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Yes m'dear

Posted by The man 
The man
Yes m'dear
February 07, 2006 09:32AM
LOUISE BENNETT
Yes M' Dear - Miss Lou Live (Island)

"If you did hear what Aunty Roachy say..."
Winston Hussey (1983)

"The greatest comedian Ranny and Miss Lou..."
Peter Metro (1983)

This long time gal me never see you, come mek me hol' you han'. Peel head John Crow sit dung pon treetop pick off de blossom, mek me hol' you han' gal, mek me hol' you han'.

Alright, alright, alright, wait on deh lickle. Now y'see that is the Jamaican welcome song: come mek me hol' you han'. You have to welcome me, I welcome you. Alright, alright, yes dear, but I don't want to hear anybody say "come let me hold your hand". Y'see? Because we gwine pile up the culture. Eh eh. No bother wid dat.

Now my chile I have to tell you a few things. Y'see when I said peel head John Crow sit dung pon treetop pick off de blossom, you know what I mean. Well massa, I gwine tell you what it mean. Because most Jamaican people will know fe we have peel head John Crow. Barbajan people won' know. No massa, because you know how some Barbajan people did come a Jamaica one time and when them see the peel head John Crow you don' know: "Jamaican turkey does fly high". Oh my child! So y'see, this peel head John Crow he's really a vulture. So he doesn't pick blossoms, peel head John Crow don't eat blossoms at all. You know weh vulture eat! So when I say peel head John Crow sit dung pon treetop pick off de blossom, what a situation, what an unusual t'ing! what an impossible thing. I never thought we would have met me darling, come hol' me han'...

For my Aunty Roachy say when the Asian culture and the European culture back up on African culture in the Caribbean people, we stir them up and blend them 'til we flavour, we shake them up and move them 'til we beat, we wheel them and we turn them and we rock them and we sound them and we temper them and last the rhythm sweet. Yes m' dear.

So then we don't need to shame o' the t'ings at all, at all... Like my Aunty Roachy say she vex anytime she hear any people a come style fe we Jamaica language as "corruption" o' the English language. You ever 'ear anything go so? Aunty Roachy say she no know wha' make them no call the English language corruption of the Norman French or the Greek and the Latin when them say English is derived from! Oono hear the word? English derive but Jamaica corrup'. No massa that no go so.

Plenty of the words them in a fe we language weh them tell we seh a corruption are good good African word that come from a nice African language name twi. A one good language. And mek me tell you missus, y'see all word like bankra, eh eh a twi that, a basket. And when we say nyam and them gwan like when you say nyam you a talk bad. Hum. A one good word. Eh eh, food and eat and all them things there. Yow! Oh man, like fenky fenky and pia pia an su su and seh seh and cuss cuss...

So we nah 'ave fe shame at all, at all... For my Aunty Roachy say the whole thing that happen, when the English forefathers them was a try fe muss and bound the African ancestors them fe chat so so English, but the African ancestors them pop them. Yes sir. For them disguise up the English in a the African in such a way that them still couldn't understand it. Listen now man. And up 'til today although plenty o' we Jamaican word them got English in a it, no Englishman he can't understand wha' we a say if we no want them understand. A true!

Lawks I tell you chile! Hear the foo foo gal. Yes m' dear.

Penny Reel - originally published in New Musical Express
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