One Family [Song]

Uploaded by cool4rocknroll

By Lord Nelson


Mama tell me since a baby
Doh pass people just so when you in Tobago
Doh play proudy, tell dem howdy
Ah say, What’s the reason Mammy?
Is then she tell me.

She say,

All ah we is one family, all ah we is one family
All ah we is one family, all ah we is one family

Hold tight --------------------
Jam tight, rock tight, ------------------

You cyah doubt me, facts is history
Old time people will know how we come to be so
Bound together, one another
Nothing could separate we from since in slavery

They saying,

All ah we is one family, all ah we is one family
All ah we is one family, all ah we is one family

-------- jam so --------------

When he building, or she planting
Everybody helping, no money ent passing
Is tradition on the island
No where else that I know is like sweet Tobago.

They saying,

All ah we is one family [Is true!], all ah we is one family [Dou dou!]
All ah we is one family, all ah we is one family

Roll and tumble -----------------------

When we working or we loving
Is so the whole day long
Going from dusk to dawn
Rubbing shoulder all together
Poopa, gangan, tanty, macomere, pickney

Dey saying,

All ah we is one family, all ah we is one family [Eh, eh, eh, eh, family!],
All ah we is one family [Family!], all ah we is one family

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are often transcribed directly from performances. Although it is my intention to faithfully transcribe I do not get all the words and I have a knack for hearing the wrong thing. Please feel free to correct me or to fill in the words that I miss by dropping me a message via e-mail. I'd be forever grateful. Thanks in advance!

A Note From The Gull

Thank you, Lord Nelson. I have to say that I got only the tail end of this community spirit when I was growing up...neighbours who actually remembered birthdays, avocados, pawpaws, bunches of bananas, freshly dug up ground provisions wrapped in newspaper being handed over fences, sharing bottles of sorrel, ginger beer, parcels of pastelles and black cake at Christmas. Even though we all made the same thing, it was the act of sharing that was significant and appreciated. 

As it decreased, something else increasingly reared its head. The burglar-proofing started going up, fences and gates became more substantial and secure, aggressive dogs scared away intruders AND friendly visitors. "We" and "them" were used more and more. We watched, actually watched like spectators, as neighbourhood children began not going to school, wandering the streets and progressing from petty theft to drug dealing. Because at that time they still respected the old families, they stood politely for lectures on the dangers of not getting an education. But the talk, however well intentioned, couldn't replace their need to have us take them by the hands and walk them back unto the right path.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!