The Stick Man: How Can We Keep From Singing?

Uploaded by IsDePanInMe

By Mighty Zandolee

Well a female stick-player named Winnie living Sangre Grande
She put an ad on the Guardian, she say “Open competition”
She is the best stick-player in Grande and she playing anybody
And so I walk on she Carnival day to see if she could really play
Well we carré down in the back of the alley, only me and she
I fall on mih knees and I charge she the first bois under she belly
She breaks the bois and she back back, watch me fix in mih eye and laugh
I get delirious and I charge she three in succession…
Mih wood break in half.

You could imagine how I feeling shame to see Zando loss he flame
Now mih wood break in the centre and she laughing “Kyah, kyah, kyah!
Now if you see how Zandolee crawling on mih knees and perspiring
But I pick up a piece a string in a drain so I tie up mih wood and carré again
Now I jam she on a bois cano fencing, she started to bawl
But in the excitement she raise the bois so I back ’til I stumble and fall
Then she stand up over me and she charging, this time, poor Zando in the drain
So I charge she a bois to dig out she liver…
Mih wood break again!

It was getting late in the evening and people start gathering
So an old stick man name Joe Pringay lend me a stick to play
Now I charging like if I crazy and she only backing from me
She say, “I didn’t know you coulda play stick so?
Oh mih lord oh, beg pardon, Zando!
Now she scramble onto the bois with she two hand, playing tug of war
I say, “Leggo, leggo, leggo woman, what you doing that for?
Well it slip out she hand and she fall in agony, begging me to stop
I say, “Wood make you bawl, wood make you fall, is wood to make you get up!

Now that was the end of the competition and people voicing their opinion
Now they declare me the winner of the stick fight games
So Winnie bow down she head in shame
They say the only solution is to tender your resignation
She say she know she get bois but she ent mind
She break mih wood twice so she could resign
Now a Chinee doctor from Barbados named Doctor Kimlan
Was the chairman of the competition so he genuflect and shake mih hand
And when I think is a trophy I go get fuh mih prize, you will be surprised to hear
Is a ring he put put on mih wood with a medal mark “Wood Man of the Year.”

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are 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

The subtitle for this post "How Can We Keep From Singing" was inspired by the hymn "How Can I Keep From Singing?" which was composed by American Baptist minister, Robert Wadsworth Lowry, in 1860.

"My life goes on in endless song
Above earth's lamentations
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the truth, it liveth
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?"

Music and singing come so easily to us and despite everything, in the absence of even a reason for doing so, a song is given, a song is received, something is communicated, spirits are lifted. I love this music that springs eternal. I love the songs about our lives and experiences, especially the songs that sweep aside the gloom more effectively than any medication or words of wisdom and consolation.

The original intention of this blog was to include only songs which have as their subject "Trinidad and Tobago" but I want now to include the Trinbagonian songs that, for whatever reason, make me grin, chuckle, laugh out loud. These are the songs that make me feel that it is good to be alive, that leave me in awe over the true calypsonian's genius in being able to spin gold from the straw of our everyday lives.

Thanks to many persons including IsDePanInMe, who share our music with the world via YouTube, I have been enjoying the videos of live performances. I cannot understand why it is that before I met them on the Internet, I did not know anything about calypsonians like Black Prince and Zandolee. How many other Trinbagonians are like me and how many other calypsonians still await discovery by me.

How can they keep from singing? How can I keep from listening and singing their praises?

Thank you to all true calypsonians in the here and now and in the hereafter.

"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!