Folk Songs

Before Me Married

Before me married an go hug up mango tree

Me we live so me one

Before me married an go hug up mango tree

Me we live so me one

A jus month before las de gal Liza married

An she magha yu see

Everynight a she one deh a yard

She nuh see im till daylight

An poor Liza, er husband nuh give er a cent

An she ha fe pay de rent

She ha fe fine money fe buy food and clothe

An fe mine di pickney Rose

Me say before mi married an go bite me finga

Me we live so me one

Me say before mi married an go bite me finga

Me we live so me one

Me say before mi married an go bite me finga

Me we live so me one

Me say before mi married an go bite me finga

Me we live so me one

 

Bad Mind People

Chorus: I don’t know, I don’t know why some people bad minded so

     I don’t know, I don’t know why some people bad minded so

If you hol’ yuh head in de air dem sey you fasty and fresh me dear

And if yu friendly wid dem mi love, dem sey a dry yaws yu waan fi scrub

If yu got nuff money fe spen, dem sey a tief yu tief it an den,

If yu bruk and out a yu luck, dem sey a witless whey mek yu bruk

If yu single and by yu self, bad minded people sey yu pan shelf

And if yu married yu mek big catch, or else de two a oono no match

If yu fat an yu looking well, bad minded people sey yu da swell

An if yu maga and looking t’in, dey sey consumption a ride yu skin

If yu dress up and wear good clothes, bad minded people sey yu a pose

And if one day yu no change yu frok, dem call yu poting and naked back

If yu go church a Sunday time, dem sey a axe yu da try fe grind

And if yu stay home an take a rest, dem sey poor hypocrite im a confess

Chorus: I don’t know, I don’t know why some people bad minded so

     I don’t know, I don’t know why some people bad minded so

 

A Weh Yu Ben Deh

A weh yu ben deh gal, mek me no get nuh tea

A weh yu ben deh gal, mek me no get nuh tea

Me go a gully, me go a gully

Me go a gully, mek yu no get no tea

A weh yu go fa gal, mek me no get nuh tea

A weh yu go fa gal, mek me no get nuh tea

Me go fe wata, me go fe wata

Me go fe wata, mek yu no get no tea

Wah mek yu tan long gal, wen yu go a gully

Wah mek yu tan long gal, wen yu go a gully

Me cyan talk a tall, me cyan talk a tall

For weh me go do i’ sweeter dan de tea

 

Mango Time

Me no drink cawfee tea, mango time

Care how nice it maybe, mango time

At de height of de mango crop

When de fruit dem a ripe an drop

Wash yu pot, tun dem down, mango time

Mek we go mango walk, mango time

Far its only de talk, mango time

Me we jump pon de big jackass

Ride him dung an tap a pass

For de bankra mus full, mango time

Turpentime large an fine, mango time

Robin mango, so sweet, mango time

Number eleven and hairy skin

Pack de bag an a ram dem in

Mek de bes a de crop, mango time

Me no drink cawfee tea, mango time

Care how nice it maybe, mango time

At de height of de mango crop

When de fruit dem a ripe an drop

Wash yu pot, tun dem down, mango time

 

When Goat Meat Done

When goat meat done, den a weh curry da go do

When goat meat done, den a weh curry da go do

Curry cook de meat, curry cook de bone, cook de goat skin too

Curry cook de meat, curry cook de bone, cook de goat skin too

When goat meat done, den a sheep meat we ha fe do

When goat meat done, den a sheep meat we ha fe do

Curry cook de meat, curry cook de bone, cook de sheep skin too

Curry cook de meat, curry cook de bone, cook de sheep skin too

When Mary gawn, den a weh Charlie da go do

When Mary gawn, den a weh Charlie da go do

Mary cook de food, Mary wash de clothes, stretch a dollar mek two

Mary cook de food, Mary wash de clothes, stretch a dollar mek two

When Mary gawn, den Charlie wi look fe Sue

When Mary gawn, den Charlie wi look fe Sue

And i’ Sue should go, dere is always Flo, Sarah, Jane and Lue

And i’ Sue should go, dere is always Flo, Sarah, Jane and Lue

When Mary gawn, den a weh Charlie da go do

When Mary gawn, den a weh Charlie da go do

 

Dip an Fall Back

Chorus: Dip an fall back, dip an fall back

 My advice there is nothing nice

  Like the dip an fall back

Now when the war was ovah an everything was scare

An man was experimenting wid tings to fill dem space

We had a lot of food, but de meat was out a stock

So to get a blen, we recommend de dip an fall back

Some people call it ‘dasheen’, some call it ‘fill mi up’

Some call it ‘rock an fall back’ but mi call it ‘full mi gut’

But how di ting so sweet, and how it mek yu fat

Jus buy a tack an larn fe cook de dip an fall back

Yu get a shad or herring, an put it dung fi soak

Get a bone dry coconut, yu doan need no pork

Yu grater dung de coconut, an put it on fe bwile

Till de custard start sekkle dung pan de coconut ile

Now yu tek de shad or herring, an put in on fe steam

Wid de peppa, tomatis, skellion until it form a cream

Now stew beef or mackerel, herring, pork or sprat

Can be so sweet, when yu start fe eat de dip an fall back

Yu crush de bwile banana an yu eat it wid de dip

Get a mug a bebrige an so yu dip yu sip

And if de war should come yah, an bum begin fed rap

A would a face a tank or a long range gun fi mi dip an fall back

Mass John sey ‘tek mi lan, tek mi mule and tek mi dray

Tek mi married wife an me tree sweetheart away

Tek away mi house an tek way mi burial spot

But don’t skylark or a bus yu head

Fi mi dip an fall back.

 

Mi Caffi

Chorus: Mi caffi, mi caffi, mi caffi, mi caffi

   Mi bowl a bwiling caffi in de mawning

 I cares for none a dese, de only ting for me

      Is mi bowl a bwiling caffi in de mawning

Some people likes de chaaclet

Some people likes de tea

Some people drinks sugar an water

An some de lemonade

But I cares for none a dese

De only ting for me

Is mi bowl a bwiling caffi in de mawnin

At de sunrise I gets up

Every mawnin dry or wet

So as nevah to be lated

For de work I had to do

I generally says mi prayers but sometimes I forgets

But mi always drinks me caffi in de mawnin

Sometimes I has it gran

Wid mi ackee an saltfish

Me yellah heart breadfruit

Ripe pear an coconut ile

But wah me mine does gi mi fah

More betta dan de res

Is me caffi wid a gil bread in de mawnin

I is a ole woman now

An does often punish hard

But I has seen mi good days

An I mus satisfy

I can still hole togeda

An still praise de lawd

If only a gets mi caffi in de mawnin

 

Win de Sweepstake

Chorus: Win de sweepstake, win de sweepstake

Every murmur was do me lawd, me a win de sweepstake

Me go a Knutsford Park on de las big sweepstake day

Me nevah really know dat some people could a pray

But when de horse dem line up an de drum begin fi roll

Every murmur was do me lawd, mek a win de sweepstake

One woman buy one ticket and carry go a obeah man

She sey Massa Herman me wan yu fe undastan

Me wan fi win de sweepstake so me come before it late

A gi yu half or non at all if a win de sweepstake

Mass Herman tek de ticket an push i in a wall

Im sey fe forty-one day yu nuh fe eat at all

Eat a farthin fine salt every mawnin as yu wake

Drink nuh wata eat notin at all an yu win de sweepstake

 

De Ribba Ben Come Dung

De ribba ben come dung, de ribba ben come dung

De ribba ben come dung and me couldn come ova

Chorus: Wah oh, wah oh, wah oh an how you come ova

Me look in a de wata, me look in a de wata

Me look in a de wata, see grangi, grange

Me get piece a dealboard, me get piece a dealboard

Me get piece a dealboard me trow i pan de wata

Me jump pan de dealboard, me jump pan de dealboard

Me jump pan de dealboard, me jump pan de banking

Chorus: Wah oh, wah oh, wah oh an how you come ova

Me glad yu come ova, me glad yu come ova

Me glad yu come ova de dutty wata

Wah oh, wah oh, wah oh, me glad yu come ova.

 

Rio Grande

I was raftin on de Rio Grande oho

Me an me Uncle Benjie oho

We buck pan one big rock stone

An de raft tun ova o

Oho! Oho! Oho!

When yu raffin on de Rio Grande oho!

Don’t go wid Uncle Benjie oho!

For him buck pan one big rock stone

An de raft tun ova o

Oho! Oho! Oho!

 

Guava Root

Guava root a medicine

Guava root a medicine

Guava root a medicine

Fi go cure de young gal feva.

Courtesy of JCDC