Popularly known by many names, "yub yub" or "yub nub" or "nub nub" depending on what you first heard, this is the Ewok celebration song from the end of Return of the Jedi. "yub nub" has come to be the canonical transcription, with the meaning commonly given as "Freedom".

The singing is accompanied by whistling; a bass string instrument of some sort; and as percussion the debut performance of the Endor Drum and Fife Corp's Stormtrooper helmet unit. The spritely music makes it a danceable hit for young and old alike.

Everybody sing now:

Yub nub, eee chop yub nub,
Toe meet toe peachy keen, g'noop duck fling, oh ah.
Yah wah, eee chop yah wah,
Toe meet toe peachy keen, g'noop duck fling, oh ah.

In this first verse, the Ewoks sing about their past, before the Empire began building a shield generator base on their forest moon. They sing of the simple freedom of swaying toe-to-toe to their innocent Ewok dances. They sing of their power as demonstrated in their annual Olympic-style games, the "g'noop," featuring the popular "duck fling" event. Ah yes, the time before the Empire was truly peachy keen.

Coatee chak tu yub nub,
Coatee chak tu yah wah,
Coatee chak tu glo wah.
allay loo ta nuv!

Here we have the benefit of the English voice-over at the end of the song to give us the complete English translation:
  Celebrate freedom!
  Celebrate power!
  Celebrate glory!
  Celebrate the love!

Oddly, the 'Coatee chak' construction does not appear in the fourth line, "allay loo ta nuv" which is nonetheless later sung in English as "Celebrate the love." One might expect this to be rendered as "Coatee chak ta nuv." Scholars of the Ewok language suggest that 'Coatee chak' implies a general, public celebration where as 'allay loo' may imply a more personal celebration. You may notice Wicket giving Chewbacca the eye when this line is sung.

Since this is a song of celebration, the Ewoks omit several verses. These lost lyrics tell of their time of servitude to the Empire, as they built the shield station while Imperial officers drove them like cattle. Buried in these lost verses are the instructions on building log traps to crush AT-STs, detailed descriptions of the weak points in Stormtrooper armor, rallying points for the time of revolution, and other secret instructions. For many years the Ewoks sung these verses in front of their Imperial overseers, who smug in their supposed superiority had never bothered to master the local tongue.

Glo wah, eee chop glo wah,
ya glo wah pee chu nee foom,
ah toot dee awe goon daa.

In this verse, the Ewoks celebrate the arrival of their glowing god, Sayah Three Paio, whose shining presence emboldened all of the Ewoks to do battle with the Empire's goons and make their shield installation go "Foom!"

Coatee chak tu goo (Yub nub!)
coatee chak tu doo (Yah wah!)
coatee chak tu too (ya chaa!)
allay loo ta nuv!

Again the English voice-over at the end of the song give us the chorus in English:
  Celebrate the light (Freedom!)
  Celebrate the night (Power!)
  Celebrate the fight (Glory!)
  Celebrate the love! (x3)

Glo wah, eee chop glo-o wah.
Ya glow wah pee chu nee foam,
ah toot dee awe goon daa
allay loo tu nuv!
(Repeat, fade)
(English lyric fades up over Ewok lyric):
Celebrate the light (Freedom!)
Celebrate the night (Power!)
Celebrate the fight (Glory!)
Celebrate the love

Simply a repetition of the second verse and the second chorus. Leaving out all of those versus about the Imperial occupation left a big hole, so the Endor Drum and Fife Corp had to fill until all the guests, ghosts, and hot disco-stud pilots showed up to the party.

As the song finishes, the English lyrics fade up over the Ewok lyrics as described above. This "rosetta stone" allows us to decrypt the song and share in the meaning behind the music.

Fade out. Cue main Star Wars theme. Roll credits. Everyone leaves the theatre happy ... except for me, that is. In my fantasy ending to Return of the Jedi all this dancing bear business is moot anyway.

Ewok and English lyrics, the word 'Ewok', Star Wars, and all of its distinctive terms and likenesses (R), TM, (C), & (P) Lucasfilm Ltd. Used without permission of, but with great respect for, The Flannelled One and his Empire.

CST Approved