Jahaji Bhai | Brotherhood of the Boat [Song]

Uploaded by rasadam

By Brother Marvin (1996)

Kumayayo Zindaweyo Kumayay Zindawey Ayayo

I am the seed of mih father, he is the seed of mih grandfather
Who is the seed of Bahut Ajah [great grandfather], he came from Calcutta
A stick and a bag on he shoulder, he turban and he kapra
So I am part seed of India, India.
The indentureship and the slavery bind together two races in unity [Achcha dosti - good friend]
There was no more Mother Africa, no more Mother India, just Mother Trini [Janmabhumi - homeland]
My Bahut Ajah planted sugarcane down in the Caroni plain
Ramlogan, Basdeo, Prakash and I, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai.

I would be a disgrace to Allah if I choose race, creed or colour
Bahut Ajah had to make that journey for I to have Zindagee [life]
So it is a great privilege to have such unique heritage
Fifty percent Africa, fifty percent India, India
I have "do chuttee" two holidays Emancipation and Arrival Day [Anth bhala to sab bhala" - all's well that ends well ]
Since Fatel Razack made the journey 150 years gone already [Bahut achcha -very good]
Whether you're Hindu, Muslim or Christian, let's walk this land hand in hand
We could only prosper if we try a Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai

Kumayayo Zindaweyo Kumayay Zindawey Ayayo Kumayayo Zindaweyo

O mera dost mera saathi [O my friend, my companion]
Chal tahalna ek matt agal bagal.... [let's stroll together side by side]

For those who playing ignorant talking 'bout true African descendant
If yuh want to know de truth take ah trip back to yuh root
And somewhere on that journey, yuh go see ah man in a dhoti
Saying he prayers in front of a jhandi, jhandi
Then and only then you'll understand what is ah cosmopolitan nation [Haat melawo - let's join hands]
There's no room for prejudice at all, united we stand, divided we'll fall [Bete baat ko garro - child, pay heed to what I'm saying]
So to all races here in Trinbago Aapko kalyan ho dhaniaho [May you be blessed, may you prosper]
Let us live as one under the sky, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai

Kumayayo Zindaweyo Kumayay Zindawey Ayayo Kumayayo Zindaweyo

O mera dost mera saathi [O my friend, my companion]
Chal tahalna ek matt agal bagal.... [let's stroll together side by side]

Extra verse sung in this rendition:

Indo and Afro Trinbagonians, we should learn to be one
Our ancestors came by boat, is de salt water in we throat
--------------------, mih great grandpa and grandmama
One was a slave and one was indentured, indentured
But the religion neither colour didn't interfere
With their love for each other, Nani Nani
I am proof of racial unity and that is the way everyone should be [achcha ----] Everyone should have each one in their prayer
Let's show each other we care
As we all know -------------------------, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai
Brotherhood of the boat, Jahaji Bhai

Kumayayo Zindaweyo Kumayay Zindawey Ayayo Kumayayo Zindaweyo

O mera dost mera saathi [O my friend, my companion]
Chal tahalna ek matt agal bagal.... [let's stroll together side by side]

Source: Mobilizing India with edits and additions. 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, Brother Marvin. I am dedicating this song to all Trinbagonians and especially to Dr. Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena (23/7/1956 - 9/1/2008) Opposition Senator, 13 January, 1992 - 4 January, 1994, who I imagine is smiling today.

We had discussed once how much we liked this song, Jahaji Bhai, noting that some who identified as African objected to the lines which seem to negate the claim to being a "true African descendant". Although I understood the objection, I had seen it from the perspective that if we are all brothers, if we all come from the same human root, we would find each other if we looked back along the lines to our common point of origin. I remember also how, with a grin in his writing, Roi had coined "Brotherhood of the Pirogue" to describe the experience of the Amerindians in the Americas and Caribbean.

"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!


wsteffie said...

Beautiful song ( music and lyrics), thank's for sharing.
I aree, we're all are brother's and sister's and do have the same origin. Race is a social construct,as there is only one human race wich is made up of a lot of different ethnic groups.

Guanaguanare said...

Wsteffie, I accept your comment on behalf of Brother Marvin.

I also believe that race is a social construct and over the years I have noted with interest the different reactions to that statement. It is certainly NOT popular with all. Apart from those who benefit from the construct, there are even persons who have been severely discriminated against because of their "race" who have objected to what they see as an attempt to negate and homogenise.

Perhaps if I were "racially" "pure" (another myth) I too might have had difficulty distancing myself from the label of my "race" but fortunately my ancestors, like Brother Marvin's, had been inspired (and forced) to jump over so many barriers - geographical, religious, class, ethnic - and had survived the attrition and lessons of time and exile and loss and recreation to bring me to this point and this understanding. For that I am grateful.

People can and do look at us and try as hard as they can to find a label that fits but the day will come when they will have to invent a wonderful new "racial" category for people who cannot or will not be labelled. "Human Beings" might work!

I also have fun wondering how "race" will stand up once alien beings enter the mix. That will be well beyond my time, but Brother Marvin's message is with us and so are the voices of all the thoughtful musicians/singers, writers and the grateful people who benefit from listening.

Thank you Wsteffie. I always appreciate your visits and comments.

wsteffie said...

Greetings to you brother G:-)
Sorry for being late, but in the last weeks I limited my internet activity to just news, email and twitter.
That statement is certainly not popular over here with the far right, on the other hand we also do have plenty of ignorant people over here. They think what they have not experienced or seen must not exist.
We can't choose our DNA or nationality, but we do have a
choice as to how we see and interact with other human beings.Living in a culturally divers neighbourhood and interacting with people from different cultures in real life and on the internet is beneficial as well as entertaining.It helps me to shape my views and it also gives me reason to hope.
Please know that I do not only come here for the entertainment(music), your wisdom I do equally appreciate.
You have me cracking up with the alien mix:-)

Guanaguanare said...

Thank you for your visiting and commenting. Although I did miss your visits, please don't apologise for that. Right now, for instance, I am taking a similar break from commenting on local politics. I have another blog where I write about those things among other topics, and I had to shut it down temporarily to give my heart a break. The site analytics showed that among the hundreds of visits pouring in to the blog, only about three were from T&T. That got me even angrier because I was only writing for and on behalf of Trinbagonians. I just had to calm down and tell myself that if Trinbagonians are happy, then I must be happy too. I will reopen the blog eventually but I am removing all my protest posts to another site, a sort of "trouble blog" where I can spew all the angst and forget about it. When I took on the persona of the equanimous laughing gull I didn't realise that a name - "the laughing gull" could exert pressures of its own. Perhaps I should be grateful. It curbs my increasingly frequent leanings towards enraged raptor bird.

So that's why you should never apologise for taking a break. We all need a break from something or some things every now and again, for our own sakes and for the people with whom we interact. By the way, I am not at all wise. If I were, I would keep my trap shut and just share hugs, flowers and smiles.

Anyway, I am happy to hear from you and I do like and support your outlook. In response to your observation that there are plenty of ignorant people where you are, I was just about to add that there are plenty ignorant people all over the world, but then I bit my tongue. I am in the process of convincing myself that what is ignorance to one man is intelligence to another.

About aliens, I wrote something on that other blog about the Catholic Church's recent growing interest in extraterrestrial life. I always wonder what impact aliens will have on us when contact is made (assuming that they have not been among us from the beginning.) LOL

wsteffie, whatever you come to this blog for, I'm just glad that you come. In the end it is your companionship that I value above all else, not your reading or even agreeing with what I say. Tell me more about you and your experiences. Life is short and it might be that we spend too much of it trying to pin it down and understand it. In the meantime, music rescues me. As I was saying about the latest post "Sing for the land" by Black Stalin, this song put its arms around me and reminded me, when I needed most to be reminded, of what is important.

wsteffie said...

Okay, let's make a deal: I will stop apologizing, but only if you promise not to bite your tongue or shut your trap.:-) Your other blog sounds interesting. Have you considered that some of those hits might have been from Trinbogonians that migrated somewhere else?

I can relate to your anger, I do not get angry, but rather frustrated about the news. I did read the T&T news up until the election. Now It's European and US news as well as a few blogs. Even though I do read a variety of publications, I still feel misinformed. I guess it's because that the few individual media owners just feed us their political view (which is not necessarily bound to truth).

Breaks are good, but overall balance sounds even better to me. As for the truly ignorant people, I'm not worried about them as they can be educated. What worries me tough are the willful ignorant or hateful people.

Oh and I do believe that for some ignorance is bliss.:-)

I'm quiet ignorant myself, but I'm willing to learn. Interacting with people is even more beneficial for me since books do not answer questions.:-) One day that will be different I'm sure.
have to be honest and let you know that your mentioning the Catholic Church's interest in extraterrestrial life immediately popped a question into my mind: "They're running out of Altar-Boys?" I do realize of course that not every priest is a paedophile, but from the looks of it, the Catholic Church sure was cursed with them. Rethinking celibacy might be a good start.

According to Stephen Hawking we should avoid contact with Aliens as they might want to raid earth for its resources. Guess they better hurry up before we destroy them ourselfes. Then again, there are times when I do feel like Aliens are already here.

Guanaguanare said...

Wsteffie, Thanks for visiting and commenting. Apologies for the delay with this reply. I've been taking a break and I feel much better as a result. I suspect that like me or any other human being you must be ignorant of some things but I wouldn't say that you are ignorant, as you certainly do not cultivate ignorance. Yes, some of the readers could have been Trinbagonians of the diaspora but I wanted to talk with the ones back home.

You made me laugh out LOUD with that joke about the aliens. That alone will probably earn me an extra ten years in Purgatory but what's an additional ten years when I must have accumulated about five hundred already just for my thoughts. Thanks anyway, I really needed that laugh. Yes, I am quite aware that not every priest is that way inclined, just like every person who is not a priest is not that way inclined. I don't set priests above the reality of their being human. But as long as that activity is criminal in the wider society, it should be exposed and punished within the priesthood also. Somehow, I don't think that it's the celibacy issue that will solve that particular problem. There are many priests who do have private relationships with adults, whether heterosexual or homosexual and they struggle (or have lost the struggle) with that vow of celibacy. I don't consider those criminal acts and I congratulate them on embracing life and also for not preying on children. What I would like to see explored is whether there is something about the culture of the priesthood which attracts paedophiles. Unless the research says that for most of these offenders, paedophilia is a substitute for the adult relationships that the vow of celibacy denies them, then I find the situation truly alarming because the next conclusion has to be that the priesthood has been in the past, and still is, an attractive vocation for paedophilies.

About Stephen Hawking's warnings, what if WE are the "resources" the aliens will be after. The countless animals that we've tortured for their flesh and other materials over the centuries will enjoy the poetic justice. Hee hee. I laugh in advance with them.

Oh, wsteffie, I wasn't sure if you wanted the other comment published so it will remain unpublished until you tell me otherwise. Thanks so much though for sharing a little bit about yourself, very interesting! I totally agreed with what you said about liars. I also have big problems with public officials who lie about matters which affect the public, especially when it is done to cover up the harm that has been, or is about to be, done to citizens.
Have a great weekend!