "are like newborn puppies,
Heey hobeey, "why are they [not] cast out!?
Heey hobeey, "little baby sheep,
Heey hobeey, "little baby sheep,
Heey hobeey, "are like a newborn male child,
Heey hobeey, "why [not] slaughter a ram?!"
Heey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey.

"Hobey hobeey, hoobeey, hobeey" is a formula for setting the pattern of the meter of the poem. Salimo is the name for a caprine. Somalis have a generic name for sheep and goats (adhi), which is translated here as caprine (like the word cattle in English). Sheep are prized above goats, so when baby sheep are born, the poet says, we should treat them like baby humans. When they are born, we slaughter a ram to celebrate the birth. When baby goats are born, we should cast them out into the elements, as we do puppies, which are considered unclean animals in Islam.