So Pure [Poem]

SO PURE
By Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena

whenever i stop to take notice
parody is easy to relish

nevertheless
another late train departs as i
remain fastened to this bench on platform 6
wondering if the spiralling price of oil will affect
living standards for the poor in my oil rich isles
relatives complain they are
unable to protect themselves any more
a former prime minister proclaims
time for each man to own a gun
lawyers protest the conditions on remand yard
queen's counsel retained at enormous state
expense for the scoring of political advantage
engineered class conflict incorrectly identified as racial conflict
how pure is bottled pure spring water?

© Copyright 2005 – Roi Kwabena
Reprinted with kind permission of the author.

Source: As long as /by Roi Kwabena, 2005.

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Letter From Sea Lots [Poem]

LETTER FROM SEA LOTS
By Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena

“........only five pounds yuh send?
bread, sugar an’ milk gone up.........
buses doh run.... water still go
now severe-threat in charge ah de water in maraval
so we looking out fuh poison...
money hard to come by....we down here suffering
sure..we have gas, oil, menthanol....
....steel, an’ sugar exporting..
buh mangrove still vamping...
factories not hiring.....even race horse protesting....
crime rampant as jurors hunted
laws improvising an’ english q-cees hustling..
buh teachers’ money still owing...
yuh ask for news? any news is sad news.....
doubles-man an’ market vendors still on de run
kidnapping an’ family murders add to dis shame
while meh OLE gran still worried sick ‘bout she pension...
cable an’ wireful, wid sure-hell come back...
even powertake an’ brit grasp follow fashion
buh maxi still accept short change
yet parts expensive..so only insurance profittin’
as sprangers still roam in de night
de only difference is de den opposition
must now salute for de independence parade...
senator..ah sure yuh would ah like tha....”

© Copyright 1997 – Roi Kwabena
Reprinted with kind permission of the author.

Source: A job for the hangman /by Roi Kwabena. Port of Spain;Birmingham: Raka Publications, 1997.Purchase this book Latest book
Online video of a recent commission About the poet

VIEW ALL WORKS SUBMITTED BY THIS AUTHOR.
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

They Reach [Song]

THEY REACH
Written by David M. Rudder
Performed by Denyse Plummer

This should be the best of times, my friend
This is the time when we should spread our soca wings and fly
This is the Trinbago life we've all been waiting for
A feeling higher than the towers that we're building to the sky
Market forces, mega deals - super bosses, brand name wheels
But in this brand-new, all-inclusive, exclusive space
So much anxiety, on everybody’s face – Why, tell meh why?

Chorus:
Ella's missing generation has found us
'Cause we never went out of our way to find them
So they come out with a vengeance to pound us
With a raging kinda music behind them
everybody, dance, dance
But we dancing on the coals
As the bullets fly doi, doi
Some people rolling in the gold
How do we change the channel on this terrible song
As the country's biggest band jes reach into town

In a land where lawlessness is one with sweet disorder
From the wretched yards to the houses of prayer
To billion dollar dons and folks across the border
There's a frowzy mystic flowing through the air
Death and money, race relations - milk and honey, desperation
But in this 20/20 country, what do our eyes behold?
20/20 year olds, lying stiff and cold - Why tell meh why?

When there's no one to guard the guards, you know things bad
Too many hands in there my people, are stained and dark
And you don't wrap rotten fish in sheets of new dollar bills
(You doh believe me) ask the children who are out there
sleeping in the park
Under new sky scrapers, tourist thrust- free trade markets,
aye, get on the bus
'Cause we heading for the money pot, at the rainbow's end
Tell me why we wearing, sour face then? Why, tell meh why?

They coming in town with some serious cutlery an 'ting
And they doh care who go suffer when they out to eat a food.

Source: Trinidad Guardian, 23/02/06
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"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!
Guanaguanare

Obeah Man



By Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena

i wish i was an obeah man
better than papa niza or even shadow
to light a big mauve candle and throw light on
evils throughout the ‘global village’

i wish i was a obeah man to write the wrongs
but not for a noble prize, only to feed
the hungry children an’ poor people...

i wish i was a obeah man to enable sight through the lies
an’ chase away the flies of broken promises

i wish i was a obeah man
to decide an end to austerity measures
establish a ‘real’ world order
destroying racism..and political debauchery

i wish i was a obeah man
an’ run foreign conglomerates
who exact profits
in a new wave of deception....

i wish i was a obeah man
to obliterate nepotism
while at the same time licking up drug barons
who pose as legitimate merchants

i wish i was an obeah man
to manifest and distribute spirit blows
as deals are secretly made
to devour the wealth of our people...

i wish i was an obeah man
to manifest de
over due national theatre

i wish i was an obeah man
and stabilize the T&T dollar
...depose the plantocracy
to empower the landless...

i wish i was an obeah man
an’ stop police brutality

i wish i was an obeah man
an wok some true- true obeah

but it is difficult to be
an obeah practitioner
when even the patrons are fakes
while the deserving are chased
away by bureaucracy....

as some very important people
seek me out
in the dead of night.....

© Copyright 1997 – Roi Kwabena
Reprinted with kind permission of the author.

Source: A job for the hangman /by Roi Kwabena. Port of Spain;Birmingham: Raka Publications, 1997.
Purchase this book | Latest book
Online video of a recent commission | About the poet

VIEW ALL WORKS SUBMITTED BY THIS AUTHOR.

Yuh Foolin'

By Maestro(1977)

Mr Voter, Mr Voter
The government cyah take you off the shelf
If we doh make efforts to help weself
You must remember our behaviour making one race inferior
And all others superior
If yuh think we go just sit down and bawl
And the Government go get food for all
Yuh fooling, yuh fooling.
Some sit down, they expecting miracle
You ent see all we getting is pool table?
Yuh fooling, Brotherman, yuh fooling
Educate your children at any cost
Win back the land yuh fore-parents lost
Leave colour TV
For folks with plenty money
Is we alone wasting
Brotherman, I say we wasting.

Mr Joker, Mr Worker
Well at least yuh children deserve a chance
It ent fair to leave young lives in balance
This you got to know little boys will grow
To be men of tomorrow
Simple interest you must show
But if you think the fact that your Party win
Go ease the rising cost of living
You fooling, Brotherman, you fooling.
We shall overcome we keep saying,
But while the grass growing the horse starving
Yuh fooling, Brotherman, yuh fooling
We ain't co-operating, we much too proud
So we getting pressure from every crowd

If we doh take heed
We eat the bread the Devil knead
Is we alone wasting
I say, Brotherman, we fooling

Collateral Damage

COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Performed by Kizzy Ruiz
Composed by Dermotte Pierre

So much blood they spill, they killing at will
Beautiful Trinbago is now a valley of sorrow
Careful how you walk, to whom and how you talk
This land that was so blessed, now like the wild, wild West
While we shivering in fright, our leaders tell us it’s all right
Don’t be appalled, some damage is collateral.

Yes, so one of these days, who is to say
A stray bullet might ricochet
An innocent bystander could become a victim of murder
Or casually strolling down the road, "Pow, pow!", a gun explode
And this outspoken critic becomes another statistic
But my leader blatantly say, they on top of security
Who getting kill have cocoa in the rain
Tell that to the Movie Town victim with the cartridge up in she brain
Lord, I ‘fraid I end up as, collateral damage in Port of Spain.

Maybe it’s just me, being too picky
Who causing the trouble, they seem so untouchable
A tractor blown up, a woman house shoot up
Up in Beverly Hills, Hollywood meets Laventille
NHA name in the mess, still nobody get arrest
Seem to me, somebody have full immunity.

So, one of these days, who is to say, a bullet might ramajay
And me with my big head, just so might end up dead
Every citizen, I suppose, is very cautious where he goes
But by sheer coincidence, could still fall to violence
But my wise Prime Minister say everything is in order,
Murder’s gang related in the main
I feel like I should be wearing a bullet proof helmet for my brain
'Cause I ‘fraid I end up as collateral damage in Port of Spain

I afraid, I real afraid! Hear dis one!

The Crime Committee, then ups and upset we
Say, beyond reason and rhyme, take “Me” out of crime
Is all of we to blame, we should bow our heads in shame
We promoting crime outright every time we break a traffic light
For like the streams that turn to seas, it’s just a matter of degrees
Listen Chief, dat sounding like, “All ah we tief.” You ent find?

But one of these days on the pavement
I might pass through an argument
One minute I walking, but next minute gun talking
Or casually strolling down the street, two bad boys get in a heat
I minding my business, next day rigor mortis
But my Leader candidly say be happy, doh worry
The average citizen ent feeling no pain. Not at all!
But when I in my coffin, it's a little too late for me to complain
Resting in peace, I shall remain, collateral damage in Port of Spain

You hear that! Imagine I get shoot and they just dismiss me as collateral damage! What a thing!

Suddenly T&T plunge into uncertainty
The crime rate keep rising, but that not so surprising
Everyday is kidnapping, a next one them boys snatching
The Boss say, doh worry, doh fear for your safety
The average citizen all right, is over drugs them gangs does fight
Take a stroll, once you sure you ent owing Dole.

So, one of these days, who is to say, a gang war might break away
And I caught in the crossfire, another victim of murder
A slaughtered lamb might come to harm, but we shouldn’t be alarmed
Dismiss them as garbage, collateral damage
You see my Leader and he posse, have full time security
And their children far outside from the pain
When Denyse did sing “Nah Leaving”, I and all did join the refrain
But now I ‘fraid I end up as, collateral damage in Port of Spain.

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, Kizzy Ruiz!

"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!
Guanaguanare

Old Time Days [Song]


Uploaded by zac3ne2nr

OLD TIME DAYS
Composed and performed by Richard “Nappy” Mayers

Bring back the old time days
Bring back them old time ways
I know everything must change
But I still love the old time days.

Used to be everyone could afford to live right
Just to feel nice, didn’t need no Paradise
Now open your eyes, look around
Smoke in the city, and what was pretty,
Crying out for sympathy.

So bring back the old time days
Bring back them old time ways
I know everything must change
But I still love the old time days

Used to be everyone cared for each other
Lived like brothers, respected one another
In times gone by we used to share
Together we’d make do and if I draw a sou-sou
What was mine was yours too.
I know them days done pass and gone
And I know that life must carry on
But if I must join in with the pack
Then I going back, I going back. Yeah, yeah.

Back to the old time days
Back to them old time ways
I know everything must change
But I still love the old time days.

Yes, bring back the old time days
Bring back them old time ways
I know everything must change
But I still love the old time days.

Uhmmm... Bring it back, bring it back
Just bring it back
Uhmmm... Bring it back, bring it back.

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, Nappy Mayers! I feel the same way.

"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!
Guanaguanare

Graf Zeppelin [Song]


Uploaded by grjoseph

GRAF ZEPPELIN
By Atilla the Hun

One Sunday morning I chanced to hear
A rumbling and a tumbling in the atmosphere
One Sunday morning I chanced to hear
A rumbling and a tumbling in the atmosphere
I ran to stare, people were flocking everywhere
Gesticulating and gazing and pointing in the air
It was the Graf Zeppelin which had come to pay a visit to Trinidad.

I gazed at the Zeppelin contemplatively
And marvelled at man’s ingenuity
The whirring of the engines was all I heard
As it floated in the air like some giant bird
And in between as the mighty airship gleamed
The pilot and the sailors and the passengers were seen
They were waving little flags which they had heralding their visit to Trinidad.

I gazed and the knowledge came back to me
How wonderful the work of man can be
To see that huge object in the air
Maintaining perfect equilibrium in the atmosphere
Wonderfully, beautifully, gloriously
Decidedly defying all the laws of gravity
Was the Graf Zeppelin which had come to pay a visit to Trinidad.

As I gazed at the Zeppelin something touched my hand
I turned and saw an old, decrepit ------- man
He said to me pointing at the Zeppelin
"Massa, can you tell am what is that thing?
Me feel to bawl, for me can't understand at all
He have nothing hold him up dey and still he never fall."
He was speaking of the Zeppelin that had come to pay a visit to Trinidad.

Another verse sung elsewhere:

The visit of the Zeppelin will ever be
Indelibly impressed in my memory
Such a sight I'd never seen before
I gazed at it in consternation and awe
I chanced to hear a big, fat woman said, "Me dear!
Not for a million dollars I wouldn't go up in the air!
They may talk about modernity
But I think that the ground good enough for me."

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!
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

Exploiting [Song]

King Selewa's version uploaded by mistou98

EXPLOITING
Performed originally by Caresser (Rufus Callender) (1938)

Note:The following lyrics are the original lyrics sung by Caresser and not those of the rendition by King Selewa.

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus, so baby,

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

I want to go roaming around the world,
I mean touching all seas from north to south pole,
To Greenland, Finland, Iceland and all,
Then to Niagara water falls, so darling,

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

Yes, to every isthmus, to every lake, you could believe,
I want to be like Sir Francis Drake,
Vasco Nunez, Vasco De Gama,
And Columbus who ‘discovered’ America, so baby.

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

Even like Lord Nelson, I’d like to be,
I mean the ruler of the air, the land and the sea,
To acquire power wherever I go,
Like Don Antonio de Berrio, so darling,

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

Then I’ll be famous like Wellington,
Or our first Governor, the great Chacon,
I mean the Himalayan mountains, I’ll even score,
Then see the Nawab of Singapore, so baby,

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

I don’t mind if I am all alone
But I’ll take the chance through the Canal Zone
And then through the deserts in Sahara
To see my grandparents in Africa, so darling,

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

Then every school child will be taught the name
Caresser, who acquired unrivalled fame
Even bolder and more courageous
Than the old man Christopher Columbus, so darling,

Buy me a Zeppelin, dou-dou darling,
Buy me a Zeppelin, you could believe,
Or a steamboat and then I must,
Be an exploiter like Columbus.

Source: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/rosenber/lit4188spring%202004/exploiting.jpg

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A Note From The Gull


Thank you, King Selewa! I absolutely love your rendition of this classic by Caresser. Something about that seductive violin weaving its way in the background throughout the song, and as if down to us through time, introduces a note that borders on tragedy. "What is joke for schoolboy is death for crapaud." What will be the impact of Caresser's exploits? What are the consequences of exploration for both the explorer and the explored? For me the song suggests something beyond nostalgia - a mix of fantasy, hubris, a restriction/limitation that must be escaped, a fate that cannot be avoided.

He, like Columbus, is asking another person to buy him the zeppelin which will allow him to make his dream a reality. Catherine of Aragon must have heard a similar whining in her ear. That repetition of "Buy me a zeppelin, buy me a zeppelin" adds another plaintive layer. I associate this song not simply with wanderlust or healthy interest in exploring the world. I wonder also about the use of the word 'exploiter'. Is he using it in the sense of someone who performs many heroic exploits or someone who explores in order to exploit.

When you hear these words, it is clear that he is very interested in winning fame and power through these "exploits":

"Even like Lord Nelson, I’d like to be,
I mean the ruler of the air, the land and the sea,
To acquire power wherever I go,
Like Don Antonio de Berrio, so darling,"

"Then I’ll be famous like Wellington,
Or our first Governor, the great Chacon,
I mean the Himalayan mountains, I’ll even score,
Then see the Nawab of Singapore, so baby,"

"Then every school child will be taught the name
Caresser, who acquired unrivalled fame
Even bolder and more courageous
Than the old man Christopher Columbus, so darling,"

Just beautiful, King Selewa! I love hearing your interpretations. Because you approach this music as someone from outside of our way of seeing and hearing, you allow us to uncover additional facets.


"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!
Guanaguanare

Spoiler's Return [Poem]

SPOILER'S RETURN
By Derek Walcott (1981)
(For Earl Lovelace)

I sit high on this bridge in Laventille,
watching that city where I left no will
but my own conscience and rum-eaten wit,
and limers passing see me where I sit,
ghost in brown gabardine, bones in a sack,
and bawl: "Ay, Spoiler, boy! When you come back?"
And those who bold don't feel they out of place
to peel my limeskin back, and see a face
with eyes as cold as a dead macajuel,
and if they still can talk, I answer: "Hell."
I have a room there where I keep a crown,
and Satan send me to check out this town.
Down there, that Hot Boy have a stereo
where, whole day, he does blast my caiso:
I beg him two weeks' leave and he send me
back up, not as no bedbug or no flea,
but in this limeskin hat and floccy suit,
to sing what I did always sing: the truth.
Tell Desperadoes when you reach the hill,
I decompose, but I composing still:

I going to bite them young ladies, partner,
like a hot dog or a hamburger
and if you thin, don't be in a fright
is only big fat women I going to bite.

The shark, racing the shadow of the shark
across clear coral rocks, does make them dark --
that is my premonition of the scene
of what passing over this caribbean.
Is crab climbing crab-back, in a crab-quarrel,
and going round and round in the same barrel,
is sharks with shirt-jacs, sharks with well-pressed fins,
ripping we small-fry off with razor grins;
nothing ain't change but colour and attire,
so back me up, Old Brigade of Satire,
back me up, Martial, Juvenal, and Pope
(to hang theirself I giving plenty rope),
join Spoiler' chorus, sing the song with me,
Lord Rochester, who praised the nimble-flea:

Were I, who to my cost already am,
One of those strange, prodigious creatures, Man,
A spirit free, to choose for my own share,
What case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I hope when I die, after burial,
To come back as an insect or animal.

I see these islands and I feel to bawl,
"area of darkness" with V. S. Nightfall.

Lock off your tears, you casting pearls of grief
on a duck's back, a waxen dasheen leaf,
the slime crab's carapace is waterproof
and those with hearing aids turn off the truth,
and their dark glasses let you criticize
your own presumptuous image in their eyes.
Behind dark glasses is just hollow skull,
and black still poor, though black is beautiful.
So, crown and mitre me Bedbug the First --
the gift of mockery with which I'm cursed
is just a insect biting Fame behind,
a vermin swimming in a glass of wine,
that, dipped out with a finger, bound to bite
its saving host, ungrateful parasite,
whose sting, between the cleft arse and its seat,
reminds Authority man is just meat,
a moralist as mordant as the louse
that the good husband brings from the whorehouse,
the flea whose itch to make all Power wince
will crash a fête, even at his life's expense,
and these pile up in lime pits by the heap,
daily, that our deliverers may sleep.
All those who promise free and just debate,
then blow up radicals to save the state,
who allow, in democracy's defence,
a parliament of spiked heads on a fence,
all you go bawl out, "Spoils, things ain't so bad."
This ain't the Dark Age, is just Trinidad,
is human nature, Spoiler, after all,
it ain't big genocide, is just bohbohl;
safe and conservative, 'fraid to take side,
they say that Rodney commit suicide,
is the same voices that, in the slave ship,
smile at their brothers, "Boy, is just the whip,"
I free and easy, you see me have chain?
A little censorship can't cause no pain,
a little graft can't rot the human mind,
what sweet in goat-mouth sour in his behind.
So I sing with Attila, I sing with Commander,
what right in Guyana, right in Uganda.
The time could come, it can't be very long,
when they will jail calypso for picong,
for first comes television, then the press,
all in the name of Civic Righteousness;
it has been done before, all Power has
made the sky shit and maggots of the stars,
over these Romans lying on their backs,
the hookers swaying their enormous sacks,
until all language stinks, and the truth lies,
a mass for maggots and a fête for flies;
and, for a spineless thing, rumour can twist
into a style the local journalist --
as bland as a green coconut, his manner
routinely tart, his sources the Savannah
and all pretentions to a native art
reduced to giggles at the coconut cart,
where heads with reputations, in one slice,
are brought to earth, when they ain't eating nice;
and as for local Art, so it does go,
the audience have more talent than the show.

Is carnival, straight Carnival that's all,
the beat is base, the melody bohbohl,
all Port of Spain is a twelve-thirty show,
some playing Kojak, some Fidel Castro,
some Rastamen, but, with or without locks,
to Spoiler is the same old khaki socks,
all Frederick Street stinking like a closed drain,
Hell is a city much like Port of Spain,
what the rain rots, the sun ripens some more,
all in due process and within the law,
as, like a sailor on a spending spree,
we blow our oil-bloated economy
on projects from here to eternity,
and Lord, the sunlit streets break Spoiler's heart,
to have natural gas and not to give a fart,
to see them line up, pitch-oil tin in hand:
each independent, oil-forsaken island,
like jeering at some scrunter with the blues,
while you lend him some need-a-half-sole shoes,
some begging bold as brass, some coming meeker,
but from Jamaica to poor Dominica
we make them know they begging, every loan
we send them is like blood squeezed out of stone,
and giving gives us back the right to laugh,
that we couldn't see we own black people starve,
and, more we give, more we congratulate
we-self on our own self-sufficient state.
In all them project, all them Five-Year Plan,
what happen to the Brotherhood of Man?
Around the time I dead it wasn't so,
we sang the Commonwealth of caiso,
we was in chains, but chains made us unite,
now who have, good for them, and who blight, blight;
my bread is bitterness, my wine is gall,
my chorus is the same: "I want to fall."
Oh, wheel of industry, check out your cogs!
Between the knee-high trash and khaki dogs
Arnold's Phoenician trader reach this far,
selling you half-dead batteries for your car;
the children of Tagore, in funeral shroud,
curry favour and chicken from the crowd;
as for the Creoles, check their house, and look,
you bust your brain before you find a book,
when Spoiler see all this, ain't he must bawl,
"area of darkness," with V. S. Nightfall?
Corbeaux like cardinals line the La Basse
in ecumenical patience while you pass
the Beetham Highway - Guard corruption's stench,
you bald, black justices of the High Bench --
and beyond them the firelit mangrove swamps,
ibises practising for postage stamps,
Lord, let me take a taxi South again
and hear, drumming across Caroni Plain,
the table in the Indian half hour
when twilight fills the mud huts of the poor,
to hear the tattered flags of drying corn,
rattle a sky from which all the gods gone,
their bleached flags of distress waving to me
from shacks, adrift like rafts on a green sea,
"Things ain't go change, they ain't go change at all,"
to my old chorus: "Lord, I want to bawl."
The poor still poor, whatever arse they catch.
Look south from Laventille, and you can watch
the torn brown patches of the Central Plain,
slowly restitched by needles of the rain,
and the frayed earth, crisscrossed like old bagasse,
spring to a cushiony quilt of emerald grass,
and who does sew and sow the patch the land?
The Indian. And whose villages turn sand?
The fishermen doomed to sticking the huge net
of the torn foam from Point to La Fillette.

One thing with hell, at least it organize
in soaring circles, when any man dies
he must pass through them first, that is his style,
Jesus was down here for a little while,
cadaverous Dante, big-guts Rabelais,
all of them wave to Spoiler on their way.
Catch us in Satan tent, next carnival:
Lord Rochester, Quevedo, Juvenal,
Maestro, Martial, Pope, Dryden, Swift, Lord Byron,
the lords of irony, the Duke of Iron,
hotly contending for the monarchy
in couplets or the old re-minor key,
all those who gave earth's pompous carnival
fatique, and groaned "O God, I feel to fall!"
all those whose anger for the poor on earth,
made them weep with a laughter beyond mirth,
names wide as oceans when compared with mine
salted my songs, and gave me their high sign.
All you excuse me, Spoiler was in town;
you pass him straight, so now he gone back down.

Source: http://social.chass.ncsu.edu/wyrick/DEBCLASS/walsp.htm
..............................................................................................................................



A Note From The Gull


Thank you, Derek Walcott!

"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!
Guanaguanare

Lend A Hand [Song]

Listen to Mighty Sparrow's "Lend A Hand" courtesy Grooveshark.
[Link will open in new window.]

LEND A HAND
The Mighty Sparrow

Now is the time to rebuild
Make up your mind to climb the hill
It's reconstruction time in Trinidad
So put your shoulders to the wheel, mih lad
Move on, don't stop 'til you reach the top.

Chorus:
You put a hand and I put a hand and we will see
For big and for small, in no time at all, prosperity
There's no other way to do it, show your patriotic spirit
Unity, somehow, if Trinidad ever needed you, it's now.

Trinidadians one and all, hear my plea, answer my call
The peace and happiness we had before
Was lost with everybody fighting war
Let's hope that done, so move on . . . upwards.

Chorus:
You put a hand and I put a hand and we will see
In no time at all, for big and for small, prosperity
There's no other way to do it, show your patriotic spirit
Unity, somehow, if Trinidad ever needed you, it's now.

Forget political policy and political ties
And rebuild your Country before the good name dies
If everyone will learn to play their part
That is enough to make a useful start
Soon we'll have had a better Trinidad.

Chorus:
You put a hand and I put a hand and we will see
In no time at all, for big and for small, prosperity
There's no other way to do it, show your patriotic spirit
Unity, somehow, if Trinidad ever needed you, it's now.
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

One Day Of Prayer [Song]

ONE DAY OF PRAYER
Performed by Singing Sandra
Composed by Christophe Grant (2004)

[Ah beggin mih country
Oh oh, ah beggin sweet T&T]

No, this cyah be my country
No, not sweet T&T
The good old days, the old-fashioned ways
Tell me, where did they go?
We’ve grown so callous, so cold
Oh Lord, mih country done lost its soul
There’s too much pain, our knees we must stain
Come on Trinbago!

That is why I calling for one, one day of prayer
All we need is one, one day of prayer
Just to reverse this blight, this curse
That hangs upon us.
Oh, tell me sweet Jesus
It should be all through the year
But I will settle for one, one day of prayer
So that we could see back in T&T
Peace and harmony. Oh, somebody hear me.

No, this cyah be my people
Causing so much trouble
With so much church steeple, mosque
mandir and temple all over mih land
But there is no value, no value to life
Oh Lord, intolerance, yes, it’s rife
Life we disrespect,
Noboby doh check for dey fellow man

But to save mih land ah beggin
One, one day of pray
All we need is one, one day of prayer
Just to dispel these clouds,
This hell that dwell among us
Oh, to stop all the chaos
It should be weekly I swear
But I go settle for one, one day of prayer
So that we could see here in T&T
Love and unity. Tell me, do you agree with me

Blessed by the Almighty
So much natural beauty
Caves to coral reef, it is past disbelief
Yes, from coast to coast
But on envy, envy and hate
On all these ugly things we concentrate
As if we are blind to the things divine
For which we should toast

Put aside for the most
Ah pleading, one, one day of prayer
All we need is one, one day of prayer
To meditate, to concentrate the ties that bind us
Ah beggin, hear me sweet Jesus
We doh face no hurricane,
No natural disasters, no war, no pain
We should all agree, God bless T&T
Why de misery? Tell me, tell me. Somebody tell me.

Oh, come together now! One day of prayer!
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

How Yuh Feel? [Song]

HOW YUH FEEL?
Performed by Funny

Trinidadians and Tobagonians
This land belong to everyman
And since we got Independence
It means hard work for you and me
Independence means unity
It means you got to fight
It means we need co-operation
Fight with all yuh might
It means if yuh have to work
Work yuh fingers to the bone
It means that yuh on yuh own.

Chorus:
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?
Yuh feel yuh put yuh shoulders to the wheel?
Yuh feel yuh perspire and achieve?
Yuh feel yuh clean up the mess?
Yuh feel yuh could stand up proud and say yuh feel that yuh did yuh best?
Yuh feel that we just keep moving on or backing back on we heel?
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?

Independence means productivity
Yuh must produce to build the economy
It means we facing stormy weather
And the burning heat altogether
Independence doh mean fete with big-big celebration
It means that we are one people building a nation
It means if you are asleep, wake up from yuh sleep
It means what yuh sow you shall reap.

Chorus:
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?
Yuh feel is joke we joking or for real?
Yuh feel we work hard and we produce?
Yuh feel that things going fine?
Yuh feel we reaping the benefits?
Or yuh feel we on the decline?
Yuh feel exporting was really good and we make the proper deal?
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?

A multi-racial society
With every creed and race living in unity
The mecca of steelband and calypso
We could be proud of anywhere we go
We must set an example for the children to follow
For they are the future leaders, children of tomorrow
And if we don't maintain the ship, the ship is going to sink
For a chain is as strong as its weakest link.

Chorus:
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?
Yuh feel we have things covered and well seal?
Yuh feel that them leaders pave the way?
Yuh feel that we produce champs?
Yuh feel that honesty was a must?
Or yuh feel was a set ah scamps?
Yuh feel that things looking shaky to fall?
Or we standing solid like steel?
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?

A blessed Country that's rich with oil
And much more produce coming from the soil
with beautiful women with skin like spice
And sweet Tobago a tourist paradise
We got men and women with brain, people with integrity
Plenty skill and constructivity, we got the ability
And nowadays, my friends, we must be smart
For a fool and his money will soon part.

Chorus:
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?
Yuh feel the facts was reveal or concealed?
Yuh feel financially things was good?
Yuh feel money was well spent?
Yuh feel the people responsible could account for every cent?
Yuh feel that justice was really done?
Or yuh feel you could appeal?
Twenty five years have gone, how yuh feel?

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!
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

Our Model Nation [Song]


Uploaded by cool4rocknrool

OUR MODEL NATION
Performed by The Mighty Sparrow

The whole population of our little nation in not a lot
But oh! what a mixture of races and culture
That's what we've got
Still no major indifference
Of race, colour, religion or finance
It's amazing to you I am sure
That we didn't get Independence before.
Which means...

Chorus:
Trinidad and Tobago will always live on
Colonialism gone, our Nation is born...everybody
We go follow our leaders
They always do their best,
Oh yes, we want to achieve, we going to aspire
We bound to be a success.

It is a miracle all these difference people can dwell so well
You see we are educated to love and forget hatred
You know, you know is so
You people who are foreign
Ah got a message to give you when you going
Spread the word anywhere you pass
Tell the world there’s a model nation at last.
Which means...

Chorus:
Trinidad and Tobago will always live on
Colonialism gone, our Nation is born
We go follow our leaders
They always do their best,
We want to achieve, I mihself go aspire
We bound to be a success.

The revenue we make from oil and Pitch Lake is great, but wait
We got cocoa and copra, banana and sugar, coconuts, citrus
We may be small but we wealthy
Pound for pound we'll beat New York City
We got beaches and hotels built by Hilton
Our Nation ent second to anyone.
Wey yuh talking?

Chorus:
Trinidad and Tobago will always live on
Colonialism gone, our Nation is born
We go follow our leaders
They always do their best
In order to achieve, you got to aspire
And we bound to be a success.

You may not believe this but we didn't achieve this with floods of blood
It is leaders like Butler, Cipriani and the Doctor
They fight for what is right
So now I’m congratulating
All our leaders from the present
Back to the beginning
They have fought, now the battle is won
Thanks for a good job and well done.
Everybody!

Chorus:
Trinidad and Tobago will always live on
Colonialism gone, our Nation is born
We go follow our leaders
They always do their best, oh yes
In order to achieve, ah know we got to aspire
And we bound to be a success.

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!
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

A Job For The Hangman

By Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena

...now take your responsibility seriously....
hang with expediency
hang this legislation for its impropriety
hang the legacy of slavery and indentureship
hang high the ruling parasitic oligarchy
hang the injustice of being in prison
awaiting execution two decades...
hang the plan to empower the sterile
legal vultures of these plantation economies....
hang the banana,
hang the cocoa,
hang the bauxite,
hang sugar cane,
hang tourism,
hang money laundering,
hang offshore banking,
now take your responsibility seriously...
hang with expediency
hang the archaic state of prisons,
be it trinidad, barbados, jamaica or grenada
hang quickly the temptation to ignore
amnesty international...
now take your responsibility seriously
hang the truth up high that the issue
is not only the death penalty but human rights...
hang police brutality
accept the reality that the causes of crime
must be addressed
for the homeless, poverty-stricken, naked and hungry
must not be overlooked...
hang unemployment
now take your responsibilty seriously...
hang with expediency
hang the inability to protect the fishing industry
from pirates or even banditry
execute immediately the notion of nationals
(whether trini or guyanese)
have the right to pollute the orinoco delta
with their drug an’ gun runnin’ activity...
now take your responsibility seriously
hang with expediency
hang this legislation for its impropriety
hang the legacy of slavery and indentureship
hang until dead this system of neo-colonialism .
....now take your responsibility seriously....
then we can begin to discuss
NATIONAL UNITY....

© Copyright 1997 – Roi Kwabena
Reprinted with kind permission of the author.

Revelations [Poem]

REVELATIONS
By TheGlassHermitage

The people who should aren't talking
The people who shouldn't are loud
The people who can aren't fighting
The people who won't are cowed.
The people who are bad seem lovely
The people who are good aren't nice
The people who are wise are wobbly
The people who are fools don't think twice.

There's a long road to march to our freedom
And the marchers are all lying low
The people who are dreamers want action
The people who act are too slow.

There's a long road to march to our freedom
When the ways of our gods we will know
But our angels are falling from heaven
And our demons are starting to glow.

© 2003 - TheGlassHermitage

Blowing In A Random Breeze [Poem]

BLOWING IN A RANDOM BREEZE
By Amryl Johnson (1944 – 2001)

Whitewash the face of hunger
When all the features have been removed
paint on the smile, the laughing eyes
Show the tourists what they want
But not too close
Behind the grinning façade are slums
which rob the people of all dignity

A fan screen blowing in a random breeze

The trail of dust which sifts
up to the dirt road leads to where the earth
is stone and breaks the hoe. The seeds
cannot be coaxed in rain which
does not come
You walk away with callous
hands, defeat

A fan screen blowing in a random breeze

The fishing boats come in
The sea has drawn a seal between itself and them
There is nothing to be said
Each man goes down to drown in silent thought
The only movement is their eyes which stray
towards the mouths of disappointed
family and friends

A fan screen blowing in a random breeze

This is no door which swings half
off its hinges and yet protects you still
This is the worm-holes of decay and rot
It creaks with every stir you make
groans with every breath you take
moans with every current of air
trapped by your weary feet
In a random breeze it fans the overflowing
cesspit of poverty and want

In a random breeze it weeps

Published in “Long Road To Nowhere” London: Virago, 1985.
Source: http://www.oxfordwomen.co.uk/Book/amryl.htm

Chief Hyarima Mourns The Oppression Of His People [Play]

CHIEF HYARIMA MOURNS THE OPPRESSION OF HIS PEOPLE
By F.E.M. Hosein

Hyarima: -
Ye Mountains, Valleys, Hills and Dales of my
Own native land where I was born and bred
T’enjoy the freedom of a mighty Chief
As heretofore my ancestors have done,
What evil hap is this which brings us all
Thus low to serve as menials to a foreign
King who lives across the ocean wide
And does not come to see and know his people!
Was it ordained, decreed and even settled
That the children of thy woods and forests
Should be extirpated and their names
Forever blotted out and made extinct?
If so by whom or what! Repugnant thought!
Which heats my blood up to the boiling point
Where savage slaughter seems the only vent
For pent-up feelings long and hard repressed!
The freedom of this land in valleys, mountains
Hills and dales was given me by my father
And the tribe of which I’m chief and champion
And must I cringe and bow to strangers
Who have hither come from heaven knows where
With no more right than what a conquering sword
Confers? I would be false to birth and station
Did I not seek by force of arms or guile
To drive the haughty band of torturers
Back to the sea from whence they came unbidden.
This is my firm resolve, to do or die,
And may the spirit of my ancestors
Imbue me with the courage not to yield
Till I have overcome or died in the attempt.

Source: Hyarima and the saints: a miracle play and pageant of Santa Rosa by F.E.M. Hosein, 1931.
Find the entire play at Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink

..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare

Portrait of Trinidad [Song]


Uploaded by Kerry Gibbons

PORTRAIT OF TRINIDAD
The Mighty Sniper (Mervyn Hodge)

Trinidad is my land, and of it I am proud and glad
But I can't understand why some people does talk it bad
But I know, all of dem wey running dey mouth
Don't know wey dey talkin 'bout
They would paint here black here every day
And the right things they would never say.

Like our sportsmen being rated among the best
Our scholars have sit and passed every test
And put us right 'longside the rest
But then our Pitch Lake is the greatest one of its kind
Our sugar and oil is really refine
So you see friends, this is a real King Solomon's mine.

They does talk some nonsense,
Me ain't know wey they doing it for
'Bout so much violence,
Man, you would swear that we fighting war
Of course, we have we delinquents to face
But just like any other place
Look, the things they does say 'bout here
Is really too much for me to bear.

Because my people are daily making progress
Without any form of stupidness
And in this way, we must gain success
For when we moving, we all move as one body
No bickering between you and me
For our policy stands for racial equality.

Now when a stranger spending a little time in this lovely isle
Every day you see him, he always have a hearty smile
And when his time is up to depart
He would say with pride in heart
I'll be back, you could bet your life
And if I can't come, I go send my wife.

And then he'll tell you, he really wants her to come
To drink some rum and have plenty fun
In this great island in the sun.
For Trinidadians, as foreigners do recall
It doesn't matter whether big or small
Or if you rich or poor,
Friends, we cater for one and all.

So all of dem wey talking
They either drunk or they staring mad
Or maybe they forgetting Mr. Universe belongs to Trinidad
And yet, we have men of talent and skill
With high hopes of improving still
And if you think all this is a lie, the Mighty Sniper go tell you why.

Now, our steelband is the best talent in the world
By calypsos our stories are told
With its rhythm to touch your soul
So, Trinidad, this lovely land of my birth
Small, but overwhelming in worth
And as you know Carnival is the greatest frolic on earth.


Performed by Aldwin Albino | Uploaded by IsDePaAnInMe

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!
..............................................................................................................................
"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!
Guanaguanare