Tag Archives: Aleph 4

Verse and Vision: Sing of those Days

La Cienaga, Dominican Republic (Hilda Castillo) From Aleph 4

Doh stop de music

Let de banjo play

Beat de tamboo until it cry     (drum)

Give my old bones a chance to dance

one more time to yesterday’s tunes

Sing chantwel of the days of old         (female singer)

Sing of the sweetness…the sweetness of life

When children their parents did obey

when youngsters threw fists

instead of reaching for guns

Sing chantwel, sing it I say

Sing of those days…those days of old

When for a good time all you needed was friends

A good night of krik krak                        (call and response to Creole folk tale)

a good game of mamou poul

right under the Julie mango tree

did the soul just fine

Sing chantwel, sing it again

Sing of those days

oh those beautiful days

when fiksyon and bush tea                (home made ointment)

put doctors to shame

when walking miles to fetch water

invited conversations and built community

Chantwel, don’t you stop singing I say

of the days when there was lanmou in marriage         (romantic love)

not Irene today and Lucy tomorrow

Not show me the money or kiss me goodbye

Sing, Sing, Sing

Sing that beautiful song

Let me feel it once more

river water kissing my toes

and the cocoa tree’s shadow

hand in hand with the light of the flambeau     (torch)

as the crayfish gets away in the stillness of the night

Chante chantwel; chante…chante      (Sing!)

of the taste of roast breadfruit, saltfish and oil

all washed down with some dlo coco                          (coconut  water)

Organic to taste, organic to quality

Sing…sing…sing..sing it chantwel…

sing of those days when fair Helen was blessed

Sing not of tomorrow

don’t you sing that song

sing of today for we live for today

our young bones

tap tapping to the beat of the dancehall

Kissing each moment for it may be our last

No fears…No worries…

Can’t you sing about that?

We live by the sword and we die by the sword

Don’t sing that sad tune of the days of old

when the sun was witness

to old backs toiling all day

Chantwel, change that tune

to a song of today

when liming and theatres                      (hanging out)

is our idea of a date

no time for a gyal

who wants to act like a lady

Sometimes it is best when we just keep it moving

Sing chantwel…sing my song…

Sing of creations

creations by man

sing of machines that

better our lives

and put our brains to rest


Sing of those…those days…those days…

those days when bliss caressed the soul

—Lervan Atticot (Johnny)


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