Skip to main content

Full text of "Jamaican Song and Story: Annancy Stories, Digging Sings, Ring Tunes, and ..."

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book lhal w;ls preserved for general ions on library shelves before il was carefully scanned by Google as pari of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

Il has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one thai was never subject 

to copy right or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often dillicull lo discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher lo a library and linally lo you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud lo partner with libraries lo digili/e public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order lo keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial panics, including placing Icchnical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make n on -commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request thai you use these files for 
personal, non -commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort lo Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each lile is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use. remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 

countries. Whether a book is slill in copyright varies from country lo country, and we can'l offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through I lie lull lexl of 1 1 us book on I lie web 
al |_-.:. :.-.-:: / / books . qooqle . com/| 




%he JfoUt-JCort .Staittj) 

3x Bubik €\nh. 




Alter ct Id bid. 





















11 A few brief yean have passed away 

Since Britain drove her million slaves 
Beneath the tropic's fiery ray : 
God willed their freedom; and to-day 

Life blooms above those island graves ! " 


{tablishtb for tht dfxrlk-Jare gocitfy J>g 





Introduction (Alice Werner), 
Author's Prepack, 






1. Annancy and Brother Tiger, 7 

2. Yang-Kyum-Pyung, - - 11 

3. King Daniel, 14 

4. Tomby, 16 

5. How Monkey manage Annancy, 20 

6. Blackbird and Woss-woss, - 23 

7. The Three Sisters, - 26 

8. William Tell, - 29 

9. Brother Annancy and Brother 

Death, .... 31 

10. Mr. Bluebeard, 35 

11. Annancy, Pass and Ratta, - 38 

12. Toad and Donkey, 39 

13. Snake the Postman, 43 

14. Doba, 46 

15. Dry-Bone, 48 

16. Annancy and the Old Lady's 

Field, 51 

17. Man-Crow, 54 

18. Saylan, 58 

19. Annancy and Screech-Owl, - 60 

20. Annancy and Cow, - 63 

21. Tacoma and the Old- Witch 

Girl, ... 65 

22. Devil's Honey-Dram, - - 68 

23. Annancy in Crab Country, - 70 

24. Gaulin, 73 

25. Annancy, Monkey and Tiger, 77 

26. The Three Pigs, 79 

27. Dummy, 84 

28. Annancy and Candlefiy, - 86 

29. Parson Puss and Parson Dog, 91 
3a Chicken- Hawk, 94 

31. Pretty Poll, - 96 

32. Annancy and Hog, . 98 

33. Dry-River, .... 100 

34. Yellow Snake, - - 102 

35. Cow and Annancy, - - 104 

36. Leah and Tiger, - - 108 

37. Timmolimmo, - - -114 

38. Calcutta Monkey and Annancy, 117 







39. Open Sesame, 

40. Sea-Mahmy, 

41. Crab and his Corn-piece, 

42. Dry-Grass and Fire, 

43. John Crow, - 

44. Tiger's Death, 

45. The Old Lady and the Jar, 

46. John Crow and Fowl- Hawk, 

47. Finger Quashy, • 

48. Annancy and his Fish-Pot, 

49. Hog and Dog, 

50. Devil and the Princess, 

51. Wheeler, 






■ft A ^*W 


52. Oh hurrah, boys ! 


70. Gold, amber gold, 


53. Ho biddybye, 


71. Gee oh mother Mac, - 


54. Tell Mr. Linky, - 


72. Leah married a Tuesday, 


55. Tell Mr. Bell, 


73. Cheer me oh 1 


56. Bad homan oh ! - 


74. Me cock a crow, - 


57. Bell a ring a yard oh ! - 


75. Oh Selina ! - 


58. The one shirt I have, - 


76. Sambo Lady, 


59. Jessie cut him yoke, 


77. John Thomas, 


60. Tree acre of Cahffee, - 


78. Wh£ mumma d£ ? 


61. Away, away, 


79. Toady, .... 


62. Wednesday morning before 

80. Me know the man, 


day, .... 


81. Minnie, .... 


63. Oh Samuel oh ! - 


82. You want to yerry Duppy talk, 


64. Oh 'lixa oh ! 


83. Me know Sarah, - 


65. Aunty Mary oh ! - 


84. Me donkey want water, 


66. Oh me yerry news ! 


85. A Somerset me barn, - 


67. Jes' so me bam, - 


86. Timber lay down 'pon pit, - 


68. Tell Mary say, - 


87. Me want go home, 


69. Me tell them gall, 


88. War down a Monkland, 






Little Sally Water, - 

- 190 



Poor Little Zeddy, 

- 191 



WW me lover de* ? 

- 192 


Ring a diamond, 

- 194 



Carry Banana, 

' 195 



Pass the ball, - 

- I96 



Me los' me gold ring, 

" 197 



Old mother Phoebe, - 

" 197 



- 198 

1 10. 


Me go da Galloway Road, 

" 199 



Rosybel, - 

- 200 



Bull a pen ho ! - 

- 20I 



Two man a road, 

- 20I 



Adina Mona, 

. 202 




- 203 





Mother Freeman, 

Me have me goosey a me 

yard, - 205 

Drill him, Constab ! - - 205 

If you make him come out, 206 

Oh me Toad oh ! - - 207 
There's a Black boy in a 

ring, .... 207 

Johnny, .... 209 

Me lover gone a Colon bay, 209 
Good morning to you, mother, 210 

Johnny Millar, - - 211 

Bahlimbo, - 212 

Ohdenjacky, - - - 214 

Ha, ha, ha, ha I - • 214 



17. When I go home, 

18. Guava root a medicine, - 218 

19. Crahss-lookin' dog up'tairs, 218 
[2a Goatridge have some set a gal, 219 
(21. Me carry me akee a Linstead 

market, .... 219 

[22. Since Dora Logan, • 220 

[23. Fire, Mr. Preston, Fire ! - 221 

[24. Tiefcahffee, - - - 222 

125. Fan me, soldierman, - - 223 

[26. Manny Clark, - - - 224 

[27. Bungo Moolatta, - - 225 

[28. Bahl, Ada, - 225 

[29. Rise a roof in the morning, 226 

[3a Oh we went to the river, - 227 

[31. Aunty Jane a call Minnie, - 228 

[32. Marty, Marty, - 228 
[33. What make you shave old 

Hall? - 229 

[34. Run, Moses, run, - 230 

[35. Wheyoudado? - 231 
[36. Mother William, hold back 

Leah, .... 232 

[37. Oh, General Jackson ! - 233 

[38. Soldier, da go 'way, - - 234 
[39. Don't cry too much, Jamaica 

g*U 234 

[40. Dip them, .... 235 

[41. Very well, very well, - - 235 

[42. Oh trial ! - 236 
[43. Father, I goin' to join the 

confirmation, - - 237 

[44. Oheah down d6, - - 239 
[45. The other day me waistcoat 

cut, .... 240 
[46. All them gal a ride merry- 
go-round, • -241 
[47. Merry-go-round a go fall 

down, .... 242 

[48. Try, dear, don't tell a lie, - 243 

[49. Look how you mout', - - 244 
[50. Breezy say him no want 

Brown lady, - - - 245 


- 217 


51. Isaac Park gone a Colon, - 245 

52. Matilda de 'pon dyin' bed, 246 

53. Mas 1 Charley, - - - 247 

54. Me buggy a sell, - 247 

55. Oh 'zetta Ford, gal, - - 248 

56. Birdyzeena, - 249 

57. Me an' Katie no 'gree, - 249 

58. Down-town gal, - - - 249 

59. Sal, you ought to been ashame, 250 

60. Good morning, Mr. Harman, 250 

61. Hullo me honey ! - - 251 

62. When mumma dere, - - 252 

63. Ohjillyoh! - - - 253 

64. James Brown, you mahmy 

call you, .... 253 

65. When I go home, - - 254 

66. Feather, feather, feather, - 254 

67. Quaco Sam, - - 256 

68. Anch a bite me, - - - 257 

69. Me know one gal a Cross 

Road, .... 257 

70. Moonshine baby, - - 258 

71. I have a news, - 259 

72. Once I was a traveller, - 260 

73. Oh me wouldn' bawl at all, - 261 

74. You take junka 'tick, - - 262 

75. Yellow fever come in, - • 262 

76. Jimmy Rampy, - - - 263 

77. Susan, very well why oh ! - 264 

78. Bahss, Bahss, you married 

you wife, - - - - 264 

79. Blackbird a eat puppa corn, 

oh ! 265 

80. Me da Coolie sleep on Piazza, 265 

81. NottyShaw, - - - 266 

82. You worthless Becca Watson, 267 

83. Since the waggonette come in, 267 

84. Them Gar'n Town people, - 268 

85. Young gal in Jamaica, take 

warning, ... - 270 

86. Me no min de a conceit, - 270 

87. Complain, complain, complain, 27 1 

88. I can't walk on the bare road, 271 



DANCING TUNES— Continued. 

189. Come go da mountain, 
19a Amanda Giant, - 

191. Last night I was lying on 

me number, 

192. Me lassie, me dundooze, 




193. Mister Davis bring somet'ing 

fe we all, - - - - 

194. A wh6 the use, - 

195. Quattywort* of this ! - 

196. Mahngoose a come, 





Appendix : 

A. Traces of African Melody in Jamaica — C. S. Myers, - 

B. English Airs and Motifs in Jamaica — L. E. Broad wood, 


Pages 3 and 5, page-heading, for Introduction rtad Annancy Stories. 


Mr. Jzkyll's delightful collection of tales and songs from 
Jamaica suggests many interesting problems. It presents to us 
a network of interwoven strands of European and African 
origin, and when these have been to some extent disentangled 
we are confronted with the further question, to which of the 
peoples of the Dark Continent may the African element be 
attributed ? 

The exact relationship between the "Negro "and Bantu races, — 
which of them is the original and which the adulterated stock 
(in other words, whether the adulteration was an improvement 
or the reverse), — is a subject quite beyond my competence to 
discuss. It seems certain that the Negro languages (as yet 
only tentatively classified) are as distinct from the singularly 
homogeneous and well-defined Bantu family, as Aryan from 
Semitic. Ibo, at one end of the area, has possible Bantu 
affinities, which await fuller investigation; the same thing has been 
conjectured of Bullom and Temne at the other end (Sierra 
Leone); but these are so slight and as yet so doubtful that 
they scarcely affect the above estimate. 

The difference in West Coast and Bantu folk-tales is not so 
marked as that between the languages ; yet here, too, along with 
a great deal which the two have in common, we can pick out 
some features peculiar to each. And Mr. JekylTs tales, so far as 
they can be supposed to come from Africa at all, are not Bantu. 
The name of "Annancy" alone is enough to tell us that. 

Annancy, or Anansi is the Tshi (Ashanti) 1 word for "spider" ; 
and the Spider figures largely in the folk-tales of the West Coast 

1 Fanti is a dialect of this language, which is variously called Twi, Chwi, 
Otyi, and Ochi. 

x Jamaican Song and Story. 

(by which we mean, roughly, the coast between Cape Verde 
and Kamerun), while, with some curious exceptions to be 
noted later on, he seems to be absent from Bantu folk-lore. 
His place is there taken by the Hare (Brer Rabbit), and, in 
some of his aspects, by the Tortoise. 

We find the " Brer Rabbit " stories (best known through Unck 
Remus) in the Middle and Southern States of America, where a 
large proportion, at any rate, of the negro slaves were imported 
from Lower Guinea. Some personal names and other words 
preserved among them (e.g. " goober " = nguba, the ground-nut, or 
" pea-nut n ) can be traced to the Fiote, or Lower Congo language ; 
and some songs of which I have seen the words, 1 look as if 
they might be Bantu, but corrupted apparently beyond recognition. 

But the British West Indies would seem to have been chiefly 
supplied from Upper Guinea, or the "West Coast" proper (it 
really faces south, while Loango, Congo, etc, are the "South- West 
Coast " — a point which is sometimes puzzling to the uninitiated). 
Among the tribes to be found in Jamaica, Mr. Jekyll tells me 
are the Ibo (Lower Niger), Coromantin (Gold Coast), Hausa, 
Mandingo, Moko (inland from Calabar), Nago (Yoruba), and 
Sobo (Lower Niger). 

Mr. Jekyll furnishes a bit of confirmatory evidence in the 
list of names (p. 156) given to children according to the day 
of the week on which they are bom. These are immediately 
recognizable as Tshi. As given in Christaller's Dictionary of the 
Asante and Fante Language called Tshi (1881), the boys' names 
are identical or nearly so (allowing for the different systems of 
spelling) with those in Mr. Jekyll's list. They are: Kwasi, 

1 One is given by Mr. G. W. Cable in the Century Magazine, xxx. 820, as a 
Louisiana Voodoo song : 

Heron mande 1 , tigui li papa, H£ron mand£, dose" dan godo. 

Another by Mr. W. £. Burghart Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk, 
p. 254 — apparently a lullaby : 

Doba na coba gene me, gene me ! 
Ben d' nu li, nu li, nu li, nu li, bend'le. 

I can make nothing of these. In the latter case, uncertainty as to the 
phonetic system adopted complicates the puzzle. One might be tempted to 
connect the last two words with Zulu endhle or pandhU= outside, — but I can 
find nothing else to support this resemblance, and such stray guesses are 
unprofitable work. 

Introduction. xi 

Kwadwo, Kwabena, Kwaku, Kwaw (or Yaw), Kofi, Kwame. 
(Mr. George Macdonald, in The Gold Coast Past and 
Present, gives Kwamina, instead of Kwame, probably owing 
to a difference of dialect. The girls' names are less easily 
recognizable, but a careful scrutiny reveals the interesting 
fact that in some cases an older form seems to have been 
preserved in Jamaica. Moreover, the sound written w by Christ- 
aller approaches that of b, which seems to be convertible with 
it under certain conditions, all the girls' names being formed 
by means of the suffix ba — z. child. Conversely, ekpo in the 
mouth of a West Coast native sounds to a casual ear like ekwo. 

Akosuwaf = Akwasiba] = Quashiba. 

Adwowa = Jubba. (Cf. dw = dj in " Cudjo "). 

Abeua = Cubba. 

Akuwa = Memba. 

Ya [ = Yawa]«Abba. 

Afuwa = Fibba. 

Amma [ = Amenenewa] = Beniba. 

The boys' names have "Kwa" { — akoa, a man, slave) 
prefixed to that of the day, or, more correctly speaking, of its 
presiding genius. These latter are: Ayisi, Adwo, Ben2, Wuku, 
Yaw, Afi, Amin. The names of the days appear to be formed 
from them by the omission of the initial A (where it exists), and 
the addition of the suffix da, with some irregularities, which no 
doubt a fuller knowledge of the language would explain: Kwasida, 
Dwoda, Benada, Wukuda, Yawda, Fida, Memeneda (Meminda). 
The week of seven days does not seem to be known else- 
where in Africa, except as a result of Moslem or Christian 
influence. The Congo week of four days is puzzling, till one 
remembers that it, too, rests on a division of the lunar month : 
7x4 instead of 4 x 7. 1 

The Tshi, Ewe and Yoruba languages are genderless, like 
the Bantu. (The word ba has come to mean " a daughter " when 
appropriated as a suffix to feminine names; but, properly, it 
seems to mean "a child" of either sex.) This fact explains 
the appearance of such personages as " Brother Cow " (see also 
Mr. Jekyll's note on p. 107), and the wild confusion of pronouns 

1 R. E. Dennett, Folklore of the Fjort, p. 8. 

xii Jamaican Song and Story. 

sometimes observed : " Annancy really want that gal fe marry, 
but he couldn' catch him." — "When the gal go, him go meet 
Brother Death," — etc. 

The few words given as "African" by Mr. Jekyll seem to be 
traceable to Tshi. "Massoo" (pp. 12, 13) is md so = to lift. 
Afu ("hafoo," "afoo," p. 18) is not in Christaller's Dictionary, 
except as equivalent to "grass," or "herbs' 1 ; fufu is a food 
made from yams or plantains boiled and pounded ; perhaps there 
is some slight confusion. Nyam is not "to eat," but en&m is 
Tshi for "meat," as nyama (in some form or other) is in every 
Bantu language. The nonsense-words in the songs may be 
corrupted from Tshi or some cognate language, but a fuller 
knowledge of these than I possess would be necessary in order 
to determine the point. 

Transplanted African folk-lore has a peculiar interest of its own, 
and one is very glad to find Mr. Jekyll doing for Jamaica what 
Mr. Chandler Harris, e.g. has done for Georgia. But the 
African element in the stories before us is far less evident than 
in "Uncle Remus," and is in many cases overlaid and inextricably 
mixed up with matter of European origin. At least eleven out of 
the fifty-one stories before us can be set down as imported, 
directly or indirectly, from Europe. I say directly or indirectly, 
because an examination of Chatelain's Folk-tales of Angola and 
Junod's Chants et Contes des Baronga shows that some tales, 
at any rate, have passed from Portugal to Africa. Such are 
La fille du Roi (Ronga), which is identical with Grimm's The 
Shoes that were danced to pieces, and with the Slovak-gypsy story 
of The Three Girls (Groome, Gypsy Folk-tales, p. 141). But 
in the absence of more detailed and direct evidence than we 
yet possess, it would be rash to assume that they have passed 
to America by way of Africa, rather than that they have been 
independently transmitted. 

The eleven stories above referred to are : II. Yung-kyum-pyung, 
III. King Daniel, VI. Blackbird and Woss-woss, X. Mr. Blue- 
beard, XVII. Man-crow, XVIII. Saylan, XXI. Tacoma and the 
Old-witch Girl, XXVI. The Three Pigs, XXXI. Pretty Poll 
(another version of III.), XXXIX. Open Sesame (variant of VI.), 
VII. The Three Sisters. But some of these, as I hope to show 
presently, also have genuine African prototypes, and it is a question 

Introduction. xiii 

how far these fading traditions have been amalgamated with 
fairy-tales told to the slaves by the children of their European 
masters. The last named is one of a small group of tales (VII., 
XXIV., XXXIV., L.) which I cannot help referring to a common 
African original. 

By far the greater number of the stories in this book, whether, 
strictly speaking, "Annancy stories" or not, come under the 
heading of animal-stories, and are of the same type as " Uncle 
Remus,'' Junod's " Roman du Lifcvre," and numerous examples 
from various parts of Africa. It will be remembered that, in 
most of these, the difference between animals and human beings 
is not very clearly kept in view by the narrators. As M. Junod 
says, "Toutes les b&tes qui passent et repassent dans ces curieux 
recits repr6sentent des gtres humains, cela va sans dire. lis 
sont personnalis6s par un proc£d6 linguistique qui consiste k 
mettre devant le nom de l'animal un pr^fixe de la classe des 
homines." (This is a point we must come back to later on.) 
"Ainsi mp/oundla, le li&vre ordinaire, devient dans le contes 
Noua-mpfoundla .... La Rainette, c'est Noua-chinana, l'£l£- 
phant, Noua-ndlopfou .... Leurs caract&res physiques particuliers 
sont presents devant l'imagination du conteur pour autant qu'ils 
donnent du pittoresque au r6cit. Mais on les oublie tout aussi 
ais£ment dfes qu'ils ne sont plus essentiels k la narration." This 
feature constantly meets one in Bantu folk-lore: the hare and 
the elephant hire themselves out to hoe a man's garden; the 
swallow invites the cock to dinner and his wife prepares the 
food, in the usual native hut with the fireplace in the middle 
and the nsanja staging over it; the hare's wife goes to the 
river to draw water, and is caught by a crocodile; the tortoise 
carries his complaint to the village elders assembled in the smithy, 
and so on. M. Junod seems to me to overrate the conscious 
artistic purpose in the narrators of these tales : the native mind 
is quite ready to assume that animals think and act in much 
the same way as human beings, and this attitude makes it easy 
to forget the outward distinctions when they appear as actors 
in a story. No doubt this haziness of view is increased by 
the popular conception of metamorphosis as a possible 
occurrence in everyday life. When, as has more than 
once been the case, we find men firmly believing, not 

xiv Jamaican Song and Story. 

only that they can, under certain circumstances, turn into 
animals, but that they actually have done so, we may expect 
them to think it quite easy for animals to turn into men. 

The prefix given by the Baronga to animals, when they are, 
so to speak, personified in tales, may seem a slight point, but 
it is not without interest The Yaos in like manner give them 
the prefix Che {Che Sungula, the Rabbit, Che Likoswe, the 
Rat, etc.), which, though usually translated "Mr.," is of 
common gender and used quite as often in addressing women 
as men. In Chatelain's Angola stories the animals sometimes 
(not always) have the honorific prefix Na or Ngana, "Mr."; 
the latter is sometimes translated "Lord." In Luganda folk- 
lore the elephant (enj'ovu) is called Wa Njovu. In Zulu, Ucakijana 
(to whom we shall come back presently) is the diminutive form 
of icakidC) the Weasel, put into the personal class. I do not 
recall anything similar in Nyanja tales, but cannot help con- 
necting with the above the fact that animals, whatever class 
their names may belong to, are usually treated as persons in 
the tales. Not to be unduly technical, I would briefly explain 
that njobvu (elephant) and ngona (crocodile) would naturally 
take the pronoun /, but in the stories (and, I think, sometimes 
in other cases) they take a, which belongs to the first, or personal 
class. Now, the reader will notice how often the animals in 
the stories before us are distinguished as "Mr." or "Bro'er" 
(cf. pp. 20, 23, 31, 86, etc.), though the Jamaica people seem 
to be less uniformly polite in this respect than Uncle Remus. 
"Brer Rabbit" is so familiar as to be taken for granted, as a 
rule, without further question ; but, years before he had become 
a household word in this country, we find a writer in Lippincotfs 
Magazine* remarking, "The dramatis persons are honoured 
with the title Buh, which is generally supposed to be an abbrevia- 
tion of the word J brother/ but it probably is a title of respect 
equal to our c Mr.'" The "but" seems hardly called for, since 
both assertions are seemingly true. We might also compare 
the Zulu u Cakijana (1st class), who is human or quasi-human, 
while i-eakide (2nd class) is the name for the Weasel. 

1 December, 1877, p. 751. The article is one on " Negro Folk-lore," by 
W. Owens, and contains several stories, some of these independent versions 
of " Uncle Remus" tales, while others are not to be found in that collection. 

Introduction. xv 

Annancy, then, is the Spider, and as such he is conceived through- 
out the folk-lore of West Africa. If he seems, as he continually 
does, to take on a human character, going to Freetown to buy 
a gun and powder (Cunttie Rabbit, p. 282), or applying to a 
"Mory man" for amulets (ib. p. 139), he only behaves like 
all other animals, as explained above. A Temne authority (ib. 
p. 93) maintains that "Spider was a person" in old times, and 
did not look the same as he does in these days, " he done turn 
odder kind of thing now." But this looks like an attempt at 
rationalising the situation, possibly in response to European 
inquiries. The change of shape alluded to at the end of the 
Temne Tar-baby episode is comparatively a minor matter: he 
was formerly "round lek pusson," but became flattened out 
through the beating he received while attached to the Wax 
Girl. In the Gold Coast stories, too, Anansi is quite as much 
a spider as Brer Rabbit is a rabbit; but in Jamaica, though 
he still retains traces of his origin, they are somewhat obscured — 
so much so that Mr. Jekyll speaks (pp. 4-5) of the " metamorphic 
shape, that of the Spider," which he assumes, as though the 
human were his real form, the other only an occasional disguise. 
In "Annancy and Brother Tiger" we And that he has to "run 
up a house-top " to escape the revenge of the monkeys, which 
accounts for some of his habits to this day. In "Yung-kyum- 
pyung" (a version of Rumpchtilzchen^ or Tom Tit Tot\ the 
only hint of his spider character is contained in a mere allusion 
(quite external to the story) to his "running 'pon him rope." 
In "Brother Death," Annancy and all his family cling to the 
rafters, hoping to escape from Death ; but it scarcely seems in 
character that they should be incapable of holding on long. 
They drop, one after another, Annancy last (p. 33). He is 
always in danger from Cows (p. 107): "Anywhere Cow see 
him, he reach him down with his mouth"; and he lives in a 
banana branch (p. 119) for fear of Calcutta Monkey and his 
whip. His moral character is consistently bad all through; he 
is a "clever thief" — greedy, treacherous, and cruel, but intellec- 
tually he does not uniformly shine. He has to call in the help 
of a wizard in his love affairs ; " Monkey was too clever for 
him " on more than one occasion ; he has to be extricated from 
the slaughter-house (p. 23) by Blackbird and his army of Wasps, 

xvi Jamaican Song and Story. 

and in "Man-crow" he is signally discomfited. In other cases 
his roguery is successful, and he is described as the greatest 
musician and " the biggest rascal in the world " (p. 62). Much 
the same is the character given to Mr. Spider in " Cunnie Rabbit." 
Not one amiable trait is recorded of him. 

A Gold Coast story, 1 however, shows him arbitrating between 
a Rat and a Panther in very much the same way as the Yao 
Che Sungula settles the difficulty between the Man and the 
Crocodile, 8 making the latter go back into the trap whence he 
had too confidingly been released, in order to show how it 
was done. Once having got the ungrateful Panther back into 
the trap, the Spider advises the Rat to leave him there. 

As there is a Gold Coast tradition which affirms the human 
race to be descended from the Spider, 8 it might be expected 
that he should sometimes appear in a more favourable light, and 
also that those peoples who had lost this myth, or never possessed 
it, should concentrate their attention on the darker side of his 
character. At the same time, even in what may be called his 
own home, he does not appear as infallible. A very curious 
story, given by Zimmermann in his Grammatical Sketch of the 
Akra or Ga Language^ shows us the Spider and his son in the 
character of the two sisters who usually figure in tales of the 
"Holle" type, 4 and, strangely enough, it is the father who, by 
his wilfulness and indiscretion, forfeits the advantages which 
the son has gained. During a time of famine the young spider 
crawls into a rat-hole in search of a nut which has rolled into it, 

*J. C. Christaller, in Banner's Zeitsckr. far Afr. Spraehen. M. Ren6 
Basset says of a similar story included in Col. Monteil's Con/es Soudanais : 
"L'Enfant et le caiman est le sujet bien connu de l'ingratitude punie que l'on 
retrouve dans tons les pays de l'ancien monde, et dont M. Kenneth Mackenzie 
vient d'ltudier les diverses variantes." The idea is one so likely to occur 
independently that we must not in all cases resort to the hypothesis of 

2 Duff Macdonald, Africaner ii. 346. 

8 Ellis, Tiki-speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast. 

4 No. 16 in the Handbook of Folklore (p. 122). It might also be referred to 
the " Golden Goose " type (51). Stories of this kind are the Ronga " Route 
du Gel," and "The Three Women" in Duff Macdonald's African*. But 
perhaps the tale referred to in the text comes nearer to "The Two 


Introduction. xvii 

and there meets with three unkempt and unwashed spirits, who 
desire him to peel some yams and cook the peelings. He does 
so, and they are changed into large yams. They give him a 
large basket of yams to carry home, and teach him a spell 
which is not to be imparted to any one else. He repeatedly 
obtains supplies from the same source, but at last is followed 
by his father, who insists on going in his stead. He derides and 
disobeys the spirits, loses his yams, and is flogged into the 

We have mentioned the comparative absence of the Spider 
from Bantu folk-lore. I have been able to discover only two 
references to him in East Africa, both to be found in Duff 
Macdonald's Africana. The first is in a creation-myth of the 
Yaos (i. 297), which informs us that when Mulungu was driven 
from earth by the conduct of mankind, who had set the bush 
on fire, he went, being unable to climb a tree as the Chameleon 
had done, to call the Spider. "The spider went on high and 
returned again, and said, 'I have gone on high nicely/ and 
he said, 'You now, Mulungu, go on high.' Mulungu then went 
with the spider on high. And he said, * When they die, let them 
come on high here.' " The other is in the story of " The Dead 
Chief and his Younger Brother" (ii. 322) — also Yao. The dead 
chief gives his brother four bags to enable him to overcome 
the obstacles which his enemies put in his way; he opens the 
first on coming to a large tree in his path — a wood-moth comes 
out and gnaws a way through. From the second bag comes out 
a manis (scaly ant-eater), which digs a way under a rock, and 
from the third (which he opens when he comes to the bank of 
a river) a spider, which "went to the other side," and, pre- 
sumably (though this is not expressly stated), made a bridge 
with its web for him to cross. 1 

Mr. R. E. Dennett (Folk-lore of the Fjort^ p. 74) gives a 
Lower Congo story, telling how the Spider brought fire down 
from Nzambi Mpungu in heaven, and won the daughter of 
Nzambi (Mother Earth) by so doing. In an Angola story (Heli 

1 In Mr. Dudley Kidd's Savage Childhood (published since the above was 
written), I find that Zulu (or Pondo ?) boys draw certain omens from spiders, 
in connection with dreams (p. 105), and that in Gazaland the rainbow is 
called " the spider's bow " (p. 153). 

xviii Jamaican Song and Story. 

Chatelain, p. 131) the Spider is mentioned as affording a means 
of communication between heaven and earth, by which the Sun's 
maidservants go down to draw water, and his daughter is ulti- 
mately let down to be married to the son of Kimanaueze. But 
the Spider only comes in incidentally; it is the Frog whose 
resourcefulness makes the marriage possible. The notion of the 
spider's web as a ladder to heaven is one that might occur 
independently in any part of the world, and there is no need 
to suppose these tales to be derivatives of the Hausa one given 
by Schto. 1 

So far, the appearances of the Spider in Bantu folk-tales are 
so infrequent as to be almost a negligible quantity. We find 
him, however, playing a tolerably conspicuous part in the folk- 
lore of the Duala. These, living in the German territory of 
the Kamerun, may be considered the north-western outpost of 
the Bantu race, and their language, unmistakable in its general 
character, has departed, perhaps more widely than any other, 
from the normal Bantu standard. Herr Wilhelm Lederbogen, 
formerly of the Government School, Kamerun, has collected a 
large number of stories, some of which are published in the 
Transactions of the Berlin Oriental Seminary (see Afrikanische 
Studien for 1901-1903). These comprise 67 " Tierfabeln" and 
18 tales of the ordinary marchen type. The latter (some of them 
recognizable as variants of tales current in Bantu Africa) introduce 
animals along with human beings, and the incident of the Spider 
being consulted as a soothsayer repeatedly occurs. "Die Spinne 
tritt itnmer als Wahrsagerin auf n says the collector in a note. 
But the malignant aspect of Anansi seems to be absent 

The late W. H. J. Bleek, who supposed the animal-stories 
which he had collected from Hottentots and Bushmen to be 
characteristic of and peculiar to these races, had built up a 
somewhat elaborate theory, scarcely borne out by the facts as 
known to us to-day, in connection with this point. Briefly, it 
amounted to this : that a fundamental limitation in the Bantu 
race, which had prevented, and always would prevent, their 
advancing beyond a certain point, was denoted by the absence 
of grammatical gender in their languages, their supposed incapacity 
for personifying nature, and their worship of ancestors, as opposed 

1 Magana Hausa y 63. 

Introduction. xix 

to the alleged moon-worship of the Hottentots. 1 The Zulus, 
he says, believe that the spirits of the dead appear to them in 
dreams, and also show themselves to the waking eye in the 
shape of animals, usually serpents. " No personification of the 
animal takes place, however, such as we find, for instance, in 
the mythical world of our earliest [Teutonic] literature. The 
imagination of the ancestor-worshipper does not even, as a rule, 
show us the animal as possessing the gift of human speech ; it 
is only supposed to perform acts well within its capacity as an 
animal, though such acts are considered, in the case of individual 
animals supposed to be possessed by the spirits of deceased 
persons, as emanating from the spirits." Thus, a serpent, known 
by various tokens to be an idhlozi, may enter a hut and consume 
the meat left for it, or it may engage in combat with other snakes 
which must be supposed to represent the enemies of the deceased. 
Animals thus revered by ancestor-worshippers always have the 
distinguishing characteristic that they have once been human 
beings; and spirits, unless they appear as animals, are always 
invisible. "A personification of the animal world (such as we 
find in our own fables), or even of other things (as in the 
mythologies of Europe), is utterly absent from this primitive, 
prosaic way of looking at things." The poetic impulse implied 
in such personification can only arise, in Bleek's view, among 
the speakers of a sex-denoting language. The linguistic argument 
I cannot here reproduce in detail; its tendency is sufficiently 
shown by the following quotation, which bears directly on our 
subject : 

" The form of a sex-denoting language, by exciting sympathy 
even for creatures not connected with us by human fellowship, 
leads in the first instance to the humanization of animals, and 
thus especially gives rise to the creation of fables. Even on 
the lowest stage of national development, we find the Hottentot 
language accompanied by a literature of fables, for which we 
may vainly seek a parallel in the literatures of the prefix-pronominal 

The validity of Bleek's theory was seriously doubted by the 
late Dr. C. G. Buttner, in 1886, and the masses of fresh material 
which have come to light during the last forty years, have com- 

1 See Ur sprung der Sprache (Weimar, 1 868), pp. six, xxiii (Introduction). 

xx Jamaican Song and Story. 

pletely altered the aspect of the question. The Hottentot myth 
of the Hare and the Moon, to take but one example, which 
appears among the Zulus as the tale of Unkulunkulu and the 
Chameleon, is told by the Anyanja (of the Shire Highlands and 
Lake Nyasa) of the Chameleon. The Duala have the same 
Chameleon story; and there is a Gold Coast version, in which 
the two messengers are the Sheep, who linger on the way to 
graze, and the Goat, who arrives first with the tidings that man 
shall not return after death. The Krumen of the Ivory Coast 
say that Nemla (a small antelope probably representing, if not 
identical with, the "Cunnie Rabbit" of Sierra Leone), malici- 
ously, not accidentally, rendered inoperative the remedy against 
death provided by the fetich Blenyiba. Who is responsible for 
the original version it is perhaps impossible to settle. But there can 
be no question of recent borrowing ; and supposing that the Bantu 
did derive the myth from their predecessors (now represented by 
the remnant of the Bushmen, and perhaps the Pygmies), this would 
surely prove them at least capable of assimilating fresh ideas and 
thus advancing beyond the line so inexorably traced for them from 
the beginning. It may be remarked in passing that there seems 
some probability of the Bantu Anyanja in the Shir£ district having 
largely absorbed, instead of exterminating as was elsewhere the 
case, a smaller-sized race who previously occupied the country. 
In the same way, the Abatembu of the Cape Colony are the 
descendants of a Bantu clan amalgamated with the Bushman tribe 
of the Tambuka, and traces of similar fusion could no doubt be 
discovered elsewhere. But we doubt its being necessary to the 
introduction of animal-stories into folk-lore,— or, in general, of 
ideas connected with the personification of nature. 

The Zulu tales which Bleek had before him present a character 
very different from that of the Hottentot beast-fables. But a 
comparative study of Bantu folk-lore suggests at least the possi- 
bility that they may have been developed out of animal-stories. 
Hlakanyana is conceived of as certainly human, and reminds us 
of Tom Thumb ; but some of his adventures are identical with 
those of the Hare, the Jackal, or Brer Rabbit Cakijana shows 
still clearer traces of animal origin. The episode of Hlakanyana's 
demanding a digging-stick in exchange for the birds he accuses 
his companion of having eaten, and the sequence of exchanges 

Introduction. xxi 

whicn culminates in his acquiring a cow, 1 is in substance the same 
as the story told by the Anyanja about the Hare (kalulu) which 
was given in Folk-Lore for Sept. 29th, 1904. This again reminds 
us of "The Man who Lived by Overreaching Others " (Dr. 
Elmslie in Folk- Lore, vol. iii.), and of a Sukuma story given by 
Herrmann, 3 in which a boy gives his grandmother some honey 
to keep for him, and, coming back after a time, and rinding 
she has eaten it, makes her give him some corn in exchange. 
The corn is then exchanged for an egg, the egg for sticks, the 
sticks for a knife, and the knife for a cow's tail, for which, by 
the same trick as in Dr. Elmslie's story, he obtains a cow. 
There is no suggestion of trickery in the Nyanja story, whereas 
it is brought out very strongly both in Hlakanyana and the 
Sukuma example. 

We shall have occasion to refer, later on, to more than one 
instance where a story is found in two forms, one having animals, 
the other human beings, as its characters. 

The animals figuring in folk-tales must necessarily vary with the 
locality of the tale, and in cases where a story has travelled (or 
possibly where the same idea has arisen independently in different 
places) it is interesting to note the changes in its dramatis persona. 
Thus, the incident of the race between the swift creature and the 
slow seems to be found in the folk-lore of every country. In 
Africa the winner is always, so far as I know, the Tortoise, as 
Brer Terrapin is in " Uncle Remus." The Jamaica version in the 
volume before us substitutes the Toad, while the defeated party 
is the Donkey. In a Konde (North Nyasa) variant, the prota- 
gonists are the Elephant and die Tortoise, in a Duala one, the 
Ngolon (a large kind of Antelope) and the Tortoise. Another 
version of the Duala story, contained in Marchen aus Kamerun y 
by the late Frau Elli Meinhof, has the Hare and the Tortoise, but 
with the explanation that by " hare " is meant " eine kleine Anti- 
lopenart, eseru genannt" The curious thing is that Njo Dibone, 
the native authority for the tales, himself suggested the name of 
"hare," but added "Hase ist nicht wie hier, 8 sondern hat kleine 

1 McCall Theal, Kaffir Folk-Tales, pp. 96-98. 

•"Afirikanische Studien," 1898 {Transactions of the Berlin Oriental 
Seminary, vol. i.) p. 194. 

* He had been brought to Europe by a German naval officer in 1885, and 
remained for some time an inmate of Professor Meinhof s family. 

xxii Jamaican Song and Story. 

Horner." It is not stated whether he had himself seen the 
European hare, but apparently he thought the two animals so far 
similar that Hast would be the nearest available rendering for 
eseru. This may throw some light on the question why the 
Dorcathtrium gazelle, or possibly the Royal Antelope, Neotragus, 
is called "Cunnie Rabbit" in Sierra Leone English. 

The Tortoise plays a conspicuous part in the folk-lore both of 
Bantu and West African Negroes. In Yoruba tradition he takes 
the place of the Spider with the Fantis, all mankind being 
descended from him. Perhaps this is not strange, when we con- 
sider how much there is about him which would appeal to the 
primitive mind as uncanny and mysterious. A recent writer in 
the West African Mail 1 says on this subject: "The original 
conception of the tortoise culminated in a belief concerning its 
attributes that, in the eyes of these [Niger] Delta natives, elevated 
it to the sovereignty of the beasts of the forest . . . Absolutely 
harmless and inoffensive in himself, the tortoise does not prey on 
even the smallest of insects, but subsists entirely on the fallen 
fruits of the forest 1 ' — or, in some cases, on fungi. "In the 
gloomy forests of the Delta there are only two enemies capable 
of doing him any serious harm. The one is man, who is able 
to lift him up and carry him bodily away, which, however, he 
does not do, except in those instances in which the animal is 
regarded as sacred, and required in connection with certain 
religious ceremonies. His other and most dangerous enemy is 
the python, who having first of all crushed him by means of the 
enormous power of constriction which it can apply, swallows him 
alive, shell and all. But pythons large enough to do this, unless 
the tortoise happens to be very young and small, are very scarce, 
so that he has not much to apprehend in that quarter. To the 
elephant — herbivorous, like himself — he is too insignificant, for 
unlike the mosquito or the sand-fly, he has no sting; and although 
they meet in fable, in real life the hippopotamus and himself are 
not much thrown together. From the leopard or the bush-cat, he 
has nothing to fear, for their teeth cannot penetrate his shell, nor 
can [their] claws do him any damage. Thus it is that . . . the 
tortoise has been practically immune from attack and therefore 
destruction — a feet that in a great measure explains his longevity." 

•May 25, 1906, p. 202. 


Introduction. xxiii 

If we add to this his power of living for a long time without 
food, his silence, the extreme slowness and caution of his move- 
ments, his instinct of keeping out of sight, and the peculiar air 
of dogged determination with which he sets about overcoming or 
circumventing obstacles, it is " easy to understand how in process 
•of time the word which stood for tortoise became a synonym for 
cunning and craft, and a man of exceptional intelligence was in 
this way known among the Ibo as * Mbai,' and among the Ibani 
as * Ekake,' meaning a tortoise. For although he of the shell-back 
was slow, he was sure, as the old Greek Aesop tells us. . . . 
This sureness, in the native mind, implied doggedness and a fixed 
determination, while silence and secrecy implied mystery and a 
veiled purpose behind which it is impossible to get" 

The tortoise of African folk-lore is sometimes, in fact usually, 
the land-tortoise (as implied in the above extracts), of which there 
are several species, living either in forest-country or in deserts 
like the Kalahari. In Angola, the story of " Man and Turtle" 
{Chatelain, p. 153 — identical with "Mr. Fox tackles Old Man 
Tarry pin" in "Uncle Remus") refers to a kind which, if not 
aquatic, is evidently amphibious. We find tortoise stories all 
over Negro and Bantu Africa; we have Temne, Bullom, and 
Yoruba examples, besides Duala, Konde (Nyasa), Yao, Nyanja, 
Herero, Bemba, Congo (Upoto), Angola and Sesuto ones. This 
does not exhaust the list I have made out, and further research 
would no doubt bring to light many more. One of these is the 
well-known "tug-of-war" story, which in "Uncle Remus" has the 
title " Mr. Terrapin shows his strength." We have two versions 
of this (agreeing in their main points) from the Kamerun, one 
told by the Duala, the other by the Yabakalaki-Bakoko tribe. 
Here it is the Elephant and the Hippopotamus whom the Tortoise 
induces to pull against each other. The American Negro sub- 
stitutes the Bear for one of these competitors, and then, apparently 
at a loss for a wild animal strong enough to take the place of the 
other, makes " Brer Tarrypin " tie " Miss Meadows's bed-cord " to 
a root in the bed of the stream. But it is interesting to find two 
native African versions in which other animals are substituted for 
the Tortoise. The Temne (Cunnie Rabbit, p. 117) gives his part 
to the Spider, while the Bemba people (North-eastern Rhodesia) 
make the Hare the hero of the adventure. Col. Monteil gives a 

xxiv Jamaican Sang and Story. 

Mandingo variant, introducing a different motive for the contest : 
the Hare has borrowed a slave apiece from the Elephant and the 
Hippopotamus, and when pressed for payment hands each of his 
competitors in turn the end of a rope, with the words, "Tu n'as 
qu'& tirer sur cette corde, le captif est au bout." 1 

Another Temne story collected by Miss Cronise, " Mr. Turtle 
makes a riding-horse of Mr. Leopard, 11 is paralleled by an Angola 
one (Chatelain, p. 203) in which it is Mr. Frog who plays the 
trick on Mr. Elephant In the New World, it will be remembered 
that Brer Rabbit has usurped the part. 

In M. Rene Basset's Anthology of African Folk-talcs 1 is in- 
cluded a tale about a monkey and a tortoise from Baissac's 
Folklore de Pile Maurice which recalls a Nyanja one obtained by 
me at Blantyre and printed in the Contemporary Review for 
September, 1896. In the latter it is the iguana, not the monkey 
who robs the Tortoise ; but in both, the Tortoise exacts retribution 
with a cold-blooded relentlessness suggestive of Shylock. A 
Brazilian negro story is also given, which looks like a variant of 
one told in Calabar to account for the fact that the Tortoise's 
shell is composed of separate plates, as though it had been broken 
to pieces and put together again. 

But we look in vain for the tortoise .in these stories of Mr. 
Jekyll's. Even in the race-story, as we have seen, the part which 
in Africa is so peculiarly his own, is taken by the Toad. Pro- 
bably this is because the land-tortoise is not found in Jamaica, 
and the great turtle of the seas is not a creature whose ways 
would come under the daily observation of the peasantry. In 
the same way familiar animals have been substituted for un- 
familiar ones in a great many cases, though not in all. Mr. 
Jekyll thinks "Tiger" is a substitute for "Lion," but it seems 
equally possible that "Leopard" is meant. All over South 
Africa, leopards are called "tigers" by Dutch, English, and 
Germans, just as hyenas are called "wolves," and bustards 
"peacocks" {paauw). "Tiger" is used in the same sense in 
German Kamerun, and probably elsewhere in West Africa. 

1 Contes Soudanais, p. 49. 

* P. 425. Another Mauritius negro tale from the same source is identical with 
the Yao one of the Elephant and the Hare (Duff Macdonald, ii. 353)— also 
found elsewhere in East Africa. 

Introduction. xxv 

Lion and elephant are known — perhaps by genuine tradition — 
to Uncle Remus ; but they seem to have faded from the recol- 
lection of the Jamaica negroes; indeed, the lion is not found 
in their original homes, being absent from the whole West Coast 
as far as Sierra Leone. 

" Brer Rabbit," so characteristic a figure of Bantu folk-lore that 
his adventures are related from one side of Africa to the other 
(though in the west he is less frequently met with north of 
Angola), only appears in two of Mr. Jekyll's stories, in none of 
which we can recognize anything of his traditional character. 
In "Annancy and his Fish-pot," he is unscrupulously victimised 
by Annancy, and subsequently dies of fright and worry; in 
" Snake the Postman," he escapes from Annancy's machinations, 
but there is no indication that he could ever be considered a 
match for " that cravin' fellah." In " John Crow and Fowl-hawk " 
he is merely alluded to (p. 142, "This company was Rabbit"). 
In "Dry Bone," he is induced by Guinea-pig to carry the un- 
welcome load, but succeeds in passing it on, for the time being, 
to Annancy. Finally, in "Gaulin," he cuts a poor figure as the 
unsuccessful suitor. A Bantu story by no means complimentary 
to the Hare's intelligence is given by M. Junod, 1 and seems to 
have reached Louisiana 2 as "Compair Lapin et Michi6 Dinde," 
where the Rabbit gets his head cut off under the belief that the 
Turkey has removed his when he puts it under his wing to sleep. 
M. Junod thinks this must refer to a second species of Hare, a 
by-word for stupidity, as the other is for cuteness; but it is at 
least worth noting that the same story is told by the Basumbwa 
(south of Lake Victoria) of the Hen and the Tiger-cat 

Besides Annancy himself, and the " Tiger " already mentioned, 
we have, in these stories, either domestic or quasi-domestic 
animals: Cow, Hog, Dog, Puss, "Ratta," etc, or creatures 
indigenous to Jamaica, such as John-Crow, Chicken-Hawk, 
Sea-Gaulin, Candle-Fly, Crab and Tarpon. Some stories, for 
which I fail to recall any exact parallel, either in Africa or 
Europe, may be of purely local origin ; this is most likely to be 
true of those which profess to explain some elementary fact in 

1 Chants et Conies, p. 135, see also the preceding story, and some remarks 
on p. 86, footnote 2. 

8 Alcee Fortier, Louisiana Folklore, p. 24. 

xxvi Jamaican Song and Story. 

natural history, such as the inability of two bulls to agree in one 
pasture (" Timmolimmo "), or the hostility between dogs and 
«2Lts. Even were this not so, the amount of local colour intro- 
duced (as always where tales are transmitted orally) could 
change them almost beyond recognition. This often has a very 
quaint effect, as in " Parson Puss and Parson Dog/' who are 
evidently conceived as ministers of some rival Methodist denomi- 
nations, and in the references to weddings, funerals, and dances 
possibly ending up with a free fight, as in "Gaulin," "How 
Monkey manage Annancy," " Doba," etc. Annancy's inviting the 
animals to his father's funeral and slaughtering them (with the 
exception of Monkey, who is too clever for him) reminds us of 
the Temne "Mr. Leopard fools the other animals," 1 but in this, 
Leopard himself pretends to die. Cunnie Rabbit's test, " Die 
pusson nebber blow," is less ingenious than that applied by Brer 
Rabbit in " Uncle Remus " : 2 " When a man go to see dead folks, 
dead folks allers raises up der behime leg en hollers wahoo \ " 
{In Mr. Owen's version, they " grin and whistle.") In the Sesuto 
story 8 the Monkey suspects a trick and escapes, when the Hare 
persuades the Lion to entrap the other animals by shamming 
death. Perhaps the baptism of the crabs ("Annancy in Crab 
Country") may be connected with "Mr. Spider initiates the 
fowls," 4 where the Temne Spider, assuming for the nonce a quasi- 
religious character, gathers his victims together to celebrate the 
Bundo mysteries, and massacres them wholesale. 

"Annancy and Hog" (XXXII.) is a fragmentary story, not 
very easy to understand as we have it, but something has 
evidently dropped out The sentence "An' when Hog think 
him done up Annancy him done up him own mother" may 
point to some original similar to the Fiote story given by Mr. 
Dennett, in which the Leopard's wife is induced to eat her 
husband's head. 5 But in that case it is difficult to understand 
the connection with the opening incidents. 

In "John-Crow and Fowl-hawk" (XLVI.) we may have a 
reminiscence of the class of stories represented by the Yao 
•" Kalikalanje," in which an unborn child is promised by the 

1 Cunnie Rabbity p. 219. * " Mr. Wolf makes a failure." 

"Jacottet, p. 19. 4 Cunnie Rabbit, p. 133. 

* Folklore of the F/ort 9 pp. 82-84. 

Introduction. xxvii 

mother in return for a service rendered her by some person 
or animal. The resemblance, however, is not very marked, and 
the incident is quite lost sight of in the later part of the story. 

" Annancy and Death " is curious, and, as it stands, not very 
intelligible. Death, as a person, is introduced into several 
African stories, 1 and even (in one from the Ivory Coast) together 
with the Spider, but none of these have anything parallel with 
the one before us. The last part, however, where Annancy and 
his children are clinging to the rafters, and Death waiting for 
them below, recalls the story to be found on pp. 224-226 of 
Cunnie Rabbit The Spider and his family take refuge in the 
roof when pursued by the Leopard, and he sits on the ground 
and catches them as they drop one by one. Last of all, the 
wife, Nahker, "he say he done tire, en Spider say: 'Yo' wey 
< = who) big so? Fa* down now, yo' go get de trouble.' 
Nahker fa' down, Lepped yeat um. Spider he one lef hang." 
He escapes, however. 

In " Dummy," Annancy wins a bet and the hand of the King's 
daughter by inducing "Peafowl" to make the dumb man talk. 
This " Peafowl " does by the sweetness of his song ; but in a 
Duala story given by Lederbogen as "Der Tausendfuss und 
das stumme Kind," the means adopted more nearly resemble 
the time-honoured recipes for detecting changelings in this 
country. The Mouse advised the dumb child's parents to con- 
sult the Spider, who told them to hang up a centipede over the 
fireplace, set on a pot of water just underneath it, and leave 
the child sitting beside the fire. They did so, and went out. 
As soon as the steam rose from the water, the centipede, feeling 
the heat, began to struggle, and the dumb child watching it 
cried out in his excitement, " Father ! there is a centipede going 
to fall into the pot." 

" William Tell " is puzzling. There is no single point of contact 
between the owner of the witch-tree and the mythical archer of 
Europe. It is most probable that the name (a likely one to remain 
in the memory) had been picked up by some negro story-teller 
who did not know the tale belonging to it and simply attached 

1 Kalunga in Angola, Ko by the Ne" Kru-men. Some curious episodes 
connected with the latter are given by M. Georges Thomann in his Essai de 
Manuel de la langue nionld (Paris : E. Leroux). 

xxviii Jamaican Sang and Story. 

it to the first character that came handy. The " sings" by 
means of which Annancy fells the tree occur frequently in 
native African stories ; we need only mention the incident (found 
not only in the Xosa " Bird that made Milk/' but in a Duala 
tale, and elsewhere) of the song which made the hoed garden 
return to grass and weeds, and that of Simbubukwana's sister 1 
who sang " Have legs, have arms/ 1 and the boy who was with- 
out those members immediately grew them. The notion of 
spells to be sung, however, does not seem to be confined to 
any country or race. 

I do not remember any exact parallel to "Dry River" 
(XXXIII.), but the incident of the river rising is found in 
Africa with several different sequels. In a Nyanja story which 
I have in MS., some children go out into the bush to gather 
wild fruit, and are cut off on their return by the rising of the 
river. They are helped across by "a big bird, with one wing, 
one eye and one leg " (one of the " half-beings " 2 whose place 
in Bantu folk-lore has not yet been fully worked out), and 
charged not to tell who took them over. One boy tells his 
mother, and is drowned on the next expedition, his companions 
getting across in safety. In "The Village Maiden and the 
Cannibal " (Mrs. Martin's Basutoland, its Legends and Customs), 
the girls cannot cross the swollen stream till they have thrown 
a large root into the water, and complied with the directions. 
The last girl, who is reluctant to obey, but finally gives in, is 
not drowned, but she and her sister have an adventure with 
cannibals of a not uncommon kind, which may be referred to 
Mr. Jacobs's " Flight from Witchcraft " type. Two other stories, 
a Kinga (North-east Nyasa) and a Machame (Kilimanjaro) one, 
have the same opening incident (in the one -case, however, it 
is a rock and not a river which enlarges itself and blocks the 
way), but continue in quite a different way — the girls are helped 
by an animal (in one case a jackal, in another a hyena) who 
subsequently insists on marrying one of them. The Machame 
tale, to which we shall have to return presently, as it belongs 
to the group to which we refer "Yellow Snake" and some 

1 McCall Theal, p. 68. 

9 See Junod, Chants et Conies des Baronga, p. 197 ; also a note in Chatelain, 
Folk-tales of Angola, p. 254, and Callaway, Zulu Tales, p. 199. 

Introduction. xxix 

others, goes on to relate how the girl escaped from the hyena's 
village ; thr <Kinga one takes an entirely different course. 

" Leah and Tiger * is one of the stories which can be most 
unhesitatingly identified as African; and, as it happens, the 
examples at present known to me are nearly all Bantu. Perhaps 
the closest parallel is the Suto "Tselane" (Jacottet, p. 69), 1 
where, however, the girl, instead of being secluded by her father 
to avoid the trouble which her refusal to marry threatens to 
bring upon him, herself insists on staying in the house her 
parents are leaving. As in the Jamaica version, they bring her 
food every day, and sing to let her know of their approach. 
The cannibal on the prowl (represented in Jamaica by the 
"tiger") imitates the mother's voice, but fails; after swallowing 
a red-hot hoe, he succeeds at the first trial. He does not 
eat Tselane, however, and so end the story with a warning 
against obstinacy; he puts her into a bag to carry her home, and 
rests on his way at a hut, which proves to be her uncle's. 
While he is resting inside the hut, leaving his bag outside, 
the family discover the girl and let her out, substituting a dog 
and some biting ants. In other versions it is bees and wasps, 
or snakes and toads; but the result is always the same — the 
death of the cannibal. The incident of swallowing red-hot iron 
to soften the voice is found also in " Demane and Demazana " 
(Theal) and elsewhere. In a curious Masai story, "The Old 
Man and his Knee " (Hollis, The Masai: Language and Folklore^ . 
p. 153), the "enemies" (not said to be cannibals) carry off 
the old man's two children by means of the same stratagem. 
After failing in the first attempt they consult a medicine-man to 
find out how they can " make their voices resemble an old 
man's." He tells them merely to go back, and eat nothing on 
the road. They eat a lizard and an ant, and their voices do 
not produce the desired effect. On trying again, and this time 
complying exactly with the doctor's directions, they deceive the 
children and get the door opened This incident is preserved in 
" Leah," and, like the Masai " enemies," Tiger thinks that such 
a trifle as the guava and "duckanoo" cannot possibly do any 
harm. The Masai story concludes with the killing of the old 
man by making him swallow a hot stone — a incident which crops 

1 This story is also given by Arbousset. 

xxx Jamaican Song and Story. 

up in various connections in the Hare stories, but seems out 
of its place in this one. On the whole (though I do not like 
to hazard a conjecture) it seems more probable that the Masai 
had picked up this tale from some of their Bantu neighbours 
than that the Bantu should have adopted it from them. 

As regards the imported stories, it seems reasonably clear that 
" Yung-Kyum-Pyung" is a " Rumpelstiltzchen " story which has 
accidentally become associated with Annancy. Though the 
superstition on which these stories are based exists in Africa 
as well as in other parts of the world, and is one of the factors 
in the custom of hlonipa, I do not remember any tale embodying 
it in this form, though there are numerous examples of those 
which turn a tabu of some sort. 

"King Daniel" is the story of the jealous sister, best known, 
perhaps, in the ballad of "Binnorie." But it has African pro- 
totypes as well, though the resemblance to these is not so close, 
in which the crime is discovered by the song of a bird — some- 
times the metamorphosed heart of the victim. In " Masilo and 
Masilonyane" and the Kinga "Die Reiherfeder," l one brother 
(or companion) kills the other; in "Unyengebule" (Callaway) the 
husband kills the wife, and here it is her feather head-dress 
which turns into a bird. "Pretty Poll" (XXXI.) is a variant 
of this story. 

Another pair of variants, apparently, are "Blackbird and 
Woss-woss" and "Open Sesame." But the former of these, it 
seems to me, corresponds much more closely with a Nago story 
of the Lizard and the Tortoise, given by M. Basset {Contes 
populaires d'Afrique, p. 217); and it should be remembered 
that the Nagos of Yoruba are one of the tribes represented 
among the Jamaica negroes. The lizard finds a rock containing 
a store of yams, and overhearing the words used by the owner 
"Stone, open I n obtains food for himself in time of famine. 
He imparts the secret to the tortoise, and they go together, 
but the tortoise lingers behind to load himself with all he can 
carry, and not knowing the word fails to get out, and is 
killed when the owner returns. He revives, however, and gets 
the cockroach to stick his shell together, thus presenting a 

1 R. Wolff, "Grammatik der Kingasprachen " {Arckiv fur das Stadium 
deutschm Kblonialsprachen, iii.), p. 135. 

Introduction. xxxf 

point of contact with other aetiological myths about the Tortoise. 
The rescue by the army of wasps I have been unable to match. 

''Man-crow" is the story, which exists in so many variants,, 
where the hero is robbed of the fruit of his achievement by an 
impostor stepping in at the last minute. The nearest parallel 
which occurs to me is "Rombao" (probably obtained from a 
Portuguese source by the Quilimane natives who related it to 
Mr. Duff Macdonald), where the hero kills the whale and cuts 
out its tongue; the captain who finds it dead claims his reward, 
but is discomfited by Rombao's appearance with the tongue. 

"The Three Pigs" will be readily recognized as the familiar 
English story, and corresponds pretty closely to the version in 
Mr. Jacobs's English Fairy Tales. A version current among 
the negroes of the Southern States is given by Mr. Owens in 
the paper in Lippincotfs Magazine already referred to. This 
version, entitled "Tiny Pig," omits the two incidents of the 
apple-tree and the butter-churn; but curiously enough these 
appear as " fiuh Rabbit " episodes in another part of the same 
paper, the apple-tree having become a pear-tree, and the churn 
a tin mug which Buh Rabbit puts over his head, while he hangs 
various articles of tinware about his person. 

"Sea-Mahmy" introduces several different elements. The 
mermaid herself is probably of European extraction, 1 and the 
device by which Blackbird brings Annancy to the feeding-tree 
might be a far-off echo of the Daedalus and Icarus myth. But 
Annancy's trick for conveying Trapong to his house and eating 
him recalls one of the stock incidents of Bantu folk-lore — the 
one where Hlakanyana, or the Hare, or some other creature, 
induces his dupe to get burnt or boiled by pretending to 
undergo the process himself and to escape with impunity. 
The Suto Hare 2 commends this as a device for attaining 
immortality — in which there is a faint suggestion of Medea's 
caldron. I was at first disposed to refer this episode to the 
" Big Klaas and Little Klaas " (or the " Getting-to-Heaven-in-a- 
Sack") group; but the inducement to enter the sack, which 
is so great a point in these, is here wanting. It is found in a 

1 One kind of duppy is a mermaid — but I can find no indication that she 
came from Africa. 

'Jacottet, p. 15. 

xxxii Jamaican Song and Story. 

Zanzibar story ("Abu Nuwasi na waziri na Sultani") in Dr. 
Velten's collection, 1 where Abu Nuwas is sewn up into a sack 
to be thrown into the sea, and induces another man to take 
his place by saying that he is to be drowned for refusing to 
many the Sultan's daughter. This is evidently an Arab tale, 
though I do not remember it in the Arabian Nights. 

The exotic tales to be found in Bantu Africa come mainly 
from two sources — Arab and Portuguese. The former is exem- 
plified at Zanzibar and all down the Mozambique coast; the 
latter in Angola and Mozambique. We have already referred 
to an example obtained at Delagoa Bay by M. Junod; but 
"Bonaouaci" (Chants et Contts, p. 292), though the names are 
Portuguese, and the local colouring goes so far as to introduce 
the Governor of Mozambique in person, is in substance identical 
with one of the " Abu Nuwas " stories given by Dr. Velten, the 
incident of the egg-production being nearly the same in both, 
as well as the two other impossible tasks set the hero-— sewing 
a stone and building a house in the air. I fancy the same is 
the case with " Djiwao," though the incidents have been a good 
deal remodelled, and the concluding episode — the boiling of the 
chief Gwanazi in the pot he had intended for Djiwao, is the 
purely Bantu one alluded to in the last paragraph — in a some- 
what unusual setting. "Les trois vaisseaux," 2 again, is an 
Arabian Nights story, of which a curious version has been 
obtained at Domasi, probably brought from the coast by some 
member of a Yao trading caravan. Mr. Dennett's No. III., 
"How the wives restored their husband to life," looks like a 
much altered and localized form of this. If so it might have 
reached the Congo through the Portuguese. We also find it on 
the Ivory Coast 8 where it might have come from an Arab source 
through Mandingoes or Hausas. 

The stories of "Fenda Maria" and "Fenda Maria and her 
elder brother Nga Nzua" 4 ("The Three Citrons" and "Cinde- 
rella"), are good examples of transplanted stories invested with 
local colour by successive generations of narrators, till, as 

^Suaheli Marchen, p. 154 (p. 241 in the German translation). 
*Zfc p. 304. 

'See Thomann, op. cit.> "Trois maris pour une femme." 
'Chatelain, No. I. and No. II. 

Introduction. xxxiii 

Mr. Chatelain says, "the fundamental idea of exotic origin has 
been so perfectly covered with Angola foliage and blossoms, that 
science alone can detect the imported elements, and no native 
would believe that [these tales] are not entirely Angolan." 

A curious stage in the migration of stories is exemplified by 
the "Taal" (or Cape Dutch) versions of Oriental stories 
imported into South Africa by the Malays, and existing in 
a purely traditional form among the coloured people. One 
of these was printed by Mr. H. N. Muller in De Gids for 
Jan., 1900, but I think hardly any attempt has been made to 
collect them. And here I may mention that Herr Seidel's LUder 
und Geschkhten der Afrikaner* contains a Nama version of the 
Lear story, taken down and translated by Herr Olpp, of the 
Rhenish Mission, who seems quite unaware of its real origin, in 
spite of the very obvious parallel in Grimm's Hausmarchen. He 
says in a note : " Diese Begebenheit kann sich nur in der Kap- 
Rolonie ereignet haben zu einer Zeit in welcher Kolonisten sich 
schon angesiedelt hatten und unter den Eingeborenen wohnten. 
Der Name der Tochter spricht dafur und enstammt dem Hollan- 
«*■• dischen." Now the youngest daughter's name is " Katje Leiro " 

it* — surely, all things considered, not such a very far cry from 

9 It is interesting to trace the African elements in these imported ,f 

tales as distinct from those which are merely derived from West * 
Indian surroundings. Thus Mr. Bluebeard's three-legged horse : 
(compare also the three-legged horse in " Devil and the Princess ") 
is, as explained in the footnote, a "duppy"; and the duppy, 
whatever the derivation of his name, seems to be West African in 
origin. Duppies are the souls of the dead, "capable of assuming 
various forms of men and other animals." 2 Some of these forms 
are monstrous, as the " three-foot horse " already alluded to, the 
"long-bubby Susan," and the "rolling calf." The informant who 
is responsible for these statements also says that "the duppy in 
human form generally moves along by spinning or walking back- 
wards." Perhaps this may explain the mysterious "Wheeler" 
(LI.) who has his habitation in a hollow tree, and seizes the hand 
of any unwary person who puts it into the hole. What he would 

>P. 135, "Iiebe bis 2am Safe." 
■See Folk- Lore, March, 1904, p. 90. 

xxxiv Jamaican Song and Story. 

have done if not requested to "Wheel me mile an' distant," 
remains obscure; but apparently the persons making the 
request are whirled through the air and then dropped at the place 
where Annancy (who has previously passed through the experience 
unscathed) has prepared a trap for them. The story suggests — 
though the resemblance is not very close — the episode of " The 
Stone that wore a Beard" in Cunnie Rabbit (p. 167), where the 
Spider, having had a narrow escape from the magic powers of 
the bearded stone (a transformed " devil ") utilises them for the 
destruction of his acquaintances. Those who remark on the 
peculiarity of the stone are struck down unconscious, and Spider 
exercises all his ingenuity in inducing his victims to say, "Dah 
stone get plenty bear'-bear' 1 " Cunnie Rabbit will not say the 
words till Spider has himself done so, and has suffered the 
consequences ; both are afterwards rescued by Trorkey (Tortoise). 
Somewhat similar to "Wheeler" is the magic jar in XLV. — 
which might, however, be due to a distorted reminiscence of 
"Bluebeard." Spirits are often believed on the Gold Coast to 
take up their abode in trees, as well as to assume the form of 
animals. The usual Tshi name for them appears to be bonsutn 
or bossum: the word "duppy" I have been unable to trace. 
* The method of divination in " Mr. Bluebeard " is one I do not 
I remember to have met with, though it may be akin to the " magic 
I mirror of ink." The magic drum by which Calcutta Monkey 
I (XXXVIII.) finds out Annancy's whereabouts is African. I do 
' not recall any parallel story, but drums are much used by witch- 
doctors and in ceremonial dances, and in some cases auguries are 
drawn from their sound. But Monkey first discovers Annancy to 
be the thief by cutting the cards, which of course is European. 

Two stories, "Annancy and the Old Lady's Field" (XVI.) and 
" Devil's Honeydram," introduce the incident of a woman com- 
pelled to dance against her will — in one case to dance herself to 
death. In both cases the music seems to be the compelling 
power ; but it is not clear whether, in " Devil's Honeydram," the 
knowledge (and use in the song) of the woman's name has any- 
thing to do with the spell. If so, the idea is so universal that 
one can scarcely refer to it as specially African. It is interesting, 
though perhaps scarcely pertinent to the matter in hand, to note 
that the Akikuyu believe their images (of which Mr. Scoresby 

Introduction. xxxv 

Routledge has brought home specimens) to have the power, if 
held up before people, of compelling them to dance. 

The folk-lore of Jamaica, as given in the interesting papers 
published in Folk-Lore, 1904-5, is decidedly of a composite 
character. The negroes have, as there pointed out (1904, p. 87), 
" adopted many of the most trivial of English superstitions," 
while at the same time preserving some reminiscences of their 
African beliefs. These are especially seen in the notions 
respecting "duppies," which again are perceptibly influenced 
by Christian ideas, cf. the efficacy of the name of Christ (p. 90) 
and the statement that the "rolling calf" is the spirit of a person 
not good enough for heaven or bad enough for hell, or the 
recipe of "sitting on a Bible" to get rid of a duppy. The 
directions for "killing a thief" (p. 92) belong to the system 
(universal throughout Negro and Bantu Africa) of guarding crops 
by means of "medicine," or "fetish," or whatever one likes to 
call it: the technical name in Chinyanja is chiwindo. I do 
not remember any of the particular forms of chiwindo here 
enumerated; and the silver threepence to be planted with the 
"guinea yam" is a civilized addition, but the principle is the 
same. The methods of "finding out the thief," on the other 
hand, which follow on p. 93, are certainly English — the Bible 
and key, and the gold ring, hair and tumbler of water. There 
is a third alternative : — "A curious kind of smoke, which, when it 
rises, goes to the house of the thief, etc." — but it is too vaguely 
stated to enable us to pronounce upon it 

Among funeral customs we find the following (p. 88) : " If a 
person dies where there are little children, after the body is 
put into the coffin, they will lift up each little child, and calling 
him by name, pass him over the dead body." According to a 
Siena Leone paper this custom is observed there; but it is not 
stated by which of the tribes who make up the extremely mixed 
population. It may even be found on investigation that some of 
the freed slaves brought the notion back from the New World. 
The same authority states that it is considered unlucky to whistle, 
and adds the rationalizing explanation that whistling attracts 
snakes, lizards, and other undesirable creatures into the house. 
In Jamaica, you must not "whistle in the nights, for duppies 
will catch your voice." 

xxxvi Jamaican Song and Story. 

The proportion of native and acquired, or African and 
European ideas in these superstitions can only be determined 
by a much more detailed examination than I can make here, 
and one based on fuller materials than are yet accessible. 

In conclusion, I would briefly glance at five stories which I 
have grouped together as derived from a common African 
original, and which present several features of interest, though 
I am unable to examine them as much in detail as I should 
like to do. These are " The Three Sisters " (VII.), " Gaulin " 
(XXIV.), "Yellow Snake" (XXXIV.), "John Crow" (XLIIL), 
and "Devil and the Princess" (LI.). The type to which these 
may be referred resembles the one registered by Mr. Jacobs 
as the "Robber-Bridegroom"; but the African prototypes are 
certainly indigenous, and it might seem as if the stories Mr. 
Jacobs had in view were late and comparatively civilized versions 
of the corresponding European and Asiatic ones, the Robber 
being the equivalent of an earlier wizard or devil, who, in the 
primitive form of the story, was simply an animal assuming human 
shape. The main incidents of the type-story are as follows : 

(i) A girl obstinately refuses all suitors. 

(2) She is wooed by an animal in human form, and at once 

accepts him. 

(3) She is warned (usually by a brother) and disregards the 


(4) She is about to be killed and eaten, but is saved by the 

brother whose advice was disregarded 
A Nyanja variant of this story, where the bridegroom is a 
hyena, corresponds very closely with the Temne "Marry the 
devil, there's the devil to pay" (Cunnie Rabbity p. 178) — even to 
the little brother who follows the newly-wedded couple, against 
the wishes of the bride, and who is afflicted — in the one case 
with "craw-craw," in the other with sore eyes. A translation 
of the Nyanja story may be found in the Contemporary Review 
for September, 1896. In Mrs. Dewar's Chinamwanga Stories 
(p. 41) there is a variant, — " Ngoza," — where the husband is 
a lion. In the Machame story, previously alluded to, the 
hyena, having befriended a girl, marries her, and she escapes 
with some difficulty from being eaten by his relations. Yet 
another variant is " Ngomba's Balloon " in Mr. Dennett's Folklore 

Introduction. xxxvii 

of the Fjort? Here the husband is a Mpunia (translated 
"murderer") — apparently a mere human bad character, and 
Ngomba escapes by her own ingenuity. 

In the Jamaican stories it strikes one that the idea of trans- 
formation is somewhat obscured. We are told how "Gaulin" 
(Egret) and "John Crow" provide themselves with clothes and 
equipages — the latter a carriage and pair, the former the humbler 
local buggy; — and this seems to constitute the extent of their 
disguise. Yellow Snake is said to "change and fix up himself" — 
but the expression is vague. Gaulin, however, can only be 
deprived of his clothes (and so made to appear in his true shape) 
by means of a magic song. The " old-witch " brother, who has 
overheard the song, plays its tune at the wedding and thus 
exposes the bridegroom, who flies out at the door. "John-Crow" 
is detected by a Cinderella-like device of keeping him till day- 
light, and his hurried flight through the window (in which he 
scraped the feathers off his head on the broken glass) explains a 
characteristic feature of these useful but unattractive birds. 

In neither of these is the bride in any danger : but in " Yellow 
Snake" her brothers save her when already more than half 
swallowed ; in " Devil and the Princess/ 1 she escapes by the aid 
of the Devil's cook, who feeds the watchful cock on corn soaked 
in rum. In this story, too, it is not the girl's brother, bat the 
" old-witch " servant-boy, who warns her ; and, as he is cast into 
prison for his pains, he has no hand in the release. In two 
cases ("Gaulin" and "John Crow") Annancy is one of the 
unsuccessful suitors, and, in the former, "Rabbit" is another. 
(He, apparently, takes no steps to change his shape, being rejected 
on the ground that he is " only but a meat," #.*., an animal.) In 
the Nyanja story, Leopard and Hare are mentioned as meeting 
with refusals, before the Hyena arrives on the scene. "The 
Three Sisters," while keeping one or two points of the original 
story, is much altered, and seems to have introduced some rather 
unintelligible fragments of an English ballad (as to which see 
Appendix, p. 286). The Snake is never accepted; and the 
youngest of the sisters, who answers him on behalf of all, 
would seem to represent the " old-witch " brother who detects his 
true character. His "turning into a devil" is another alien 
element — perhaps due to Biblical recollections, and the con- 

xxxviii Jamaican Song and Story. 

eluding assertion that he " have chain round his waist until now " 
seems to refer to something which has dropped out, as there 
is no previous allusion to a chain in the story as it stands. Of 
all the five, " Yellow Snake " is, on the whole, the closest to what 
we may suppose to have been the original; "Devil and the 
Princess " is in some respects complete, but has acquired several 
foreign features, and "John Crow" has quite lost the charac- 
teristic conclusion. It is to be hoped that we may one day 
succeed in discovering, if not all the African variants of this 
story, yet enough to render those we possess more intelligible, 
and to afford materials for an interesting comparative study. 

A. Werner. 


THE stories and tunes of this book are taken down from 
the mouths of men and boys in my employ. The method 
of procedure has in every case been to sit them down 
to their recital and make them dictate slowly; so the 
stories are in their ipsissima verba. Here and there, but 
very rarely indeed, I have made a slight change, and 
this only because I thought the volume might find its 
way into the nursery. The following list exhausts the 
emendations: (i) It was not his fat that Tiger took out 
when he went bathing, but his viscera ; (2) The " Tumpa- 
toe" of one of the stories is n Stinking-toe " ; (3) Dog 
always swears, his favourite expression being, " There will 
be hell here to-night," and the first line of one of the 
dance tunes runs really : " Hell of a dog up'tairs " ; 
(4) "belly" is replaced by a prettier equivalent 

The district in which I live is that of the Port Royal 
Mountains behind Kingston. Other districts have other 
"Sings," for these depend upon local topics. The 
Annancy Stories are, so far as I know, more or less 
alike throughout the island. This title seems to include 
stories in which Annancy himself does not figure at all, 
but this is of course an illegitimate use of it. The 
collection in this book is a mere sample both of stories 
and tunes. 

The book as a whole is a tribute to my love for 
Jamaica and its dusky inhabitants, with their winning 
ways and their many good qualities, among which is to 
be reckoned that supreme virtue, Cheerfulness. 

W. J. 

Jamaica, January, 1906. 







When the hoes stop clicking and you hear peals of 
laughter from the field, you may know that somebody is 
telling an Annancy story. If you go out, you will find a 
group of Negroes round the narrator, punctuating all the 
good points with delighted chuckles. Their sunny faces 
are beaming, and at the recital of any special piece of 
knavery on Annancy 's part ordinary means of expression 
fail, and they fling themselves on the ground and wriggle 
in convulsions of merriment 

Annancy is a legendary being whose chief characteristic 
is trickery. A strong and good workman, he is invariably 
lazy, and is only to be tempted to honest labour by the 
offer of a large reward. He prefers to fill the bag which 
he always carries, by fraud or theft His appetite is vora- 
cious, and nothing comes amiss to him, cooked or raw. 
No sooner is one gluttonous feast over than he is ready for 
another, and endless are his shifts and devices to supply 
himself with food. Sometimes he will thrust himself upon 
an unwilling neighbour, and eat up all his breakfast At 
another time he carries out his bag and brings it home full 
of flesh or fish obtained by thieving. He is perfectly 
selfish, and knows no remorse for his many deeds of vio- 
lence, treachery and cruelty. His only redeeming point is 
a sort of hail-fellow-well-met-ness, which appeals so much 


2 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

to his associates that they are ready almost, if not quite, 
to condone his offences. 

Annancy has a defect of speech owing to a cleft palate, 
and pronounces his words badly. He speaks somewhat 
like Punch, through his nose very rapidly, and uses the 
most countrified form of dialect. He cannot say "brother/ 1 
and has to leave out the tk owing to the failure of the 
tongue to meet the palate, so he says " bro'er." He even 
pretends he cannot say " puss," and turns it into " push/ 1 
Strings of little words he delights in, such as, in the Brother 
Death story, the often-repeated " no mo so me no yerry," 
an expressive phrase difficult to render into good English. 
It means " I must have failed to hear/' The words are 
" no more so me no hear/' equivalent to " it must be so 
(that) I (do) not hear," the " no more " having something 
of the force of the same words in the colloquial phrases, 

* no more I do," " no more I will" When, for instance, to 
the remark, u I thought you didn't like the smell of paint," 
we make the rejoinder " no more I do," Priscian strives in 
vain to disentangle the words and reduce them to rule of 
syntax, but they mean " Well ! I do not" Thus " no more 
me hear " would be " Well ! I do not hear." The " so " 
introduces the hypothetical element and the " no " before 
" yerry " is a reduplicated negative. 

Thus far for the sense. Now for the pronunciation. 
The accent indicates where the stress of the voice falls, and 
unless the accent is caught, the phrase will not run off the 
tongue. This is how it goes : 

n& md | so mS n6 | yerry. 

As an illustration of the necessity of right placing of the 
accent, take the name of that town in Madagascar, which 
we so often saw in our papers a few years ago, Antana- 
narivo. Most of us just nodded our heads at it, but never 
tried, or at least only feebly, to articulate it With all this 

* an an" it was the same sort of hopeless business as the 

Introduction. 3 

deciphering of the hieroglyphics of those writers whose 
words seem to be composed of nothing but tris. And yet 
how simple, and easy to say, the word is when we catch the 
accent. First "an " ; then stop a little; "tanana ," same values 
as traveller ; and finally " rivo." French sounds for the 
vowels of course, An-tananarivo. This grouping of accents 
is that which in music is known as rhythm. Rightly 
grouped they make musical sense, wrongly grouped — and 
alas! how often we hear it — musical nonsense. See the 
stuttering hopelessness and helplessness of dn-tdn-dn-d — 
there might be any number more of "an-an"s to follow, and 
compare with this the neat satisfying form Antdnanarivo. 
So let no bungler read in the story of Brother Death " no 
m6 so n\6 no yerry " with halting and panting, but let him 
reel off as quickly as he can " no mo s6 me no yerry " with 
just the accent that he would use in this phrase; — "It is here 
that I want you/' Remember, too, that the <?'s have the 
open sound of Italian, and not the close sound of English. 
So is exactly like sol (the musical note) with the / left out, 
and not as we pronounce it. And above all, speed. 

When the stranger lands in Jamaica and hears the rapid 
rush of words, and the soft, open vowels, he often says : 
" Why, I thought they talked English here, but it sounds 
like Spanish or Italian!' 1 The difficulty in understanding a 
new language lies in the inability to distinguish the point 
where one word ends and the next begins. The old 
puzzle sentence, CailU a haut nut, taupe a das nid, shows 
this very well. The ear catches the sound but fails to 
differentiate the words, and, their real identity being dis- 
guised, the listener has a sort of impression of modern 
Greek or Italian, writing these fragments in his brain 
oni y banu 

Just as hopeless is negro English to the new-comer, and 
the first thing to do is to set about learning it. And well 
it repays investigation. It is the boast of the English 
language that it has got rid of so much superfluous 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

grammatical matter in the way of genders, inflections and 
such-like perplexities. True, it has abolished much that 
was evil, and enables us to speak and write shortly and 
to the point. But negro English goes a step further, 
and its form is still more concise. Compare these 
expressions : 


Com the horse. 
Care the child. 
Him wife turn fire. 
You middle hand. 
My bottom foot 
Out the lamp. 
The boy too trick. 
I did him nothing. 
See the 'tar up a Icy. 
No make him get 'way. 
Me go buy. 
A door. 
Bull a broke pen. 
Bell a ring a yard. 
Same place him patch. 
To warm fire. 
You no give. 
Bring come. 
A bush. 

Give the horse some corn. 
Take care of the child. 
His wife became a shrew. 
The middle of your hand. 
The bottom of my foot 
Put out the lamp. 
The boy is very tricky. 
I did not provoke htm. 
Look at the star up in the sky. 
Do not let him get away. 
I am going to buy. 
Out of doors. 
Quick at repartee. 
The bull has broken out of the pen. 
The bell is ringing in the yard. 
In the place where it was patched. 
To warm oneself by the fire. 
If you do not give. 
Bring it here. ■ 
In the bush. 1 

These are a few typical sentences out of a host which might 
be cited to show the neat, short turn they take in the 
mouth of the Jamaica Negro. 

The rapidity of utterance natural to all the Blacks is 
exaggerated by Annancy. He generally affects, too, a 
falsetto tone as in " Play up the music, play up the music," 
in Yung-kyum-pyung. He has a metamorphic shape, 

1 These idioms are Y&ry similar to those of Cape Dutch, especially as spoken 
by the coloured people, and may help to illustrate its development. Ctjy is 
U skeUum % —ek gaan (or better, Corp) korp, etc. "To warm fire" reminds 
one of the Bantu Ku oi a moto> of which it is almost a literal translation. (A. W. ) 

Introduction. 5 

that of the Spider. At one moment he is a man " tiefing 
(thieving) cow/' the next he is running upon his rope (web). 

As he is the chief personage in most of the stories in 
this book, it is well to have a perfectly clear idea of the 
pronunciation of his name. Unnahncy does not represent 
it badly, but the first letter has actually the sound of short 
French a as in la. The accent falls strongly on the middle 
syllable. In "Tacoma" all the syllables are very short 
The first has the sound of French ta, and takes the accent; 
co is something between English cook and Italian con, and it 
is impossible to determine whether to write the vowel o or 
u ; ma again as in French. The exact relation in which 
Tacoma stands to Annancy is obscure. In one case he is 
described as Annancy's son, but, according to most of the 
stories, he appears to be an independent neighbour. 

The stories are obviously derived from various sources, 
the most primitive being no doubt those which are con- 
cerned only, or chiefly, with animals. These may be of 
African origin, but we should have expected to find the 
Elephant and not the Tiger. I have a suspicion that 
Tiger was originally Lion, and that he is the Ogre of Jack 
the Giant-killer, and other fairy stories brought to Jamaica 
from England. Ogre would easily be corrupted to Tiger, 
and with the information, which might have been acquired 
at the same time, that Tiger was a fierce animal which ate 
men, his name would find its way into stories repeated 
from mouth to mouth. This is, however, pure conjecture. 
How much the stories vary may be seen from the two 
versions of Ali Baba, in one of which the point is so 
entirely lost that the door is not kept shut upon the 

The tunes are in the same case as the stories. What I 
take to be certainly primitive about them is the little short 
refrains, like u Carry him go 'long" (Dry Bone) and u Com- 
mando " (Annancy and Hog). These suggest tapping on 
a drum. Again, the same influence that has produced 

6 Jamaican Song and Story. 

the American Plantation Songs is occasionally visible, 
as in " Some a we da go to Mount Siney " ( Annancy in 
Crab Country). This kind of patter is just what the 
Negro likes. Some of the tunes are evidently popular 
songs of the day, as, for instance, the vulgar " Somebody 
waiting for Salizon" (Snake the Postman). But others 
are a puzzle, showing as they do a high order of melodic 
instinct Such are the melodies in " The Three Sisters " 
and " Leah/' and the digging-tunes, " Oh, Samuel, Oh ! " 
and "Three Acres of Coffee." These digging-tunes are 
very pleasant to hear, and the singers are quick at im- 
provising parts. They are an appropriate accompaniment 
to the joyous labour of this sunny, happy land. 

One more word with regard to the tunes. They gain a 
peculiar and almost indescribable lilt from a peculiarity 
in the time-organisation of the Negro. If you as* him to 
beat the time with his foot, he does it perfectly regularly, 
but just where the white man does not do it We beat 
with the time ; he beats against it. To make my mean- 
ing quite plain, take common measure. His first beat 
in the bar will be exactly midway between our first 
and second beats. The effect of this peculiarity in their 
singing is, that there is commonly a feeling of syncopa- 
tion about it The Americans call it "rag-time." 

The men's voices are of extraordinary beauty. To 
hear a group chatting is a pure pleasure to the 
ear, quite irrespective of the funny things they say; 
and their remarks are accompanied with the prettiest 
little twirks and turns of intonation, sometimes on the 
words, sometimes mere vocal ejaculations between them. 
The women's voices have the same fine quality when 
they speak low, but this they seldom do, and their 
usual vivacious chatter is anything but melodious. 


Annancy and Brother Tiger. 


One day Annancy an' Bro'er Tiger go a river fe wash'kin. 
Annancy said to Bro'er Tiger: — "Bro'er Tiger, as you 
are such a big man, if you go in a de blue hole with 
your fat you a go drownded, so you fe take out your 
fat so lef' it here." 

Tiger said to Bro'er Annancy: — "You must take out 
fe you too." 

Annancy say : — " You take out first, an' me me take out 

Tiger first take out 

Annancy say : — " Go in a hole, Bro'er Tiger, an' make 
me see how you swim light" 

Bro'er Annancy never go in. 

As Tiger was paying attention to the swimming, Annancy 
take up his fat an' eat it 

Then Annancy was so frightened for Tiger, he leaves 
the river side an' go to Big Monkey town. 

Him say : — " Bro'er Monkey, I hear them shing a shing 
a river side say : — 


If H|j J'fl J' J J-J' l -I J JJ 

Yesh-ter-day this time me a nyam Ti-ger fat, 

i f w 

Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat, Yeshterday this time me a 

nyam Ti-ger fat, Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat 

8 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

The Big Monkey drive him away, say they don't want 
to hear no song. 

So him leave and go to Little Monkey town, an 9 when 
him go him said : — 

"Bro'er Monkey, I hear one shweet song a river side 

say: — 

" Yeshterday this time roe a nyam Tiger fat 
Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat" 

Then Monkey say: — * You must sing the song, make 
we hear." 

Then Annancy commence to sing. 

Monkey love the song so much that they made a ball 
a night an' have the same song playing. 

So when Annancy hear the song was playing, he was 
glad to go back to Bro'er Tiger. 

When him go to the river, he saw Tiger was looking 
for his fat 

Tiger said : — u Bro'er Annancy, I can't find me fat at all" 

Annancy say : — " Ha ha ! Biddybye I hear them shing 
a Little Monkey town say : — 

Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat 
Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat 

Bro'er Tiger, if you 1 think I lie, come make we go a 
Little Monkey town." 

So he and Tiger wented 

When them get to the place, Annancy tell Tiger they 
must hide in a bush. 

Then the Monkey was dancing an 9 playing the same tune. 

Tiger hear. 

Then Annancy say : — " Bro'er Tiger wha' me tell you ? 
You no yerry me tell you say them a call you name up 

An' the Monkey never cease with the tune ; — 

Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat 
Yeshterday this time me a nyam Tiger fat 

Annancy and Brother Tiger. 9 

Then Tiger go in the ball an' ask Monkey them for 
his fat 

The Monkey say they don't know nothing name so, 'tis 
Mr. Annancy Tarn them the song. 

So Tiger could manage the Little Monkey them, an' he 
want fe fight them. 

So the Little Monkey send away a bearer to Big 
Monkey town, an' bring down a lots of soldiers, an' flog 
Bro'er Tiger an' Annancy. 

So Bro'er Tiger have fe take bush an' Annancy run up 
a house-top. 

From that, Tiger live in the wood until now, an' Annancy 
in the house-top. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


Go a rrver fe wash Ida, go to the river to wash their skins. Pronounce fe 
like fit without the t. 

In a do, into the. 

▲ go drownded, will be drowned. 

lb tain, short for mast nave ft take, must take 

■0 VbC , and leave. 

a you, for you, yours. 

ma me, I wilL Annancy is fond of these reduplications. 

In a nolo, in the hole. 

make ma see, let me see. Make and let are always confused. 

frighten, frightened. Past participles are seldom used. 

take, eat, leave, go, takes, eats, leaves, goes. This shortening is always 
adopted. If a final 8 is used, it is generally in the wrong place. 

ahlng a shing, sing a song. Annancy's lisp will not always be printed, but 
in reading, it should be put in even when not indicated. 

a river tide, at the river's side. The v is pronounced more like a b, and the 
i in river has the sound of French u. 

ma a nyam, I was eating, I ate. Vyam is one of the few African words 
which survive in Jamaica. 

make we hear, and let us hear it. 

have the same song playing; the past participle again avoided, and its 
place supplied by the present participle. Song and tune are interchangeable 

io Jamaican Song and Story. 

terms, and, even when there is no singing, the fiddle speaks words to those 
who are privileged to hear ; see " Doba" and other stories. 

Biddy/bye, by the bye. 

a Little Monkey town, in little Monkey town. So already in this story 
we have had a standing for to, in, the, at, will, besides being interjected, as 
in ma a nyam and elsewhere. 

make we go, let as go. 

in a tmah, in the bosh, in the jangle. 

rtanrlng an' playing. No mention of singing, observe. 

a wna' ma tall yon, ate. What did I tell you ? Did you not hear me tell 
you they were talking about you up here? A good phrase to illustrate the 
use of the interjected say. Call yon nana, mention your name. 

Monkey them ; another common addition. 

nothing name so, nothing called so. 

a bearer. Bearers are important people in the Jamaica hills where post- 
offices are few. They often bear nothing but a letter, though some carry loads 

Jack Mantoxa, ate All Annancy stories end with these or similar words. 
The Jack is a member of the company to whom the story is told, perhaps its 
principal member ; and the narrator addresses him, and says : " I do not pick 
you oat, Jack, or any of your companions, to be flogged as Tiger and Annancy 
were by the monkeys." Among the African tribes stories we know are 
often told with an object The Negro is quick to seize a parable, and the 
point of a cunningly constructed story directed at an individual obnoxious 
to the reciter would not miss. So when the stories were merely told for 
diversion, it may have been thought good manners to say: "This story of 
mine is not aimed at any one." 

Yung-Kyum-Pyung. 1 1 


A KING had free daughter, but nobody in the world know 
their name. All the learned man from all part of the 
eart* come to guess them name, an* no one could'n guess 

Brother Annancy hear of it an' say : — " Me me I mus' 
have fe fin' them ya-ya gal name. Not a man can do it 
abbly no me." 

So one day the King free gal gone out to bathe, an' 
Brother Annancy make a pretty basket, an' put it in a the 
house where he knew they was going to come fe eat them 

He leave it there, an' go under the house fe hear the 

When them come, them see the basket, an' it was the 
prettiest something they ever see in their life. 

Then the biggest one cry out : — 

Yung-kyum-pyung ! What a pretty basket ! 
Marg'ret-Powell-Alone ! What a pretty basket ! 

And the next one say : — 

Margaret- Powell-Alone 1 What a pretty basket ! 
Eggie-Law ! What a pretty basket ! 

And the youngest bahl : — 

Eggie-Law t What a pretty basket, eh ? 
Yung-kyum-pyung ! What a pretty basket, eh ? 

Brother Annancy hear it all good, an' he glad so till him 
fly out a the house an' gone. 

Him go an' make up a band of music with fiddle an* 
•drum, an' give the musicians them a tune to sing the 
names to. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' after a week him come back. 

When him get where the King could yerry, him give 
out : — " Play up the music, play up the music" 
So they play an' sing : — 


► » J r j 



rung Ec-ffie-Lai 


Yung-kyum-pyung Eg-gie-Law Marg'ret- Powell- A - lone. 

After six times sing the Queen yerry. 

She say : — " Who is that calling my daughter name ? " 

Annancy tell them fe play all the better. 

Then the Queen massoo himself from up'tairs, an' t*row 
down broke him neck. 

Dat time de King no yerry, so Annancy harder to play 
de music still. 

At last the King yerry, an' him say: — "Who is dat, 
calling me daughter name ? " 

Annancy let them sing the tune over and over : — 

iftmijJr jhjj .MjJj^Jif^ ^i 

Yung-kyum-pyung Eg-gie-Law Marg'ret-Poweil- A - lone. 

An' the King trow himself off a him frone an' lie there 
'tiff dead. 

Then Annancy go up an' take the t'rone, an' marry the 
youngest daughter an' a reign. 

Annancy is the wickedest King ever reign. Sometime 
him dere, sometime him gone run 'pon him rope an tief 
cow fe him wife. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


M», hm I nutf bare, etc, I will find out those girls' names. Anybody 
would have said : — " Me mus* have fe find them ya (those here) gal name, 
bnt Annancy likes to add a few more syllables. His speech is 


Yung-Kyum-Pyung. 1 3 

The Jamaican looks down on the Bungo (rhymes with Mungo) who "no 'peak 
good English." 

abuy no me, except me. 

go under the house. It is no absurdity to the narrator's mind to picture 
the King's house on the pattern of his own. This is a two-roomed hat, con- 
sisting of the hall or dining-room and a bedroom. It is floored with inch- 
thick cedar boards roughly cat and planed, so that they never lie very close. 
An air space is left underneath, and anybody who creeps under the hut can 
hear all that goes on above. 

MO, bawl. 

hear it an foot, hears everything perfectly. 

Hoy mp tfce male. He almost sings, like this :— - 

Play up the mu-sic. 

an the better, all the harder. 

maesoo himself, lifts herself up. " Massoo" is an African word. The hall 
seems to have a sort of gallery. 

frow down, eve., throws herself down and breaks her neck. They always 
say to broke. 

Da* time do King. The turning of th into a d or nearly a d is characteristic 
of negro speech. To avoid the tiresomeness of dialect-printing, and for another 
reason to be mentioned by and by, this is not always indicated. The change 
is introduced occasionally to remind readers of the right pronunciation. 

lot them sing, makes them sing. 

Sometime mm dare, sometimes he is there (at home), sometimes he goes 
and runs upon his web and steals cows for his wife. Other stories will show 
Annancy's partiality for beef, or indeed anything eatable. 

ttef, thieve. 

Spiders' webs of any kind are called Annaney ropes. 

14 Jamaican Song and Story. 


There was two young lady name Miss Wenchy an' 
Miss Lumpy. The King Daniel was courtening to Miss 
Wenchy, an' the day when they was to get many Miss 
Lumpy carry Miss Wenchy an' show him a flowers in 
the pond. Miss Wenchy go to pick it/ an' Miss Lumpy 
shub him in the pond. 

An' she said : — " Tank God ! nobody see me." 

Now a Parrot sat up on a tree, an' jes' as Miss Lumpy 
say u Tank God ! nobody see me " the Parrot say : — " I 
see you dough!" 

Then Miss Lumpy said to the Parrot: — "Do, my 
pretty Polly, don't you tell, an' I'll give you a silver 
door an 9 a golden cage." 

And the Parrot sing:— r 



H^jJ >J*m J»J* | 

No, No, I don't want it, for the 

same you serve an - o - ther one yon will serve me the same. 

"Oh do, my pretty Polly, don't you tell, an' I'll give 
you a silver door an' a golden cage." 

But the Parrot wouldn' stay, and he fly from houses 
to houses singing this tune: — 


i j'li'Hjljijjflr fcc l l' r l p g^ 

I brought, I brought a news to the young King Daniel ; Miss 

King Daniel. 1 5 

iAimpy kill Miss Wenchy loss, on becount of young King Daniel. 

At last the Parrot got to the table where the young 
King Daniel was. 

An' Miss Lumpy was into a room crying. Many 
pocket-handkerchief she got wet with tears. An 9 the 
Parrot sing the same song: — "I brought, I brought a 
news to the young King Daniel; Miss Lumpy kill Miss 
Wenchy loss on becount of young King Daniel." 

Then Miss Lumpy call out: — "Oh drive away that 
nasty bird, for Miss Wenchy head hurting her." 

But King Daniel wouldn' have it so, but said: — "I 
heard my name call. I would like to know what is it" 

An' the Parrot fly near upon the King's shoulder an' 
tell him what become of Miss Wenchy. An' they go 
an' look in the room an' find her not. 

An' pretty Polly take them to the pond an' show 
them where Miss Wenchy is, an' she was drown. 

Then the King call Miss Lumpy an' head him up 
into a barrel an' fasten it up with tenpenny nails, an' 
carry him up to a high hill an' let him go down the 
gully, an' he drop in the gully pom-galong. 

An' the Parrot laugh Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


I Me you dough. The first three words are pitched high and the voice falls 
as low as possible on the dough and dwells upon it. 

Do, my pretty Polly, etc I have heard this story many times, and these 
words never vary. Obviously it was once a silver cage with a golden door. 1 

I brought ; brought for bring, as we had broke for break. 

1 The well-known and lately-current ballad of May Cohrin % in which this 
incident occurs (though it is the false lover, not the sister, who is murdered), 
has a cage of gold with an ivory door. (C. S. B. ) 

1 6 Jamaican Song and Story. 

lorn. It is donbtml what this word represents. It may be lots or losL 
Observe bocount* 

I would lis* to know what is It, I should like to know what it is, what the 
matter is. The perverse misplacing of these words strikes a newcomer to the 
island. In questions they misplace them again and say " What it is?" 

And her not. The not has a heavy accent 

gully, precipice. 

pan-galoot imitates the sound of the barrel as it goes bumping down. The 
o's have the Italian sound. 


One day there was a gal, an' Annancy really want that 
gal fe marry, but he couldn' catch him. An' Annancy 
ask a old-witch man — the name of him was Tomby — an' 
the old-witch man had a 'mash-up side, an' him was the 
only man could gotten the gal for Annancy. An* Annancy 
give the old-witch man a threepence to give the gal when 
him goin' to the market to buy a threepence of youricky- 
yourk. An' the gal take the t'reepence. An' as she 
walk along the pass to market she meet up one of her 
friend call Miss Princess Johnson an' she said : — " Good 
mornin' me love," an' the answer: — "How you do, me 
dear? Where you a come from now?" 

An Miss Justina say : — " Me a come from Tomby yard, 
an' see de tVeepence he give me fe go buy youricky- 

"Never you bodder with something 'tan' so. Gi' ahm 
back him fuppence because him goin' to turn trouble fe 

" How I manage fe gi' him the fuppence ? " 

"When you go to the market come back tell him you 
no see no youricky-yourk." 

"An' what you go go buy, Miss Princess?" 



" Me go buy me little salt fish an' me little hafoo yam, 
f reepence a red peas fe make me soup, quatty 'kellion, 
gill a garlic to put with me little nick-snack, quatty ripe 
banana, bit fe Gungo peas, an' me see if me can get 
quatty beef bone." 

"Ah! me missis, Cocoanut cheap a market ya." 
"Yes, me love, make me buy sixpence." 
An' as they talking they get to market They buy 
what they want an' turn back, an' when they reach up 
Princess yard they tell goodbye an' Justina call in to 
An' Justina bring back the t'reepence an' sing: — 

Me go to market, me look, Tomby; look oh! me 

look, Tomby, look oh ! me look, Tomby, seenoyouncky-yourk; Me 

went to Lingo Starban, 'coram! day, me went to Lingo StarBan^comful 


(fop 1 r =* 



day, me went to Lingo Star - ban, 'cornral day. 

An' Tomby very vex as, being a old witch, he knew 
all what the gal do already. An' he answer: — 



Hm hm ! hm hm ! me have me mash-up side gee oh ! a 

pjfar i* rW}j>t*.*&A ± *m 

him make you say Ta - ta - lin - go ya you bit oh ! 'cornral day. 


1 8 Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' he won't take the threepence. Now the rule is 
that anybody take something from old-witch an' can't 
give it back, it give him power to catch him. An' so 
comes it that Tomby catch Justina an' send for Mr. 
Annancy an' make him a present to be a wife. His 
name was Miss Sinclair, but she becomes now Mrs. 
Annancy Sinclair. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


Old-witch, a person of either sex possessed of supernatural powers, not 
necessarily old in years, as will be seen in other stories. The name " white 
witch " applied to men is familiar to dwellers in the West of England. 

'mash-up, smashed up, wounded, lacerated. 

youzlcay-yourk, a nonsense word for some kind of plaster. 

paaa, path. 

Mlas Frineaaa. Prince and Princess are common names for boys and girls. 

good morula'. This broad o is always pronounced ah. 

yard, a house with its immediate surroundings. 

Marat you boddar, don't you bother with something which stands so, with 
that sort of commission. 

ahm, frequently used for him. 

rnppenea, with Italian n having a turn towards o, fivepence in the old 
Jamaica coinage, equal to threepence English. Princess advises the return of 
the tuppence because it is going to get Justina (English a and Italian 1) into 
trouble, coming as it does from an old-witch. It would not be guessed that 
the Jamaica coinage is identical with that of England. Such is, nevertheless, 
the case in spite of these curious names : 

3 farthings i gill. 

2 gills I quatty (quarter of sixpence, pronounced quotty). 

2 quatties i treppence or fuppence (old coinage). 

3 quatties I bit. 

4 quatties I sixpence or tenpence (old coinage). 

5 quatties, bit-o-fuppence. 

7 quatties, bit-o-tenpence. 

8 quatties i shilling or maccaroni. 
io quatties, mac-o-ruppence. 

go go bay. It is not only Annancy who uses reduplications. The close 
English is replaced in the Negro's mouth by an Italian open 0. 

hafoo (pronounced hahfoo, really afoo, an African word), a kind of yam. 

Tomby. 19 

Icelllan, skellion or scallion, a kind of onion which does not bulb. 

Ckmgo, Congo. This pea is not only excellent for soap, bat the growing 
plant improves the soil by introducing nitrogen into it. 

ya, do you hear ? a common ending to any remark. 

tell goodbye. They tall howdy (how do you do ?) and goodbye. 

lingo Btarban. This should probably be Lingo's tavern, lingo's tahvern ; 
▼ and b being indistinguishable as in Spanish and Russian. 

'ooraful day, a day of scorning or flouting. Justina wishes Tomby to believe 
that she tried everywhere to get some youricky-yourk, but met only with flouts 
and jeers. 

Hm, km, grumbling. 

a 1dm, it is him, it is that which makes you say : — " Tatalingo, here's your 
bit," your three quatties. She only had a treppence but the Negro is above 
accuracy as the Emperor Sigismund was above grammar. 

Tatalingo. Lingo's name is now transferred to Tomby. Italian vowels in 
Tata. In " Finger Quashy " we find Tatafelo as one of the cats' names. 

make mm a pr e s e nt, make her (Justina) a present to Annancy. 

Mrs. Annancy Sinclair. 'They are not particular in the matter of surnames. 
A remarried widow is constantly called by the surname of her first husband. 

20 Jamaican Song and Story. 


ONE day Mr. Annancy an' his wife sat under a tree an' 
don't know that Mr. Monkey was on the tree. Mr. 
Annancy say to his wife : — " You know I really want little 
fresh." The wife say to Annancy: — "What kind a fresh?" 

" How you mean, me wife, fe ax me dat question ? Any 
meat at all Me wife, you know wha' we fe do. Make we 
get a banana barrel an' lay it on de bed, make him favour 
one man, so get white sheet an' yap him up from head to 
foot, an' sen' go call Bro'er Cow, Bro'er Monkey, Bro'er 
Sheep, Bro'er Goat an' Bro'er Hog. An' when them come 
we mus' put all the strange friend them inside de house an' 
den you fe stay inside de room wi' dem." 

Now Bro'er Annancy send fe all his friend, Sheep, Goat, 
Hog, Monkey. Cow was the minister. 

When they come to Annancy yard they met him was 

Parson Cow say : — " Don't cry so much, my good friend, 
because it is the all a we road." 

Annancy say : — " Ah, ah ! Bro'er Cow, you no know the 
feeling me have fe me one puppa. Bro'er Cow, as you is the 
parson, take you frien' in, you will see de ole man 'pon bed." 

During this time Mrs. Annancy was inside the room. 
The Reverend Cow went in to raise up the sheet 

Mrs. Annancy say : — " No ; me husban' say nobody fe 
look on the ole man face till in the morning." 

So Cow don't rist* 

Mr. Monkey who hear all what Annancy was saying, he 
an' his wife wouldn' go in the house. 

Mr. Annancy say : — " Bro'er Monkey, go inside. Go see 
the last of the ole man." 

He has to left Monkey, for Monkey was too clever tor 

An' by that time Mr. Annancy hid his cutlass back of 
his door well sharpen an' go in the house an' shut the door. 
It was the only door in the whole house, so he sat back of 
the door after lock it. 

An' after, Bro'er Annancy ask Bro'er Cow to say a word 
of prayer. 

During the praying Annancy was crying. 

Hog with an old voice say: — "Keep up Mr. Annancy, 
keep up Mr. Annancy." 

He cry much the better. 

The prayer was finish. Mr. Annancy ask Cow to raise 
a hymn. 

The Cow commence with hundred a de hymn, hundred 
a de page. 


John, me see the lsst to-day y», meseethelast, puppagone. 

Bro'er Annancy want fe kill Parson Cow, begin with a 
big confusion, say that him don't like that hymn. 

During this time his door was well lock, an' same time 
Bro'er Annancy draw his cutlass an' raise a fight, say that 
him don't like that hymn. 

Ad' the poor friend them didn' have anything to fight. 
He kill the whole of them. 

22 Jamaican Song and Story. 

In the morning Monkey laugh, say : — " Bro'er Annancy, 
If me min come in a you house you would a do me the 



Annancy say " No.' 

Him give Monkey a piece of the meat. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


freeh, fresh meat In the country districts the only meat to be had as a rule 
is ancient salt beef out of a tub. 

favour, look like. In some parts of England the word is still used in this 

met him wm crying, found him crying. 

all a we. All of us have to tread the road of death. 

one, own. 

who near, who had heard previously when he was on the tree. 

cutlass. Every Negro carries one. It is used for every sort of purpose, but 
seldom murderously as here. 

old voice, voice of simulated grief* 

much the better, all the more. 

hundred a de, hundredth.* 

me gallon ho, nonsense words. 

confusion, quarrel. 

mln, been. If I had come in you would have done the same to me. 

Blackbird and Woss-Woss. 23 


One day there was a place where they usual to kill 
plenty of meat An' Mr. Blackbird has a certain tree, 
hiding himself. An' every cow them kill Mr. Blackbird 
see how them kill it. An' going into the house, the 
house don't lock with no key nor either open with no 
key. When they want to go in them use a word, say 
"one — two — free — me no touch liver," an' the door open 
himself. An' when them want to come out of the house 
them use the same words "one — two — t'ree — me no touch 
liver." An' Mr. Blackbird tief them fe true, an' them 
never find it out. 

An' one day Mr. Blackbird write his friend Mr. Annancy 
to take a walk with him, an' him will show him where 
he is getting all these meat. An' when he is going him 
tell Mr. Annancy all the rule, that when he go on the 
tree he must listen, an' him will hear what them say to 
open the door both going in an' coming out. 

What Mr. Annancy did ; when he see the butcher them 
passing with the meat, Annancy was trembling an' 
saying : — " Look a meat, — Look a meat." 

" Bro'er Annancy hush you mout', you a go make dem 
shot me." 

When the butcher them gone, Mr. Blackbird come down, 
he an' Mr. Annancy, an' go inside the house the very same 
as the butcher them do, say "one — two — t'ree — me no 
touch liver." As they go into the house Blackbird tell 
him that him mustn't take no liver. An' Mr. Annancy 
took liver an' put in his bag. An' when Blackbird started 
out with the same word Mr. Annancy left inside was tying 
his bag. 

24 Jamaican Song and Story. 

Now Mr. Annancy ready fe come out of the house, 
count "one — two — t'ree — me no touch liver," and by this 
time he has the liver in his bag. 

The door won't open. 

Blackbird call him " Come on/' 

He say : — " The door won't open." 

Then he count more than what he was to by get so 
frighten. He say:— " One — two — t'ree — four — five — six — 
seven — eight — nine — ten — me no touch liver." 

The door won't open. 

Mr. Blackbird say : — " Look in your bag, you must be 
have liver." 

The fellow so sweet-mout' say in a cross way " No." 

Blackbird leave him. 

When Blackbird go home he look an' can't see Mr. 
Annancy, so him fly a bush an' get up a whole regiment 
of soldier. Who these soldier was, was Woss-Woss. Mr. 
Blackbird was the General, march before. When them 
reach to the place they were just in time, for the butcher 
were taking Mr. Annancy to go an' tie him on a tree 
to cut him with hot iron. Word of command was given 
from Mr. Blackbird, an' by the time the butcher them 
come to the door with Mr. Annancy the whole world of 
Woss-Woss come down on them. 

They have to let go Mr. Annancy. Not one of the 
butcher could see. Mr. Blackbird soldier gain the battle 
an' get 'way Mr. Annancy. They take all the butcher 
meat an' carry home. Then Mr. Blackbird take Mr. 
Annancy under his wing an' all his soldiers an' fly to his 
own country. From that day Woss-Woss is a great fighter 
until now, so bird never do without them to guard their nest. 

Jack M ant or a me no choose any. 


Wom-Wom. The West Indian wasp hangs its paper nest to the twigs of 
boshes and trees as a rale, though it does not despise the shelter of the 

Blackbird and Woss-Woss. 25 

verandah. The wasps live in colonies, making many small nests instead of 
one big one. The nests are shaped like the rose of a watering-pot with the 
shank turned upwards. 

This story clearly owes its origin to Ali Baba. The conversion of Sesame, 
which meant nothing to the negro, into one-two-three, which at least means 
something, is not unnatural. 

fe true, literally for true is an expressive phrase conveying the idea of 
intensity. It hot fo true, it is intensely hot. Ho ttaf fe true, he steals 
terribly. It rain fe true, it is raining very hard. He wortlees fe true, 
he is a regular scamp. He alnnlcky fe true, he is a horrid sneak. Hie 
eon hard fo true, his ears are outrageously hard, said of a boy who will 
not do as he is told. He nyam fe true, he eats immensely. Lasy fo true, 
abominably lazy. Ugly fe true, exceedingly ugly. The water cold fe true, 
the water is very cold. White yam burn fe true, the white yam is sadly 
burnt. Orange hoar fe true, the oranges bear heavily. Poos catch ratta 
fe true, the cat catches any amount of rats. Him favour tiger fe true, 
he looks for all the world like a tiger, said of a man who has a sullen 
expression. Ho head hart me fo true. I have a very bad headache. Boot 
burn mo fe true, my boots gall me dreadfully. 

by got 00 frighten, through fright ; literally, owing to his getting so much 

must he have, must have. 

ffweet-mout', sweet-mouthed, greedy. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


THERE was free sister living into a house, an' everybody 
want them fe marry, an 1 them refuse. 

An' one day a Snake go an' borrow from his neighbour 
long coat an' burn-pan hat an' the whole set out of 
clothing. Then he dress himself, an' him tell his friends 
that him mus' talk to those young lady. An' what you 
think the fellow does? He get up a heap a men to 
carry him to the young lady yard. An' when him got 
there the door was lock with an iron bar. An' when 
he come he say : — " Please to open the door, there is a 
stranger coming in." An' he sing like this: — 


$hrr -*-r*&=tf« jjjydTf-T^ 

My el - des* sis-ter, will you o-pen the door? My el -des' 

sis-ter, will you open the door oh ? Fair an' gande-low steeL 

An' the eldest one was going to open the door. An' 
the last one, who was a old-witch, say to her sister: — 
''Don't open the door," an' she sing: — 


My door is bar — with a scotran bar, My door is 

bar — with a scotran bar oh, Fair an* gandelow steel. 

The Three Sisters. 


Then the Snake ask again to the same tune: — 

My second sister will you open the door? 
My second sister will you open the door oh? 
Fair an' gandelow steel 

An' the youngest, which was old-witch, sing again: — 

My door is bar with an iron bar, 
My door is bar with an iron bar oh, 
Fair an' gandelow steel. 

An' the Snake turn to a Devil, an' the t'ree sister come 
an' push on the door to keep it from open. 
An' the Devil ask a third time: — 

My youngest sister will you open the door? 
My youngest sister will you open the door oh? 
Fair an' gandelow steeL 

But the last sister won't have it so, an' she said with 
a very wrath: — 


|4n jJJftl J 1 j^^TpTr 

The Devil ro - guer than a woman-kind, The Devil id- 

j.-T' JY j C PH I 

guer than a woman-kind oh, Fair an' gandelow steel. 

An' the Devil get into a great temper an' say: — 

i j'atM* j ^ijs 

What is ro-guer than a woman-kind? What is ro- 

guer than a woman -kind oh? Fair an' gandelow steel. 

Then the Devil fly from the step straight into hell 
an have chain round his waist until now. 
Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

28 Jamaican Song and Story. 


Snake is pronounced with an indefinite short vowel between the ■ and n, 

born-pan hat, the tall hat of civilized towns. The pan is the usual cylin- 
drical tin vessel used for cooking. When blackened by fire it is a bain-pan. 
or burnt pan. It is pronounced like French bonne. 

Qandftlow, lootrmn, The meaning of these words is lost. 

roguer. This word is doubtful. Sometimes it sounds like rowgard, at 
others like rowgod. It may mean "more roguish." The boy who gave me 
this story often quotes this line from a hymn : 

" To break the bonds of cantling sin. 1 ' 
One day I asked him to point it out in his hymnbook. It was co n que r ing. 
He can say it perfectly well, but he still goes on with cantling. It is not 
surprising, therefore, that we cannot recover words passed from mouth to 
mouth for generations. 

womankind. Again it is doubtful whether this is a single word or two 
words. The article would fix it as the latter in pure English, but in negro 
speech it goes for nothing. 

old-wlton, though she was a young girl : see notes to No. IV. (Tomby). 

William Tell. 29 


ONCE there was a man who name William Tell, an' him 
have a lots of cow. An' in the yard there was a tree, an' 
the tree no man can fall it. Any animal at all go under 
that tree it kill them, an' the name of the tree is Huyg. 

An* William Tell wanted the tree to cut down. 

An 1 him offer a cow to any man that kill the Huyg. 
They shall get the cow. 

An' first of all Tacoma went to cut down the tree, an* 
him couldn' bear the itch, I mean 'cratch of the tree. 

An' William Tell made a law that any man come to 
cut the tree they must not 'cratch their 'kin or else they 
would lose the cow. 

An' Mr. Tacoma were very sorry, an' he was to leave 
the cow just to save his life. 

An' that great man Mr. Annancy heard about the cow 
an' him got a very sharp axe. An' when Mr. Annancy 
come, William Tell show him the cow — Annancy glad 
when he see the cow — an' after he show Mr. Annancy 
the tree. 

Then Mr. Annancy say : — " Ho, me good massa, don't 
you fret of the tree. If one sing don't send 'way the 
tree another one must send him 'way." 

An' the first sing was: — 


Big chip, fly ! little chip 

He repeat the word over an' over, but the tree don't 
fall yet. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

So him take up another sing again : — 




J J iJ 1 ! 

Me go to Ricky-Ian - jo, eye come shine, come 

hfr-J — ^ 

show me your mc 




eye come shine. 

An* Mr. Annancy never cease till him cut down the 
tree an' receive his reward. 


Hnyg for Hag, as they say buyg for bag. The spelling is awkward but it 
seems the only convenient one to adopt. The sound will be best understood 
from the second example. Say tray and put a hard g after it. The Hoyg 
seems to combine the qualities of the Upas and Cow-itch ( Mucuns pruriens). 
The last, a common Jamaica weed, looks like a scarlet runner. It bears pods 
covered with a pretty velvet of hairs which ' ' scratch " or irritate the skin. 

stag. Further on there is a collection of these lings. 

■bow ma your motion, let me see you begin to topple. 

Brother Annancy and Brother Death. 3 1 



One day Brother Annancy sen' gal Annancy fe go a 
Brother Deaf yard fe go beg fire. 

When the gal go, him go meet Brother Deaf dis a eat 
fe him breakfas' enough eggs. Brother Deat' give gal 
Annancy one. Gal Annancy take the egg an', after eat 
done, put the shell 'pon him finger. 

Brother Annancy wait an' wait but can't get the fire, 
till at last he see the gal a come. 

When him see the gal with the egg shell 'pon him finger, 
him run an' bit off the gal finger slap to the hand. Him 
take 'way the fire, out it, an' go back to Deat' say : — 
* Bro'er Deat', de fire out" 

Brother Deat' give him fire an 1 one egg, tell him fe 
go home. 

" Say, Bro'er Deat', I goin' to give you me daughter fe 
marry to." 

So Annancy do marry off Deaf an' him daughter the 
same day. So him lef them gone for a week, then come 
back again fe come see him son-in-law. 

When him come him say : — " Bro'er Deat', me son, me 

Brother Deat' no 'peak. 

So Annancy begin fe talk to himself : * Bro'er Deaf say 
me fe go make up fire, but no mo so me no yerry." 

After five minutes him call out : — " Bro'er Deaf, me 
make up de fire." 

Deat' no 'peak. 

11 Bro'er Deaf say me fe wash de pot, but no mo so me 
no yerry. 


32 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

When the pot wash done, him call out : — " Pot wash." 

Deat' no 'peak. 

" Bro'er Deat' say me fe to put him on, but no mo so 
me no yerry." 

Soon him say : — " Bro'er Deat', where de vittle ? " 

Deat' no 'peak. 

" Him say me fe look somewW 66 me see enough yam, 
me fe peel dem put dem a fire, but no mo so me no yerry." 

Annancy cook all Deat' food. 

When it boil, him take it off. Him say : — " Bro'er Deat', 
him boiL" 

Deat' no 'peak. 

" Bro'er Deat' say me fe share, but no mo so me no 

Annancy eat fe him share, then turn back say : — " Bro'er 
Deaf, you no come come eat ? " 

Deat' no 'peak. 

" Bro'er Deat' say him no want none, but no mo so me 
no yerry." 

So Annancy eat off all the food him one. 

Then Deat' get vex in a him heart, and him run into the 

" Bro'er Annancy a wh£ you mean fe do me, say a come 
you come fe kill me ? " 

So Deat' catch Annancy an' say : — " Me no a go let 
you go again, no use, no use." 

Then, after, Deat' carry Annancy in a him house an' 
leave him, gone to get his lance to kill him. 

So, after Annancy sit a time an' about to go away, him 
say : — u Bro'er Deat' say me fe go take piece a meat, but 
no mo so me no yerry." . 

When Annancy go to the meat cask, him see the cask 
full with meat Him take out two big piece of meat. 
Then he see fe him daughter hand with the missing finger. 
Him jump out of the house an' bawl out : — " Bro'er Deat', 
you b'ute, you b'ute, you kill me daughter." 


Brother Annancy and Brother Death. 33 

Deat 1 catch him again an* was going to kill him, but the 
feller get 'way, run home a fe him yard. 

Brother Deaf follow him when him go home. 

Annancy take all him children an' go up a house-top, go 
hang up on the rafter. Brother Deat' come in a de house, 
see them up a de house-top. 

Annancy say to his family — there was two boy an' the 
mumma — " Bear up ! If you drop de man a dirty di a go 
nyam you." 

Here come one of the boy say : — " Puppa, me han' 

Annancy say : — " Bear up ! " 

The boy cry out fe de better. 

Annancy say : — " Drop, you b'ute ! No see you dada 
a dirty d6 ? " 

Him drop. 

Deat' take him and put him aside. 

Five minutes the other one say: — "Puppa, me han' 

Annancy say again : — " Drop, you b'ute ! No see you 
dada a dirty 66 ? " 

Him drop. 

Deat' take him an' put him aside. 

Soon the wife get tired, say : — " Me husban', me han* 

Annancy say : — " Bear up, me good wife ! " 

When she cry she couldn' bear no more, Annancy bawl 
again : — " Drop you b'ute ! No see you husban' a dirty 
At ? " 

She drop. 

Deat' take her. 

At last Annancy get tired. Das de man, Bro'er Deat' 

been want. Annancy was so smart, no want fe Deat' catch 

him, so he say : — " Bro'er Deat', I goin* to drop, an' bein' 

me so fat, if you no want me fat fe waste, go and fetch 

somet'ing fe catch me." 


34 Jamaican Song and Story. 

* What me can take fe catch you ? " 

" Go in a room you will see a barrel of flour an' you fe 
take it so fe me drop in d&" 

Deat' never know that this flour was temper lime. 

Deat 1 bring the barrel an', just as he fixing it up under 
where Annancy hanging, Annancy drop on Deat' head 
PUM, an jam him head in a the temper lime an' blind him. 
So he an* all him family get 'way. 

Jack M ant or a me no choose any. 


41b a oat, just as he had eaten. 

no mo ao mo no yony, I most have foiled to hear. See page 3. 

Deaf no 'peak, Death won't speak. The comedy is well sustained. 
Annancy goes through the various stages of preparation for breakfast, 
pretending that he is carrying out orders from Death which he fails to hear. 

put him on, put the pot on the fire. 

■omewhe* do, somewhere there. The o's are like French 6, and do is 
said with a strong accent and made very short. 

enough yam, plenty of yams. 

say a come yon come, say do you come. 

mo no a go etc, I am not going to let you go again. 

no use, no mistake about it this time. 

bawL Remember to pronounce it bahL 

tfute, brute, pronounced bynte like the island Bute. 

a fe him yard, to his yard. 

a dirty d6, etc., on the ground there will eat you. 

fo do bettor, all the more. 

Dai, that's. 

temper lime, tempered lime originally no doubt, but now meaning quick 
lime. Temper, I am told, means cross. And in further explanation my 
informant adds : " You can't fingle (finger) temper lime as you have a mind ; it 
cut up your hand." 

pom with the shortest possible vowel represents the thud of Annancy's mil 
upon Death's head. 

The Kitchen is outside the house, often at a considerable distance from it. 

Mr. Bluebeard. 35 


There was a man named Mr. Bluebeard. He got his 
wife in his house an 1 he general catch people an' lock up 
into a room, an' he never let him wife see that room. 

One day he went out to a dinner an' forgot his key on 
the door. An' his wife open the door an' find many dead 
people in the room. Those that were not dead said : — 
" Thanky, Missis ; Thanky, Missis." 

An' as soon as the live ones get away, an' she was to 
lock the door, the key drop in blood. She take it up an' 
wash it an' put it in the lock. It drop back into the blood. 

An' Mr. Bluebeard was a old-witch an' know what was 
going on at home. An' as he sat at dinner, he called out 
to get his horse ready at once. An' they said to him : — 
"Do, Mr. Bluebeard, have something to eat before 
you go." 

u No ! get my horse ready." 

So they bring it to him. Now, he doesn't ride a four- 
footed beast, he ride a t'ree-foot horse. 

An' he get on his horse an' start off itty-itty-hap, itty- 
itty-hap, until he get home. 

Now, Mrs. Bluebeard two brother was a hunter-man in 
the wood. One of them was old-witch, an' he said : — 
" Brother, brother, something home wrong with me sister." 

u Get 'way you little foolish fellah," said the biggest 

But the other say again : — " Brother, brother, something 
wrong at home. Just get me a white cup and a white 
saucer, and fill it with water, and put it in the sun, an' you 
will soon see what do the water." 

Directly the water turn blood. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' the eldest said : — " Brother, it is truth, make 
we go." 

An' Mrs. Bluebeard was afraid, because he knew Mr. 
Bluebeard was coming fe kill him. An 9 he was calling 
continually to the cook, Miss Anne : — 



Sister Anne, Sister Anne, Ah ! you see an - y one is coming ? 

Sis- terAnne, Sis- ter Anne, Ah) you sec an -y one b coming? 

An* Sister Anne answer : — 


no, I see no one is coming, 

f j j 1 - j '. 



But the dust that makes the grass so green. 

An' as she sing done they hear Mr. Bluebeard coming, 
itty-itty-hap, itty-itty-hap. 

Him jump straight off a him t'ree-foot beast an' go in a 
the house, and catch Mrs. Bluebeard by one of him plait- 
hair an' hold him by it, an' said : — " This is the last day 
of you." 

An' Mrs. Bluebeard said : — " Do, Mr. Bluebeard, allow 
me to say my last prayer." 

But Mr. Bluebeard still hold him by the hair while he 
sing : — 

Sister Anne, Sister Anne, Ah ! you see any one is coming ? 
Sister Anne, Sister Anne, Ah ! you see any one is coming ? 

Mr. Bluebeard. 


An* Sister Anne answer this time : — 

Oh — yes ! I see someone is com-ing, 

tf»j jj j-ir^j5j i j. 


And the dust that makes the grass so green. 

Then Mr. Bluebeard took his sword was to cut off him 
neck, an' his two brother appear, an' the eldest one going 
to shot after Mr. Bluebeard, an' he was afraid an' begin 
to run away. But the young one wasn't going .to let him 
go so, an' him shot PUM and kill him 'tiff dead. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


three-foot, three-legged. 1 Sand is used for arm in the same way. 

ttty-ltty-hap, imitating the halting gait of the three-legged horse. The 
voice rises on bap which is said with a sharp quick accent 1 

Is kill him, to kill her. The use of masculine for feminine pronouns is 
bewildering at first. 

1 " The ' three-foot horse ' is believed to be a kind of duppy with three legs, 
hence its name ; and is able to gallop faster than any other horse. It goes 
about in moonlight nights, and if it meet any person it blows upon him and 
kills him. It will never attack you in the dark. It cannot hurt you on a tree." 
Folklore of the Negroes of Jamaica, in Folklore* VoL XV., p. 91. (C.S.B.). 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


One day Annancy an' Puss make a dance, an' invite Ratta 
to the ball. Annancy was the fiddler. The first figure 
what him play, the tune say : — 


J? fl .t-^^w- — JM\f\M ... J ,-p- 

rc>g-.jjj»j ** ** w PP r * * i < " 

Yingdeyingdeying, Yingdeyingdeying, takecareyougotalkoh, 

min'you tattler tongue ying deying, min'you tattler tongue ying deying, 

min' you tat - tier tongue ying de ying. 

The second tune he say : — 

AlUgro Vivace. 







Ban-dy - wichy wich, Ban-dy-wichy wich, Ban-dy-wichy wich, 




Timber hang an' fell la la, fall la la, fall la. 

Then, as the Ratta dance, the high figure wh£ him 
make, him slide in the floor an' him trousies pop. Then 
the shame he shame, he run into a hole, an' him make 
Ratta live into a hole up to to-day day. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

^ ■■■ J ' «**MHP«MH«H| 

Annancy, Puss, and Ratta. 39 


This story should be rattled off as quick as possible. 

Batta, rat or rats. 

Ting de ylng imitates the " rubbing " of the fiddle, as they call it 

take oare yon go talk, mind you don't talk, mind your tattling tongue. 

figure irnt Urn make, caper that he cuts. 

trouales pop, trousers burst. 


One day a King made a race and have Toad and Donkey 
to be the racer. An' Toad tell Donkey that him must 
win the race, an' Donkey mad when him yerry so. And 
the race was twenty mile. 

An' Donkey say : — " How can you run me ? I have 
long tail an' long ear an' a very tall foot too, an' you a 
little bit a Toad. Let me measure foot an' see which one 

An' Toad say to Donkey: — "You no mind that man, 
but I must get the race." 

An' Donkey get very vex about it 

An' Donkey say to the King : — " I ready now to start 
the race." 

An' the King made a law that Donkey is to bawl at 
every miles that he might know where he got " 

Now that little smart fellah Toad says to the King 
that he doesn't fix up his business yet, an' will he grant 
him a little time. 

An' the King grant him a day, an' say to the two of 
them : — " Come again to-morrow." 

An' Donkey wasn't agree, for he know that Toad is a 
vtry trickified thing. 

40 Jamaican Song and Story. 

But the King wouldn' hear, an' say : — " No, to- 


Now Toad have twenty picny. An' while Donkey is | 

sleeping, Toa^ take the twenty picny them along with I 

him on the race-ground, an' to every milepost Toad leave 
one of his picny an' tell them that they must listen for 
Mr. Donkey when he is coming. "An' when you yerry 
that fellah Mr. Donkey bawl, you must bawl too." An* 
Toad hide one of his picny behind every milepost until 
him end the twenty mile. 

So the race begin. 

Donkey was so glad in a him heart that he was going 
to beat Toad that he say to himself : — " Tche ! That 
little bit a fellah Toad can't manage me, so I must have 
plenty of time to eat some grass." 

So him stand by the way, eat grass and poke him head 
through the fence where he see some potato-slip, an' try 
a taste of Gungo peas. An' he take more than an hour 
fe catch up the first mile-post, an' as him get him bawl : — 


\fy "f r f Y '^^ J r " 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha! me more than Toad. 

An' there comes the first picny call out : — 

■3- If -f 

Jin - ko - ro - ro, Jin-kok-kok-kok. 

An' Donkey quite surprise, an' say : — " Tche 1 How him 
manage to be before me ? " 

An' he think : — " Me delay too long with that grass, 
I must quicker next mile." 

An' him set off with a better speed an' only stop a 
minute for a drink of water. An' as him get to the next 
post him bawl : — 

Toad and Donkey. 





Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! memorethanToad. 

An' there come the second picny call out : — 


Jin - ko - ro - ro, Jin-kok-kok-kok. 

An* Donkey say : — " Lah ! Toad travel fe true. Never 
mind, we will chance it again." 

So him 'tart, an' when him reach the third mile-post him 
bawl : — 

\ i> h f v f i* I J-ATJ'J t- I I 

Hal Ha! Ha! memorethanToad. 

An* the third picny behind the post say : — 


Jin - ko - ro - ro, Jin-kok-kok-kok. 

Jackass get vex when he hear Toad answer him, an' he 
go fe 'mash Toad, an' Toad being a little man hide himself 
in a grass. 

Then Donkey say: — "Hi! fellah gone ahead; make I 
see if I can catch up the next mile-post before him." An' 
he take him tail an' touch it like a horsewhip an' begin fe 

An' him get to the fourth mile-post an' bawl : — 

\ i> n f i* r -iuj -j/jj i* 11 

Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! memorethanToad. 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' there comes the fourth picny answer him : — 

Jin - ko - ro - ro, Jin-kok-kok-kok. 

When him yerry, him 'tand up same place an' trimble, 
say: — "My goodness King! a wh£ me a go do? Make 
me gallop so I knock off all me hoof self upon the hard 
hard dirty because I must beat the race. 11 

An' he gallop so fast than he ever do before, until when 
he get to the fifth mile-post he was really tired an' out of 

But he just have enough to bawl : — 


b t\ f r 


r,WJ r I I 

Ha I Ha ! Ha 1 memorethanToad. 

When he hear : — 


Jin - ko - ro - ro, Jin-kok-kok-kok. 

This time he really mad, an' race on harder than ever. 
But always the same story. Each mile-post he catch him 
bawl: — "Ha! Ha! Ha! me more than Toad." An' 
always come answer: — " Jinkororo, Jinkokkokkok." 

An' Donkey begin to get sad in his mind for he see that 
he lost the race. So through Toad smartness Donkey can 
never be racer again. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


tall foot, long leg. A tall bridge is a long one, not one that stands high 
above the river. 

Toad and Donkey. 43 

wasn't agrae, didn't agree. Auxiliaries are a snare. 

ptany. This is the almost universal form of picaninny in Jamaica, varied 
occasionally by picany. 

Tone I the Pshaw 1 of books and »the Tush ! of the Psalms. There is a 
world of contempt in this ejaculation, which is accompanied by an upward 
jerk of the chin. The vowel is that of French la. 

potato-slip. The sweet potato (Ipomaa Batatas) is cultivated by slips or 
cuttings. Our kind of potato is called " Irish potato." 

Jlnkororo, etc. This is a capital imitation of the Toad's croaking chuckle. 
The second bar should be made as out of tune as possible and the kok is on 
the lowest note of the voice. It is the repeated k's that make the croak so 

take him talL They are fond of this expression. Other examples are : — 
4 'The horse take him mout' fe 'cratch him foot," the horse scratches his leg with 
his mouth. " Me take me owny yeye an' see it," I saw it with my own eyes. 

a whe* me a go do ? What am I going to do, what shall I do? 

tfirty, ground. 


One day Annancy ask Snake to be his postman. 

Snake ask him how much he is going to pay him. 

An' Annancy tell Snake that he know he is a man 
love blood, an' when him come in the night he will give 
him a bite off his head. 

An' Snake did agree. 

An' the first night he give Annancy a bite in his head, 
an' Annancy feel it very much. 

An' the second night when Snake is to come back 
Annancy invite his friend Mr. Rabbit. An' Annancy 
usual to sleep out in the hall. An' that night, when 
his friend Mr. Rabbit did come, he move an' go in the 
room an' make a very high bed. An' his friend Mr. 
Rabbit didn' know what Annancy mean to do. 

So Annancy put him out in the hall, an' tell him 

44 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

that one of his cousin is sleeping in here too, so he will 
come in later on; an' when him hear him call he must 
just get up an' open the door an' see who it is. 

An' when Annancy out lamp Rabbit think it very 
hard, an* say to himself: — "Bro'er Annancy up to some 

An' Rabbit wake up an' begun to dig a hole, an' him 
dig a hole until him get outside the door an* find him- 
self back to his yard. 

When Snake come in the night to get the other bite 
from Annancy him call Annancy. 

Annancy wouldn' give answer as him being put Rabbit 
outside in the hall, an* Snake continually calling until 
Annancy give answer. 

An' when him give answer he begin to wake Rabbit 
an' thought Rabbit was inside the house. He didn' want 
was to receive his bite, an' he begun to call Rabbit 
" Cousin Yabbit," that Rabbit may glad an' give him 
answer. When him couldn' hear, him say "Godfather 
Yabbit." An' him call again "Bro'er Yabbit," an' him 
couldn' hear him. An' he call again " Puppa, Puppa ! "' an' 
he couldn' hear. 

An' him light the lamp an' come out the hall an' begin 
to s'arch for Rabbit An' when him look, him see Rabbit 
dig a heap of dirt an' come out 

An' Annancy beguns to cry inside the house an' 
wouldn' open the door. An' he begin to complain to 
Snake that the first bite him gi' him he 'mash up the 
whole a him head. 

An' Annancy 'tudy a 'cheme, catch up a black pot 
an' turn it down over him head. 

An' as he put out him head Snake bite the pot, 
t'ought it's Annancy him catch. An the whole of 
Snake mouth was in sore. An' when he get home he 
send back to Annancy that he sick an' won't manage 
to come back another night 

Snake the Postman. 


An' Annancy was very glad an' send go tell him that 
himself is in bed. 

An' when the bearer start for home him sing this 
song: — 


Somebody waitingfor Sa - li • zon, Somebody waiting for Sa-li-zon, 

^' Ce^ J l j. ' i l 

Somebody waiting for Sa - li-zon, Takeupyourletteran'go. 

An' from that day Snake broke friend with Annancy. 
Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


The house would have two rooms, first the hall and then the inner room or 
bedroom. From Rabbit's burrowing operations it appears to have no floor. 
This was a common condition in the old times, but now it gets rarer and rarer. 
Only Coolie (East Indian) houses are unfloored. 

him being pat, he had put. 

tody a 'cheme, studies a scheme. It is more usual 'tady a plan. This 
common, vulgar song is evidently of late origin and probably does not really 
belong to the story. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


ONE day Puss make a ball an' invite the whole world of 

All the Ratta dress in long coat an' silk dress. There 
was t'ousand of them women, an' men. When them come 
they bring a little boy an' the mother with a young baby. 

When all the Ratta settle, the door was shut, an' the 
Puss them have them junka 'tick secretly in a them trousies' 
foot They made a bargain between themselves that, when 
the Ratta deep in dancing, Doba must out the lamp, then 
the licking-match commence. 

When the music begin, it sweet Ratta so that they dance 
till their white shirt-bosom was wet 

The fiddler was Dandy Jimmy Flint. 

An' this is what the fiddle say : — 


n>* Bap ! twee twee, Ball-in - to - ny Bapl ti 

"he boy Ratta take notice of what the fiddle say. 

lim go to him dada an' whisper: — " Puppa, you no 

ry what the fiddle say ? " 

ny Bap I twee twee. 

Doha. 47 

The father say : — " Get 'way, Sir, you little fellah you ! 
It the worst fe carry any little boy out fe met Go, off, 
Sir, you lying fellah ! " 

During this time the boy hear what the music say in 
truth, went an' dug a hole fe him an' him mumma. 

When Ratta in hot dancing the gate-man Puss, Mr. 
Doba, out the lamp. Then the junka 'tick fly round an' 
all the Ratta was kill. Blood was cover the floor an' all 
the Puss take their share. 

Only boy Ratta an 1 his mumma an* the young baby, get 

If the puppa did take what the boy say him wouldn' 

Puss ball was flourish with meat. 

If boy Ratta an 1 his mumma didn' get 'way we wouldn' 
have no Ratta in dis ya-ya-world again. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


Ratta, rats. 

Pom them. These words are closely joined together. 

Junka 'tick, short sticks. 

troualee' foot, the legs of their trousers. The Negroes are expert in the art 
of hiding things about their person. 

Fighting with sticks is called a Uoklng-matoh. 

sweet (a verb), pleased, delighted. 

In these stories the fiddle is often made to sing words which some have the 
gift of hearing. 

Bap I is the knock of the stick, or " lick of the stick " as they say. 

twee twee, the squeak of the rat. 

no make, don't let. 

it the wont fe carry, etc. It is very troublesome to take a little boy out 
to a meeting. Met, dance, spree, picnic are convertible terms. 

Oarry is seldom used as in English. They say :— Carry the mule a pastor 
(to the pasture). When a man carries you over a river on his back he 
•* crosses you over." 

Doba, long o as in Dover. 

48 Jamaican Song- and Story. 

Blood m MW, etc., the floor was covered with blood. 

Dim J*-ya, the vulgar English "this here." Ya-ya is said very quickly, 
It docs not come into common speech but is reserved for Annuity stories and 
it generally fmrod only in Annancy's mouth. 


One day Rabbit invite Guinea-pig to his yard. 

An' when Guinea-pig go, Rabbit ask Guinea-pig to go an 

An' Rabbit meet up Dry-bone. 

An' when him meet up Dry-bone, him t'row down his gun 
an' him call to Guinea-pig an' tell him : — " I meet with a 

An' Guinea-pig tell Rabbit : — " I won't carry none of the 
Dry-bone, but you must make me carry the birds what we 

Rabbit wasn't agree to let him carry the birds, but 
Guinea-pig coax him until Rabbit consent an' they fix up 
the bargain : Rabbit was to carry Dry-bone, an' Guinea-pig 
was to carry the birds. 

So they put ,Dry-bone into the bag, an' Rabbit ask 
Guinea-pig to help him up. 

An' Guinea-pig help him up an' pick up the gun an' 
carry it 

An' they start home to their yard. 

An' when Rabbit got half part the road he found the 
load getting heavier an' heavier, an' him ask Guinea-pig to 
take it for a while. 

Guinea-pig tell him that he made no promise was to 
help him with Dry-bone. 

Dry-Bone. 49 

Rabbit walk on till the load get so heavy him begin to 
cry, say that him going to t*row down Dry-bone. 

An* Dry-bone fasten on his head an 9 begin to talk. 

He say to Rabbit : — " You take me up you take up 

An' that time Guinea-pig was laughing after Rabbit 

Just then that cravin' fellah Mr. Annancy was passing 
an' see Rabbit with his load. He thought that it was 
something good, an' he ask Rabbit that he will help him 
carry it. 

An' Rabbit was very glad to get relief of his trouble. 

So Annancy take Dry-bone from Rabbit an' put him on 
his own head. 

An' when Annancy 'tart, he t'ought that Rabbit was 

An' Rabbit turn back an' hide a bush an' leave the 
trouble to Annancy. 

When Annancy get home to his yard him find that it 
was Dry-bone, an' it vex him in a him heart. 

An* Annancy want to leave Dry-bone an' go away. 

An' Dry-bone find out what Annancy mean to do. 

Annancy have a cock in the yard. 

Dry-bone tell him that him must watch Annancy, keep 
him a yard, an' he will pay him. 

An' the Cock ask Dry-bone : — M What is your name ? " 

An Dry-bone say : — " Tis Mr. Winkler." 

So Dry-bone live in Annancy yard. 

An' one day Annancy ask him if him don't want to 
warm sun. 

Dry-bone say : — * Yes." 

An' Annancy tell him that to-morrow he will put him 
out a door. 

Annancy went away an' make a bargain with Fowl-hawk, 
that him have a man name of Mr. Dry-bone, him must 
come to-morrow an' take him up an' carry him an' drop him 
in the deepest part of the wood. 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 

An' so Fowl-hawk did do. 

When the Cock see Fowl-hawk take up Mr. Winkler him 
sing out : — 


i jiii- -njjir -N'J 1 

Mister Wink - ler, Winkler come give me me pay. 

An' Annancy look up a *ky an' sing : — 


j~fl jg^jj* 1 «N2 ^E}M\ JW/P 

Carry him go 'long, An - nan-cysay so, Carry him go 'long, 

Mellpay fe cock, 



Carry him go long, An - nan-cy say so, 






Carry him go long, Me'llpay fe cock, 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


Carry him go 'long. 


help him up, to get the load on to his head. In this story and some others 
the load once taken up cannot be put down. It sticks to the head of the 
bearer and, until it reaches its destination, can only be transferred to another 

eravln', craving, greedy, often sounds like craven. A man who is cravta' 
is generally cubbich, covetous. This has lost its original meaning of desiring 
possession of other people's things and is used only in the sense of close-fisted. 
A cravm' man wants to get hold of what others have got, a ca b bloh (ends 
with the sound of rich) one will not part with what he has. 

laughing after, laughing at 

him must watoh. The Cock must watch Annancy and not let him leave 
the yard, Dry-bone is helpless, and requires attention. 

to warm fan, to warm himself in the sun. So they have :— u Puss warm 
fire,' 1 the cat warms herself by the fire. 

a 1y, in the sky. 

Dry-Bone. 5 1 

Mrtl pay It cock, I will pay the Cock's wages which Dry-bone agreed to 
give. We pay a person for a thing, but the Negro pays for the person as well. 

Walk, talk, warm, hawk, all have the vowel ah. This story refers to the 
time of slavery. It is almost indisputable that in certain cases, when a slave 
was in a weak state owing to incurable illness or old age, he was carried out 
and left to die. To his pitiful remonstrance, " Massa me no dead yet," the 
overseer made no reply, but went on with his directions to the bearers, " Carry 
him go along." This kind of barbarity was not practised by owners living in 
Jamaica. By them the slaves were well treated and such a thing would have 
been impossible. But when the masters went away they left the control in the 
hands of overseers, men of low caste who had neither scruples nor conscience. 


One day there was a old lady work a very nice field on a 
rock, an' an old-witch boy is the watchman. 

An' one day Annancy heard about the old-witch boy, 
an' Annancy send an' invite him to his yard. An when 
the old-witch boy come, Annancy ask him what his name. 
An' he says to Annancy that his name is John-John Fe- 

An' the boy ask Annancy why him ask him like that. 

An' Annancy say : — " Don't be afraid my frien', I very 
love you ; that's why I ask wM you name." 

An' by this time the old lady didn't know that the old- 
witch boy gone to Annancy yard. 

An' Annancy have a son is a very clever tief, call 

An' Annancy made a bargain that, when him see John- 
John Fe-We-Hall come, he must walk to the back door an' 
come out, an' go to the old lady ground an' destroy the 

An' when Tacoma come home, Annancy leave John-John 
out the hall, an' tell him that he is going to get some 
breakfast for him. 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 

Now the old lady make a law that, if the watchman eat 
any of his provision, it going to make him sick in a way 
that he will find out if it is the same watchman tiefing 
him. 1 

An' being the boy is old-witch, he know that the food 
Annancy is getting ready is from the old lady field. So 
when Annancy bring the breakfast he won't eat it 

Annancy tell him that he must eat the food, he mustn't 
be afraid. 

An' the boy say : — " No." 

An' Annancy send an' tell the old lady that the man is 
here clever more than him. 

An' when the old lady receive the message from 
Annancy, he sent to the ground to tell the old-witch boy 
that he must look out for Mr. Annancy, for him receive a 
chanice from Annancy. 

An' this time the old lady didn't know that the watch- 
man is at Annancy yard. 

An' the old-witch boy is a fluter, an' when the old lady 
want to dance it's the same boy playing for the old lady. 
An' the old lady have a tune which he is dancing with. 
An 9 Annancy ask the boy to play the tune when he is 
going home, an' Annancy know if the tune play the old 
lady will dance till she kill herself. 

When the boy going home, him took up his sing with 
the flute : — 


l <>m! l l EC' l J J lj JlhJl»J J JW 

Old lady yoa too tore danoe, tun dom, Old lady yon too lore danoa, tun 

dan^TondominakodiOmlaj, tun dtm, Torn demmakedem lay, tun dam. 

1 This is evidently a reminiscence of the "medicine" (Nyanja, chiwindc) 
used in Africa to protect gardens. Sometimes it kills the thief, sometimes 
makes him ill. (A. W.) 

Annancy and the Old Lady's Field. 53 

An 9 when the old lady hear the sing she beguns to dance 
an' wheel until she tumble off the rock an' dead. 

An' Annancy becomes the master of the field until now. 
Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


A rock would be a bad place for a field. Her boose was on a rock probably, 
and her field or provision-ground elsewhere. For Provision-grounds and 
their contents see Digging-Sings. 

old-witen. Join these words as closely as possible wherever they occur. 

Fa-Wa-HalL Very humble houses are called So-and-so Castle and So- 
and-so Hall. Fa w», for us, our. He was John of our Hall. 

dsatroy, take away, so that they are lost to the owner and destroyed as far 
as she is concerned. 

oat the hall, out in the hall. 

breakfast, the principal repast of the day at twelve o'clock. 

tba man u here. They delight in this enigmatic language. Annancy 
speaks of himself. He sends word that the man here (himself) is more clever 
than her (the old lady). Straightforwardness is a quality which the Negro 
absolutely lacks. If you try to get at the truth of any story he brings, and 
cross-question him upon it, he will shuffle and change it little by little, and 
yon cannot fix him to any point. Language with him is truly, as the cynic 
said, the art of disguising thought. 

flftairlfla, more usually cnaliea, challenge. 

Boys constantly carry their musical instruments about with them. The Flute, 
a cheap kind of fife, and the Concertina are the favourites. They play as they 
walk along the road. 

The tune, which is quick, is sung over and over and gets uproariously and 
deliriously merry ; gasps on an inward breath, which there is no time to take 
properly, doing duty for some of the notes. 

The words are fragments of a song referring to fowls and eggs. It runs : — 

Mother Bonner me hen a lay, turn dem, 
Them a lay t'ree time a day, turn dem, 
Turn dem make dem lay, turn dem. 

54 Jamaican Sang and Story. 


ONCE there was a bird in the wood name Man-crow, 
an 9 the world was in darkness because of that bird. 

So the King offer thousands of pounds to kill him 
to make the world in light again. 

An' the King have t'ree daughter, an' he promise that, 
if anyone kill Man-crow, he will make them a very rich 
man an' give one of his daughter to marry. 

So thousands of soldiers go in the wood to kill Man- 
crow. An' they found him on one of the tallest trees 
in the woods. An' no one could kill him, an' they 
come home back. 

So there was a little yawzy fellah call Soliday. 

An' he say to his grandmother: — "Gran'mother I am 
very poor. I am going in the wood to see if I can 
kill Man-crow. 

An' the grandmother answer : — " Tche, boy, you better 
go sleep a fireside than you go to the wood fe go 

" Gran 'mother, I goin' to town fe buy six bow an' 

So he went to Kingston an' bought them. 

An' when him return home he ask his grandmother 
to get six Johnny-cake roast, an' he put it in his namsack, 
an' he travel in the wood. 

He s'arch until he find the spot a place where Man- 
crow is, an' he see Man-crow to the highest part of the 

Z C£ the story of "Rombas" in Duff Macdonald's Africctna II., which 
would seem to have reached Africa through the Portuguese. Rombas lolls the 
whale which has swallowed the girl, and removes the tongue. (A. W.) 

Man- Craw. 


An' he call to him with this song: — 


Good marnin' to you, Man-crow, Good marnin' to you, Man- 

crow, Good marnin' to you, Man-crow, How are yon this marnin' ? 

An* the bird answer: — 

Good marnin* toyon, So-li - day, Good marnin' to yon, So-li 

day, Good marnin' to you, Soli -day, How are you this marnin'? 

An' Soliday shot with his arrow at Man-crow an* two 
of his feather come out 

An' Man-crow come down to the second bough. 
An' Soliday sing again: — 

Good marnin' to you, Man-crow, Good marnin' to you, Man 


crow, Good marnin' to you, Man-crow, How are yon this marnin'? 

An' Man-crow answer as before : — 

Good marnin' to you 

Good marnin' toyou, So - li 

b J t« 

day, Goodmarnin'toyoUjSoli-day, How are you this marnin'? 

56 Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' he fire after Man-crow an' two more feather fly 

An' so the singing an' shotting go on. 

At every song Man-crow come down one branch, an' 
Soliday fire an arrow an' knock out two feather, till five 
arrows gone. 

So Brother Annancy was on a tree watching Soliday 
what he is doing. 

An' the song sing for the sixth time, an' Man-crow 
jump down one more branch. 

An' Soliday put his last arrow in the bow an' took 
good aim an' shot after Man-crow. 

So he killed him an' he drop off the tree. 

An' Soliday go an' pick up the bird an' take out the 
golden tongue an' the golden teeth, an' shove it in a 
him pocket, an' Soliday come straight home to his 

An' Annancy come off the tree an' take up the bird, 
put ahm a him shoulder, cut through bush until he get 
to the King gate, an' he rakkle at the gate. 

They ask :— " Who come ? " 

He say: — ''Me, Mr. Annancy." 

An' they say: — "Come in." 

An' the King said: — "What you want?" 

"I am the man that kill Man-crow." 

An' they take him in an' marry him to one of the 
King daughter an' make a very big table for him an" 
his family. 

They put him in the middle of the table, but he refuse 
from sit there. He sit to the doorway to look when 
Soliday coming. (The King then do know that that 
fellah up to trick.) An' directly Annancy see Soliday 
was coming, he stop eating, ask excuse, " I will soon be 
back." An' at that same time he gone outside into the 

An' Soliday knock at the gate. 

Man-Craw. 57 

An* someone answer him an' ask:— "What you want? " 

"I am the boy that kill Man-crow." 

An' they said : — " No, impossible ! Mr. Annancy kill 

An 9 he take out the golden tongue an' teeth an' show 
it to the King, an' ask the question : — " How can a bird 
live without teeth an' tongue?" 

So they look in the bird mouth an' found it was true* 

An' they call Annancy. 

An' Annancy give answer: — "I will soon be there." 

An' they call him again. 

An' he shut the kitchen door an' said: — *Me no feel 

All this time Brother Annancy shame, take him own 
time fe make hole in the shingle get 'way. 

They call him again, they no yerry him, an' they 
shove the kitchen door. 

Annancy lost in the shingle up to to-day. 

An' the King marry Soliday to his daughter an' make 
him to be one of the richest man in the world. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


Tawxy. Yaws is a disease very prevalent among the Negroes. It causes 
ulcers to form on the soles of the feet. In old slave days every estate had its 
yaws-house for the accommodation of the sufferers. This complaint does not 
attack the Whites. 

six bow an' arrow, a bow and six arrows, we suppose. 

Johnny saga, journey cake made of flour and water fried in lard. 

■pot a plac+y spot of place, exact place. 

Mk axxraaa, asks to be excused. Pronounce the a like s. 

■name, etc, was ashamed and was quietly making a hole in the shingle roof 
so as to get away. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


There was a man have two daughter. One of the 
daughter belongs to the wife an' one belongs to the man. 
An' the wife no love for the man daughter, so they drive her 

An' she get a sitivation at ten shillings a week, an' the 
work is to look after two horses an' to cut dry grass for 

An' every night she put two bundles of dry grass in the 

An' the mother was very grudgeful of the sitivation that 
she got. 

An' one night she carry her own daughter to the pastur' 
an' they cut two bundles of green grass. An' they go 
secretly to the horse manger an' take out the dry grass an' 
put the green grass in its place. 

So the horse eat it, an' in the morning they dead. 

An' the master of that horse is a sailor. 

The sailor took the gal who caring the horse to hang her. 

An' when he get to the 'pot a place to hang her he take 
this song : — 


Mourn, Say • Ian, mourn oh ! Mourn, Say -Ian 

, mourn; I 

I jW j jj-f hl-^ i l J JJ ."Na si 

come to town to see you hang, bang, youmus'behang. 

An' the gal cry to her sister an' brother an' lover, an' 
they give her answer : — 

Say Ian. 



i$ > v « ^ ^ 

81ster,yonbringinasomasilTor?ffo, my ohi]d,Ibring 701 now. 


fc> f* 


Brother, yon brfngmoanma gold? Ho, my ohild, I bring you noma. 

| J^ JV^)71T7J ;■!■! j*j j.| , ^ 

Itfrer, you bringme soma aJl-vertTaa, my dew, Ibringyon tome. 

nfrV j'p Wt^m 

Lover, yonbringmeaame gold? Tat, my dear, I bring yon 

ooma to town to aaa youaave, aave you mna' be savad. 

An' the lover bring a buggy an 9 cany her off an' save 
her life at last 
An' the mumma say : — * You never better, tuffa." 
Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


This is quite an unusual form of story, but appears to be of some antiquity in 
my district, where it ranks as an Annancy story. 1 

caring:, taking care o£ This is so convenient a word that it is used by 

Yon never batter, you will never be good for anything. 

tuflfc, with Italian u imitates spitting, a sign of contempt 

] Cf. The Maid Freed from the Gallews, F. J. Child, Ballads, vol. ii., 
p. 346. (C S. B.) 

6o Jamaican Song and Story. 


ONE day Annancy made a dance, an 9 ask 'creech-owl 
to be the musician. An' Annancy send an' invite all 
his friend. 

An' when they come Ratta was in long coat an 9 Guinea- 
pig too, for Ratta tell Guineapig they must wear long coat 
an 9 they will get all the gal to dance with. 

An' 'creech-owl is a great player, but the only danger he 
cannot sing in the day. 

An' 'creech-owl has a Cock in his yard, an' he sent 
an' ask Annancy if he can bring a friend along with 

An' Annancy send an' tell him that 'tis no objectin to 
bring the friend, an' Annancy tell 'creech-owl that he will 
get a lots of drink. 

At that time Annancy didn't know the friend as yet 

So, as he being hate 'creech-owl, he didn't wish to see no 
friend of his. 

So when the friend come the friend was a Cock. 

An' Annancy was very sorry for he knew that the Cock 
going to crow when day clean, an' 'creech-owl going to 
know when day is cleaning an* go away. 

An' Annancy got some corn, an' get a pint of 'trong rum, 
an' t'row the rum in the corn, an' let the corn soak in the 

An' when the Cock call out to 'creech-owl that he is 
hungry, he says to Mr. Annancy that he must treat his 
friend Mr. Cock, an' Annancy took some of the corn an' 
give to the Cock. 

An' it so being that he love corn, Annancy continually 
feed him with the corn until he get drunk an' fast asleep. 

Annancy and Screech-Owl. 


An' Annancy feel very glad in his heart that he is going 
to kill Brother 'creech-owl for his breakfast. 

An' when 'creech-owl playing, his mind was on his dear 
friend Mr. Cock, an' he continually listen to hear him crow, 
an' he couldn' hear him. 

An' he ask for him. 

Mr. Annancy tell him that he is having a rest 

An' 'creech-owl play an' play till day catch him. 

An' Annancy got a kettle of boiled water an' dish it out 
an' ask his friend them to have some tea. 

An' 'creech-owl get very sad to see day catch him. 

An' Annancy didn' know wh£ make 'creech-owl 
wouldn' drink the tea. 

So Annancy begin to raise a confusion over it, say, as he 
won't drink the tea he must made up him mind to sarve 
him breakfast 

An' 'creech-owl began to cry. 

An' the same time Annancy (that wicked fellah !) take 
up 'creech-owl music, an' ask young ladies an' young 
gentlemen to assist him in a noble song which he is going 
to kill Mr. 'creech-owl with. 

An' this the song : — 

There'sa blind boy in a ring, tra la la la la, There's a 

n?rt >j i 

blind boy in a ring, tra la la la la, There's a blind boy in a ring, 

r J J, J'J u j I m 

tra la la la la, He like su-garan' I like plum. 

An' when Annancy sing the sing done, he catch up 
'creech-owl an' wring off him neck, an' get him cook for 
his breakfast an' becomes the master of 'creech-owl's band 
of music 

62 Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' from that day Mr. Annancy becomes the greatest 
player an' the biggest raskil in the world. 
Jack Man tor a me no choose none. 


tilt only danger, the only danger is. This omission is frequent. 

At daylight, or soon after, it is the custom to drink tea. This is generally hot 
water and sugar with, or more often without, milk. Sometimes they make 
an infusion of the leaves of lime, orange, mint, fever-grass, cinnamon, pimento 
or search-me-heart. Coffee and chocolate are also occasionally used. These 
all grow in Jamaica, but, owing to its high price, actual tea is beyond the 
reach of the peasant. Lime is, of course, not the English tree of that name, 
but the tropical one which bears that small juicy fruit which is so much better 
than the coarser lemon. Fever-grass {Andropogon citratus) has the exact 
smell and taste of lemon-scented verbena. Search-me-heart {Rhytidophyllum 
tormmtosum) is a pretty wild plant with leaves of green velvet, which on moist 
days give out a delicious aromatic smell much like Hunua. 

raise a oonfuslon, get up a quarrel. Annancy resorted to the same artifice 
when he killed Cow and the other animals at the mock obsequies of his father. 

•aire him breakfast, serve for his breakfast. 

The song will be found again among the dance tunes. 

sins; the sing done, finished the song. 

'oree oh -owl sounds like creechole. 

Annancy and Caw. 63 


One day Annancy tell his family that he is going in the 

Before he start he get some cane-liquor an' pour it 
into a big gourdy, an' he tell him wife that " me gone." 

An* he travel so till he meet three Cow. 

An* he tell one of the Cow marnin', say: — "Marnin', 
Bro'er Cow." 

Cow say : — " Marnin', Brother Annancy." 

Annancy say : — " Beg you a little water, Bro'er Cow." 

When Annancy get the water he said : — " The water no 
sweet not 't all." An' he say to Cow : — " Come taste fe me 
water." An' he no make Brother Cow know say a cane 
liquor him got. 

When Cow taste it him lick him tongue. 

Annancy say : — " No say fe me water sweeter more than 

Cow said « Yes." 

Annancy said : — " Bro'er Cow, you want to go home 
with me becausen me have it di a run like a river? Bro'er 
Cow, if you want to go with me you fe make me put one 
wiss-wiss over you harn. But, Bro'er Cow, me have some 
picny a me yard, dey so fooyish, when time we most yech, 
dey ma go say 'Puppa bring Cow.' When them say 
' Puppa bring Cow ' you mus' say ' A so him do.' " 

Annancy carry Cow into his yard an' tie him upon a 
tree, an' tell Cow him goin' to get a yitty breakfus' for him. 
(Annancy 'tudy trick fe nyam Cow; he was very anxious 
for his beef.) 

An' he get into his house and take his tumpa bill 
coming to Cow force ace fe chop off Cow's neck. He miss 

6 4 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

the neck an' chop the wiss-wiss, an' Cow take him tail put 
on him back an' gallop away. 

Annancy a bawl, a call : — " Say, Bro'er Cow, a fun me a 
make, me a drive fly, come back." 

Cow no a yerry but gallop till him get home an' tell him 
wife an' picny, said Annancy want fe kill him : — " Thank 
God me get 'way; the whole family must sing we own 
tune to-day ya " : — 

t^b 1 * (1 - =F=*F 

Brother An - nan - cy tie somebo - dy, M$ 

no min know da bad me do, Brother An-nan-cy tie somebody, Me 


fl: , i. ^frfr gT : 


tie, me tie, me tie oh ! Brother Annancy tie some-bo - dy. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


ohm liquor, juice of sugar-cane. 

govrdy, the dried shell of the gourd-like fruit of the Calabash (Crescentia 

wlM-wla*, withe. There are many kinds of these natural ropes to be found 
in the bush. 

fooylah, foolish. 

moat raoH, almost reach, are just getting to the yard. 

day ma go aay, they may go and say. 

A ao him do, so he does. The reciter imitates lowing here, the voice falling 
to a deep prolonged note on the last word. 

carry, lead. 

yltty, little. 

nyam, eat. 

Annancy and Cow. 65 

tump*, stumpy, abort. 

force aos, post haste. 

a fan mt a make, it's fan I mm making, I was only pretending. 

mlB, been, wrong auxiliary for did. I did not know that I had done 
anything wrong. 

Substitute the vowel all in water, all, bawl, call. 


One day there was a old-witch gal, an' Tacoma want 
the gal to marry. An' Tacoma went to the gal yard 
an' ask the gal to courten to. An' the gal tell Tacoma 
that he don't want a husband as yet 

So Tacoma get very sad in his heart, an' he comes 
home back to his yard, an' when he come he 'tudy a 
plan. An' when he 'tudy the plan he fix a day to go 
back to the gal yard. 

An' Tacoma get a buggy, an' get Ratta for his Coach- 
man, an' get a pair of brown-coloured mongoose to be 
the horse. 

An' when Tacoma was going he sent to notice the 
the gal that he is coming such a day. 

An' Tacoma went to his friend Annancy an' borrow 
long boots an' dress himself nicely, an' borrow a gold 
watch an' chain, an' got a helmet to his head. 

An' when Tacoma ready he order his coachman to 
harness up the horses. An' when he start he carry 
lots of present, an' hitch a grey horse behind the buggy, 
an' take along with him t'ree pieces of music 

An' this time Tacoma didn' know the gal was a old- 
witch, an' all what Tacoma talk from home the gal really 
know everything. 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' he reach up the yard an' sing:- 


I willmakeyouhaveapresentof a nice gold watch, Just to 

wear it on yov side for to l«t the peo-ple tea, 

If you'll only be my 

J'J p I J'J-'J'JM J | J, ;j II 

true lov-er, If you'll on- ly be my true lov-er. 

An* the gal answer: — 

>* . ■ » . ■ - ■ » ■> - ^ u 

No, no, dear, not for all your gold watch, I will never be yours 

true lov-er, 

I willne-ver be yours true lov-er. 

An' Tacoma have plenty more t'ing is to make a 
present to the gal. An' he promise to give her a nice 
silk dress, an' a nice silver bangle, an' a nice gold egg, 
an' a nice grey horse, an' tell the gal that everyt'ing, which 
is going to make him a present to, he must wear it 
along the street to let the people see, if you will only 
be my true lover. 

An the gal say to Tacoma: — "No, for I want the 
best thing which you have." 

An' Tacoma guess an' guess an' he couldn' find out 

An' the gal say if Tacoma find out she will marry 

An' Tacoma guess an' guess until he made the gal a 
promise that he will give him the key of his heart. 


Tacoma and the Old- Witch Girl. 67 

An' then the gal was so glad an' said to Tacoma 
that 111 ever be yours true lover. 

An' Tacoma sent for the gal's parents an' his parents 
an' many off the gal, an from that day the gal becomes 
Tacoma wife. 


mongoose, see the note to the dance tune " Mahngoose a come." 

701m true lortr, always yours. Generally it is " yon " for " your." They 
say " this is yours " correctly and then add " and this is mines." 

ting la, things. 

whleh is going, etc, which he is going to make her a present of. 

When, commenting on Tacoma's directions, I objected that the girl could 
not wear the grey horse, the boy who was telling the story saw it at once and 
said: — "No, he must carry it." When the story was done (it is reproduced 
exactly from his dictation) he sang all the missing verses with the girl's answer 
to each verse, and instead of his usual " carry" which did not fit he substi- 
tuted " lead it in the street." The singer will see at once where to make the 
necessary alterations. The words " silver bangle" want four quavers instead 
of two crotchets, and it will be worn on the hand as they call the wrist or any 
part of the arm. "Just to keep it in your hand " follows " gold egg." " The 
silk dress is worn 'long the street," and after "the key of my heart" comes 
"just to keep it in your own." I was looking out in this last verse for a 
change in the words " for to let the people see," but none came. To the last 
verse the answer is : — "Yes, yes, dear, for the key of your heart I will ever 
be yours true lover." [Cf. Baring-Gould, Songs of the West, No. xxii. ; 
Fuller-Maitland and Broadwood, English County Songs ; and Journal of the 
Folk-Song Society, Vol. u\, pp. 85*87. (C. S. B.)] 

68 Jamaican Song and Story. 


One day Devil set his honey-dram near a river side. 

An' Annancy has a little son name of John Wee-wee, an' 
when the boy find out Devil honey-dram he continually 
tiefing all the dram. 

An' Devil couldn' find out who was doing it 

An' Devil put out a reward that if any one can prove who 
is tiefing his dram he will pay them a good sum. 

An' one day Annancy miss his son, an' Annancy guess 
that the little boy must be gone to Devil honey-dram. 

An' as Annancy being a tief himself he went an' s'arch 
for the boy. An' when he go he found him drunk an' 
fast asleep. An' Annancy lift him up an' bring him 

An' when the boy got sober, about three days after, he 
got so use to the dram an' he went back. 

An' Devil gone out to hunting. An' when he was going 
he ask his mother to give a heye upon his dram until he 
come in. An' the mother went down to the dram an' he 
found the boy drunk the very same again. 

An' there was no one know the woman name except Mr. 

An' Annancy went an' look for his son. 

An' when he go the woman catch the boy already an' 
carry him to Devil yard. An when the boy go the woman 
gi' him some corn to beat. 

An' Annancy went an see his son was beating corn, an' 
he ask the woman what the boy is doing here. An' the 
woman tell him that this is the boy was tiefing all Devil 
honey-dram, an' now him catch him, an' him wouldn' let 
him go until the master come. 

• *» »<%.■ 

Devtfs Honey-Dram. 

6 9 

An' Annancy ask the woman if he don't have any more 
corn to beat. 

The foolish woman say : — " Yes, Brother Annancy, but 
not all the corn you going to beat you won't get your son 
till the master come." 

An' Annancy begin to fret for him know when Devil 
come he won't have no more son again, for Devil will kill 
him an' eat him. 

An' the woman name is Matilda. 

An' Annancy took the corn an' begun to beat an' he 
start to sing : — 


i f v 11 J . J. 

j j. 1 j- j- 

1 r 1 


Tain the wa - ter-wheel oh Ma -til - da ! Ma - til - da mah - my 

\§^ j s>± M 

los' him gold ring, Turn the wa - ter-wheel oh Ma - til - da. 

An' the woman begun to dance an' wheel. An she dance 
an' dance till she get tired an' fall asleep. An' Annancy 
(the clever fellah) took his son out an' light Devil house 
with fire. 

An' when Devil in the bush look an' see his house is 
burning he t'row down his gun an' 'tart a run to his yard. 

Until he come the house burn flat to ground. 

An' Devil couldn' find Matilda his faithful mother, an' 
Devil take to heart an' dead. 

An' Annancy take Devil honey-dram for himself an' 
build up a house in Devil own place, an' from that day 
Mr. Annancy becomes the smartest man. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 

70 Jamaican Song and Story. 


HMuy dram. The ingredients are honey, water, chewstick, ginger and 
mm. When mixed the dram is put in the sun to ripen. Chewstick {Gonania 
domingensis) is bitter and takes the place of hops. 

Imatfng corn, i.e. maize, to separate the grain from the husks, called also 
boxing corn (husking). 

When an animal is found trespassing it is brought down to the yard, and its 
owner comes to redeem it by a money payment. John Wee- wee was brought 
in in the same way and according to custom was given something to do while 
he waited. 

faithful. A faithful person is one in whom confidence is reposed. 



One day Annancy form himself as a minister, an' was 
going out an' preaching about. An' Annancy preach an' 
preach till he get in Crab country. An' Crab them 
wouldn' hear Annancy at all. 

An' Annancy went home back, an' dress himself in 
a black gown, an' get some red paint an' redden his 
'tummy, an' ask a few friend to walk with him. 

An the friend was Mr. Toad an' Ratta an' Blackbird. 

An' they all start. 

An' when Annancy reach to Crab country he beguns 
to preach. 

An' he preach an' preach till they wouldn' hear him 

An' Annancy hire a house from Crab to stop in the 

An' Annancy, seeing he couldn' catch them with his 
preaching, made a drum an' a fiddle an' give Blackbird 
the fiddle to play. An Ratta was playing the drum. 
An' Annancy see that the music didn't sufficient. He 

Annancy in Crab Country. 


wait, until the next day he made a flute an' give to 

An' when he done he put up the music them an' got 
in friendship with Crab, an' begun to do the same as 
Crab them are doing. 

An' poor Crab didn' know what Mr. Annancy mean. 

An' Annancy go on go on until they got used to 

An' when they got used to Annancy, Annancy write 
out plat-card and put it out an' tell his friend Mr. Crab 
that he is going to have a nice baptism at his house, an' 
tell them that he will have a bands of music playing 
in going home, an' how the music will be so sweet they 
won't tired walking. 

An' when Annancy start with his three friend he tell 
Ratta to roll the drum, an' Blackbird is to rub the 
fiddle 'tring till it catch fire, an' Toad is to blow the 
flute as hard as he can, an' he will be reading the 

An' he start like this: — 

ijjHi - ijjshf ^j^j^ i p m p j ^ 

The bands a roll, the bands a roll, the bands a 

roll, a go to Mount Si-ney. Sa 

lem is Zakki- 





Some a we da go to Mount Si-ney. 

An' when Annancy get home he made a bargain with 
his free friend that he is going to baptize them an' let 
Crab see. 

An' when he baptize them, Crab they were very glad 
to see this treat which Annancy do to his t'ree friend, 


72 Jamaican Song and Story. 

an* they say that they want Annancy to do them the 
very same. 

An' Annancy tell them that they must wait till 

An' Crab them agree. 

An' Annancy made a bargain with his t'ree friend an* 
is going to baptize Brother Crab with boiling water. 

An' he get a deep barril an' order Crab them that 
they must go in the barril, an' Crab they do so. 

At that time Annancy have a good pot of boiling 
water an' as Crab a settle theirself in the barril Annancy 
tilt the pot of boiling water on them an' the whole of 
Crab body get red. 

An' Annancy was very glad an' said: — "Tank God 
I have got some of the clever man them for me break- 

An' from that day Annancy was going about an' fool 
all his friend. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


The black land-crab is a much-esteemed delicacy. Formerly every property 
had its crabber, whose duty it was to provide crabs for the house. Since the 
introduction of the mongoose they have become scarcer. 

form himself as, pretends to be. 

■top in the night, stop in for the night. 

put up, put away. 

do the same, etc., live in the same way as the Crabs. 

plat-card, placard; a rough written advertisement affixed to the trunk of 
a tree. When there is a public gathering the musicians play as they walk to 
the place of entertainment and again as they leave it. 

Gaulin. 73 


One day there was an India woman who have a daughter, 
an' when the gal born she born with a gold ring on her 
finger. An* everybody hear about it but they never see it. 

An' Mr. Annancy was very crave to got the gal to be 
his wife. 

An' Annancy study a plan an' take up his bands of 
music an' go down to the gal yard, an' when him go down 
they admit Mr. Annancy. 

An' when they admit him Annancy beguns to play all 
different tune just to see if the gal would laugh with him. 
But the gal was very sad, neither would laugh nor smile, 
until Annancy see there was no good, an' tell good bye 
an' go home back. 

Annancy when him goes home back, met his friend 
Mr. Rabbit in the road. 

Rabbit ask him : — " Brother Annancy, where you is 
comin' from ? " 

An' Annancy begun to tell Rabbit 

So Rabbit make a bargain with Annancy that he is 
going to try his luckl 

So Annancy say: — "As you being such a clean an* 
white gentleman I think you will succeed. So if you 
succeed, when you coming home back you must make me 
know ; then you can take me to be your servant" 

That time Rabbit didn' know what Annancy study. 
Annancy mean was to take away the gal from Rabbit. 

So Rabbit start to the yard, an' when him go they 
admit him in. 

An' the mumma ask Rabbit what he come about 

Rabbit says he is looking for a courtier. 

An' the mumma say to Rabbit : — " Oh, my dear Mr. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

Rabbit, I am very sorry ! You is only but a meat, 1 so I 
can't give you my daughter." 

An' Rabbit spend a little time till he tell goodbye. 

Meanwhile Annancy wouldn' go home. Him sit in the 
road till Rabbit coming home back. An' him ask Rabbit 
if him succeed. 

Rabbit say :— " Oh no ! " 

So they begin to talk. An' by this time Sea-gaulin was 
passing an' hear what they are saying. 

An' when Gaulin go home back, him 'tudy between him- 
self that, if him only get a bus an' dress himself tidy an' 
drive to the gal yard, she'll sure be his wife. 

An' Sea-gaulin goes down, an' the gal was very glad 
to see him an' invite him inside the house, an' they begun 
to arrange to be married. 

An' there was a old-witch boy which was brother to the 
gal whisper to her : — " That one is Gaulin." 

An' the gal say : — " Oh no, it is my dear love." 

So the boy say to then : — " Never mind, one day you 
will find out if he is not Mr. Gaulin." 

So, when Gaulin tell goodbye an' go home to his yard 
back, the boy follow him an' go to the river side where 
Gaulin is fishening, an' he climb a tree which hung over 
the water. 

An' when Gaulin come down the river he 'tart a singing: — 


My id - dy, my id - dy Pyang ha - lee, Come go da ri - ver go 

tip- r ■r i j.rJv.rh j Ij p 



Yah -ky Yab-ky Pyang me jew -ah- lee 

Pyang, me Yah-ky Yah-ky Pyang me jew - ah - lee Pyang. 
2 Cf. the Bantu use oinyama ("meat") for "an animal." (A. W.) 

Gaulin. 75 

An' that time Gaulin didn' know that the boy was on 
the tree hearing him. 

When he first sing his hat fall off. 

An' he sing again his jacket was off. 

That time the boy was seeing every bit 

An' he sing again an' his shirt was off. 

Sing an' sing till the trousies drop off. 

An' as he done he find himself inside the water begun 
to fishening. 

An' as him put him head under a stone-hole the boy 
come down off the tree an' find himself back to his yard. 

An' next Wednesday when Gaulin come to get married, 
the boy provide for him to sing that very same tune when 
they are on the cake table. 

An the boy say : — * Ladies and gentlemen will you like 
to hear a song ? ,' 

An' everybody say " Yes." 

An' that time the boy was a fiddler, an' he tune up his 
violin an' beguns to play M My iddy, my iddy Pyang halee." 

Gaulin say : — " Oh no, my brother, stop that tune. That 
same very tune kill my grandfather, an' when you sing 
it you let me remember my old grandfather." 

An' the boy never stop sing an' play till all Gaulin 
clothes drop off. 

An' Gaulin fly out the door mouth an' find himself right 
up in the air. 

An' from that day that's what make Gaulin fly so high. 

Jack Man tor a me no choose none. 


Gaulin, the Egret In stormy weather the egrets leave the sea-side and fly 
up into the country to fish in the streams. They are especially fond of the 
small crabs which abound in the mountain rivulets. The words of the song 
have been spelt so as to convey as nearly as possible their right sound. Halee 
rhymes in both syllables to the stall of the Venetian gondolier. Jewahlee is 
Jubilee with a different middle syllable. Pyang with French a made as short 
as possible is the Egret's cry. It should be accented and brought out strongly. 

y6 Jamaican Song and Story. 

When him goes home back, as he was going home. 

white gentleman. This counts many points in the estimation of the Negro. 

Rabbit spend a little time. Most characteristic. After the rebuff one 
would have expected him to go away at once, but that is not the Negro's way. 
He is never abashed, and after the curtest refusal of any favour he has come to 
ask, will sit on and talk of other things, finally taking his leave as if nothing 
had happened. 

boa, the buggies which ply for hire in Kingston are so called. 

Wednesday, the favourite day for weddings. The bridegroom is accom- 
panied to church by a godmother, not the baptismal one but another specially 
appointed for the occasion. 1 They ride to church, which is usually at some dis- 
tance from the yard. The bride also rides from her yard, accompanied by a god- 
father and two bridesmaids between the ages of eight and eleven. The ceremony 
and signing of the register over, the newly-wedded couple mount and gallop to the 
wife's yard, the rest of the company following more leisurely. Arrived there, 
the bride proceeds to put on her wedding-clothes and the guests are received 
by the godfather and given sugar-water and bread. When the bride has donned 
her satin gown and veil (she was married in her riding-habit) and with much 
sorrow pinched her feet into white shoes too small for them, the company sit 
down to the cake table. This has upon it two cakes, two fantastically fashioned 
loaves of shewbread, triumphs of the baker's art with their doves and true 
lovers' knots, and three vases of cut flowers. The bread is not eaten then but 
is distributed {distribbled t as they have it,) to friends on the days following the 
wedding. One cake is cut. A knife and fork being handed to a bridesmaid 
she takes off the cake-head, which is a small top tier or addition to the cake 
proper. This is put aside and afterwards sent to the officiating minister. The 
godfather then proceeds to the more serious work of cutting up the cake, 
giving pieces first to the bride and bridegroom and then to the guests. The 
second cake is left intact. Wine is poured out, and there are speeches and 
toasts and hymns. Then follows dinner, which is over about five o'clock. 
They then begin to play Sally Water (see introduction to the Ring tunes) 
which goes on for an hour or two, and as night falls dancing is started. This 
goes on all night and does not end, at the earliest, till dusk on the following 
day, Thursday. It is often kept up until Friday evening or even until Satur- 
day, the dancers and musicians appearing to require no rest The latter are 
well supplied with rum and when they get sleepy they beg for an extra tot to 
rub their eyes, which burns them and keeps them awake. The whole of this 
time refreshments are supplied to the guests, and as long as these hold out they 
do not disperse, or as they put it : — " till hungry bite them they no go 'way." 

*Is this a survival of the African institution of "sureties" (Yao, ngoswe % 
see Duff Macdonald, I. 118), or "sponsors," who arrange the marriage? I 
am not sure whether the custom exists among Negro as well as Bantu 
tribes. (A. W.) 

Gaulin. 77 

The Sunday after the wedding is 'turn t'anks (return thanks). The married 
couple and their friends get all the beasts, i.e. horses and mules, they can 
muster, and ride to church dressed in their best. The bride and bridegroom, 
attended by the godfather and godmother, sit in " couple bench," the rest of 
the party going to their own pews. After service the whole cavalcade gallops 
as hard as it can, regardless of the precipices which skirt all Jamaica mountain 
paths, up hill and down hill to the husband's yard. There wine is provided, 
and the second cake is cut and eaten. Dinner follows at three, and then Sally 
Water is again played until midnight, when dancing recommences and goes 
on till four or five o'clock on Monday afternoon. This is the end of the 
festivities, which sometimes cost twenty pounds or more. 

provide for him, prepared himself. 

door month includes not only the opening, but also the whole space just 
outside the door. 


One day Annancy an' Tiger get in a rum-shop, drink an' 
drink, an' then Monkey commence to boast Monkey was 
a great boaster. 

Annancy say : — " You boast well ; I wonder if you have 
sense as how you boast 1 ' 

Monkey say : — " Get 'way you foolish fellah you, can 
come an' ask me if me have sense. You go t'rough de 
whole world you never see a man again have the sense I 

Annancy say : — " Bro'er Monkey, how many sense you 
have, tell me ? " 

Monkey say : — " I have dem so till I can't count dem to 
you, for dem d^ all over me body." 

Annancy say : — " Me no have much, only two, one fe me 
an' one fe me friend." 

One day Monkey was travelling an' was going to pass 
where Tiger live. Annancy was working on that same 

78 Jamaican Song and Story. 

As Monkey passing, Tiger was into a stone-hole an' 
jump out on the fellah an 1 catch him. All his sense was 
gone, no sense to let him get 'way. Tiger was so glad, 
have him before him well ready to kill. 

Here come the clever man Mr. Annancy. 

When he saw his friend Monkey in the hand of such a 
wicked man he was frighten, but he is going to use his 

He said: — "Marnin*, Bro'er Tiger, I see you catch dat 
fellah ; I was so glad to see you hold him so close in hand. 
You must eat him now. But before you eat him take you 
two hand an' cover you face an' kneel down with you face 
up to Massa God an 1 say, ' Tank God fe what I goin' to 
receive.' " 

An' so Tiger do. 

An' by the time Tiger open his eyes Monkey an' 
Annancy was gone. 

When they get to a distant Annancy said to Monkey : — 
" T'ink you say you have sense all over you 'kin, why you 
no been get way when Bro'er Tiger catch you ? " 

Monkey don't have nothing to say. 

Annancy say: — " Me no tell you say me have two sense, 
one fe me an' one fe me friend? Well! a him me use 

From that day Tiger hate Annancy up to now. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


can come and ask me, that can come. The ellipsis is best explained by- 
giving the sentence another turn : " Get away yoa man who are so foolish that 
yon can come," etc. 

into a stone-hole, in a cave. 

Tiger waa ao glad, etc, Tiger was well pleased and held him in his paws 
all ready for killing. 

why you no been, why didn't yoa. 

a him me nee, that is the one I used. 

The Three Pigs. 79 


One day a Hog have three Pig an' the three of them 
was boy. When they were about two month the father 
died, so the mother grow them up herself. When the 
Pig them come to big young man the mother said to 
the first son : — " Me son, a time fe you go an' look you 
own living." 

The day come when he was to start. The mother tie 
up his clothes an* give him, an* said : — " If you get work 
sen' an' tell me." 

The Pig start 

As he was going he meet a man with a cart of hay. 

He said : — " Please, sir, you can give me that hay that 
I may go an' build a house?" 

The man give him. 

Pig go an' make up a house with his hay, an' find it 
very warm an' comfortable. 

One day Wolf come, call :— " Little Pig, little Pig, let 
me come in." 

Pig say: — "No, no, by the hair of my chinnychin- 

Wolf said : — " I will huff an' I will cuff an' blow you 
house down." 

Wolf huff an' cuff an' blow down the house, an' go in 
an' eat Pig. 

The mother wait an' can't get no letter from the first 

She send the other one, second to the first, an' that one 
travel until he meet a man with a cart of kindling. 

He say: — "Please, sir, you can give me that kindling 
that I may go an' build a house?" 

So Jamaican Sang and Story. 

The man give him. 

He make up his house, an' one day Wolf was passing, 
see that it was pig house, call to him: — a Little Pig, 
little Pig, let me come in." 

Pig say : — " No, no, no ! by the hair of my chinnychin- 

Wolf say: — "I will huff an' cuff an' will blow you 
house down. 

An' he do so an' go in an' eat Pig. 

The mother wait six months an' don't get no letter. 

She said : — M Those boy must be get good work an' 
can't get to write." 

The last son she said: — "Me own little son, time fe 
you go look you living." 

Pig say: — "Yes, mumma me wi' go now." 

She tie up his bundle give him some money an' kiss 
him, say: — "You must try write me." 

The boy start 

He travel an' travel till night take him. He has to 
sleep under a stone-hole. When he was sleeping he get 
a dream that he see his two brother was in a frying- 
pan. He was so frighten he wake an' start away the 
same hour. He travel till day clean. At about nine 
o'clock he get to a big road. He travel on that road 
till he meet a man with a cart of brick. 

He said: — "Please, sir, you can give me that brick 
that I may go an' build a house?" 

The man give him. 

He go an' make up a grand house with the brick. 

When his house finish Wolf hear, an' come one day, 
call to Pig: — "Little Pig, little Pig, let me come in." 

Pig say : — * No, no, no ! by the hair of my chinnychin- 

So wolf think that this house was like the rest 

He said : — " I will huff an' cuff an' will blow you house 


The Three Pigs. 81 

He try for one whole day an' never succeed, so he 
lef an' go home an 9 'tudy upon Pig. 

One evening he come an' call Pig an' tell him he 
know where there is a garden of all sort a t'ing, so Pig 
must come an' let them take a walk. 

Pig ask him: — ''What time you will be going?" 

He said: — "A two in the morning." 

Pig 'tart eleven, go an' come back with all good food. 

At two Wolf come an' call : — " Little Pig, you ready ? " 

Pig say: — "You lated; I go an' come back already." 

Wolf was so vex he go home back. He didn' want 
nothing but to eat Pig. 

He said a next day : — " Little Pig, I know where there 
is a apple tree a Mr. Simmit garden, make we go an' 
get some." 

Pig ask :— " What the time ? " Wolf say " Tree." 

Pig go two. 

By Pig was on the tree fulling up his basket here 
come Wolf. Pig was so frighten he was on the tree 
trimbling. Wolf was quite glad to think he was going 
to catch Pig. He couldn 1 stand his ground, but dance 
about with joy. 

Pig say : — " The apple is so sweet that I have fe 
take a good load. Mr. Wolf, you would like to taste 
one ? " 

Wolf say "Yes." 

Pig say : — " Let me see if you can run as that apple ? " 

Pig throw one of the apple far an' Wolf run after it 
By the time he is come back Pig get down off a the 
tree, leave him baskit an' everyt'ing, an' run nearly reach 

Wolf was so sorry when he come, left the apple an' 
gone home, 

Next night he call to Pig an' tell him that he know 
where there will be a met, so they must take a walk. 

Pig say:— "What hour?" Wolf said "Tree." 


82 Jamaican Song and Story. 

Pig start twelve an' go dance till two. He was] the 
best dancer an' they give him a butter-churn as a re- 
ward. As he walking home he see Wolf at a distant 

He said : — * My goodness King ! What I going to 
do ? " 

Nevertheless he get in the churn a roll down the hill. 

Wolf see the thing. He run for his home. 

The next day he go an' ask Pig if he did go to 
the ball. 

Pig said : — " Yes, an' as I was coming home I see you, 
an' was so frighten I get in me churn an' roll down to 
see if you don't run. An' so you did run, Ha 1 Ha ! " 

Wolf get vex. He huff an' cuff all day again to see 
if he could broke down the building, but all he do he 
has to lef it. 

So one rain night he send his wife with a young 
baby to see if Pig would take her in by changing her 

She went an' call; — "Mr. Pig, please Sir, if you can 
give a night rest, Sir; for rain, an' I am from far." 

Pig said : — " No, I don't take in no stranger what- 
ever, especially you, Mrs. Wolf. You husban' try an* 
try an' can't manage, an' now him send you to see if 
you can kill me." 

Mrs. Wolf commence to climb the chimley. 

Pig put a big copper of water on the fire an', by 
the time she reach the top an' was coming down the 
chimley, she drop in the water an' dead, she an' the 

Wolf come again an' call Pig. 

An' Pig take up this song: — 


f ^^-M 

Wolf, Wolf, Wolf ! no use you try fe come in, Yon 


The Three Pigs. 


wife dere 

/ i ^r r "ij.jJj. r ^ijjj/i 

da ready; Ha! Ha! Ha! Yon wanta try fe 

it* g|rJ. | J i 

Jji r ^ 11 

come in, Come Wolf, Me will put you both together. 

Wolf get worser vex, commence to beat Pig house 
with all his might an' couldn' get in. He climb up the 
chimley, an', by he fe get to the top, the pot of boiling 
water was long time ready waiting for him, an' he going 
down in a haste make a slip, drop in the water. 

Pig salt them an' put them in his cask to soak, an' 
write to invite his mother to help him eat them for he 
find out it was them eat his two brother. 1 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


Pig them. Read these words together, not, Pig — them come. 

you can girt, can yon give. 

huff, scratch with the hoof. 

kindling, small wood to light fires with. 

day clean. Day is clean when you can see to walk. 

big road, one that is what the Italians call carouabile, carriageable. In 
the hills of Jamaica the roads are for the most part mere mule tracks. 

Ummlt, Smith. 

mate we go, let us go. 

What the time ? at what time ? 

By Fig, as Pig. 

rolling, trimming, always so. 

when he come, eto., when he came back to the tree, that he left the apples 
and went home. 

met, meeting, ball. 

da ready, already. 

by he fe get, by the time he got. 

oaak to soak. Salt meat is kept in a tub of brine. 

1 C£ Joseph Jacobs, English Fairy Talis, No. xiv., and note, p. 333. 
(C. S. B.) 

84 Jamaican Sang and Story. 


There was a man couldn' talk, called Dummy. 

One day Annancy bet the King he going to make 
Dummy talk. 

So the King say : — u If you make Dummy talk I will 
give you one of my daughter fe marry." 

Well, Annancy went to Hog, ask him : — " Bro'er Hog if 
I carry you fe Dummy, wh£ you wi' say ? " 

Hog say : — " Me wi' say ugh ! ugh I " 

Annancy say : — " You won't do." 

He went to Goat: — " Bro'er Goat, if I carry you fe 
Dummy, wh6 wi' you say ? " 

« Me wi' say Meh— eh— eh ! " 

" You won't do." 

So he went to fowl. 

Fowl say :— " Me wi' say Clk ! Clk ! Clk ! " 

"You won't do." 

So he went to Bro'er Peafowl an' ask him : — " What you 
will say if me carry you fe Dummy ? " 

Peafowl say : — " Me wi' say : — 



tt*— t- m b r. i f t» r s 


Chirry - way, Chirry • way, Chir - ry 

Itji Jj'J ■■ ■■ hjJj, ■■ J. J I -Tj'J ' ijji^ 

waydemd^, Ctany-way, Constan' dead to-day, Chirry -way. 

Then Annancy say : — •* A you me wanty." l 

1 See the story of Tangalomlibo in Torrend, Comparative Grammar of 
S. African Bantu Languages* p. 319, where the cock is chosen as messenger, 
when the ox and goat are rejected. (A. W.) 

-, y. 

Dummy. 85 

So Annancy beg Broker Peafowl he must come with him 
to Dummy. 

An' when Dummy hear the tune it sweet him so, he 
commence to shake him head an' hum. 

So them went to the King yard, Peafowl before, Dummy 
in the middle, Annancy 66 a back. 

An' as they reach up Annancy say " Wheugh i " being 
him breat' gone an' him tired, but peafowl never cease with 
the song. 

When Annancy got him breat' he say to the King : — 
" Master me a come, me a go make Dummy talk." 

Then the King say : — * I will like to hear Dummy talk." 

An 9 Peafowl sing an' sing, an' make all sort of figure 
before Dummy. 

Dummy commence to shake him head two free time de 
way de song sweet him." 

At last Dummy begin to hum. 

As Peafowl see him commence to hum, Peafowl make a 
sudden spring, went up to Dummy with a great flourish, 
an' at last Dummy sing right out the same as Peafowl : — 

Chiny-way, Chiny-way, Chir-ry 

\ $ j > <■ -ggpLj, j 1 J j'J ■■ Tjjlp i 

waydemdl, Chiny-way, Constan'dead to-day, Cmxry-way. 

An' Annancy get the bet an' the King marry him off. 

An' Annancy give Peafowl gold all over his body an' six. 
quarts of corn. From that Peafowl cover all over with 


WliA yon wi' aay, what will you say? 
swwt him to, pleased him so modi. 

86 Jamaican Song and Story. 


One day Annancy go to Brother Candlefly yard fe fire. 

When him go Candlefly give him fire an' tell him to 
wait an' he will go give him a few eggs. 

When Annancy get the eggs he go home with the fire. 

The next day he go back fe fire an' Candlefly give him 
more eggs. 

Annancy go till him get halfway, out the fire an' turn 

When him come him say : — a Bro'er Candlefly, the fire 
out ; give me some more." 

When Candlefly give him the fire, him wait an' wait to 
see if him can get more eggs. Candlefly never give him 

Annancy say : — u Bro'er Candlefly, the fire a burn me, 
please give me one egg make me wet me han', fe make it 

Candlefly give him one an' tell him to come an' he will 
carry him where any amount of egg da, " But you must 
not come till close a night" 

- Annancy don't wait till night, go about midday. When 
him go him get a long bag ready. Every minute him 
come out of the house an' look on sun. Annancy couldn' 
tarry but only praying to see if night can come. 

When night come Candlefly get ready an' tell Annancy 
to stay aback. Them travel till at last them get (An- 
nancy going to play out Candlefly.) 

Every gash Candlefly gash an' see a egg going to pick 
it up, Annancy say : — " A me first see ahm." 

Candlefly gash again : Annancy take away every one 
till him bag full. Candlefly don't get one. So as Annancy 

Annancy and Candle fly. 87 

such a strong man Candlefly compel was to lef without 
say a word. 

But Annancy going to feel the blow. 

After Candlefly gone with the light Annancy couldn' find 
nowhere to put his foot. 

Annancy say : — w Poor me boy, I mus* try see if I can 
fin* the way." 

Annancy start 

Him travel till him go an' buck on a house. The way 
the night was so dark he never see the house, he just buck 
on it 

He don't know whose house it was but him call 
m Godfather ! " 

The person answer : — " Who is that calling ? " 

Him say: — tm Annancy, you godson, bring some eggs fe 

During this time Annancy never know that it was Tiger 
who him hate so much. 

When the door open there come Brother Tiger. 

Annancy say : — " Marnin', Godfather Tiger." 

Tiger say : — M Come in." 

Same time Tiger send his wife to go an' put on the copper 
on the fire. 

So them boil the whole barrel-bag of eggs. 

When the eggs boil Tiger ask Annancy if him want any. 

The frighten in him, him say " No." 

So Tiger eat the whole bag of eggs, he an' his wife an' 

To find out if Annancy want any of the eggs Tiger tell 
him wife fe lef two of the good shelL So Tiger get a lobters 
an' put with the egg shell 

When Annancy go in to sleep, Annancy see these two 
eggs, don't know that it was shell Tiger know how the 
fellah love eggs. 

When lamp out Annancy 'tretch him hand to catch the 

88 Jamaican Song and Story. 

Lobters paw give him a good bite. Him jump. Then 
Tiger know that it was the egg the fellah want 

Tiger ask : — " What the matter Mr. Annancy ? " 

" No dog-flea a bit me up so, sir ? Me never see place 
have dog-flea like a you yard." 

Tiger gone back to sleep. 

Five minute more Annancy cry out : — " Lahd I me never 
see place have dog-flea like a you yard." 

During this time he was trying to get the egg-shelL So 
he try an' try the whole night an' never get 

When day light Tiger say : — * Me son, me sorry to see 
dog-flea bit you so last night You is the first man come 
here a me house say dog-flea bit you." 

Annancy say : — " Godfather, I don't get a rest from I go 
to bed till now." 

Tiger wife get tea an' give him, so he get ready. 

Tiger say : — " Go a me goat-pen, you see one goat, fetch 
him ya fe me before you go." 

Annancy go. When him go he see a big he-goat, him 
beard was a yard long. Annancy catch the beard, lift him 
up t'row him a ground, take a big stick begin to beat him, 
give bup! bup! say: — ''You b'ute! a you master nyam 
all me egg never give me so so one self." 

Him beat him so till the goat form 'tiff dead Now this 
was Tiger all the time. Annancy leave him gone to see 
if he can get any knife to cut him up. 

By Annancy come back him don't see no goat, only a 
big old man standing up. Him put after him. Annancy 
run back to Tiger yard. The man was after him. 
Annancy see a gourdy, run right in it Tiger lost the 

Well 1 Tiger take his gourdy going fe water. 

Annancy, knowing that Tiger mother was sick, as Tiger 
get halfway with the gourdy on his head Annancy call out of 
the gourdy mouth: — "Bro'er Tiger, you mumma dead a 
house from yeshterday." 

Annancy and Candlefly. 89 

Tiger stop, him listen, him can't hear. 

He make a move. 

Annancy bawl out again : — " Bro'er Tiger, you mumma 
dead a house from yeshterday." 

Tiger stop, him listen, him can't hear. 

He go on again, he hear the voice again. 

He throw down the gourdy. 

Annancy get out, said to Tiger: — "You b'ute! if you been 
broke me foot you wouldn' min' me wife and picny." 

Tiger hear the voice but never see a soul. 

Him run gone home to see if his mother dead. When 
he go his mother was still alive. 

Annancy go home an' go to Candlefly yard tell him 
say: — "I never will be cravin' again, ya, Bro'er? you fe carry 
me again. An' Candlefly say " Yes." 

Every day Annancy come. Candlefly wife say :• — " Him 
gone long time." 

Annancy never get to go with Candlefly again, an' he 
don't know the place. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


Candlefly. Among the smaller fire-flies which twinkle all the year rushes, 
in the summer months, the great Candlefly. It makes a roaring sound with 
its strong, swift flight, and is a strange and splendid object. It has three lights, 
two looking like eyes, and a larger and much more brilliant one underneath the 
thorax. When at rest only the eye lights shine, but with the spread of its 
wings a shutter is drawn back and discloses the abdominal light The insect, 
which is the size of a cockchafer but rather longer, is commonly called Big 
Winky or Peeny. 

da, is pronounced like Italian. 

look on sun, looks at the sun to see if it is sinking. 

a hack, behind. 

get, get to the place. 

gash, flash. Lightning is said to gash. As explained above, this gashing of 
the great light of the Candlefly is continuous while it is in flight, but ceases as 
soon as it rests. 

track on, run against A horse tracks, here, when he stumbles. A man tracks 

90 Jamaican Song and Story. 

all toe when he knocks his naked foot against a stone, and women fight (men 
too for that matter) by bucking with their heads. 

ManUn'. Good morning and good evening are used as salutations without 
reference to the actual time of day. 

barrel-bag, a bag of the capacity of a floor barrel. 

the frighten, etc, owing to the fright which was in him he said " No." 

re lef, to leave* 

looters. This transposition of letters has a ludicrous effect on the word. 

paw, pronounced pah very broadly. 

Fleas are always called dog-fleas, or rather dahg-fleas. 

tea, the morning sugar-water, is the signal that it is time for the guest to be 
soon moving on. Generally, however, he is given something to do before 
he goes. 

ya, here. 

so to one self, even one. 

form, pretended. 

Him put after him. The old man put (ran) after Annancy. 

Ton eonldn' mind, eta This piece of pleasantry is common. When two 
men are doing anything that requires care to avoid accident, such as moving a 
heavy stone, one says to the other : — " No kill me ya, you couldn' min* me 
wife an' picny," you can't support my wife and children. 

ya, do you hear ? Which is also its meaning in the preceding note. Just 
now ya meant * here.' 

Parson Puss and Parson Dog. 91 


ONE day Toad was courting for a long time to a very 
pretty India gal, an' Toad didn' want marry the gal. An' 
him didn' want the gal was to leave him but to live 
without married. 

An* Puss was Toad parson. An' the mother send an' 
call Puss, an' when Parson Puss come, the mother lay the 
matter before Parson Puss. 

An' Parson Puss call Toad one of his lovely member in the 
church, an' him didn' want Toad was to leave his church. 
An' Parson Puss talk until Toad agree to married the gal. 

An' Dog himself was a parson. 

So Toad send out a invitation to all his countrywoman 
an' countryman, an' invite Tacoma an' his families, an' 
likewise invite his friend Mr. Annancy an' his families. 
An 1 when him done Toad invite Parson Dog. 

An' the day when Toad is to married Parson Puss come 
to married Toad. 

An' Parson Dog come with his gown was to take away 
the business from Parson Puss. 

But Toad say : — " Oh no ! he will like to give his Parson 
the preference." 

An' Dog say: — "Yes, I must have it. If not will be 
mossiful fight to-day." 

Puss wife, was the organ-player, say : — " What a man fe 
swear ! " 

An' Parson Puss say to Toad mother-in-law: — "You 
don't mustn't listen what that fellah Parson Dog is saying. 
He so tief, as soon as they 'tick the hog he will soon 
forget all this for he has to go an' lick blood, so when he 
gone I will marry my member Toad." 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' so Dog did go away. 

Until he come back Parson Puss marry off Toad. 

An' when they eat cake done, then Parson Puss ask the 
young ladies them to let them go an' play in the ring, an' 
so they did do. 

That time Parson Dog didn' know what was doning, 
but soon he hear this sing : — 


When you see a hog - ly man, When you see a hug- ly man, 

When you see a hug - ly man, Ne-ver make him mar-ry you. 

An' as him hear him hold up one of him foot an' listen. 
An* he come nearer an' hear again : — 


Par-son Dogwon't married me, Par-son Dog won'tmarriedme, 

Par-son Dog won't married me, Cut your eye an' pass him. 

Then Parson Dog shake him head, run come. 

An' as he run come he meet Parson Puss was wheeling 
all the gal. 

Parson Dog get very vex an* he bear an* bear. 

But as he hear plain how the sing go, an' see that some 
of the gal Puss was wheeling began to laugh after him, 
say : — " No see how him mout' long," Parson Dog get 
fairly upstarted till him run in the ring an' palm Puss an 
begin to fight him. 

An', as Parson Puss feel Parson Dog 'trength more than 
fe him, him look for a very tall tree an 9 run right upon it to 
save his life. 

Parson Puss and Parson Dog. 93 

An' from that day that why Dog an' Puss can't 'gree 
until now. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


lovely member. A certain amount of blarney is supposed to be admissible 
to keep your sheep from straying to a rival's flock. 

to married Toad. Though they sometimes say marry (see the first song) 
they prefer married. The d before the T of Toad is very awkward to 
pronounce, yet the reciter, whose normal speech is of the laziest, like that of 
all his kindred, got it out quite plainly. 

mosalful, unmerciful. Dog really used a bad word here, which is always 
put in his mouth. He uses the same word in " Finger Quashy." So much 
does it belong to him that it occurs as a descriptive adjective to the dog in 
the tune for the third Quadrille figure, which will be found among the dance 
tunes. The word is not really very bad, but it was not considered appropriate 
to a book which may find its way into the nursery, so in every case another 
one is substituted. 

'tick, stick. The pig was killed for the wedding festivities, which were only 
just beginning. See note on weddings in " Gaulin." 

play In the ring, play Sally Water, see Ring Tunes. 

doming, being done. 

never make him marry yon, never let him, etc 

out your eye, turn your eye aside. Where we use transitive cut they put 
intransitive out eye. 

wheeling, turning them in the dance. 

run come, came running up. 

bear an' bear, was patient for a while. A picturesque way of describing 
Dog's self-restraint. He bears it and he bears it again. 

no lee, etc., don't you see how long his mouth is. This is always the joke 
about Dog. About Puss it is : — " You face too (very) short. Cut off half 
inch you don't have nose." 

upstarted, angry. 

palm, touch or hold with the hand. 

fehlm, his. 

94 Jamaican Song and Story. 


Once a lady have free daughter. One of the daughter, the 
youngest one, born with a gold teet\ The other sisters 
h'ard of the teet' an' ask their sister to show them the teet', 
but she never would show them. 

One day they get Monkey an* Goat to come an' dance to 
let the sister laugh. They make all sort of mechanic. She 
never laugh all the dance Monkey an' Goat was dancing. 

Those other two pay her so much to see the teet'. She 
won't show them. 

So the second sister tell the big one say : — " Sister, let 
we go make bargain with Chicken-hawk to try if we can see 
the teet'." 

So they did go an' see Chicken-hawk about it an' pay 
Chicken-hawk so much. 

The day come when they fix up to go to the river. 

Chicken-hawk was on a tree. 

So they gone to swim for a long time, the big sister them 
swimming an' laughing in the water for the little one to 
laugh for them to see the teet', but she never laugh. 
• During that time Chicken-hawk took up all three of them 
clothes an' gone on a high tree where them can see him. 

When the sister know that Chicken-hawk took the clothes 
they came out of the water all t'ree of them. 

All the clothes, was gone. 

The first sister commence fe sing : — 

Chicken -hahk oh ! Chicken - hahk oh ! give me me 

jjl> J r r jjjj J r jsjs|J j r jijU - I I 

frock. Chicken -hahk oh 1 Chicken -hahk oh ! Chicken-hahk ! 



An' Chicken-hawk bring come. 
The next sister do the same an' get her frock. 
Here comes the youngest one. She shut up her mouth 
an* was calling from her t'roat : — 

Hm- - 

hm — - 

— hm — 

hm— — — hm— — — hm — 

Chicken-hawk never give her. 

When the big sister see that she won't call for them to 
see the teet' they leave her, an 1 she become 'fraid an 1 call 
out: — 

Chicken - hahk oh 1 Chicken - hank oh ! give me me 

l j> J rr jj* I J J r jjIJ JT y 7j tr g "1t 

frock. Chicken -hahk oh ! Chicken-hahk oh ! Chicken-hahk. 

An' the big sister run come an see the golden teet' an 9 
was so glad. 

They go home an' tell their mother that we have gain 
the battle an' have seen the gold teet'. 

From that day we see gold teet' until now. 


■0 much, a sum of money. 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 


Once a Duke have a sarvant So this sarvant was courting 
to a young man for a long time. 

So one day another friend come to see the Duke. So he 
love the Duke sarvant an 9 the Duke sarvant love him. So 
this man ask the Duke for her. 

The Duke say : — " No, she is courting already." 

So the friend was sorry. 

The gal tell the young man say : — " Me love you, an* if 
you going to marry me I will lef my lover an' come." 

The young man say : — " How you will manage that the 
Duke not going to allow it ? " 

The gal say : — " You look out" 

So one evening, when the gal lover come home, she ask 
him to let them go for a walk far away. " I am going to 
show you a very pretty place." 

During this time the gal know where a well was, so she 
is going to shub him into the welL 

As they reach to the place they see a pretty flowers in 
the well. 

So they was looking at the flowers. 

As she see that her lover wafe gazing at the flowers she 
just shub him right in the well an' said : — " T'ank God ! 
me going to get that pretty young man." 

During this time there was a Parrot on a tree seeing all 
that was going on, cry out : — 


Ha ha! Ha ha! I haveanewstotaketotheDukeat 

+££W*\ jJN jaJjXjLf, j| j r || 

home; you have your dearest lover an* cast him down to the well. 

Pretty Poll. 


The gal look up an' see the Parrot. 
She get frighten, call to Poll : — 


Come, Pretty Poll, come! 

There is a house of 

' r j* J' Jl i si* 

gold an' sil - ver be -fore you sit 'pon tree. 

Poll sing : — 


Tree I barn, Treelmustbestaytillmytimecometodie. 

An' Poll commence to fly from tree to tree an* she was 
following him till they get out to a village. Poll was still 
singing an' she was begging. 

Poll fly from house to house till he get on the Duke house 
an' sing. 

The gal was crying. 

The Duke hear, send out man an' they listen until them 
hear what Poll said, an' them catch the gal an' chop off her 

An' Poll get good care. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


This is another version of the " King Daniel " story. 

before you alt, instead of your sitting. 

Tree I barn, etc. On a tree I was bom, on a tree I must stay. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


One day Annancy an' him grandmamma go to a ground. 

Annancy left him fife. 

When him coming home, he an 9 his grandmamma, he 
said : — " Gran'mumma you know I leave my fife at 

Him grandmamma say : — " Me son a know you well. 
You is a very bad boy. Go for it but don't play." 

When Annancy coming home he play: — 

None a we, 

none a we corn-man -do 



Sair - ey gone home 

>me com -man -do 

o Yah - ka Yah - ky 

Jr p' ' p M m ' ~~ ~» • • 




Yak commando, Sack your mother 



bone coramaa 

An* as he play he meet Hog. 

Hog say: — "Brother, a you a play da sweet sweet 

Annancy say: — "No, Bro'er." 

Hog say: — "Play, make me hear." 

Annancy play twee, twee, twee, all wrong note. 

Hog say: — "Tche! you can't play." 

Hog gone round short pass. 

As Hog go round short pass, him buck the boy 
was playing the tune. 

Annancy and Hog. 99 

Hog say: — "Bro'er Annancy I think a you a play, 
you beggar, you light fe me dinner, you libber fe me 

An' Hog carry home Annancy an* goin' to do him 
up for him dinner. 

An' when Hog think him done up Annancy him done 
up him own mother. 

An' that made Hog nasty feeder up to to-day. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


ground, a provision ground where yams, etc., are grown. They often 
pronounce it gran, rhyming to run but even shorter. 

a leave, I leave. 

This tune has a bobbin, see Digging sings. Nonsense words of course. 

commando, pronounced common doe. 

jrah, with French a. 

paw, path. It no doubt should be gone down short pas*. The paths 
circle round the steep mountain sides and short cuts connect the loops. 

book, stumbles on, meet. 

yon light, eta Your lights for my dinner, your liver for my dog. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


ONCE a man have t'ree daughter. Dem go go pick 

When dem a come, dem come to a river having no 

Dem meet a old man beg dem a wacky. 

The two biggest one give the old man two wacky, 
one each, an' the little one wouldn' give any. 

An' the old man sing: — 


i jftr MMJ7IJVJVJVIJ J^i j ^l 

You no give me one wacky you can't pass, You no 

give me one wacky you can'tpass, You no give me one wacky you 

can't pass, Dry River will come an* take you 'way. 

Draw me nearer, 

fi-g g g r g ig g g * "H 

Draw me near, Dry Ri-ver will come an' take you 'way. 

An' the little one won't give. 

An' the two big sister want to give two more of their 
wacky to the old man ; but the old man say : — " No, the 
little one must give me one of fe her wacky." 

An' she won't give. 

So the old man sing the sing again. 

Dry River. 101 

An' still the little one won't give, until at last the 
river come down carry him gone. 
From that day people drowning. 
Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


In the heavy rains of October and May the rivers rise suddenly, and an 
insignificant stream or dry river-bed becomes a raging torrent. Travellers 
are delayed in the Seasons, as these rainy times are called, owing to the fords 
becoming impassable. This happens now less frequently than formerly, not 
because the rivers do not * come down ' but because many of them are bridged. 

wacky (French a with a turn to o, almost " wocky "), guava. This fruit 
which makes the well-known jelly is wild. It is the size of a small apple, 
and has a delicious scent when ripe and yellow. Raw, however, it is not a 
good fruit. The flavour is coarse and the pulp is full of very hard seeds, which 
must be swallowed whole. 

when d«m a come, when they reach the place where the wackies are they 
come to a river. 

old mail beg, etc, old man who asks them for a wacky. Much of the 
conciseness of negro speech is due to the suppression of relatives and 

yon no give, if you do not give. 

102 Jamaican Sang and Story. 


Once a woman, name Miss Winky, have four children, 
three 9on an 9 one daughter. The son them was hunter- 
man and the youngest son was old-witch. This sister 
never can find her fancy. Everybody come she say: 
"Lard, this one hugly, me no like him at all!" 

Till one day she an' the mother an' old-witch boy 
was at home. 

Snake was on a journey, get to a rum-shop. Talking 
an' talking they bring up some talk about this .gal, that 
everybody go for her she refuse. 

Snake say: — "Is she a pretty gal?" 

They say: — "Yes, man, she is a beauty to look at" 

Snake said : — " I bet anything I get that gal." 

Snake change an' fix up himself an' go to the yard. 

When he go he said : — " Good day, Miss Winky, I 
come to ask you for your daughter." 

The gal, was in the room, run out to see if it is a 
pretty man. 

As she come out she said : — " Mamma, this is my love, 
no one else." 

So Snake was invite in the house. 

The mother said : — " Well, as you get your fancy I 
am going to married you." 

So the next day they go an' get marry. • 

After dinner Snake get ready, an' the gal mother tie 
up all her clothes an' they start 

They travel the whole night until daylight an' never 
could get, till about midday they reach the place. It 
was a big stone-hole. 

Snake carry her under, put her to sit down. 

Yellow Snake. 


An' after Snake get a good rest he commence to 
swallow her. 

On the meantime the old-witch boy, name of Cawly, 
know all what was going on in the wood, tell his two 
elder brother to come "an' let us go hunting for I hear 
the voice of my dear beloved sister crying for me in 
the wood/' 

The two brother said ; — " You always goin' on with 
your foolishness." 

He said : — " Never mind, come let us go an' see/' 

So they start an' they walk like beast, till at last they 
nearly reach where they could hear the sister. 

They hear a voice : — 


ijjb |} i, it? TT7-ri r Pr fi r -ipMM j p i 

Feme Caw -lyCaw-ly oh 1 - If no 

%*rrrttj ;i jJth jjj A&f4*m 

hnntennan nocomehere oh I - Yalla Snake will swaUowme. 

Snake, fe all him mout' full, get to say: — "Me will 
swallow you till you mumma no fin' piece of you bone." 

The brother come close to the place, climb upon the 

They hear the voice plainer, come down off the stone 
an' see that Snake leave but the head of their sister. 

They go down on Snake an' kill him an' split him 
an' take out their sister an' cany her home. 

From that day she never marry again for she feel 
the hand of marry. 

So everybody that pick too much will come off the 
same way. 

Jack Man tor a me no choose none. 

104 Jamaican Song and Story. 


>, pronounced in two syllables, Se-nake with the exact value of vowels 
in the French words ce tfest que, and of course stopping at the k sound of the q* 

Tie up aU her olothes, in a bundle which she would carry on her head. 

get, get to Snake's home. 

beaet. This is the generic name for a beast of burden, horse, mule, or 

fe all, although. 

get to say, managed to say. 

fe me, my. 

feel the band of many, a biblical expression. She felt the hand of 
matrimony, and behold it was heavy. 


One day Annancy was passing Cow pastur', saw the 
whole of them was cleaning their teeth with chewstick. 

He was so frighten for Cow, he stay outside the pastur' 
on a tree an' call to Cow, telling them howdy. 

Cow never answer him, so he get worser frighten. 

He said to himself : — " If I give them piece of cane; 
fool them say it is my chewstick, they might a come 
friend with me." 

So Cow them go out in the night to feed. 

An' when them gone Annancy go an' get his side- 
bag full with cane as quick as he can. An' when him 
come Cow them gone away for the whole night, so he 
climb the tree an' sleep on the tree until daylight 

An' when the sun begin to hot the Cow come under 
the tree fe throw up their food fe eat it back. Same 
time Cow cleaning him teeth with the chewstick. 

Presently the papa Cow see a big piece of something 
drop out of the tree. 

Cow and Annancy. 105 

He look up see Annancy, call to him : — " What you 
doing <te ? " 

Annancy say : — w Me bring piesh a chewshtick fe you.'* 

Cow take up the cane begin to chew. Instead of 
cleaning teeth he was swallowing both juice an' trash. 

Cow say : — " Him sweet ; you no hab no more d6 
now ? " 

Annancy say "Yes." 

Cow call him down from the tree. 

When he come down he give everybody piece of the 
cane, tell them that it is fe him chewstick. 

During this time he have a big bottle of cane-juice, 
ask Cow if him want a taste. 

Cow take a taste, he done the whole bottle of it 

So they all get in friend with Annancy. 

An' Annancy invite Cow to go home with him, an' 
he will show him where he get such good chewstick. 

Cow say : — " You no have nobody a you yard." 

Annancy say "Yes." 

Cow say : — " Me shame fe go." 

Annancy say : — " Make me go home an' sen' dem 

Annancy go home, tell all his friend them must look 
out, him going to fetch Cow, ya. 

Them say : — " If you bring Cow you we will never 
trust you the longest day we live. 

Annancy say : — rt Look out." 

He take a rope. When he go back he tell Cow that 
him no see nobody a yard, so Cow must come make 
dem go. 

Cow say, "Yes." 

Them 'tart. 

Annancy tell Cow that as he is such a coward man 
him have a piece of rope, Cow must make him put it 
on his neck, afraid a. when him a go the picny them 
go see him, go make noise, you go turn back. 

io6 Jamaican Song and Story. 

Annancy say: "Bro*er Cow, when you go near me 
yard, if you yerry them picny a make noise no frighten, 
fan you tail with strength." 

When them get to where all the friend an 9 children 
could see him, him call to them : — " A da come, no 
see me frien' a come tell you howdy." He turn to 
Cow said : — " Fan you tail, no min' dem people. 

At last them reach the yard. 

Annancy have a big tree at the front of his house. He 
tell Cow : — " Bro'er Cow, stay ya, make me go look after 
the house ; me wife no know, say me a bring 'tranger ya, 
so we can't carry you in so, so you can fan you tail as 

During this time Annancy gone to get all his tool 
sharpen to kill Cow. He left his biggest son to watch 
Cow but he can't trust the boy. Every minute he come 
to look if Cow is there. 

The first time he come an' look he say to Cow: — 
" Fan you tail." 

When the thing them nearly done sharp he come 
back, see Cow was fanning his tail. 

He said to Cow : — " You Cow, you no yerry me say 
4 No fan you tail a me yard ? ' " 

Cow fan fe the better. 

He come with his bill, said to Cow: — "If you no 
'top fan you tail either you kill me or me kill you." 

Cow won't stop. 

He say to one of the friend: — "Now, now, sir, you 
see how that man a frighten me picny a me yard, him 
mout 1 so hugly." 

Him come up nearer to Cow say : — " If you no 'top 
fan you tail somet'ing mus' done." 

Cow won't stop, seeing the fly a trouble him. 

Annancy set a run with his bill chop at Cow neck. 

Cow draw back his head, the bill catch the rope, set 
Cow free, so he run for his life. 

Cow and Annaney. 


Annaney say : — * Come back, Bro'er Cow, a fun me 
a make wi' you, simple little fun, you run gone home." 
But Cow was flying for his home an' never stop. 
Annaney take up this song : — 



r -r— i-l r ' g r pfp /'ir 1 



has - ty kill me dead oh ! 






Poor me boy oh ! 

a whe me a go do? 

put me pot a 

fe boil Cow liver, but has- ty kill me dead. 


From that day Annaney never can go where Cow is. 
Anywhere Cow see him he reach him down with his 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


We have had this story already in another form (Annaney and Cow, No. 20). 

ohewvtlQk, a common climber. A piece of the stem about the thickness of 
a pencil is cut and makes a sort of soapy froth as it is chewed. It has an 
agreeable bitter taste and is used to clean the teeth. 

howdy, how do you do ? 

cane, sugar-cane. 

fool them, take them in, delude. 

aide-hag. Everybody has his side-bag or namsack (knapsack). 

papa, pronunciation something between puppa and poppa, with slight accent 
on the first syllable. Cows in Jamaica are of both sexes. 

44 there; the e is that of "debt" lengthened. French "est" gives it 
exactly. Whe has the same e. 

traah, the fibre. Trash is any kind of refuse, such as shells of peas, husks 
of maize, the remains of Cassada after the starch is washed out, withered 
banana leaves, the outside pulp which encloses the coffee beans, etc., etc 

J% sometimes means here % sometimes do you heart 

108 Jamaican Song and Story. 

rope, pronounced ro-ap. So gate becomes ge*-ut (French 4), goat, go-ut 
(Italian o), much as in some provincial districts in England. 

a da come, I am coming. 

carry, lead. 

at much, as much as you like. 

a fan mo a make, I was pretending. A man is said to make fun when he is 
only pretending to work, what schoolboys call " sugaring." 

nasty, haste, i.e. your hurrying away. 

hungry kill mo is a common expression meaning "I am very hungry." 
Here hasty is substituted for hungry. Your hasting away will leave me with- 
out food, and hunger will kill me. 


There was a man an' his wife got one daughter, only 
the one picny they got. An' many a people come for her 
to courten to her, an' she refuse, an' she would stay a 
world without marry. 

An' the father said to the wife:— "Them people usual 
trouble me with my own daughter ; we must do some- 
thing to get her out of them sight" 

An' the both of them agree to make up a very big 
house in the wood to lef the daughter there where 
nobody wouldn' see him. 

An* the father said to the wife: — "When the house 
done you mus' carry him breakfas' every twelve o'clock 
an' dinner at four." 

An mumma say: — "Yes, me dear, I think so better." 

An' they take Leah an' walk with her all night an' 
lodge her into the house before daylight 

An' at the meantime Leah got a very valuable ring 
on on^ of her finger, a very pretty young woman too, 
though me never see him. 

Mumma tell him that when him going to bed he must 
always say him prayers. An' -she tell her that, when 

Leah and Tiger. 


she re'ch the hillside she sing the song, she must know 
a him honey a come. An' this the song: — 


h f^-^ 

Le - ah! Le - ah ! ting- a - ling, You no yer - iy you 

i wj'j'ij'j'U'*^icp i r. J s ia 

ho-ney, ting -a - ling? 

Honey de a door, 
rail. ^ 

ting- a - ling, Su-gar de a door, ting -a - ling. 

An 1 this time Tiger was under the house hear all the 

An* Tiger lie down very 'teady. (Some days to come 
he must get meat fe eat a this bush.) 

Then mumma go away, next day come back with 
him daughter breakfas', an' 'tart the tune from hillside 
to the spot of place where the house is. An* the door 
was double double double latch. An' the tune 'tarted. 

An' the gal open the door an' mumma come in give 
her her breakfast, an' make very much of each others, 
an' eat done an 1 tell goodbye. 

When the mumma gone Tiger creep out of the house 
with a great rolling of voice, can't 'tan' him heeL He 
go down to see Brother Blacksmit 9 if he would do a 
kind favour for him. 

An' Brother Blacksmit' say: — "What sort of favour 
I can do for you?" 

An' Tiger say him see a very nice meat a bush, him 
want go eat it then, so me want sweet voice fe sing 
like a him mumma. 

Then Brother Blacksmit' put the iron a fire, make him 
red hot, so tell him open him mout'. Blacksmit' poke 

1 10 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

ahm down his t'roat, heap of smoke come out a him 

When him finish he tell him mus' sing make him hear. 

So Tiger sing, an' true him voice sound so good* 

Then Blacksmith say: — "Min' mustn' eat no duckanoo 
nor guava by the way, else you voice turn rough again." 

Tiger gone making his way fe go eat the gal fe 
meat. He was very hard on his journey going on. As 
he get halfway he see guava an' duckanoo, an 9 being 
him so thirsty he say : — " Make me nyam ahm, nothing 
goin' to do me voice." 

He nyam until he unrestful an' come his voice after 
was like groun' t'under. 

"Well," he say, "never min'; by the time me re'ch 
up me voice will come good." 

So he lay down under the floor waiting for twelve 
o'clock when the mother usual come. 

An' when it nearly come 'pon twelve Tiger creep out 
under the floor commence to sing : — 

Leah ! Leah 1 Ungating, 
You no yerry you honey, tingaling ? 
You sugar de a door, tingaling, 
You honey de a door, tingaling. 

An' Leah say : — * H6 ! H6 ! it is not my mother dat." 

An' Tiger shame, gone under the house back, voice too 


Presently his mother is up, sing with a very sweet 

voice : — 

Leah ! Leah ! tingaling, 

You no yerry you honey, tingaling ? 

Honey de a door, tingaling, 

Sugar de a door, tingaling. 

An' the door open, an' she go in give her daughter him 

Leah and Tiger in 

An' her daughter hug her up an 1 kiss her, an' he com- 
mence to tell her mother that him hear a great rolling like 
groun' shaking while ago outside, an' it make her frighten 
to deat'. She tell her mumma she would like to go home 
with her back. 

The mother refuse from do so, an' lef an gone 
home, tell the father what happen with Leah in the 

An' puppa say : — * What make you lef me daughter a 
bush? Go back for him to-night." 

Mamma say :— •" No danger wi' me daughter, me wf 
carry him dinner four o'clock, lef him come back." 

Next day Tiger 'tart to Blacksmit' fe run iron down 
him t'roat back. Blacksmit' get vex, tell him he going 
to lick him down with the iron, for his ears hard. 

Tiger said : — " Do Bro'er Blacksmit', me yerry all wh£ 
you tell me this time." 

An' Blacksmit' put the iron two hour a fire an' shub 
him down Tiger t'roat Tiger can't take him ground, 
iron too hot. 

When he done with him he tell him to sing make him 
hear, an' beg him anything that him see in the way must 
make him yeye pass it 

An' Tiger say: — u Yes, so me going do." 

Him shut him yeye now, take the whole a road for 
himself, say : — " Me boy never would a nyam nothing 
more a pass : sweet, sweet meat like a that so a bush me 
could a lef ahm so?" 

He was very hurry to the house, an' just before twelve 
o'clock he commence to sing, an' this time his voice 
sound well. 

Leah open the door, t'ought it was her mother, an' 
Tiger jump right in an' eat the whole of 'Leah, lef one 
finger with the ring. 

Him eat done, half shut the door an' go back a him 
bed under the house. 

H2 Jamaican Song and Story. 

Leah mumma come fe sing now: — 

Leah 1 Leah t tingaling, 
Yo no yerry you honey, tingaling ? 
You sugar de a door, tingaling, , 

You honey de a door, tingaling. 

An' nobody answer her. 

She sing two time more: nobody answer. 

An 1 she shub the door an' go inside to find only one 
finger of her daughter. 

An' him put him hand on him head, bahl, then go home 
to him husband, tell him husband him daughter dead, 
something eat every bit. 

Him say: — "Me no min tell you fe bring home me 

daughter : you will have fe find ahm gi' me. Then if you 

know wh£ good fe you just bring him go," catch up one 

big junka 'tick an' lick down the wife. 

An' after the wife dead the man take to heart an' 

That make you see woman ears hard up to to-day. 
They want mus' man fe carry them anywhere they 
told fe go. A him make them something a happen a 
this world up to to-day day. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


usual, are wont. 

when she re'eh, when she (the mother) reaches the hillside and she sings 
the song, she (the girl) will know that his (her) honey has come. 

tingaling. Some tellers of this story have it ttnriallnda 

"toady, steady, with a peculiar vowel like a dull French eu. 

1dm daughter bxeakfa*', came back with her daughter's breakfast and 
began to sing when she reached the hillside overlooking the house, and went 
on singing till she got to the house. 

An' the tone 'tarted. The reciter sings it here. 

oat of the house, out from under the house. See note to " Yung-kyum- 

rolling, roaring. 

Leah and Tiger. 113 

cant 'tan' him hoe), can't stand on his heel. See, further on, cant take 
him ground. Both mean that Tiger cannot stand still. 

a bush, in the bush. 

ahm, him, it. 

true him voice, really his voice sounds very well. Only, tree means what 
it says, truly, and does not imply the reservation at which it really hints. 
Tiger's voice did sound very well. 

duckanoo, a kind of mango. 

going to do ; eating the fruit is not going to do my voice any harm. 

until he unreatfnl. He ate too much. 

groan' t'undor, ground thunder. It is often difficult to distinguish between 
distant thunder and an earthquake. 

Tiger growls on a low note, and says the words very fast. 

H<H H6 ! French i as in wh* and d*. 

groun'ahaklng, earthquake. 

from do so, refuses to do what she asks. 

down Um froat back, down his throat again. 

Blacksmith was vexed because Tiger had eaten fruit on the previous 
occasion. His ears had been hard, ue. he had acted against orders. 

make him yoyo pass it, let his eye run over it without desiring to eat it. 

take the whole a road, staggering along, first to one side and then to the 

a pass, in the path, on the journey. 

put Urn hand on Urn head, an expressive action indicating horror and 

bahl, bawl, cry out 

mo no mill tall, me no been tell, didn't I tell you ? 

yon will have fo find ahm gi' mo 5 when anything is lost, they say : — You 
will have to find it and give it to me. 

a htm, etc., it is that (their ears being so hard) that makes this sort of thing 


114 Jamaican Song and Story. 


ONCE there was a Bull live in a pastur\ He make a law 
that every young Cow born, if it is a Bull, they must kill 
it. So the Cow them hear what the master said. The 
Bull name was Timmolimmo. 

So one day one of the Cow have baby an' find out that 
this child was a boy. She take him an 1 go to a deep 
bush an' hide her child in a stone-hole, an' feed him till 
him was growing an' begun to talk. 

The place where the mother was taking water when 
she was at the pastur' was a mile from the hiding hole, 
an' she has nowhere to take water but there. 

So every day she go an' fetch water to her son. 

One day when the boy was six months old she carry 
him to the place where she taking water, an' hide till 
the master come drink an' gone. Then she give her 
son water, and after she take him home back. 

An' when another six month come she take him back to 
the place an' show him the father footprint, an' commence 
to tell the son why him have to hide in the bush is 
because the father would kill you if he see you. 

The boy said to his mother: — "A so all right, when 
me come big man I going to go an' have a fight with 

The mumma say: — "No, me son, nobody can't fight 

So the mother take the boy home back till another 
six months when the boy catch a year an' a half. 

Then they go again an' the boy ask if he no can fight. 

The mother say : — " Come, make me measure you 

Timmolimmo. 115 

When he go put his foot in his father footprint it was 
about two inch short 

He go home. 

After six month more he come back, he alone, measure 
his foot in his father one. It want half inch to catch. 

Him gone home back for six more month. 

So one day him get up, tell his mumma that I am 
going to fight me puppa. 

The mother say "No," but him rist an' go. 

When him go to the place he measure his foot It 
was one inch wider. 

Him say: — "I am going fe the battle." 

Him come back, tell his mumma that him going to 
fight puppa. So him go on till him get where his father 
can hear him, an* sing out: — 


i jni'i'j' i iiJ'r.i'jiji' J'li i Jyj a 

Timmo - limmo, man dere, Timmo - limmo, man 

f J M I 'J— Jj' l j y J I.I f II 

bat - tie, ma 

dere, Come down make we bat - tie, man dere. 

One of the Cow call say : — * Master, Master, I hear 
some one calling your name." 
"No, no, not a man can call my name." 
The son give out again : — 

"Timmolimmo, man dere, 
Timmolimmo, man dere, 
Come down, make we battle, 

Man dere." 

Timmolimmo yeny. 

Him make one jump, him jump half mile. 
The son make one, him go one mile. 
So they meet at a cross-pass. 

u6 Jamaican Song and Story. 

As the father come him lift the son with his horn, 
send him half mile in the air. 

The son drop on his four leg. 

The son lift the puppa, send him three quarter mile. 

As him drop, one foot gone. 

The puppa stand on the free foot send the son up 
again in the air. 

The son drop on four foot 

The son send him up again, him come down on two. 

Him stand on the two, send the son. 

Him come down on four. 

The son send him up again, an' him come down 
on one 

The puppa stand on the one foot an' send the son, 
an' the son come down on four. 

An' the son send him up, an' him come down on him 
side an' broke him neck. 

The son go home to his mother an' tell him that he 
has gain the battle, so they must come go in the 
pastur' an' him reign. 

From that two Bull never 'gree in one pastur*. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

list, risks it. 

dirt, pronounced day-er, the French vowel quite abandoned, 
rrnii nm cross-oath. 
foot, leg. 

Calcutta Monkey and Annancy. 117 



One day Calcutta Monkey work a very large field of corn, 
an' when the corn commence to ripe Monkey beguns to 
miss the corn, an' him couldn' find out who was tiefing the 
corn, an' the robbing continually going on. 

Till one day Monkey went to Annancy yard an' suspish 
upon Annancy. An' Annancy get very short an' ready to 
fight Calcutta Monkey. 

An' Monkey say to Annancy he won't fight him but he 
will soon know who is tiefing the corn. 

An' same time Annancy say to Monkey : — " I bet it is 
that big-voice Mr. Tiger." 

An' Monkey say he won't judge no one again but will 
find out 

An' him went home back to his yard an' cut his card. 
An' when he cut the card he sees no man on the card but 
Mr. Annancy, an' Monkey think it very hard to himself 
that Annancy wouldn' own it 

An' the next day he went to the ground an' he find the 
robbing was going on. An' he met Annancy on the road 
an' he said to Annancy he well know who tiefing the corn. 

An' Monkey send a challis to Annancy an' tell him that 
if him cut the card again an' find him in the card he going 
to give him a terrible flogging. 

An' when Annancy hear about the flogging he get a 
little frighten, an' him stop off the robbing for about two 
days. The day to make free Annancy couldn' bear no 
longer an' he beguns again to tief the corn. 

An' Monkey made up a drum an' got a hunting-whip. 

An' next day when Monkey go back to the ground an' 

Ii8 Jamaican Song and Story. 

find the corn tiefing he goes home to his yard, an' take up 
his drum an' his hunting-whip an' start looking for 

An' when he going he beguns to knock the drum 
ribbim-bim-bim, "Annancy no dere," ribbim-bim-bim, 
"Annancy no dere." 

An' that time Annancy went an' climb a cullabunka 

Annancy hide himself in ' the heart, an' as Monkey get 
to the tree he sound the drum say: — ribbim-bim-bim, 
"Annancy dere." 

An' he put down the drum an' wrap the whip round his 
neck an' climb the tree an' give Annancy a good flogging, 
an' Annancy run off the tree an' say that he wont do it 

Till a few days after Annancy broke in the corn-piece 
again, begun to tief the corn like witch. 

An' Monkey go into the ground an' see the tiefing. An' 
he went home an' look over his card. 

He sees no one again but Mr. Annancy, an' he took up 
his drum an' his whip to look for Annancy again to flog 

An' this time Tiger have a very large banana-walk. 

Annancy wented there an' look for one very large bunch 
of banana an' go in the heart of the bunch an' hide himself, 

An' as Monkey 'tart playing the drum again he get to 
the banana-walk. An' as he get to the spot he sound the 
drum say: — ribbim-bim-bim, "Annancy here." 

But this time Monkey an' Tiger can't agree, an' this 
banana is for Tiger. 

Monkey has to leave Annancy an' goes home back. 

An' Tacoma says to Monkey, if him want to catch Mr* 
Annancy he can catch him for him. An' Monkey was 
very glad. 

An' Tacoma made a dance an' send an' invite Mr. 

Calcutta Monkey and Annancy. 119 

An' when Annancy come to the gate Annancy mind 
tell him that Calcutta Monkey is there, an' he only 'tand 
to the gate an' wave his hand to the ladies inside, 
say : — " Good evening, ladies all " ; an' he turn right back 
an' go in the banana heart an' take it for his own 

An' from that day Annancy live in banana bunch up 
to now. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 

rasptili upon, suspect They also use nuplfli alone, a delightful word. 
cut tali card. Monkey is clearly an Obeah-man, a dealer in the black art. 
xlVbtm-bliii-Um, etc, half sung, with strong even rhythm. 
cuXLatranka, a kind of Palm. 

tanana-walk, technical name for a banana plantation. 
If for Tiger, belongs to Tiger. 

120 Jamaican Song and Story. 


One day there was a very hard time, an' Annancy an' 
his family was dying for hungry. 

An' there was a regiment of soldier find out a silver 

An' when they find it out they made a very large 

An' they move the money an' put it in the house, an' 
when they are moving it they fought that nobody see 

What that smart fellah Mr. Tacoma does. 

He hide himself on a tree, seeing them when they 
passing with the money. 

An' when they reach to the house, the house work 
with no key, an' they has a certain word to use when 
they want the door to open. They say * Open Sesame." 

An' they go in an' t'row in the money, an' when they 
coming out of the house they say "Shut Sesame," and 
the door lock. 

An' Tacoma hear what they say. 

An' he go home an' harness up his cart with his mule 
an' drive to the house. 

An' when he go him use the same word an' the door 
open. An' he go in an' load the cart, an, when he load 
done he drive home. 

When he come home he want to measure the money 
an' he couldn' get no quart pot, an' he sent to his 
neighbour Mr. Annancy an' borrow his quart pot. 

An' continually so he go an' come back, him still 
borrowing Annancy quart pot 

An* Annancy think it very hard, say : — " Sometfng 

Open Sesame. 121 

Bro'er Tacoma is measuring." An 9 Annancy want to 
know what it is. 

A second day when Tacoma sent for the quart pot 
again Annancy 'tudy a plan. 

When Tacoma come him give it to him, an' as Tacoma 
reach his yard don't begin measure yet, Annancy tell 
one of his picny that they must go a Bro'er Tacoma 
yard an' tell him that him really want the quart pot, 
must make haste make haste send it at once. 

An' when the picny go he tell him must look an' see 
what Bro'er Tacoma measuring. An' he couldn' find 

An' a third day him sent to the shop an' buy penny 
half-penny white flour, an' when him gone home he 
make it to paste an' piecen the quart pot bottom inside, 
an' said to himself: — "Anyt'ing Bro'er Tacoma measure, 
whether fe rice or gungo or flour, or either money, one 
must fasten in the flour." 

An' when Tacoma come back he sent for the quart 

An' when Tacoma measure done he send it back. 
An' as he send it a very large two an' sixpence piece 
fasten in the flour. 

An' Annancy say: — "Tank God I find out what 
Bro'er Tacoma doing with my quart pot." 

An' same time he goes to Tacoma yard an' begins 
to cry upon Tacoma that Bro'er Tacoma must carry 
him an' show him where he get the money. 

Tacoma didn' agree. 

Annancy cry an' cry till him tell him that he must 
get a cart an' a mule to-morrow evening, an' when him 
passing he will call to him. 

An' Annancy couldn' wait, an' him harness up his 
cart from morning an' watching out for Brother 

An' he watch an' watch till Tacoma come. 

- 1 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 

When Tacoma was coming he lash him whip, an' 
as he lash, Annancy lash his own too. 

An' they started. 

An' when they get to the house Tacoma say "Open 
Sesame," an' the door open. 

An' they run the cart up to the door mout 1 an 1 load 
it, an' they come out an' drive home. 

An' by the time Tacoma get home to his yard 
Annancy t'row out his money an' turn back again. 

An' when he go he use the same very word an' the 
door open. 

Annancy load his cart an' when him coming home 
he meet Tacoma on the road an' through his strongy 
yeye an' his ungratefulness he want to shoot Tacoma 
cart a gully an' to kill his mule, that him one may be 
the master of the bank. 

An' Annancy made a sing when he is coming 
home ; — 



fii^tVpoiigh,ri^tt'roiighderookyroftd^01i*rley lUrl^oaUyo^ Mid 

, ftOharlay Karlay oaUyoa. Mid* 


rook, mid a rook, mid* rook, me Char-ley, Oh«-ley liar-ley oallyoa; Oh do 

I M . 1 ^1* 

haa'-some gal an no fa 70a one; Oh QharlajXar-ley call yon. 


Here is another story founded on Ali Baba, which differs considerably 
from the previous one of " Blackbird and Woas-woss." The chief peculiarity 
of this version is that the entrapping through forgetfiilness of the password 
is altogether lost. 

Hard time. This refers to the months of June and July when pro- 
visions are scarce. The old yams are done and the new ones are not in 

Open Sesame. 123 

jet Subsistence has to be eked out with a few sweet potatoes and the 
mangoes, which are abundant in these months, and go on till the October 
rains bring back a season of plenty. 

so he go, as he goes. 

pttean, a nice word. They use it also in speaking of the patching of 
old clothes. 

lash him whip, crack his whip as a signal. 

strongy yeye, covetousness. To give the pronunciation a y has to be 
tacked on to strong. 

him one, he alone. 

The exact application of the song is doubtful. The end is pretty clear, 
meaning:— all the good things are not for you alone, Tacoma. It will 
be observed in this and some other stories that Jack Mantora, etc., is 
omitted. That is because they have no tragic termination. 


One day, height a hungry time, Blackbird have a 
feedin' tree in a sea. An' every day Blackbird go an 9 

Annancy say unto Blackbird : — " Please, Bro'er Black- 
bird, please carry me over a you feedin* tree." 

Blackbird say unto Annancy : — " Bro'er Annancy, you 
so cravin' you goin' to eat every bit from me." 

He say :— " No, Bro'er Blackbird I won' do it" 

Brother Blackbird say unto Annancy: — "A you no 
have no wing, how you a go?" 

Well! Blackbird take out two of him tail feather, 
'tick upon Annancy. He pick out two of him wing 
feather, 'tick upon Annancy. He take two feather out 
of him back again, 'tick upon Annancy ; two feather out 
of him belly feather, 'tick upon Annancy. 

Weill Blackbird an' Annancy fly in a the sea upon 
the feedin' tree. 

124 Jamaican Song and Story. 

Every feedin' Blackbird go fe pick, Annancy say that 
one a fe him. 

Blackbird go upon the next limb, Annancy say a fe 

Blackbird go upon the t'ird limb, Annancy say a fe 

Till Annancy eat a good tummy-full. 

Annancy drop asleep upon the tree. 

Well! Blackbird take time, pick out all the feather 
back, an' Blackbird fly away. 

When Annancy wake out of sleep he say: — "Make 
me fly." 

He can't fly. 

He broke a branch off a the tree, t'row in the sea* 
The branch swim. 

Annancy say if the branch swim him will swim, an' 
he jump off a the tree, drop in the sea an' sink. 

An' when he go down a sea bottom he meet Sea- 

He said to Sea-mahmy: — "Mumma, mother tell me 
me have a cousin down a sea bottom, ya." 

Sea-mahmy say : — " I going to see if me and you are 

Sea-mahmy put a pan of sand in the fire for well 
hot. When him get hot he take it off a the fire, give to 
Brother Annancy for drink it off. 

Brother Annancy say: — u Cousin Sea-mahmy, it don' 
hot enough. Put it out a de sun fe make it hot more." 

After him put it out a the sun then he say : — " Cousin 
Sea-mahmy, I think it hot now." 

An* Sea-mahmy say: — "Well you must drink it off 
an' make I see if you an' me are c6usin." 

An' Annancy do drink it off. 

Annancy spend free day down a sea bottom. 

Well ! die next day Sea-mahmy said to him : — u Wh6 
you going to come out" 

Sea-Mahmy. 125 

Him said : — " Cousin Sea-mahmy, sen' one of you son 
fe carry me out a Ian'." 

Sea-mahmy give him one of him son, the name of 
that son call Trapong. 

Weill Trapong an' Annancy travel, make middle in 
a sea. 

Sea-mahmy call:— 


1JH V iJlJ M ^ 

Tra-pong, Tra-pong, fetch back 'tranger man, comeback. 

An' Trapong say: — "Top, Brother Annancy, I think 
I hear my mother calling me back." 

Annancy say: — "No, make way! War de 'pon sea!" 

An' Trapong sail with Annancy on him back till they 
reach shore. 

When they go to shore he say: — "Bro'er Trapong, 
take dis bag weigh me, see wh£ me weigh." 

Trapong lift him up, say: — "Yes, Brother Annancy 
you heavy." 

So Annancy come back out of the bag. 

He say: — "Bro'er Trapong, you come in make I 
weigh you see." 

Trapong went into the bag. 

He tie Trapong, tie tight 

Trapong say: — "Brother Annancy you a tie me too 
J trong." 

He say : — " Me no a tie you fe see if you heavy ? " 

Trapong say to Brother Annancy: — "Me heavy?" 

Annancy say: — "You heavy oh! You light oh! You 
heavy enough fe me wife pot." An' for all the bahl 
Trapong a bahl he gone back to him house an' Annancy 
eat him. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

126 Jamaican Song and Story. 


nalght, in the height of, at the worst of. 

Sea-mahniy, Mermaid. 

flMdla' tree. It was a duckanoo mango according to some accounts. 

Annancy behaves just as he did with Candlefly and the eggs. 

The connecting walls of this story, which take the place of the ante 
and worn of other narrators are said with a little upward turn of the voice. 

Whtf you going. Whe" (what) seems to be doing duty for how here. 

Trapong, tarpon, the famous sporting fish of Florida and Santa Cata1ina» 
common also in Jamaica. 

make middle in a sea, get to the middle of the sea. 

No, make way I Annancy shouts this out 

The outrageous confidence trick which follows necessitates a Jack Mantonu 


One day Brother Crab work a lovely field of corn. 

An' when the corns beguns to ripe Crab begin to lose 
the corn, an' he couldn' find out who was tiefing it 

An' he get Annancy to be a watchman for tief. 

An 1 this arrangement make between Annancy. Crab 
tell him that he will come in the night and see if he is 
watching. An' Annancy wasn' agree at first. 

Him stand for a good time an' study: an when he 
study he tell Crab yes that he can come. 

An' when Crab gone he sent an* call his friend Mr. 
Tacoma an' tell him that Bro'er Crab leave him here to 
watch over the corn, an 1 say that he is going to come 
back in the night to see if he is watching. An' as Crab 
being 'fraid of Tacoma Annancy tell him that he must 
set a watch in the road for Crab an' catch him. 

That time Ratta was hearing Annancy bargain which 

Crab and his Corn-Piece. 127 

he is making with Tacoma. An' he went home an' tell 
Crab that he mustn' go to the corn-piece in the night for 
Tacoma going to catch him. 

An' so Crab did hear Ratta* 

An' him send an' discharge Annancy. 

An' Annancy was very sorry, an' same time he goes 
to Crab an' he ask Crab what he done. 

Crab tell him that he mustn' mind, he must leave the 
work, he is going to get another man to watch. 

An' Annancy did leave, an' Crab give the job to 

An', as that wicked man Mr. Annancy know that 
Ratta frighten for Puss, he sent an' tell Puss that he 
must go in Bro'er Crab corn-piece an 1 keep a good 
watch for Ratta an' catch him an' eat him. 

An' that time Candlefly was hearing Annancy what he 
is telling Puss to do Ratta, an' he went an' tell Ratta 
that he must leave the work, an' if he don't leave it he 
going to lose his life. 

At that time Ratta get very 'fraid an' send an' give 
up his discharge to Crab. 

When Ratta gone Crab couldn' get no one to watch 
the corn again, an' he consider to himself that he knows 
two friend very love corn an' the meal likewise. 

An' the two friend was Mr. Dog an' Mr. Cock. 

An' he sent an' call them an' they did come. 

When they come he tell them that he have a piece of 
corn an' he can't get none, tief is eating out the whole. 

An' he says to Dog that him know he is a very good 
watchman, an' same time Cock say to Crab that him 
watch as any soldier. 

An' Crab was very glad, say: — "You is the two man 
that I want." 

An' they says to Crab that they won't charge no 
money, but when the corn came in Cock is to get his 
share of dry corn an' Dog get his share of meal 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' Cock ask Crab to give him a gun. 

An' Crab didn' have a gun, an' he give Cock a flute 
an' give Dog a drum, an' tell them that anyone catch 
a tief they must play an' let him hear. 

An' Cock tell Crab that he can't sleep on the ground, 
an' he wants to know if there is any tree in the corn- 
piece, an' Crab say "Yes." 

So Cock an' Dog started. 

An' when they go Cock fly upon the tree an' Dog 
pick up the corn trash which they cut already an' make 
a very soft bed an' get into it, an' Dog lie down until 
he fall asleep. 

An' Cock sing: — 


\ p i J^p r i J * i J^r i J ^ ic f e c i 

Brether Dog oh ! 

BretherDog oh! 

Brether Dog a 

sleep oh ! Brether Dog c 

i ^.mj i 

Dog oh! Tief come an' gone oh, 

BretherDog oh! Tief come an 1 gone oh, BretherDog oh! 

When the tief come Dog didn' know. An' Cock, as 
he being a brave soldier, he caught the tief. An' when 
he catch the tief he start a tune in his flute : — 



lj> gf i J» ^ ^ 

You Mis - ter Crab 

You Mis - ter 

^3** raiL 

Crab oh! Da me same one catch de tief oh ! Benga - day. 

Crab and his Corn-Piece. 129 

An' as Dog being love sleep an' don't watch to the 
end he lose his reward. 

An' Cock by him catch the tief takes the corn, 


arrangement between Annancy; no misprint Between may stand for 
with, or there may be an ellipsis of the words and Grab. 

be mnatn' mind. This is likely to convey a wrong idea. Crab was 
not trying to soothe his feelings, but was speaking angrily. What he said 
was:— "Never you mind, etc." 


One day Brother Dry-grass an' Fire get in confusion. 

So Fire tell his frien' Annancy (not knowing that 
Annancy an* Dry-grass was better friend) : — " Brother 
Annancy I going to burn that fellah Dry-grass to- 

Annancy say: — "When you a go you fe call me a 
yard. I goin' to make one shell. When we nearly get 
to the place we blow, make the fellah know that man 
a come." 

During this time Annancy make bargain with Water 
that any time he hear the shell blow him must come 
down like rain. 

So Fire reach up an' as the shell blow he see rain 
coming down. 

So Fire has to go home. 

Water tell him say that Annancy tell him that you 
are going to fight Dry-grass, so I must come an' help 
to see if we can manage you. 

J 3° Jamaican Song and Story. 

Fire say : — u A so ! That fellah Annancy I going at 
his yard." 

So Fire walk at Annancy yard an' tell him : — " Brother 
Annancy I going to come an' see you next week." 

Annancy say: — "Yes, Bro'er Fire, with all pleasure." 

Fire tell him that he must put all his clothes a door 
to make him find out the yard for I don't want to lost 
the way. 

So Fire gone. 

Annancy wife said : — " Me husband, send go stop Fire 
from come a you place." 

Annancy say : — " No, me wife, a me best frien* so him 
have free come." 

Just before the time Fire was appoint to come, 
Annancy go to Brother Tiger, an' as him walk into 
the house he saw some clothes. 

An* he pick up the clothes an* say: — "See, Bro'er 
Tiger, how you clothes damp, you must have fe put 
dem a sun." 

So Tiger hang out all his clothes on a line before 
the door mout\ 

An' presently Fire was coming like a lion bringing 
Breeze with him. 

When Fire see all the clothes he say to Breeze: — 
"See that fellah Annancy yard." 

So Breeze blow harder an' come with a speed. An 9 
Fire make a jump till he nearly got to the yard. 

Tiger hear the speed Fire was coming, call to him : — 
"Turn back, you red-face fellah, me no want you 

Fire was coming down more and more. 

Tiger bawl fe Fire a stop, but Fire coming for the 

So Fire get in the yard an 1 burn all Tiger clothes 
an' house, an' turn right home back. 

Annancy laugh, an' sing: — 

Dry -Grass and Fire. 




fiHl - [» 1 

Mewifesay menofe in-vite Fire, Brether Fire bring 

Breeze oh! Fire de 'pan Ian* Fire, Fire de'pon Ian* Fire. 



He burn up all Tiger yard, ha ha! 

Brether Fire an* 

\ §>r ^ 



Breeze oh ! Fire de 'pon Ian' Fire, 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 

ire de 'pon Ian' Fire. 

Fire de pon 


The shell looks like a very small cowhorn and gives a similar sound 
when blown. It is used as a signal for a variety of purposes. It sum- 
mons to work and marks the hour of release. When a train of mules is 
nearing a sharp turn in the road, the head muleman blows a fanfare to 
give warning of his approach. The shell is in fact to the mule-track 
what the whistle is to the railroad. Imitation shells are sometimes made of 
bamboo. It was perhaps one of these that Annancy made. 

l 3 2 Jamaican Song and Story. 


One day there was a lady who have but only one 
daughter, an' Mr. Tacoma hear about the gal an' he 
went to court the gal 

An 1 when Tacoma go the gal wouldn' receive Tacoma. 

An' the mother was really vex. 

As the mother being a old lady, when Tacoma going 
Tacoma carry a brass mortar to made it a present to 
the old lady to beat her fee-fee. An' when the old 
lady see the brass mortar he really want the mortar. 

But Tacoma said to her if him don't get the gal he 
not going to leave the mortar. 

An 1 the gal 'treat away himself inside the room an' 

An' Tacoma feel very sorry an' he return home 

When he goes home he tell Annancy about the gal, 
an' Annancy get a concentina he going to carry down 
make a present to the gal. 

An' Annancy say if the gal can only take the concentina 
from him the gal must be his wife. 

An' when Annancy go down Annancy was playing. 

The gal wouldn' receive Annancy in. 

An' when the mumma hear, the music was so sweet 
she commence to dance ; an' said to the daughter, this 
is the son-in-law him want, for he can get him own 
dance any time him ready. 

Not for all Mr. Annancy playing the gal wouldn' 
receive Annancy, until Annancy has to go home back. 

When that ugly fellah Mr. John Crow hear it he study 
between himself an' get a carriage with his pair of 

John Crow. 133 

horses an' his coachman, an' the carpet in the carriage 
was a gold carpet. 

An' John Crow said between himself when him put 
on him watch an* chain an' his coat an' shoes, if him 
don't bring that gal home believe him no Mr. Goldman. 

An' John Crow drive away. 

An' when him get to a distant to a look-out, the 
gal was at his window sitting down, an' as him look, 
him see Mr. Goldman was driving coming. 

An' him holloa to him mumma : — " Mumma, mumma, 
my dear love is coming." 

An' as John Crow reach the yard the gal was out 
an' sling Mr. Goldman out the carriage an' escort him 
right into the house. 

An' after John Crow introduce himself to the gal that 
his name is Mr. Goldman. 

An' when John Crow tell the gal so, the gal have a 
old-witch brother an 1 says to his sister that that man 
is John Crow. 

An' the gal get vex an' say :— " Oh no, don't use 
a word like that; it is my dear Mr. Goldman." 

An' when the mumma come the gal introduce him to 
Mr. Goldman, an' tell him that his dear love just come 

An' Mr. Goldman fix a time when to come back 
an' get married, and the mother was agree, an' the gal 
was very glad too. 

An', when they settle that, John Crow drive back to 
his yard. 

An' when he is coming back the next night he brought 
a old-witch boy with him an' hide him half part of the 
road near the yard, an' tell him that as he see day 
clearing, he must call him that he may got home before 
day clear. 

An' he reach the yard an' spend the night in a very 
joyful dance. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

So it getting near day an' the boy sing: — 


Mis- ter Gold-man oh I Gold-man oh! Day da clean oh! 

An' when the boy sing out the people them inside 
the house hear. 

An* when they hear they say: — "Stop! Stop! Stop I 
some one is calling Mr. Goldman." 

An' the dance so sweet Mr. Goldman he wouldn' stop 
to listen. He only says: — "Oh don't listen to that 
foolish boy." An' when him use the word him one in 
the ring wheeling all the gal them. 

An' that time him hear a sing: — 


IJMI ff ^ I J J* j I J»J» JH Ja ^ 


Poor mir - ry - bim-bim nb - bim-by-bim • bim, Gold 

a wheel him gal, Gold - man a wheel dem. 

An' when him wheel all the gal him look outside the 
door an' see that day catch him; so him cry excuse 
an' went up'tairs. 

An' when he go up he take a piece of meat an' look 
for a broken sash an' 'queeze himself t'rough. 

An' as him go t'rough, the sash 'crape off the whole 
of him back head, an' from that day every John Crow 
born with a peel head. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

fee-foe, food. 

treat away himself, retreats', retires, 
oo n oe nttna , always with this a. 

John Crow. 135 

nim ready, she is ready for it, wants it 

a look-out, a place visible from the house. 

filing, hand, with a notion of vigorous action. 

an' sayi, who says. 

a word, often a sentence of several words. 

tan ohm, tell her mother. 

sweet, pleased. 

when him use the word, as he said this. 

excuse, to be excused ; pronounce the s like s. 

John Crow is the vulture-like scavenger bird of Jamaica, and has a 
peeled (bald) head. 


One day Mr. Annancy an' Monkey made a bargain to 
kill Tiger, an* they didn' know how to make the con- 
fusion for Tiger was Monkey godfather. 

An' being Monkey have more strength than Annancy, 
Annancy try to keep close Monkey an' wouldn' leave 
Monkey company at all by he afraid for Tiger. 

Until one day Annancy went to river an' catch some 
fish, an' send an' call Brother Monkey to come an' help 
him enjoy the fish. 

An' when the breakfast ready, instead of Mr. Monkey 
come, it was that cravin' man Mr. Tiger who Annancy 
really hate, an' to every piece of the fish Annancy take 
up to put in his mouth, Tiger take away every bit an' 
never cease till him finish the whole. 

An' when Mr. Annancy friend who he invite come, 
there was none of the fish to give him. 

An' as Monkey being love fish he began to cuss his 
godfather Tiger. 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 

An' that time Puss was passing when the confusion 

An' they go on an' go on till Puss laugh. An' as 
Puss laugh Tiger get worser vex an' begun to cuss Puss, 
an' Puss said to Monkey: — "Come, make we beat him 
off to deaf." 

An' Monkey wasn 1 agree to beat his godfather, but 
Annancy an' Puss force him. 

An' Tiger get cross begun to lick, an' the first man 
him lick was his godson. An' then as him lick him god- 
son Puss catch a fire 'tick, an' Annancy catch up a mortar 
tick, an' they never cease murder Tiger till they kill him. 

An' they 'kin Tiger an' just going to share. 

An' there comes a singing from the tree : — 



IJM gi* i JVJ'/JVJV 

You long-tail Mis-ter Monkey, Give me piece of de 

1 j^ J' r * nj& 

liv - er, 

a no you one tummy fe full. 

message me faring fe Tiger say bur-y-in > de" a yard; awhlfe 


awhe* fe do oh! Tiger dead al • ready. 

An' all the look Monkey an' Annancy look, they never 
find the person that was singing. 

So they salt Tiger. 

Then Peafowl come down in the yard say: — "Good 
evening Mr. Annancy an' Mr. Monkey, I am very hungry. 
I was on a long journey bring a message to Tiger that 
him wife dead, but Tiger dead already." 

Tigers Death 


So the whole of them stop an 1 eat of Tiger. 

Peafowl never go back with no answer to report, for 
Puss an' Monkey an' Annancy give Peafowl gold not to 
talk that they kill Tiger. 

So Peafowl never can be a poor man for he keep the 
t'ree friend secret. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


ocnfnaloii, quarrel, which was to be made the pretext for killing Tiger. 

wilt fo do, what to do ? what is to be done ? To this question the implied 
answer is " Nothing." So the phrase means : — " It can't be helped. 


A OLD lady have two son, one name Dory Dunn an* 
one name Tumpa Toe, an' Tumpa Toe an' Dory Dunn 
is a hunterman. 

Well, they give them mumma enough things an' say : — 
" Mumma, I am going a wood, don' interfere with that 
Jar in my room." 

When them gone old lady say: — "I wonder what my 
son have in that Jar say me no fe touch/' 

Old lady go an' shub him hand inside in the Jar. 

The Jar hold old lady. 

Old Lady say: — 

Andcmtino. _ 

^jfcfflJlp K | f 




Tampa Toe, Lord ! 

Dory Donn oh, 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' the Jar say 


Mum-ma longu - be - lo, turn tul-la-lul-la-lum turn. 

An' the Jar lire him from the room to the hall. 
An' when him reach to the hall him say: — 

Jar say: — 

" Tumpa Toe, Lord 1 
Dory Dunn oh, Lord ! " 

"Mumma longubelo 
Turn tullalullalum turn." 

An' all this time the Jar holding him by the hand 
an' can't let him go. 

An' the Jar t'row him outside a door. 
When him get out a door old lady say: — 

Jar say: — 

" Tumpa Toe, Lord 1 
Dory Dunn oh, Lord!" 

"Mumma longubelo 
Turn tullalullalum turn." 

Jar hold him 'till. 

Jar fire him to seaside now. 

An' he got one daughter a seaside. 

The daughter say : — 


Do my Jar, Do my Jar, will yon save, will yon save my mother life! 

Jar say: — 


Old la-dytouohma, old la-ty touch no, yra norer will ■•• kin ao more. 

The Old Lady and the Jar. 


The daughter say: — 


t ^~rr 





Do my Jar, 

Do my Jar I 

I will 




give you some sil-ver fe save my mother life. 

Jar say: — 








No, my gal, 

No, my gal, 

I got sil-ver al - 

read - y ; Yon ne - vex will 

The Jar fire him in a sea. 
Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

see him no more. 


Tampa, stump. A man who has lost his arm is called a tumpa-hand 

enough things, plenty of things to eat. 

In these curiously simple tunes, if tunes they can be called, it is most 
important to mark the time and to pay great attention to the lengths of 
the notes. To hear them sing, 01 rather say, " Lord ! " is the most laugh- 
able thing. The first one begins on a note rather below the of Toe, and 
slides downwards ending with an expiring grunt on a very low note of 
the voice. The second one is done in the same way, but is, all the way 
through, a Kttle lower than the first. The point is to let the breath go 
with the sliding note instead of holding it as in singing. 

longubelo. The first syllable is pronounced as in English, and the rest 
of the vowels are Italian, the • being rather more narrowed, but never 
quite reaching to the sound of bale. 

tun tunalullaltun torn. Strong accent on the tall and clean neatly 
cut syllables. Italian vowels. 

nrammjL The 11 between Italian n and Italian 0. 

140 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

Are him, throws her. Yet not quite "throws," for the Jar never lets her 
hand go. Fire 'tone is the usual expression for throwing stones. The 
Jar fires her first from the bedroom to the living-room (hall), next from 
the hall to the yard, then from the yard to the seaside, and all the time 
it holds her by the hand. 


One day Fowl-hawk go to John Crow yard an' tell him 
that him fe come have a walk with me to a country for 
something promise there to me. 

" One day I go out an* in my way I pass a river. As 
I come to the river I meet Fowl. Him ask me to help 
him up, an 1 the baby any time him born I must come 
for it Well my dear sir, the baby born ; an' when I go. 
Fowl say him never make a promise with me. Look 
you, sir, if you see the picny, nice fresh fe we mouth, 
an' a no the one, but him hab more. So you will get a 
good bag of fresh, but the country danger home." 

John Crow say : — " Me yerry dat place hab bad name, 
me no want go." 

Hawk say : — " You too fool, we a man ! we'll get 'way, 
me son, if them want to catch we. When me go 66 the 
first time me go slam in a Fowl yard. Me an' him stay 
a whole day a quarrel, an' me no dead. Come, me good 
friend, make we go." 

Them start 

Them fly an' fly till them get over the country. 

Hawk say : — u Brother John, we get over the place. 
Look down yonder, look fresh!" 

John Crow say: — "Me no go down dd" 

Hawk say: — "A so! you too fool! Come make we 
go down little more.' 

Them go down till them pitch on a tree. 


John Crow and Fowl-Hawk. 141 

Hawk say: — "Brother, you see them better. I da go 
sing make them know say me a come." 

John Crow say: — "If them yerry you, dem no will 
kill we ! " 

" No, all time me go down me an' Fowl a good friend, 
no mo' the little quarrel we have/' 

Hawk call out: — "See me ya me da come, me da 
come to the bargain, me da come, come; twillinky 
twing ping ya, me da come." 

Fowl hear, tell him picny dem fe go hide. 

So Dog was a gunner man, an' him an' Fowl a good 
friend, for Fowl always give him good treatment 

So Fowl go an' tell Dog say : — " Danger ! hawk a come 
fe me daughter, so me a beg you fe come a yard an' 
shot him fe me when him come." 

Dog come, an' him an' Fowl hide. 

Hawk said to John Crow : — " Come make we go down." 

John Crow say "No." 

Hawk say : — * Hungry will burn you back." 

John Crow say: — "Me no trust, me wi' wait 'pon God 

Hawk say: — ''All time you wait 'pon God fe give you 
you will never get; no see me a man no wait 'pon no 
man? Me go look what me know me want, but me if 
I get anyt'ing I never give you little piece self, you 
foolish fellow you ! I gone." 

Hawk start the singing again going down: — "See me 
ya, me da come, twillinky twing ping ya." 

By Hawk get down Dog hit him bam. 

Hawk dead. 

John Crow laugh " Ha ha ! let me pull me rusty bosom 
shirt an' put on me gown an' go down to see what do 
that fellah." 

John Crow go down. 

As him get on Fowl-hawk find that him was dead him 
say: — "T'ank God, ha, ha!" 

142 Jamaican Song and Story. 

John Crow dig out the two eye and say : — " A this eye 
the fellah take a see/ 1 an 1 put it in his pocket an' turn 
on eating. 

Dog look, an* say to Fowl: — "You finish with that 
one, so, sister, any time them come you send an 1 call me. 
I can't stop, I am very vex. I send out my son yesterday 
an' Puss meet him on the road an' beat him an' take 
'way the money that I give him to give Brother Monkey. 
Him tell me son say him have a old grudge fe me an' 
him can't get to beat me, so him will beat all me picny. 
So, sister, I ha da go home, will be blue fire when I 
catch Puss." 

When Dog go to Puss yard an' call him, Dog ask Puss 
for a drink of water an' a piece of fire. 

Puss say: — "Go 'way from me gate, I know wh£ you 
come about" 

Dog say: — "Ah, me man, will be blue fire!" 

Puss gate was lock, for Puss have company the day. 
This company was Rabbit 

Dog say: — "I want to see you." 

Puss say: — "Go 'way I tell you, you mout' long like 
a devil fork." 

Dog broke the gate an' go in. 

Puss lock up his house, an 1 stay inside an' cuss Dog 
till Dog has to go home. 

An' Monkey say him will get the money from Puss 
for them is good friend. 

So Dog go home to his yard an' have a hatred for 
Puss till death. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 

help aim up, with his head-load, 
frean, fresh meat. 

a no the one, etc., he has not only one, he has several. 
danger bom*, is very dangerous. 

John Crow and Fowl- Hawk. 143 

Of«r tlM country, over the place. 

M* sm ya, etc, see me here, I am coming. 

tvHUngky twin* ping ya, a good imitation of the Hawk's vengeful 
shriek. Strong accent on the ya. 

bain, French a, English m, imitating the discharge of the gun. 

what do that fellah, what has befallen that fellow. 


One day Dog invite four Puss to dinner. They were 
good friend. One of the Puss name was Tatafelo, one 
name Finger Quashy, one name Jack-no-me-touch. The 
last one was Tumpy John because he has no tail. 

When them come, all the Puss was in long coat an" 
burn-pan hat. Dog was in trousies an' shirt. 

An* Dog tell them all howdy very friendly, for he 
didn' know what Finger Quashy doing him. 

An' Finger Quashy quite glad fe see how Dog look 
friendly an* please, an' didn* have no fought that him 
was tiefing fe him pear. 

So the whole of them sit down, Dog making a com- 
plain to them that, so he get a pear an put it to ripe, 
by the time he ready for it him don't see none. 

An 1 Finger Quashy was doing it 

An* Finger Quashy jump up tell Dog: — "Mr, Dog, 
me no tell you all time say you want one watchman ? a 
da' fellow Ratta a tief you pear. Last night me dream 
say me see you put me fe watchman an' me catch the 
fellah, so you better put me fe guard you house from 
that tiefing Mr. Ratta." 

Dog was quite agree. 

Dog said: — " After dinner I will tell you better." 

Quashy said "Yes." 

144 Jamaican Song and Story. 

So Dog lef them gone to get dinner. 

By Dog gone, Quashy come out of the house, go into 
Dog buttery, -see two green pear, take them out go hide 

Ratta see him go over the kitchen cry out : — * Why, 
why, why ! Quashy take you pear ; you no yerry ? 
Quashy take ahm gone." 

By Dog get in the house Quashy was in already sit- 
ting down look quite meek an' christianable. 

Dog lef them go see if his pear was there. 

When he go there was none, an' Dog don't like noth- 
ing as his pear an' bone, an' he get vex, take all the 
dinner t'row it 'way, go in the house take down his 'tick. 

By the time Dog fe lick one of the Puss everybody 
was on a tree on the far side of Dog yard. 

Dog swear all sort of bad word fe the one that take 
him green pear. 

Everybody say : — " Thank God me no eat green pear." 

Finger Quashy said : — " Lard ! what a man fe swear ! " 

Dog see that he couldn' manage to catch Puss, leave 
and go away. 

An' as Dog turn round, his son playing with fire burn 
his house an' all his clothes. 

From that day Dog hate Puss till now, for it is Puss 
cause him to have one suit till him dead. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


Tataxelo, Italian a, the other vowels English. 
Pear, *.*. the West Indian pear, a delicious vegetable, 
tell you betfear, make the final arrangement. 
Why, why, why! squeaked like a rat 
by the time Dog fa lick, as Dog was going to strike. 

everybody, used also of inanimate objects. They say: — "I going to 
water cabbage, tomato, everybody." 

Tank God, ate., a favourite form of exculpation, which, however, does 
not necessarily imply innocence. 

Annancy and his Fish-Pot. 145 


One day Brother Annancy always set him fish-pot 
in a river ober a fallin' fe catch jonga. Tacoma usual 
to go an' knock it 

An' Annancy set watch into a river corner, an* Tacoma 
come fe knock it ; he didn' know Brother Annancy hide 
there fe watchin' him. 

As Tacoma go over de fish-pot Brother Annancy 
chuck him down, an' Tacoma catch in de fish-pot. 

Annancy go beg Brother Rabbit say : — " Bro'er Yabbit, 
me fish-pot catch a big fish, come an' help me knock 
it, me one can't manage it, Bro'er Yabbit" 

Brother Annancy an' Brother Rabbit went to the river. 

Annancy say: — "Bro'er Yabbit, me feel me tummy 
hurt me dis marnin', no able fe put me foot in de cold 
water, see if you one can manage fe take out de fish-pot" 

Brother Rabbit go an' take it out till he nearly make 
shore with the fish-pot. 

Annancy say: — "Bery well, you kill Brother Tacoma! 
Bery well, you kill Brother Tacoma!" 

Then Brother Rabbit commence to cry now, an' the 
frettenation in a Rabbit he say he kill somebody an' he 
know they going to hang him, an' next day Rabbit dead. 

Then the case didn' try again. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


fish-pot, made of bamboo strips and looking like a lobster-pot. 

Jonga, the smallest of the three kinds of crawfish which abound in the 
streams and rivers of Jamaica. 

knock, empty. 

146 Jamaican Song and Story. 

tommy; a less pretty word is really used. Annancy squeaks his words 
more than usual here. 

Buy w*U,rte., in f rhythm JV* I J JVJV* I JW* andhedaps 
his hands to the measure twice in the bar. 

frettenation, probably fright, but may have something to do with fretting. 
Owing to Rabbit's fright, he says that he has killed a man. Rabbit, through 
fright, says that he has killed a man. These elliptical expressions are hard to 
understand until one has heard them often. 

try again, try after all 


One day Hog was going out to look work, an' Hog 
name was Cuddy. 

An' he got out an' walk all about an' couldn' get no 

An' when he come home Ratta employ him to keep 
watch for him when Broder Puss is coming. 

An' Hog ask Rat how much is his pay. 

An' Rat tell him that he will give him free an' six- 
pence a week but he must find himself every t'ing to 
eat an 1 drink. 

An 1 Hog didn' agree. But as the time being so hard 
he says he will bear with Ratta till the week out 

An* when the week done Ratta pay Hog, an' Ratta 
t'ought that Hog was still keeping watch for him. 

So Ratta go out, an' when he come back he didn' 
fin' Hog. 

An' him say : — Wasn' God, Puss would broke in on him. 

An' him cuss Hog that Hog would walk an' never get 
no work, an' some which worse than Hog will laugh 
after him. 

An' Hog start one morning to look work. 

Hog and Dog. 


What that fellah Mr. Dog done Hog. 

As he, being a market-keeper, he set down at the 
market gate an' see Hog was passing, an 1 he ask Hog 
where he is going. 

Hog tell him that he is going to look a little work. 

Same time Dog burst out a laugh. An' as he burst 
out a laugh he ask Hog t'ought he was working with 

An' Hog feel so shame to himself till he wouldn' 
answer Dog. 

An' Dog laugh after Hog with this sing: — 


i jiHi j.j Jir m i : Jj-j-jij; 

Time get so hard Hog an' all a look work, Dog sit down a 

jj'mijHyvj iipgp 

market gate an* go laugh at a Hog distress; me ra-rabum Cuddy de" da 

i jMjjyjij J J ^j.nA^iL^m 

door,merarabumCud-dyd^dadoor,merarabumCud-dyd^ da door. 

An' Dog sing an' sing an' sing till Hog get vex an' 
come home back. 

An' from that day that's why Hog must always hate 

Dog until now. 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 

Onddy, short for Cordelia, 
warn' God, if it wasn't for God. 
raratram, nonsense word, Italian vowels. 
d£ da door, is at door, is out of doors. 

148 Jamaican Sang and Story. 


Once a King has a daughter, an' that gal was a pet to 
her father. 

So one day a Prince come to ask for her. 

The father love the young man, but the gal say: — 
" Puppa, me don't like him." So the father promise her 
that anybody she see she like he will agree to it. 

So one night a good friend of the King made a dance 
an' invite the young Princess to the ball. 

This man who made the dance invite all classes of 
people. So he invite Devil too, but they don't know 
that it was Devil. 

When all the guests come everybody give their name. 
Devil give his name Mr. Winkler. So the ball com- 

Devil see the gal. He went an' ask her if she wish 
to dance with him. 

The gal was so glad say : — " Yes, sir, for I love you 
the most" 

When they dance till daylight the gal don't want to 
lef Devil. 

She say to Devil : — " Come have a walk home with me." 

Devil say : — " Yes, I would go, but I am a man have 
such a great business, I has to go home very soon to 
seek after it." 

The gal say: — "Come go home with me you will get 
me to marry, for my father is a King." 

An' as Devil hear about marry he go home with the 

When she get to the house she call to her father: — 
" Puppa, here come my lover, I have found him at last." 

Devil and the Princess. 149 

So the servant-boy was an old-witch, said : — " Young 
mistress, you know that man is Devil?" 

The gal get vex, begin to cry. 

She go to her father crying, tell him " the servant-lx>y 
cuss me most shameful." 

The father get upstarted, coipe out to the boy, don't 
ask the boy nothing, catch the boy an 1 put him in 

They take Mr Winkler in the palace, an 1 the father 
fix up an' they get marry. 

After Mr. Winkler get marry he said: — "I am ready 
to go." 

The King say: — "No, I can't send away my one 
daughter. You must stay and I will make you a King 

Mr. Winkler say "No." 

During this time they don't know that it was Devil, for 
when the boy tell them they get vex. 

Devil marry ten time an' he eat all his wife, so he 
was going to eat this Princess too. 

So, as he was so anxious to go, the gal have to go 
with him. 

When they ready to start the father give them a long 
bag full with money. Devil get a boatman an' they 

They sail four days before they get to their home. 

When the gal get there she go meet a old lady in 
the house. This lady was Devil cook. 

As he got in he said to the cook: — "I have got a 
good fat meat for the party." 

So Devil go an' lock up the gal in a bar, an' lef 
the old lady to watch if the gal is going to get 'way. 
He lef a Cock that any time the old lady say that the 
gal get 'way he must call, an' him lef a bag of corn to 
feed the Cock that he may keep good watch. 

The old lady say * Yes." 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

Devil ready to start, order his t'ree-foot horse saddle, 
for he is going to invite his friend to come an 1 help 
him eat the gal. 

He start, deeble-a-bup, deeble-a-bup. 

As he get about a mile the old lady go in to the 
gal, take her out an' tell her that her husband is Devil 
an' he is going to eat you. 

The gal begin to cry. 

The old lady say: — "Don't cry, I love you an* I 
going to let you go, but the Cock is a watchman; he 
will see you, an' if he see you he will call for his master, 
but never min' I will try." 

The old lady get ten quart of the corn an 1 a gallon 
of rum, soak the corn in it for about a hour, an' after 
give it to the Cock. 

An' the Cock eat the whole evening till night, an', 
after him finish eat, him drop asleep. 

The old lady get a boatman an' pay him an' he take 
the gal over the sea. 

When day nearly light the Cock wake an' go to look 
if he see the gal through a hole. When he look the gal 
was gone. Him go to the cook an' ask. 

The lady said : — " Him gone, an' I was calling you an' 
you never wake." 

Then Cock sing out: — 


Mister Wink - ler Wink - lcr oh — 


wake go look a hole 

the gal was gone. 

Devil and the Princess. 151 

Mr. Winkler hear an 1 was coming like lighten with his 
t'ree-foot horse, deeble-a-bup, deeble-a-bup. 

He call out: — "Me coming", deeble-a-bup, "Me com- 
ing", deeble-a-bup. 

At last he reach the yard an' see the gal gone. He 
get a canoe an 1 start after her, an' by next day light he 
see the gal boat was far away. 

He call out : — " Sairey d6 'pon sea, Sairey d6 'pon sea, 
come back darling, you husband 66 come fe you." 

When the gal look he say: — "Shub ahead, boatman, 
do, to save me life!" 

An' by the time they get a land Devil was near them. 

An' the boatman shot off a piece of Devil canoe an' 
water get in, so Devil has to go home back. 

An' when the gal go home, tell her father what was 
her life, the father say : — " Don't marry again to nobody, 
not if even the King." 

An' the father take her in an' give her servant to look 
after her. 

Jack Mantora me no choose any. 


eui, abuse. It does not imply swearing. To swear is to cuss bad word. 

In a bar, a barred-up room. 

deeble-a-bup, the sound of the three-legged horse's step. Compare the 
itty-itty-hap of "Mr. Bluebeard." 

The Cook adopts Annancy's device in (< Annancy and Screech-owl." 

oooeoorloo. The Cock's crow is excellent The Negro is very clever 
in his imitation of animals. 

a hole, at the hole, through the hole. 

canoe, pronounced with accent on the first syllable and French a. 

152 Jamaican Song ana Story. 


One day Puss was going out on a journey, an' he travel 
till he reach to a river mouth. An' as Fuss being afraid 
for water he couldn' cross the river. 

An' Fuss has to stop for two day an' one night, an" 
Puss climb a tree which hang over the water. 

An 1 Mr. Annancy was fishening. 

An' Annancy fishening till him come where Puss was, 
an 1 Puss didn' call to Annancy. 

An' same time Annancy meet up a licking 'tump a 
river side. Annancy lick, him lick, him lick, him lick 
outside till him sen' him han' inside. 

An' when Annancy shub him hand him feel something 
hold him. 

An' Annancy get very frighten an' pull fe get him 
hand out, an' him couldn' get 'way. 

An' Annancy ask the question : — " Who hold me ? " 

An' a voice in a the 'tump said: — "Me, Wheeler." 

An' Annancy said to him must wheel him make him see. 

An' him wheel Mr. Annancy mile an' distant 

An' when Annancy drop he didn' dead, an' he said : — 
" T'ank God ! I met with a little accident, but I see it 
going to be a living for me an' me family." 

An' Mr. Annancy went home an' get some lovely iron 
peg, an' when him come he plant them in the river 
course to the very spot which him did drop. 

That time Puss seeing all what Mr Annancy is doing. 

Annancy leave, an' come where Wheeler is, an' keep 
himself very quiet, an' presently Peafowl was passing. 

An' Annancy call upon him say : — u Bro'er Peafowl, a 
living is here for me an' you." 

Wheeler. 153 

An* Peafowl ask him what is it 

An* he take Peafowl an 1 cany him where Wheeler is, 
and he says: — "Bro'er Peafowl, you see that hole. As 
you hand is so long, don't be afraid, just shub you hand 
in there now an' you will find something grand." 

An' as Peafowl shub in him hand Wheeler hold him. 

An' Annancy tell him that he must pull. 

An' when him pull he couldn' get 'way. 

An* Mr. Annancy feel very proud an' happy till he 
laugh with joy in his heart 

An 1 when him done laugh him tell Peafowl to say: — 
"Who hold me here? " 

An' Wheeler say: — "Me, Wheeler." 

Annancy tell him to say: — " Wheel me mile an* distant" 

An' him wheel Peafowl an' dash him on the iron peg, 
an' Mr. Annancy went an' pick him up an' put him in 
his bag. 

An' him went back to his old place a bush an' sat quiet. 

That time Puss was seeing all this. 

Ratta was passing, an' as Annancy see him Annancy 
said to him : — " I's all you deeshent man I like to see. 

An' Ratta ask him:— "What for?" 

An' Annancy say : — " Don't be afraid ; a living is here 
for you an' me." 

An' he carry Ratta an' show him the 'tump. 

An' when him show Ratta, Ratta ask him if this is 
the living. 

Annancy say: — "No shub you han', man, in the hole, 
an' you will fin' a living." 

An' as Ratta shub him hand Wheeler hold him. 

An' Annancy tell him that he must pull. 

Him say he can't get 'way. 

Annancy tell him to ask: — "Who hold me?" 

" Me, Wheeler." 

Annancy tell him must say: — "Wheel me mile an' 

154 Jamaican Song and Story. 

An' he wheel Ratta an' dash him on the iron peg 

Annancy went an' pick him up an' put him in his 
bag, an' go back same place. 

After, Puss come down off the tree an' walk through 
the bush an' go down the river a little ways an' then 
turn up back, coming up very meek an' poorly. 

Annancy so glad to see Bro'er Puss him say: — 
"Walk up my bold friend Mr. Puss. Come an' see the 
living which is here for me an' you." 

An' Puss playing as to say that he didn' know noth- 
ing at all about it. 

An' Mr. Annancy begin to show Puss the 'tump, an' 
he tell Puss to shub him hand in the hole. 

When Annancy show Puss the hole, Puss say that 
him don' see it 

Annancy get vex and say: — "Shub you han' you so, 
man! Shub you han' you so, man! There, there! 

An' Puss put him hand another way, playing to say 
he don' see it. An' he go on, go on, till Annancy make 
a flourish with him own hand, an' Annancy hand slip in 
the hole an' Wheeler catch him. 

An' Annancy begin to cry as him know the danger 
which is down below. 

An' him cry out: — "Do, me good Bro'er Push, jus* 
run a river course ; you will see some iron peg, pull them 
up for me." 

An' Puss begin fe walk in him sinnicky way, an' hide 
a bush where Annancy can't see. 

When Puss come, him say him pull them. 

Annancy wouldn' believe, an' crying still say : — " Bro'er 
Push, mus' go an' fetch one come make me see." 

Puss go, an' when him come back him come with- 
out it. 

Annancy ask him where is it 

Him tell Annancy that it too heavy, an' him roll it 'way. 



An* Annancy, still crying, wouldn' believe. An* he 
begin to call Puss Godfather Push, an' beg him hard: — 
"Do, me good Godfather Push, just you jump pull 

An' him go on, go on, till him believe Puss, an' him 
ask the question: — "Who hold me?" 

"Me, Wheeler." 

"Wheel me mile an' distant." 

An' Annancy fly by the air an' drop slam on his own 

An' Puss walk down an' pick up Annancy, an' put 
him in the bag with Peafowl an' Ratta an' carry off all 
the living with a jolly song : — 


Poor me lit • tie Cub-ba boy, barn day no Cub-ba ? 

J OlJ'J.r I 

Me da go da Vay - lum, barn day no Cub-ba? 

Jack Mantora me no choose none. 


licking 'tamp, a tree stump with bees in it The honey trickling out 
makes a licking-stump of it. 

lick, him lick, him lick. These words are run closely together, then a 
pause, and then him lick outside. Pause again, after which the sentence 

wheel, to cause to turn or spin. I have no clue to Mr. Wheeler. 

mile an' distant, to the distance of a mile. 

!'■ all yon, etc., it's all you decent men. 

What fort Ratta was suspicious of Annancy's flattery. 

poorly, poor in spirit, meek. 

smnloky, sneaky. 

Bro'er Push, must go, you must go. 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 

barn day no Onbbaf is not my born-day (birthday) Cubba. Children 
used to be named according to the day of the week on which they were 

























According to this list, Cubba is a girl's name, but it is perhaps short for 

da go da Vaylum, I am going to Vaylum. 


The Negroes when they get together never stop 
chattering and laughing. They have a keen sense of 
the ludicrous, and give a funny turn to their stories as 
they relate the common incidents of daily life. The 
doings of their neighbours form the chief topic of con- 
versation here as in most places, and any local event 
of special importance is told over and over. Presently, 
after repeated telling, the story, or part of it, is set to 
one of their dance tunes, and tune and words henceforth 
belong to one another. This is the origin of the songs 
which follow. With the explanatory notes attached 
to them it is hoped that they will afford some insight 
into the peasant life of Jamaica. 

The tunes fall into two main divisions, " dancing-tunes " 
and " digging-sings/' and besides the formal dances, whose 
steps are thoroughly known, there is an informal kind 
called "playing in de ring." It may be described as 
dancing mixed with horse-play. It was in this kind of 
romping that Parson Puss took part in the Annancy 
story (No. XXIX.), and perhaps it was hardly the thing 
for the cloth ! Ring tunes begin anywhere and anyhow, 
and do not necessarily conform to the eight-bar rhythm 
of the more regular dance tunes. 

To the other class of songs belong the " digging-sings " 
used, together with rum, as an accompaniment to field 
labour. In March it is time to think of getting the land 

158 Jamaican Song and Story. 

ready for planting. So, having rented a piece of hillside 
from a neighbour, if he has none of his own, the Jamaican 
begins to clear the ground. The biggest of the trees fall 
to the axe, and the brushwood, or bush, as it is called, is 
chopped down with the cutlass, a few rod-like saplings 
being left here and there to serve as supports for the 
yams, which will by and by climb them like hops. After 
a few days' exposure to the sun, he burns all the top 
and lop that lies on the ground, which is then ready for 
digging. He now calls in some of his friends to help 
him dig yam-hills — so the phrase runs. What they dig 
is, of course, holes, to begin with. The loose soil is then 
piled up into small mounds in which the yam heads will 
be placed. The object of the mound is to enable the 
proprietor to see easily at any time how the tuber is 
getting on, by just "gravelling" it with his hand. As 
the hills are being dug, the rum bottle circulates, and the 
digging-sings, which began quietly enough, get more and 
more lively. The Negro is cheery at all times, but when 
well primed with liquor he is hilarious. Nothing more 
joyous can be imagined than a good " digging-sing " 
from twenty throats, with the pickers — so they call their 
pickaxes — falling in regular beat. The pickers work faster 
and faster to the strains of a rousing " Oh, Samwel, oh ! " 
or "The one shirt I have ratta cut ahm." One man 
starts or "raises" the tune and the others come in with 
the "bobbin," the short refrain of one or two words 
which does duty for chorus. The chief singer is usually 
the wag of the party, and his improvised sallies are 
greeted with laughter and an occasional "hi," which 
begins on a falsetto note and slides downwards, expres- 
sing amusement and delight very plainly. 




Here is a specimen :- 


Oh Miss Nancy Ray, Oh hur-rah boys ! Oh Miss Nancy Ray, 

Oh hur-rah boys I Nancy Banana da broke man heart, Oh hurrah boys I 

Nancynanansi9a broke man heart, Oh hurrah boys ! O Miss Nancy Ray, 

•fff. F JlJ 1 J j H 

Oh hur - rah boys ! Oh Miss Nan-cy Ray, Oh hur - rah boys ! 

The bobbin is " Oh hurrah boys ! " and a good swinging 
one it is. If the bobbin is well taken up each sing lasts 
for about five minutes, and the raiser of the tune prides 
himself on the number of " turnings " or slight variations 
he can give it He also improvises words as he goes 
on. Such a sally as changing Miss Rag's name to Banana 
would be met with laughter when it was first heard. 

("Da broke man heart" means "has broken a man's 


The next example is a type of many of the sings. 
It turns on a piece of local gossip. The "at last" is 
significant and points to Catherine being an old offender. 
The proffered sympathy is hardly sincere. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 



Cat'rine gone a prison biddy - bye poor — me Cafrine 

biddy -bye 

y - bye 

Cat'rine gone at last bid 

Here is the story in plain English, " deep English " as 
the Negro calls it, not understanding it well : — " Oh by 
the bye I hear a report that Catherine has gone to 
prison. My poor Catherine!" 

(For " say " read " which says." " Biddybye " is the 

We come now to one which refers to labouring 

life :- 

Tell Mis-ter Link-y me wantgo, hmlhm! oh — — — 


Ben - ji-man ! Bar-ra - rap Bar-ra-rap Bar-ra - rap me Ben - ji - 

i |J. f \ r J Jff- r -i II 


oh — — — Ben - ji - man ! 

The men are in the field watching the sun which is 
getting low. They begin to think the head-man, Mr. 



Linky, is forgetting how time goes. He should be giving 
the signal to "knock off work." So one of the gang, 
meaning Mr. Linky to hear, says to his neighbour: — 
" Benjamin, tell Mr. Linky I want to go." " Hm, hm I * 
with closed lips, means a great deal. It is a sort 
of good-natured remonstrance. Always Benjiman for 
Benjamin and the Barraraps culminate in a sharp 
final staccato rap. This has a longer bobbin "Oh 
Benjiman ! " 


The next might easily be mistaken for something of 
the same sort: — 


Tell Mister Bell me go plant co-co, Tell Mister Bell me go 

plant co - co, Tell Mister Bell me go plant coco, tuppence a quart fe 

flour ! Flour Flour Flour Flour ! tuppence a quart fe flour ! 

Mr. Bell is, however, the keeper of a country shop. 
"Tell Mr. Bell I am going to plant cocoes. Threepence 
a quart for shop flour! No, it's too much expense." 
("Too much expense" is a favourite phrase.) 

The accent which the music gives to the word coco 
is not the right one. It should be on the first 

"Fuppence" is fivepence, but means threepence. This 
is the survival of an* old coinage in which sixpence was 
called tenpence. The u in "fuppence" is an Italian u 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

with a turn towards an open o. It sounds more like 
fourpence than fippence. 

"Plant coco" is the bobbin, but a gang who were 
inspired not to leave too much to the raiser of the tune, 
would take upon themselves to add "Fuppence a quart 
fe flour." ("Fe," sounded "fy," with short y as in 
" very.") 


The next has again a well-defined bobbin in "nyam 
an' cry," and hereafter no reference will be made to this 
feature, which by now must be thoroughly understood. 
Where it appears to be wanting, the whole sing is sung 
in chorus. 



Bad homan oh ! — — bad homan oh ! nyam an' cry, me 

i. LI Ji 

i- U- J-W 


co - co no ripe, nyam an' cry, me ha-foo no ripe, nyam an* cry. 

The man is " working his provision ground," and his 
wife is always saying she has not got enough to eat. 
She is a bad woman, who does nothing but "nyam an' 
cry," eat and call for more, and my cocoes are not ready 
to dig and my Afoo (Italian a, ahfoo) yam is not ready 
either. (There are as many different kinds of yams as 
there are of potatoes.) 


Continuing with subjects connected with field-work, we 
come now to a sing which must have originated in old 



slavery days, when ringing a bell was the signal for 
beginning and knocking-off work : — 


Bell oh, Bell oh, Bell a ring a yard oh ! oh— De 

> J" «T h 


a ring a yard on 

Bell a ring a yard oh ! Baboon roll de drum oh, 

Monkey rub de fid • die, oh — — 

Bell a ring a yard oh ! 

The bell is ringing up at the house, says one of the 
slaves to Degay the head-man, and we want our break- 
fast; and another, seeing Degay look cross at anybody 
presuming to make suggestions to him, tries to make him 
laugh with the piece of nonsense that follows. We shall 
meet with Degay or Deggy, for there is some doubt 
about his name, again. It will be thought that either 
the word Baboon is misplaced or the barring is wrong, 
but it is not so. The negro is careless of accent, as of 
many things. Here he likes to have it on the first 
syllable, which he lengthens to " bah." " Rubbing " a fiddle 
conveys the exact idea of the way they play it Holding 
it not up to the chin but resting on the biceps, they rub 
a short bow backwards and forwards across the strings. 
If one of these is tuned it is considered quite satisfactory, 
and the rest make a sort of mild bagpipe accompaniment. 
Time is no object. 

(" Bell a ring " may mean either " The bell is ringing " 
or "The bell has rung." "A yard," in the yard. The 
immediate surroundings of the house are called the yard. 
They seldom speak of going to a friend's house. They 
say they are going to his yard.) 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


Breakfast is at twelve o'clock, and after a short rest 
work goes on again. A shower starts a new train of 
thought : — ^ 



l\ - r P 


S— sc 

The one shirt I have rat - ta cut ahm, 

^ f^r J ^ l 



Same place him patch rat - ta cat ahm, 

Rain, rain oh ! 



Rain, rain oh ! 



Rain, rain oh fell down an' wet me up. 

"The rats have cut my only shirt with their teeth. I 
put in a patch and they bit it through again in the 
same place, so when the rain came down it made me 
very wet." 

(The broad "ahm" (for him, it), is more used now by 
the Coolies than the Negroes. " Ratta " is both singular 
and plural. When I first heard the word I thought it 
referred to a terrier. "Same place him patch" — in the 
same place where it was patched, just where it was 


The kindly sun comes out, the shirts are dry, and an 
amorous youth, with that absence of self-consciousness 
which is characteristic of the race, begins : — 


p a j j^^jj 

Jes - sie cut him yoke suit me, 

Jes-sie cut him 



yoke suit me, 

So-so wahk him wahk suit me, 






Jes-sie cut him yoke suit me, 






oh — — suit me, 




oh — 

j^JV U. J S I J ^ 

— suit me, 

Jes - sie cut him yoke suit me 

Broadly this means : — " all that Jessie does is right 
in my eyes. She dresses perfectly, but it is enough for 
me to see her walk to adore her. Jessie cuts her yoke " 
— technical term of modistes and tailors I am told — "to 
suit my taste." 

("So-so walk him walk," is literally: — "the mere walk 
that she walks with suits me" They are fond of this 
repetition of a word, first as noun and then as verb. 
Thus they will say : — Me like the play him play : — It 
sweet me to see the dance him dance : — The talk him talk 
was foolishness : — The ride him ride, him boast about it.) 


" Three acres of Coffee " which follows, is more interest- 
ing musically. 


Tree a - ere of Cahffee, Four a - ere of bare Ian', 

J'J 'J'j> | j j7^ 

Tree a - ere of Cahffee, Why you no come come ask fe me ? Mum- 

1 66 

Jamaican Song and Story. 




ma ho me love the man, Mum-ma ho me love the man, Mum- 


^ Vj l ^JJ-ll 


ma ho me love the man, Why you no come come ask fe me ? 

The boy has been telling the girl of his worldly pos- 
sessions, but has not made any offer of marriage. She 
is thinking it all over. " So you have got three acres 
of coffee and four acres of bare land, then why don't 
you come and ask for me ? " 

" Bare " land is good land which has not yet been taken 
into cultivation. The first money a poor boy earns he 
spends in boots, which are the outward and visible sign 
of being well-to-do. They hurt him, " burn him " as he 
says, but no matter. Next he buys a piece of land. 
This is probably in bush, covered that is with the rough 
growth of grass, bushes and trees that so quickly springs 
up in the tropics. He clears and plants it piece by 
piece, as opportunity offers and inclination suggests. 


They are clever at inventing nonsense words to run 
easily off the tongue. For instance : — 

Andante. Allegretto. 

A -way, away oui oui Madame. 

never see the sight of Robart, 

never see the sight 

ightof F'edrick, Ding 

dogaraggaway, Ding dogaraggaway, Ding dogaraggaway, Ding dong. 

(" Away " is clearly a corruption of oui out.) 



They like to complain of their little ailments, as thus: 

Wednesday morning be-fore day, Wednesday morning before 



f. N- J' J J' I 

day, Wednesday morning be - fore day, me ma'am, me 

feel me 


me head 





If a man happens to hurt himself, he sends or brings 
the most exaggerated account of the accident. If it is 
a cut on the hand, he " nearly chop him hand off." If 
there is a trickle of blood, " the whole place running in 
blood." In my early days in Jamaica my boy Robert 
came rushing up with gestures expressing the utmost 
consternation, and gasped out "Rufus hang!' 1 Rufus 
was the pony. "He dead?" I asked. "Tiff dead!" was the 
reply. We were doing a piece of important planting 
in the garden, and I said " Well ! as he's dead there's 
nothing to be done, and we'll go on with this job." 
Two or three hours later, to my surprise, I saw Robert 
carrying grass towards the stable. " What are you doing 
with the grass, Robert ? " 

"It for Rufus." 

" But Rufus dead." 

" No ! he don't dead again," which meant that he was 
still alive. When I went to see, I found him rather 
exhausted with his struggling — he had fallen on the 


1 68 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

hill-side and got entangled in the rope — but not very 
bad, and by next day he had quite recovered. 

This kind of exaggeration enters into all their talk. 
Once, travelling in a tram-car, there was a slight acci- 
dent. The car just touched the shaft of a passing carriage 
and broke it. One man said to his neighbour, " See dat ? 
de buggy 'mash to pieces." 

"All gone to snuff," replied the other. 


Here are two different versions of the same sing. The 
chord of the seventh held on by the voices sounds well. 









Oh Sam - wel 


i rf'j j j 



Oh Sam - wel 





Oh Sam -wel oh ! Oh Sam -wel oh ! Sam wel, the 





lie yon tell 'pon me 


turn whole house a me door. 


(They never tell lies about people here, but always 
upon people. "Turn whole house a me door," turns the 
whole house out of doors, upside down as we should 













*li - za oh ! 


'li - za oh ! 




j. i j Mnr^ ^ 





Oh 'li-za oh! 

Oh 'li-za oh ! 

li - za 

I j VJV jy l Jj 

'pread you coat make I lie down d£ 

under the 





sha - tahl. 

"Coat" is petticoat. I am told that 'liza could take 
off a petticoat and still be quite properly dressed. 

"Make I lie down," etc., i.e., let me lie down under 
the Butcher's Stall. This is the name of a precipice just 
below my house. Horses have several times fallen over 
it and been killed. They then become butcher's meat 
for the John Crows, the vulture-like birds which are so 
useful as scavengers. 


We do not get many songs of the American planta- 
tion type like the following: — 


Aunt - y Ma - ry oh I 

Aunt - y Ma - ry oh ! 

*J J V J JU 

t~tj /rp^ 


Aunt - y Ma - ry oh ! 

Aunt - y Ma - ry oh ! 

Aunt - y Ma - ry oh ! 

Aunt • y Ma - ry oh ! 

r»JNr £ 

Aunt - y Ma - ry Thomas, 

O meet me a cross road. 

(Cross roads are always a favourite place of meeting, 
and a rum shop is generally to be found there.) 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

This is a monotonous form, and I am glad the musical 
bent of our people turns in another direction. 


See how superior this truly Jamaican form is: — 








Oh ! me yer - ry news, me yer - ry, 

Oh ! me yer - ry news, me 

EfeEgEjgg S j^jH j ^^J^r 



yerry, Married homan a pull him ring me yerry Him put ahm a wine- 



glass — me yerry 

Oh ! me yerry news— me yerry. 

Local scandal again. " I hear news ; a married woman 
has pulled off her wedding ring and put it in a wine- 
glass," the first convenient receptacle she saw. 


It was some time before an explanation was forth- 
coming for the next : 



ju J s J 1 * ^ 



Jes' so me barn, 

jes' so me barn, 

you can 

^r^ ^-f-^r-j-^ — ^- i 

•*t— r 


wear - y long boot, 

jes' so me barn. 

The words mean : — " I was born just so ; you can wear 
long boots, boots that come high up the leg." A girl, 
who has not money enough to buy boots, is envious 
of a companion who is wearing them. She says : — " I 



was born, just as you were, poor. Yet you have got 
long boots, while I must put up with 'bulldogs/ rope- 
soled slippers. Where did you get the money to pay 
for your boots? Did you tief it, or what?" 


In the example that follows, a girl has been left to 
look after her little brother, and somebody reports that 
she has been " ill-treating," i>. beating him. So the 
message is sent back: — 


Tell Mary say, no do Johnny so. 


Tell Mary say, 

no do John-ny so. 

"Tell Mary she is not to do Johnny so." "To do a 
person something " is to do them an injury. " He so 
crahss" (cross), a boy will say of his master, " and I done 
him nothing," or " I never do him one def ting," a single 
thing. u Def" is emphatic, but is not a " swear- word." 

"Say" is often added in places where it is not at all 
wanted. It occurs again in : — 



Me tell them gal a Port Ian' Gap Min' Dallas man oh ! 

me amber 

he" ! me amber he" ! me amber ho ! tell them say. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

" I tell the girls at Portland Gap ' Mind Dallas men/ " 
Portland Gap is in the Blue Mountains ; Dallas in the 
Port Royal Mountains between the Blue Mountains and 
the sea. 

(The exclamatory " h6 " has the Italian vowel, hard for 
some English ears to catch. It is nearly but not quite 
" hay.") 

The significance of "amber" is lost. This word occurs 
again in the pleasant flowing melody which stands next, 
and the boy who gave it me explained its meaning quite 
correctly, saying it "stood for yellow." 




i=j=iir=j^ m=f7\ r • g e c 

Gold oh ! Gold oh ! Gold am-ber gold oh ! Gold d£ a me 

yard oh ! Gold am - ber gold oh ! Sell doubloon a joint oh ! 

Gold am-ber gold oh ! fe me gold a sunlight gold ! Gold am-ber 

^=3ftij jlJ-Jl 

gold oh ! fe me gold no copper gold ! Gold am -ber gold oh ! 

"Gold is in my yard," perhaps buried, but also per- 
haps in the house, yard often including it. " My gold is 
sunlight gold, none of your rascally copper stuff." 

The doubloon is a large gold piece worth sixty-four 
shillings. It has long been out of use and few people 
in Jamaica have seen one. 

(" Fe me," for me, often does duty for " my." <c This a 
fe me hoe," this is my hoe; "take fe you panicle," take 



your panicle, the tin mug out of which the morning 
sugar-water is drunk.) 


No. 71, "Gee oh John Tom" is a brisk and vigorous 
sing till it gets to "a me lassie gone" where the little 
tinge of sadness is given by simple means, again the 
right thing in the right place, good art. 



Gee oh Mother Mac, Gee oh John Tom ; Gee oh Mother Mac* 

Gee oh John Tom ; a me lassie gone, Gee oh John Tom. 

Here is something very short: — 


Oh — — — Oh — — Leah married a Tuesday. 

On asking if that was all, Levi, the contributor, said : — 
" It no have no more corner," it hasn't any more corners, 
or "turnings" as they generally say, what we call varia- 
tions. Levi likes to cut everything short and rattle it 
through with lightning speed. He it was who gave me 
that little gem of an Annancy story about the rats and 

their trousers (No. XL), and this is his: — 

LXXI 1 1. 







Cheer me oh ! Cheer me oh ! Cheer me oh ! My will fight fe you. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


In imitating animals the negro is clever. He moos 
like a cow, grunts like a pig, whinnies like a horse, 
besides the minor accomplishments of miauling and 
barking. Even trammelled by music this cock's crow is 
good : — 


jj ^^ i 

Me cock a crow — coo-coo - ri • co, before day him a 




faji j jj . h J h flfe^toi 

crow — coo -coo-ri-co, him a crow fe me wake — coo-coo - ri-co. 

(Sound the * short as in rich.) 


Now we come to a tragedy. Selina is drowned, and 
they sing smoothly and flowingly : — 



j*j **i f *i 


Oh— Se - li - na ! 



1 r 1 

Se - li - na ! 

John Crow de a riv - er side a call fe Se - li - na ! Oh poor Se- 

Duppy an' all a call fe Se-li-na ! Oh poor Se-li-na. 

Everybody in Jamaica believes in Duppy, and many 
women and children will not go out at night for fear 
of meeting one. 

Digging-Sings. 175 

A man, they say, has two spirits, one from God and 
the other not from God. The one from God is good, 
and the one not from God may be either good or bad. 
During sleep, these spirits leave the body and go to 
other people's houses in search of food. Being shadows 
themselves, they feed on the shadow of food and on the 
smell of food. They are seldom far apart, and the 
heavenly spirit can always prevent the earthly spirit 
from doing harm. At death the God-given spirit flies 
up upon a tree, and goes to heaven the third day. The 
other spirit remains on earth as Duppy. Its abiding place 
is the grave of the dead man, but it wanders about at 
night as it did when he was alive. A good Duppy will 
watch over and protect the living. A bad Duppy tries 
to frighten and harm people, which it is able to do now 
that it has lost the restraining influence of its former 
companion, the heavenly spirit. It can assume any sort 
of shape, appearing sometimes as a man, sometimes as 
an animal. If it is a very bad Duppy, it makes the place 
where it is unbearably hot The Negro believes that he 
can put a bad Duppy upon another person. 1 He proceeds 
as follows: — Going to the grave at midnight, he scoops 
a small hollow in the ground and puts in some rice, 
sprinkling it with sugar-water, a mixture of water and 
moist cane-sugar. He then directs Duppy to visit the 
person whose name he mentions, and goes away without 
looking behind him. The person on whom Duppy is 


put becomes " tearing mad," and it requires a ten-pound 
fee to " take the shadow off." How to do this is the Obeah- 
man's secret. A Duppy of one's own family is worse 
than a stranger's, and the "baddest" of all is Coolie 
Duppy. One of the most dreaded Duppies is "Rolling 
(*'.*. roaring) Calf." It goes about making a hideous noise, 
and clanking a chain. " If Rolling Calf catch you, give 

1 [Cf. Miss Kingsley, The Fetish View of the Human Soul, in Folk-Lore, 
vol. viii., p. 138; also R. E. Dennett, Bccvili Notes, Hid., vol. xvi., p. 371.] 



176 Jamaican Song and Story. 

you one lick, you dead." Your only chance is to run, 
and you must keep on "cutting ten" (making the sign 
of the cross), and the pursuing monster has to go round 
that place ten times. " Shop-keeper and butcher," so 
goes local tradition, "tief too much (rob their customers 
very much) and when they dead they turn Rolling Calf." 

Those who are born with a caul can see Duppy. So 
can those who rub their faces with the rheum from the 
eye of a horse or dog, and those who cut their eye- 
lashes. Every Duppy walks two feet above the ground, 
floating in the air. If a child is not christened before it 
is six months old, Duppy will carry it away into the 
bush. To avoid this, a Bible and pair of scissors are 
laid on the child's pillow. The scissors are a protection, 
owing to their cross-like form. 

Such are the main beliefs with regard to this remark- 
able superstition of Duppy on earth. 1 

This, however, is not all. At the day of judgment 
the two spirits will be reunited to the body, and in many 
cases the God-given spirit will go to hell after all. I 
often ask my boys which of these three is themselves? 
Is it the body? Is it the heavenly spirit? Is it the 
earthly spirit ? But they do not understand the question 
and have no sort of reply. When I ask if it is not 
hard that the heavenly spirit after its sojourn in heaven 
should go to hell, they laugh. 


Leaving the religious, we come now to, what Jamaica 
considers more important, the colour question : — 


Sam - bo la • dy ho ! Sam - bo, Sam - bo la - dy 

J [See Folk- Lore of the Negroes of Jamaica, in Folk-Lore^ vol. xv., pp. 87, 
206, 450, and vol. xvi., p. 68.] 


Digging- Sings. 




■j-t- w f f rjm 


ho ! Sam - bo, Sam - bo no like black man, Sam - bo, 

Sambo want white man, Sambo, Sambo no get white man, Sambo, 


Sambo no want man a - gain, Sambo, Sambo la-dy oh ! Sambo. 

A Sambo is the child of a brown mother and a black 
father, brown being a cross between black and white. 
The Sambo lady, very proud of the strain of white in 
her blood, turns up her nose at the black man. She 
wants a white man for a husband. Failing to find one, 
she will not marry at all. 


" Oh John Thomas ! " is a favourite digging-sing at 
Goatridge, twenty-two miles from Kingston :— 





Oh ! John Thomas, Oh ! 


J* JV r 

n Thomas, Oh ! John Thomas, 



*** 1 I 


Oh ! John Thomas, We all a combo 

x> - low, John 

go da lev - en mile 

Thomas, Me see one gal me 

p J 1 IJ^r J | J- X ^ *' lf J j 

love, John Thomas, Me court her all the way, John 


1 7 8 

Jamaican Song and Story. 



Thomas, Me come a Bangh 

Thomas, Me 

N M* I 

buy one quattie bread 

Thomas, Me part it right in 



two, John 

Jrlrr J 

Thomas, Me give her the biggest piece, John 

i(jjb^jv ^nJ-j^j^ij j ^ ^ 

Thomas, and a war - ra more yon want, John Thomas ? 

" Combolow " is comrade oh ! 

"Da 'leven mile," to Eleven-miles, the half-way 
halting place between Goatridge and Kingston. 

When he gets to Bangheson's shop he buys a quattie 
(pronounce quotty, penny halfpenny, quarter of sixpence) 
loaf, and what more do you want, John Thomas? 

The quattie bread weighs eight ounces only. It is 
therefore a dear and much esteemed luxury. 

• i 


Sambo, that we had just now, is the shortest 
bobbins. Here we have a long one of four bars. 




WW mum-ma d£ ? Whe mum-ma de" oh ? Come go da 


'ta-tion, you see mumma de ; Him take half a day, him a 

work se-ven dol-lar, Come go da 'ta-tion you see mumma d£. 



Mamma has got into trouble, owing to a failing 
unhappily too common in Jamaica, inability to distinguish 
between what is mine and what is yours. Her pay for 
half a day was a " bit " (fourpence halfpenny) and she 
has managed to " work " (sarcastic use of the word, for it 
means to get by working) seven dollars — twenty-eight 
shillings — and has been taken to the police station. 

" Wh6 mumma d£," literally, " where mamma is ? " This 
has been already noted as the usual form of question. 
The vowel in wh£, di, is the French /. We have the 
sound in English in the words, debt, west and many 
others, but we always make it very short, and when it is 
lengthened, as it should be here, it generally changes in 
English mouths to the a of date, waste, which is wrong. 

The C sharp on the word " 66 " is peculiar and 

The second "d£" stands for "there." 


There is something pleasantly simple and narve about 
the planting-sing: — 

Toa - dy, Toa - dy, rain' yon - 'self, min' you - 'self make I 

corn; plant me corn fe go plant me 

plant me peas fe go court me gal, court me gal fe go 

show mum-ma, mum-ma de one a go tell me yes, pup- 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

pa de one a go tell me no; 

Toa-dy, Toa-dy, 

min'you - 'self, min' you - 'self make I plant me corn. 

"Mind yourself, little Toad, let me plant my corn." 
So sings the boy as he brings down his digger with 
a forcible thrust. The digger has been described as an 
earth-chisel, and a very good description it is. It makes 
a long slit in the ground into which the maize grains or 
peas are dropped. Maize is always known as "corn." 
Peas, which are also called Red Peas, are the "beans" 
of America, familiar at home under the name of French 
beans. We eat them not only green in the usual way, 
but also make excellent soup of the dried ripe beans. 
The boy is thinking of the reward of his labour. " I am 
planting my corn. Some will be eaten green, some left 
to ripen. That will be sold. Then I shall buy peas, 
plant them, and when they are ready for market get 
sixpence a quart for them, if I am lucky. Then I shall 
be rich enough to walk with a girl. I shall pick out a 
nice one that mamma will approve of. She will be the 
one to say 'yes, me son/ but puppa always crabbed, 
and him going to tell me no bodder with it, gal too 
much expense." 


When known details run dry, the following gives full 
play to the inventive faculty: — 





Me know the man oh ! know the man, Name John Wat - son, 



knowtheman; him come from Bread Lane,knowtheman;nim rideoi 



know the man ; the mule name Vic oh ! know the man ; him have one tumpa toe, 

4 l{ i iI7H^^j^ i i »j,-7T^ H 

know the man ; him come a Mister Thomson, know the man, fe go 


jji" 1 

sell him grey mule, know the man ; he no make no sale oh ! 

i?i ji J 1 i j j s j. u j IP 

know the man, me know the man, know the man. 1 

Other bars of this air have an inclination to £ time 
besides those indicated. 

It will be observed that repeat marks have only been 
put to the first sing. It was not considered necessary 
to continue them. The various " turnings " of the tunes 
may be put in any order. The negroes themselves 
never put them twice in the same sequence. 




■^ 6 l J ■ 



me los' me boar; 

1<( The" always tends to the pronunciation "de," but it has not been 
thought advisable to write it so as this might render it liable to confusion 
with "de," meaning "is," with its differently sounded vowel. Moreover, 
it is not quite a true d, but has a pretty lisping sound intermediate between 
M and <£ 


Jamaican Song and Story. 



*i »i 

JJ^ J" 

Min - nie, 

Min - nie, 

me los' me boar; 


^i i j^i j j 


jj »j ju > 



Minnie, Minnie, him a broke-foot boar ; Minnie, Minnie, me 

\ § j j j i (jj^j-jj i j ■ 

los' me boar ; Min-nie, Min-nie, and a blind-eye boar ; 

Min-nie, Min-nie, go find you boar, Min-nie, Mm-nie. 

" I have lost my boar, Minnie. He's a broken-legged 
boar and has got a blind eye," and so on through all 
the defects or excellences that a boar might, could, 
should or would have. 

There could not be a greater contrast to this sombre 
"Minnie" than the gay: — 




lfM,J;: /-g-^ 

You want to yer-ry Duppy talk oh ! Come go da riv -er before 







an 1 you will yer - ry them laugh oh ! 

\fiP> f J* *** *&?* =£ 

Come go da riv - er be - fore day ; You want to yer-ry Duppy 




e J* ft n 


talk oh 1 Come go da riv - er be - fore day. 



"If you want to hear Duppy talk, go to the river 
before day." 


Now the colour question crops up again. The Sambo 
lady, it may be remembered, wanted a white man and 
nothing but a white man. Sarah can do with a Sambo 
man, from which we may infer that Sarah was black. 


Oh me know Sa • rah, me know Sa 

Sa - rah love white 

man, me know Sa - rah ; 

Sa-rah want Sambo man, me know Sa- 

rfj ' U i 




rah ; Sa - rah no want black man, me know Sa - rah. 

The pickers fall with slashing strokes to: — 


[ff*-v, , HN_l^ =3 

Me don-key want wa - ter, rub him down Joe, 


rub him down Joe, 

rub him down Joe ; Me 

donkey like a peeny, rub him down Joe, rub him down Joe, Joe, 

1 84 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

jv-j j 1 jH^^paJ-j- ij^rt^ ^ 

nib him down Joe ; Me Jackass gone a pound, bring him come Joe, 

JJJ ji; | .r J J'ji^ 

bring him come Joe, bring him come Joe ; Me donkey full of ca - pers 

rub him down Joe, rub him down Joe, Joe, rub him down Joe. 

"Peeny" is the Candlefly, which shines like my donkey's 
coat. "Bring come" for "bring" is very common, and 
in the same way they say "carry go," the "come" and 
"go" indicating the direction of motion. 


"Bring dem come" is the title of the next sing. It 
is in a curious minor mode, almost F minor, but wanting 
the leading note, which is replaced by £ flat. 


A So-mer-set me barn, 

bring dem come, 

bring dem make me bat - ter dem, bring dem come, me would 

take me pick - er bat - ter dem, bring dem come. 

Wo-burn Lawn me barn, 

bring dem come, I will 




like to see dem bat- ter me, bring dem come, 



Goat - ridge me barn, 

bring dem come, 

<py s g ^ 

want to see dem jos - tie me, bring dem come. 

This is a digging contest The Somerset men challenge 
their neighbours. Whoever digs most yam-hills in a 
given time is to be the winner. Every man is confident 
that he will hold out longer than every other, and boasts 
like Goliath. " I was born at Somerset ; bring the 
strangers, bring them, let me beat them ; I will take my 
pickaxe and beat them — I was born at Woburn Lawn ; 
I should like to see them beat me." Honour and glory 
is the sole reward, but that counts for a great deal. It 
is so gratifying to hear the others say "Lah! that man 
dig hill, ya." 

("Jostle" has the same meaning as "batter." When 
two ponies race, the riders try to jostle and foul each 


The next is really a woodcutter's sing, but it is used 
also for digging : — 







Tim-ber lay down 'pon pit, Tim-ber; 

cut 'im 



make we go 'way, Tim-ber ; 

me want go 'way ya soon, 

1 86 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

I'-Nj 4 U U J 

Tim-ber ; tim-ber lay down 'pon pit, Tim-ber ; tim-ber, 





tim-ber oh ! Tim-ber ; 


me wanty go 'way ya soon, 

^ J J \ ++* 

Timber ; 

me want go home back a yard, Timber ; 


fr*-i— t 

ced-ar tim-ber 



! Tim-ber ; 

lash the saw make we 

go home, Timber ; tim - ber lay down 'pon pit, Tim-ber. 

"Lie down on the pit, timber. Cut it, and let us go 
away. I want to go away soon, do you hear? Drive 
(lash) the saw hard." 

The pit is not really a pit The sawing is done where 
the tree falls. A rough scaffolding is made and the log 
is rolled up to lie on the top of it The bottom sawyer 
stands upon the ground. 

The West Indian cedar is not a fir but a deciduous 
tree {Cedrela odoratd), which looks like a hickory or 
walnut It grows in the hills, and its lightness and 
durability make it very useful. Most people know it in 
the shape of cigar-boxes. 

The rest bars are sort of pauses for breath. It will be 
seen that they break the rhythm. Throwing the accent 
on "go," in "go 'way," is characteristic. We should put 
it on "'way." 



Listen how restless and unfinished this sounds : — 



Me want go home a yard oh ! me want go home a yard oh ! me 

ffi^l J 1 J JU ^ 

want go home a yard oh ! me want go home a yard oh ! a 


Gua - va Ridge me barn oh ! me want go home a yard oh I mum 


ma me want come home oh ! me want go home a yard oh ! 

poor me boy me want go home, me want go home a yard oh ! 

Teach-er Bai - ley crahss 'pon me, me want go home a yard oh ! 


The last example refers to the rebellion of 1865. 
Several whites were murdered, and the survivors are of 
opinion that their lives were saved by the prompt action 
of Governor Eyre, who proclaimed martial law and 
restored order by severe measures: — 





War down 

a Monk-land, war down a Mor- ant Bay, 

1 88 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

war down a Chiggerfoot, the Queen never know. War, war, 






war oh ! War 

Nbi oh I heavy war oh ! Soldiers from * 


if 'i, ;■ J ;■ J" J i ^ 

come down a Monkland with gun an 1 sword fe kill sinner oh ! 



j u^ 


V J- V v 

! heavy war oh ! 

War, war, war oh! 

War oh 

The places mentioned are in the parish (corresponding 
to English county), of St. Thomas, except Newcastle, 
the hill cantonment of the white troops, which is in the 
next parish of St Andrew. "Chiggerfoot" takes its 
name from the chigoe, chigger, or jigger, the minute 
flea which burrows into the foot. It is interesting to see 
that this contemporary comment by the blacks describes 
the rebels as sinners. Further on, No. CXXXVII., 
will be found another view, in which they pose as 
aggrieved persons. It shows that there was a loyal as 
well as a disloyal party. 

The reader has now had enough examples of digging- 
sings to show their nature and variety. The Negro is 
never at a loss for words, and the masters and overseers 
of the estate on which he generally labours, Bushas as 
he calls them — a word said to be derived from Pasha — 
are often satirised. The gangs on private estates are 
under a head-man, who is responsible to the Busha. The 
Busha is a white or coloured man as a rule — coloured in 
Jamaica meaning mixed white and black — and he is 
responsible to the master or owner. The workers have 
to be carefully looked after, for like other people the 

Digging- Sings. 189 

Negro will not do more work than he can help. Only 
when he is working for himself will he " let out," as he 
describes it, the whole of his splendid strength. It is 
a mistake to suppose that the black man is either 
stupid or lazy. When he has an incentive to work he 
is industrious, and will do as much in one day in his 
own field as he will in two for an employer who pays 
him. In selecting land for planting his sagacity is 
remarkable, and he knows just where it will "come," 
as he says, guinea yam or white yam, and where coffee 
will succeed and where fail. It is a pleasure to see 
their provision-grounds, the miscellaneous crop looks so 
thriving. "Provisions" embrace all eatables, such as yam, 
sweet potato, coco (colocasia), sugar cane, beans of various 
kinds, maize (or simply "corn," as we call it, having no 
other), okra (hibiscus esculentus), cassada (rnanihot utilis- 
sima), plantain, banana, arrowroot, pindar (arachis hypogoea, 
a ground-nut), pumpkin, tomato and cabbage. 


That informal kind of dancing, referred to in some of 
the Annancy stories, known as "playing in the ring" or 
" Sally Water " has its origin in English children's games. 
Sometimes it is merely a case of hunting the slipper or 
of finding a key passed from hand to hand, but more 
often what begins in playing ends in dancing. The 
nature of this playing in the ring will be best under- 
stood from examples. 

First, as giving its name to the whole, must stand : — 


Lit - tie Sal - ly Wa - ter sprinkle in the sau - cer ; 

Rise, Sal - ly, rise an* wipe your weep-ing eyes. Sal - ly 








turn to the East, Sal • ly turn to the West, Sal - ly 

turn to the ver - y one you like the best. 

Ring Tunes. 



4 ** t e e c_u 

On the car -pet you must be hap-py as the grass-bird 

$A J' J 1 ^frr ' : g ic p -r j 1 

on the tree, Rise an' stand up on your leg an' 


^fif-rT^ f J* J «n 

choose the one that you like the best. Now you mar-ried I 

M^J^ J^h M J^M 

give you joy, first a gal an* second a boy ; Sev-en year after, 

sev - en year to come, give her a kiss an' send her out. 

The boys and girls join hands and form a ring. 
One — the sex is immaterial — crouches in the middle and 
personates Sally Water. At the words "Rise, Sally, 
rise," he or she slowly rises to an erect position, 
brushing away imaginary tears, turns first one way and 
then another, and chooses a partner out of the ring. 
Where the tempo changes, they wheel — a rapid turning 
dance — and after the wheeling, the partner is left inside 
the ring and becomes Sally Water. 1 

Another form of this Ring tune is : — 


iftu J j* r- M-^ 

Poor lit - tie Zed - dy they put him in the cor - ner ! 

1 For a discussion of this game, perhaps the best-known and most widely- 
spread of all English singing games, see A. B. Gomme, Traditional Games, 
vol. ii., p. 149. 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 


H— jv-t 

^L'y.r/'U J' j ' 

Rise, Zed - dy, rise an* wipe your weeping eyes ; Zed - dy, 

p J jp | Ji JS -^4J jp | J' ^ 

turn to the East; Zed-dy, turn to the West; Zed-dy, 

turn to the ver - y one you like the best. 


The negro is a born actor, and to give emphasis to 

his words by appropriate gestures comes naturally to 

him. The little comedy which follows suits him to 
perfection : — 


Wh6 me lov - er d6? 

ee - mya, see - mya. Me 

See - mya, 




lov- er gone a sea ? See - mya, see - mya. Me no see me lov - er 


s ±£tt /j'jMj ^ 


ya. See -mya, see -mya. Him gone a Col-on bay. See- 


see -mya. Go fin* youlov-er now. See-mya, see- 


No make no 'tu - pid de*. See-mya, see - mya. 




Fool dem let dem go. See - mya, see - mya. 

Me lov-er 

Ring Tunes. 





. See-mya 


mya, see-mya. 

Go take you lov-er 




f 5 ^ 

now. See-mya, see-mya. Wheel him make me see. See- 

\ $ 1 -j^u 


mya, see-mya. 

Throw a kiss to him. See-mya, see- 


ijh 1 _p. i j ^ 1 


Wheel him let him go. See-mya, see-mya. 1 

A ring is formed, and a girl is put in the middle. 
She asks: — "Where is my lover?" and the ring answers 
in chorus : — " See him here." " Has my lover gone to 
sea?" and the answer comes again: — "See him here" 
The gal goes on : — " I do not see my lover ; has he 
gone to Colon bay?" and then, as though speaking to 
herself: — "Go, find your lover now. There! don't pre- 
tend to be stupid." At this point she takes the hand of 
a boy in the ring as if she were going to dance with 
him, but immediately pushes him back, and says, still 
speaking to herself: — "Fool them, let them go." Then 
simulating contrition and breaking the hitherto even 
rhythm: — "My lover, come back!" At "Go take your 
lover now" she goes again to the same boy, takes him 
out of the ring-circle and dances with him. They wheel 
at the words "Wheel him make me see," which mean, 
" Let me see you wheel him." Finally at "Wheel him 
let him go " they part hands. 

Frequent references will be found to Colon. Jamaica 
labourers used to go there in large numbers to work on 
the Panama canal. 

'To avoid the tiresomeness of contraction marks, "see him ya" has been 
written in one word. It sounds exactly like senior with an m instead of an n. 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

To the same class belongs: — 

Allegro motto. 


J J | |. J 


Ring a dia - mond, ring a dia • mond, Why a 



•i i \ y ru-JJ i 

ring a diamond. Get in the ring you'll find one Sam-bo boy. 


ring a diamond. Me look me da look me no 


$nd one Sambo boy. Why 


ring a diamond. Me 

find me diamond, me find me dia-mond. Why 



j j i f j i j 1 1 

ring a diamond. Wheel you dia-mond, wheel you dia-mond. 

\ §V l j. U i j j U 

Why oh ring a dia 


ring a dia-mond. Let go dia - mond» 

U'frf' ji-i j 

let go dia-mond. Why 



ring a dia-mond. 

This tune has a beautiful swing. In many bars it is 
almost impossible to distinguish whether the tune is 
triple or duple. Much license may be allowed in the 
direction of the latter to a good timist, but the general 

Ring Tunes. 


impression of triple time must be kept The " Sambo 
boy" bar must be sung very smoothly. It is neither 
quite as it is written the first time nor quite as it occurs 
in the second, but just between the two. Three even 
crotchets with judicious tempo rubato would give it It 
will be understood that these tunes are sung antiphonally. 
In this one the leaders, who know the tune and words 
well, sing the first four bars and the next four belong 
to the chorus, after which the leaders take it up again, 
and so on. 

There is an opportunity here for a little harmless 
"chaff" about colour. The diamond chosen is a black 
diamond, the blacker the better. The ring forms round 
him joining hands, and one girl is pushed in to look for 
the Sambo boy. She says: — "I look, I am looking, I 
don't find a Sambo boy" {i.e. a quarter black). At last 
she finds her diamond, either the boy inside the ring 
or one of those who circle round him, and they dance 
together, wheeling and letting go hands at the words 
"wheel," "let go." 

" Why " is an ejaculation, probably the same as Hi ! 

Another chorus tune of the same kind is :- 

Tempo di Valse. 

l*r J |J J J | ppj 

The gal ov-er yon - der car-ry ba-na-na, 

■1 j ij j 

gal oh I gal oh! car-ry ba - na-na. A nine-hand ba- 

na-na, car-ry ba - na-na, a Chi-ney ba - na-na, 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

f r u J J 1 

car - iy ba - na - na. You find the ba - na - na ? car-ry ba 

na-na. You tief the ba - na-na? car-ry ba - na-na. 

The girl is supposed to be carrying a bunch of 
bananas on her head, and the singers are commenting 
upon it and asking the girl questions, as they do here 
at a distance of half-a-mile. "Look! It is a nine-hand 
banana. No, a China banana. Did you find it? Did 
you steal it?" 

Banana bunches are reckoned by the number of 
hands they contain, the separate bananas being called 
fingers. Nine-hand is a convenient market size. The 
China banana is a stout low kind which withstands 
wind : the fruit is, however, coarse. 

The signal for taking a partner is given by the words 
"You find the banana?" 


In the next there is no dancing. The ring closes up 
tight, shoulder to shoulder. Hands behind the back 
pass the ball round and round, and the girl inside the 
ring tries to find it The person with whom it is found 
has to go into the ring and turn seeker. 


the ball an* the ball goin 


Mo-ther, ho-ney, oh ! the ball goin' round. 

.'" *•» ■ 

Ring Tunes. 



Jour - ney, ball, jour - ney, ball, jour - ncy, ball, jour - ney, 







Mo - ther, ho - ney, oh I the ball can't find. 

The conventional "gwine" for "going" hardly represents 
it, only the o is pronounced so short that the word 
becomes practically one syllable. In the dance tunes we 
shall come across the word " dying" shortened in the 
same way. 


A variation of this is obtained by putting a ring on 
a cord and sliding it along. The tune is : — 


i j T 7 * r | J - Jl J 

c P f. f- r r 1 

Me los* me gold ring fin' an' gi' me, 


los' me gold ring fin' an' gi' me, Me fas' me gold ring 

fin' an' gi' me, A me husband gold ring fin' an' gi' me. 

In "Mother Phoebe" again there is no dancing: — 

Old moder Phoebe, how happy you be When you sit under the 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

Jin • ni - per tree, oh the Jin - ni - per tree so sweet. 


Take this old hat an' keep your head warm, Three an' four kisses will 

do you no harm. It will do a great good fe you. 

Here the girl inside the ring takes a hat or cap and 
after several feints puts it on somebody's head, and that 
person has then to take her place in the ring. 

More lively is the joyous : — 

Allegro motto. 



j'J vc i r JV i 

do, do, do, do, Deg-gy, Deg-gy house a go 


u. ju h- 

burn down, do, De Gay. Deg-gy wh6 you would a do de" 

i (f) j, j'ij j-ji ^ 



do, De Gay? Deg-gy dood an' doo - dess do, De 




Gay. Deg-gy go roan', Deg - gy do De - gay. An* a 



cutch-y fe Deg-gy do De-gay, an' a wheel an* let go 

do, De Gay. Deg-gy house a burn down do, De Gay. 

Ring Tunes. 


The boy inside the ring "makes all sort of flourish/ 1 
dancing and posturing by himself. The word "cutchy" 
is accompanied by a deep curtsey, on rising from which he 
takes a girl out of the ring and wheels her. Deggy 
or Degay, has occurred already in No. LVII. Whether 
it is his own house that is burning, or somebody else's, it 
is impossible to conjecture. Observe the varying accent 
on the name. In taking down this song I first wrote 
"doodan doodess," thinking they were nonsense words 
suggested by the repetition of do, do, do, but on asking 
further about them was told that "dood" is a "risky 
beau-man," a smart well-dressed young fellow. So it is 
the American "dude" and its female counterpart "dudess" 
which here take the place of the usual "gal and boy." 


The latter we find in : 

Me go da Galloway road, Gal an' boy them a broke rock 

^■W 1 1 ^-I^ P 

stone, Broke them one by one gal an' boy, Broke them two by 

two gal an' boy, Take up the one that you like gal an' boy, Ah ! 

this here one me like gal an' boy, broke them t'row them down gal an' boy. 

I go to Galloway road (where there is a quarry). 
Girls and boys are breaking stones. They break them 
one by one. They break them two by two, etc Choosing 
stones suggests choosing partners. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

We come across " dude " again in : — 


m, l , rJJ l r l r r Jpggii 

Ros-y-bel oh— why oh 1 Ros-y-bel oh — why oh! 

Ros-y-bel let go Mister Por-ter son, Ros-y-bel oh — why 

oh ! Ros - y - bel cock cock crow da yard, Ros - y - bel 



oh — why oh! Ros-y-bel let go Mister Por-ter son, 

u^j^rJu ujiju^'r 'P ^ 

Ros-y-bel oh — why oh! Ros-y-bel oh — why oh! 


jj'-i i j juji 

Ros- y- bel oh — why oh — Ros-y-bel wheel him doodjes' 


jj i jm/j'J i j j i 

now, Ros-y-bel oh — why oh! Ros-y-bel cock cock 

\ p\\ J^l j HAT J |J I3TF7*4J^H 

crow yon no know, Ros-y-bel oh — why oh! Ros-y-bel 

wheel him let him go, Ros-y-bel oh — why oh! 

Ring Tunes. 

20 1 


The play in the next is rough, and the holders of 
hands in the ring must have strong wrists. 





Me da le le le, me da le le K, Bull a pen 

ho I gin- ger • ly ! the bull a broke pen 1 gin-gei - ly I A Mount Siney 


bull ! ginger-ly ! A Galloway ball I ginger- ly ! bulfa broke pen Igingerly f 

Two strong young fellows personate the bulls. One is 
inside the ring and the other outside. They paw the 
ground and moo at each other but must not fight unless 
they can break the ring. When the ring is broken at 
last by a determined rush, one of the bulls is sometimes 
seized with panic and jumps back into the pen (ring) where 
he is safe. The fight, if it does take place, is not a very 
serious affair, the cowmen soon coming up with their 
ropes (handkerchiefs) which they throw over the bulls' 
heads and so draw them apart. 1 

(Me da cU would mean Me is there, I am there. L£ 
is substituted for euphony, being probably suggested by 
the last syllable of "gingerly.") 

Another rough game is : — 



P 3 * 


Two man a road, Crom-an-ty boy, Two man a road, 
*[Cf. " Boll in the Park," Gomme, Traditional Games, vol. i. p. 5a] 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

fight for you la - dy ! Two man a road, down town picny, 

Two man a road, fight for yon la - dy ! Two man a road, 

i f t J' Jl 1 ^1 1 

N N N 


Crom-an-ty win oh I Two man a road, Crom-an-ty win. 

A line of girls stretches along each side of the road 
and in front of them stand the two combatants armed 
with sticks. One is a Coromanti (one of the African 
tribes) and the other a Kingston or down-town boy. 
u Fight for your ladies" cry the respective lines to 
their champions. Whoever can disable the other and 
snatch one of his girls across the road is the winner. A 
mock doctor comes to bind up the wounds. 


"Adina Mona," with its Italian-sounding words, is 
noisy, but not so rough: — 

Tempo di Vols; 


A - din - a Mon - a, 

A - din - a Mon - a, 

cutch-y fe gran'-ma; A -din -a Mon -a, Me tell Nan -a 


A - din - a Mon - a, 

Na - na no want it ; 

Ring Tunes. 


A - din - a Mon- a, Me beg Na - na wahter ; 

A -din - a 

Mon -a, Him give me dirty wahter, A-din-a Mon-a. 

Here they stand face to face in separate couples. At the 
beginning of one bar the boys knock their hands upon 
their thighs, and at the beginning of the next bar clap 
them against those of their partners, as in the first 
motion of the game of Clip-clap. As they do this the 
boys walk backwards, occasionally wheeling, and making, 
as they say, "all manner of flourish." 


"Palmer" affords an opportunity for individual dis- 
play : — 

Allegro giocoso. 

#*' 1 " i r c 

EJiJ J r 

Pal-mer, you just from town, Palmer, oh — William Palmer I 

Pal - mer,you just from town, Pal-mer, oh — William Pal-mer I 


Show me the figure wh6 you bring, Palmer, oh — William Pal-mer ! 

Dat de" no style at ahl, Pal-mer, oh — William Pal-mer I 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

$f* r • g ( g p N- «rj 1 1 

Pal • mcr,you just firom town, Palmer, oh— William Pal-mer 1 

Pat on de style now more, Palmer, oh — William Pal-mer ! 

Palmer has just come back to his mountain home 
from Kingston, and is urged to show the latest step for 
a quadrille figure or other dance. His companions affect 
surprise. What! is that all? Oh, Palmer, that's not 

Very popular is the next one : — 


p.* j J' i r r- r- p is J Jl i-* 

Mo - ther Free - man, a wh6 me Gun -go d£ ? 

Not a one can sow me Gun -go ; Fe me Gun-go, da precious 1 


Not a one can sow me Gun • go; 

All the 

aJ.jy.Ej.j'jtj j 

gal them a go dead 'way 'pon me, 

Not a one can sow me Gun- 

f ffiH^ i J- J» 1 J- « N J* j^ J- j I j. 



All the boy a go dead 'way 'pon me, 





Not a one can sow me Gun - go. 





n .iiuj j. 

Ring Tunes. 


Mother Freeman, where is my Gungo (a kind of pea)? 

No one will sow my Gungo, or perhaps rather: — 
Will no one sow my Gungo ? For my Gungo is precious 

As they sing and dance, the boys pretend to faint, 
and fall into the arms of the girls. When the words 
change, the girls fall into the arms of the boys, who 
catch them. "Dead 'way 'pon me," besides meaning to 
faint, has a slang interpretation equivalent to: "All the 
girls are death upon me." 


The following is perhaps a sly allusion to some dull- 
witted boy: — 




Me have me goosey a me yard, Me no call Bar-ny clever. Go 

bring me goosey a me yard, Me no call Bar-ny cle-ver. 

Wheel me goosey make me see oh! Me no call Bar-ny cle-ver. 

Thick sour milk allowed to stand and curdle is called 
"barnyclebber" [Irish word, F.Y.P.]. 


Here we have a reference to the too common practice 
of stealing, which is treated more as a joke than a crime: — 


Drill him, Constat), drill him ; Drill him, Constab, drill him ; She 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

ill-ing te go bay Sap • a - dill - a. 

tief her mo-ther shill-ing te go bay Sap 

; p •» gl 

Bay Sap - a - dill - a, 

buy Sap - a - dill - a ; You 

ill-ing fe co buy Sap -a - dill - a. 

go an' tief the shill-ing re go buy Sap 

Wheel him, Constat), wheel him ; Wheel him, Con- stab, wheel him ; Him 

tief him mo-ther shill-ing te go 

go buy Sap - a • dill • a. 

A girl is the delinquent and the " Constat) " (constable, 
pronounce con as in constant) is inside the ring with her, 
lightly beating her with a twig or pocket-handkerchief. 
When one has been marched round and wheeled, he 
" sends her out " and takes another. 

Sapadilla is really a fruit something like a medlar, but 
the name is given to all sorts of fruit, notably Granadilla. 

Another " flogging " tune, but without any dancing, is :- 


If you make him come oat I will kill you to 

night yo, Why do, me 

na, do! 

Ring Tunes. 


A girl is in the ring and a boy is flogging her with a 
whip. The boy says to the holders of the ring : — " If you 
let her come out I will kill you to-night, do you hear ? '* 
The girl is going round, begging to be released, with 
the appeal to each one: — "Oh do, my Nana!" that is, 
"Do let me out' 1 


The most laughable antics, " mechanic " as they call it, 
are indulged in in the next : — 






me Toad oh ! Come a - long, Toad - eye ; 

i ftj.'J'ir 

! ' ! ;■;' J 1 


me Toad oh ! Come a - long, me Toad - y boy ; 

Come a -long, Toad - eye; Come a • long, me Toad-y boy; 

me Toad oh! Come a - long, Toad -eye. 

Each girl has a " Toad " in front of her to protect her. 
The Toads jump about, and the one who can get past 
the other and capture his girl, wins. Jamaican toads, or 
at least the small kind, hop like the frogs of cooler 


The first half of the tune which follows occurs in the 
story of Annancy and Screech-owl (No. XIX.) : — 


Jamaican Sang and Story. 


There's a black boy in a ring, tra la la la 

jjU J IJJU ^'.N^ 

la, There's a black boy in a ring, tra la la la 

la, There's a black boy in a ring, tra la la la 




He like su-gar an' I like plum. 

Wheel an' take you paid • ner, jump aha - ma - dor ! 




Wheel an' take you pard - ner, jump sha - ma - dor ! 

Wheel an' take you pard - ner, jump sha-ma-dorl For 


J- j j u j 



he like su - gar an' 

like plum. 

The boy inside the ring chooses his partner, whom he 
leaves there after the dance. She obtains release by 
choosing another partner, whom she leaves behind. So 
there is alternately a boy and a girl in the ring, 

" Shamador " is possibly a corruption of " camerado." 

Ring Tunes. 



The next is an old tune which is going out of fashion. 
It is still remembered in my district, but nobody can tell 
me how it is danced. 




John-ny, John-ny, da whar-ra fe din -ner? Three slice a 
4 = 3 

lil - ly bit a dumpling, Me Johnny come roll the board. 

" Da wharra " literally means " is what" What is there 
for dinner ? Three slices and a little bit of dumpling. I 
tried to find out whether they were slices of dumpling 
or slices of something else, but no one could tell me 
that The dumplings are plain flour and water, innocent 
of suet They are very popular, and are eaten with a 
morsel of salt fish or meat Johnny is invited to come 
and roll them on the board. 


We all know the next tune :- 



' J-J J' l e c J \ *&m 



Me lov - er gone a Co - Ion Bay, Co - Ion Bay, 

Colon Bay, Me lov -er gone a Co -Ion Bay With a handsome concen- 

ijm j' f, 1 j' ; ±J" 1 r jjn ^ 

ti - na. Oh what is your in - ten - tion, in - ten - don, in 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

your in - ten - tionPMyin - ten-tion is to 

mar-ry you. I will married to you, I will married to you, I will 


married to you, I will married to you, I will married to you, I will 



mar-ried to you With a hand-some con - cen • ti - na. 

(Levi always sings : — " What is your retention, retention, 
retention ? ") 

In "I will married to you" the wheeling becomes a 
giddy business, at least to the onlooker. The dancers 
never seem to feel it, nor do they appear to mind the 
heat They simply stream with perspiration and put 
their handkerchiefs round their necks to save their white 

A little breathing time is given by: — 


Good morn-ing to you, mo-ther; Good mom- ing to you, 

daugh-ter; What is your in - ten- tion? I want to be a 


teach - er. You shan't be a teach - er. I bound to be a 

N 1P«.1 


i?**^ Tunes. 


ii>"„j j i j j>.^ 

teach - er. Jump sha-ma - dor, me dar 


What is your in - ten • tion ? I goin' to be a doc - tor. You 

shan't be a doc - tor. I will be a doc - tor. 

Jump Sha - ma - dor, me 



There is no dancing here. The mother walks round 
inside the ring, the various members of which she 
addresses in turn. "You shan't" is emphasised by an 
uplifted arm swept vigorously downwards and a stamp 
of the foot The answers go through the various 
professions until it is felt that there is a want of some- 
thing more exciting, which is supplied by : — 



One John-ny Mil-ler he was lir-ingWa-ter Lane an' he 

hp'T r ir g-c- i r r ir 

wheel right roun' an' the la - dies drop. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

One on the right an' the o - ther on the left, an 1 he 

tf r r i r r - rH 



wheel right roan* an' the la - dies drop. 

The tune is again familiar. A boy takes two girls 
out of the circle, leaves one in the middle and wheels 
the other. Having dropped her he wheels the second 
one. The wheeling over, she is dropped. These two 
then resume their places in the circle, and the boy takes 
out two more. 

"Water Lane." Kingston lies on ground sloping evenly 
to the sea. It is laid out on the American plan in parallel 
streets. A broad " Street " alternates with a narrower 
" Lane." The lanes pointing to the sea have water running 
down them and are called Water Lanes. 


The next is used both as a Ring-tune and for the 
favourite Fifth Figure of the Quadrilles : — 



K » h 



Me go to Mo -rant Bay, Bah-lim-bo. 


see one Coo-lie gal, Bah-lim - bo. 

Lard ! me love the 

\$>\ J. JMJ M 


gal, Bah • lim - bo. 

Me tell her wait fe me, Bah- 




Ring- Tunes. 





* i-N^Wli. /^ 

Um - bo. 

The gal no wait at all, Bah-lim - bo. 



fr |» r H _fr 

J, j'U J I"* iJl 

Me ride, me ride, me ride, Bah - lim - bo. 


catch her on the way, Bah-lim - bo. 

Mebahssher all the 

gr " J. j^h 


way, Bah - lim - bo. 

The mamma say me rude, Bah- 

lim - bo. 

Bat that no rude at all, Bah • lim - bo. 



^JVJHJtlJ-J 3 

p f > r 1 

For wo-man cloth so cheap, Bah - lim - bo. 

Two yard fe bit, Bah - lim - bo. 

Man cloth so 

jjUVu^ E 

dear, Bah - lim - bo. 

One pound a yard, Bah -lim -bo. 

" Bahlimbo " is a nick-name for a cheap sort of cloth, i.e, 
fabric of any kind. In Africa calicoes are called limbo. 
The " two yards fe bit " kind is calico print. A " bit " is 
fourpence halfpenny. "Bahss" means buss, kiss. 

White people pronounce Morant as it is spelt, but the 
Blacks always put the accent on the first syllable, and 
usually call it Morrum. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


As the time for dancing approaches (see note on 
weddings in "Gaulin" p. 76) the ring breaks up, and 
there is a lively marching tune or two, such as : — 


i#»*r r 

• e C c l -r 

Oh den 


Jack - y me knee da go ben' a 


palm palm; 

j'j* J I QjjIJ M 

oh me knee da go ben' a palm palm. 

The couples with the right arm of one partner locked 
tightly into the left of the other march about bending 
their knees at rhythmical intervals, presenting the most 
ridiculous appearance. The tune has an infectious gaiety 
about it as its sections are sung over and over and 
interchanged. If you repeat them as often as they do, 
you will feel stealing over you that kind of intoxication 
which the Dancing Dervishes experience. 


There is a great deal of laughing over " Jacky," which 
suggests 2 — 


When me get a Mis-ter Walker gate, Me will laugh, ha, ha, ha, 

ha 1 Me will langh he\he\ he\ hi I Me will laugh— ha, ha ! Me will 

Ring Tunes. 


laugh qua, qua, qua, qua! Me will laugh — ha, ha! Me will 

laugh till me bus - tie drop! Me will laugb— ha, ha! Me will 

J^JV-j'j * - 

laugh hi, hi, hi, hi! Me will laugh— ha, ha! Me will 

laugh ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Me will laugh ha, ha! 

At the marks * a return is made to the first four 
bars, always substituting a new name for Walker, and 
the tune has many more "turnings" besides the ones 

A sufficient selection of Ring tunes has now been 
given to show their character. The number might be 
indefinitely increased. Every district has its own, and 
while some old favourites remain, new ones are constantly 
in process of making. These supply, or more than supply, 
the gaps caused by those which drop out 


Turning now to the Dancing tunes, the chief 
difference to be noted is that they show a more marked 
departure from what may be called the Jamaican type 
of melody. Sailors bring popular songs to the seaports, 
and from there they spread into the country. For a 
time some of the original words are kept, but before 
long they get changed. The change is partly due to 
that corruption of the text which naturally takes place 
as the songs pass from mouth to mouth, but mainly to 
the fact that the words, referring as they do to English 
topics, have no interest here. So we generally find that 
the tunes are refitted with a complete set of new words, 
describing some incident which has lately happened in 
the district, or some detail of daily life. When these 
reflect, as they often do, upon the characters of indi- 
viduals the names have been changed and all evidence 
pointing to the locality destroyed. The same course 
has been pursued where it is thought the susceptibilities 
of persons or their relations might possibly be offended, 
even when there is nothing mentioned to their discredit. 
The music consists of three "flutes" (fifes), two 
tambourines and a big drum. This is the professional 
element, which is reinforced by amateurs. One brings a 
cassada-grater, looking like a bread-grater; this, rubbed 
with the handle of a s£oon, makes a very efficient 
crackling accompaniment. Another produces the jaw- 
bone of a horse, the teeth of which rattle when it is 

Dancing Tunes. 


shaken. A third has detached from its leather one of 
his stirrup-irons, and is hanging it on a string to do 
duty as a triangle. The top of the music is not always 
supplied by fifes. Sometimes there will be two fiddles, 
sometimes a concertina, or, what is more approved, 
because it has "bigger voice," a flutina. On asking to 
see this strange instrument I was shown the familiar 

Their chief dances are the Valse, Polka, Schottische, and 
Quadrilles in five figures, of which the fifth figure is the 
most popular, or as they would say "sweet them most." 
This figure goes either to £ or \ time. The f- figures 
of the Quadrilles are often used for Polka, and Polka 
and Schottische tunes are always interchangeable, the 
only difference being that the Schottische requires a 
slower time. 

The ball opens with a set of Quadrilles : — 

1st Figure. 

When I go home I will tell me mum- ma, 

js J» £> £ J. 1 


* d 


When I go home I will tell me mum - ma, 

When I go home I will tell me mum - ma That the 

gals in Jam - ai - ca won't leave me a - lone. 

This is the production of a white musician to whom 
the black girls were especially attentive. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

2nd Figure. 


a med-i-cine, Guavaroot a med-i-cinc, 

Guavaroot a med -i- cine fe go core all the young gal fe-ver. 

A decoction of the root of the Guava is used in cases 
of fever. 
" Medicine " is pronounced so as to rhyme with Edison. 

3rd Figure. 

Crahss-lookin' dog up - 'tain, Crahss-lookin' dog up - 'tairs ; 

U J^' J J' l 

lift up me foot an* I hit him a kick an' him roll up him tail an' 

_f | J. t- i 



What you fe do with that? 

[pj'.N'J j | J. ii J- 

What you fe do with that? 

I meet him up-'tairsan' I 

hit him a kick an' he roll up him tail an' run. 

See note to "Parson Puss and Parson Dog" (p. 93), 
also Author's Preface. 

Dancing Tunes. 


4*A Figure. 

i j*i a ii jj'r. p f^ 

Goatridge have some set a gal So-so shirt them 

can't wash. 

Give me back me soap an 1 blue, 

Give me back me soap an' blue, Give me back me 

J J' * I j- J' J' j - M 


soap an' 'tarch, So-so shirt them can't wash. 

Goatridge is the name of a neighbouring hamlet. 
When a boy "gives out his shirts to wash" he also 
provides the girl with soap, blue and starch. 

So-so means even. It also means only, as : — " I get 
so-so potato fe nyam," I only got potatoes to eat. 

"Shirt" is pronounced almost "shut" 

$th Figure. 

Me car - ry me a - kee a Lin - stead mar -ket, 

fiu. j^jvij ^p 

Not a quat-ty worth sell. 

what a los - ses ! 

Not a quat-ty worth sell. 

Me car-ry me a -kee a 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

\ fO ^J^^j\riJ.Mij=g^ 

Lin -stead market. Not a quatty worth sell. 


not a 

light, not 

a quat - ty worth sell. 

The Akee (Cupania edulis\ pronounced acky, is a hand- 
some tree producing something which one hardly knows 
whether to call a fruit or a vegetable. Besides the edible 
part, the beautiful scarlet capsule contains a substance 
which is poisonous. Deaths by misadventure through 
carelessness in its preparation for table occur every 

The time of these Quadrille tunes will be pretty 
accurately judged. They would all come under Allegro 
except the First, which is slower than the others, and it 
might be headed Allegretto or even Andantino. The 
Third figure is not much used, and many dancers do 
not know the step. Its place is generally supplied by 
one of the other figures. The most popular of all is 
the Fifth, of which we have many examples to give. 
The step is regulated by two beats in the bar of six, 
so we find that they dance it also to {■ time, as for 
instance : — 


5 th Figure. 

Since Dor - a Lo - gan a wahk with Gal - la • woss, The 

man them a beat them wife with junk-a 'tick. Why, why, 

Dancing Tunes. 


gj j, j J* *=gE 

why, A - mil - y J Bring back me dumpling, yah? A - mil - y ! No 

dog, no puss, no fowl, A-mil-y. Bring back me dumpling, 

No dog, no pass, no fowl, A - mil - y. 

» j> J 1 1 

Fetch back me dump - ling, 

yah? A - mil - y. 

This has to go very fast, indeed as fast as the words 
of the second bar can be spoken. It will be found then 
to correspond to a moderate Allegro in six time counted 
in two. 

Two stories are mixed up here. One of the girl who 
walks with the Gallawoss — a Lizard with a gold eye 
and an undeserved reputation for biting — which leads to 
an age the reverse of golden, when the men beat their 
wives with junka (short) sticks. And the other, of some 
incident connected with breakfast in the field, when 
Amily ate somebody's dumpling and laid the blame on 
the usual scapegoat, the cat. 


The rapid speed necessitated by some forms of {- time 
just suits the following: — 

5 th Figure. 


fr-rm^ * 

Fire, Mister Pies-ton, Fire ! Fi - er down the lane ! Then 

i"Yah?"aDo yon hear? 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

i jfl ;■ j>f J' f m m 

send the bri-gade fe go out the fire, The bri-gade can't oat the 





Fire, Mb - ter Pres - ton ! Fire, Mis - ter Pres - ton ! 



1" - J j> u 

Fi • er down the lane! 

Fire, Mis - ter Pres - ton ! 





Fire, Mis - ter Pres - ton t Fi - er down the lane ! 


Where the beat is in crotchets it sounds unduly 
slow : — 

5 th Figure. 

i jut J 




Tief cahf - fee, Tief cahf - fee, Tief cahf - 

fee, Be - nig - na Field, fe go buy silk dress, Fe go show them Gordon 

boy, fe go show them Gardon boy, fe go show them Gardon 

i f J' ^ ^ J' if: j* J' r i 


boy, Be - nig - na Field, you tief cahf - fee. 

Dancing Tunes. 


Benigna 1 Field steals some coffee to get money to buy 
a silk dress to show off to the Gardon boys. (Gardon 
is a place, not a family.) 


$tA Figure. 

Fan me, sol -dier man, fan me ; 

Fan me, sol-dierman, 

-$> k (QLJ1.1 1J S J^T^ 

fan me; 

Fan me, sol -dier man, fen me oh I 

Gal, you char -ac-ter gone! Sake a ten shilling shahl, 

Sake a ten shill-ing shahl, 

Sake a ten shill-ing 

shahl oh ! Make me char -ac-ter gone. 

1 Other unusual girls' names are Ambrogine, Ateline, Irene, Melmorine. 
These rhyme with Queen. The same Italian i is found in Elgiva, Seppelita, 
Barnita, Justina, aud the English i in Alvira, Marina. The next are all 
accented, like the last six, on the penultimate ; Etilda, Iota, Clarista, 
Pastora, Barzella, Zedilla, Amanda, Agarta (evidently a variant of Agatha), 
Timinetia (like Polynesia), Cherryana, Indiana. Then there is Hettybel, 
and one girl has this astonishing combination — Ataria (rhymes with Samaria), 
Azadell (? Isabel). 


Jamaican Song and Story. 



Iffi * j>.H Jl jo j I j *i JJ* ! J* JJ\H j a 

Manny Clark a you da man I Manny Clark a you da man ! 




So so ride you ride a Ginger Piece, All the gal them a dead fe 

you. Oh you take 'not-ta boil soup, take salt fish 'tick in it, 

Gal, you want fe come kill me ? Oh you take 'nottaa boil soup, 

H^'H I 

take salt fish 'tick in it, Gal, you want fe come kill me ? 

Manny Clark, a popular player of dance tunes, goes to 
Ginger Piece and is overwhelmed with attentions by the 
girls. He addresses himself as follows : — " Manny Clark, 
you are the man! You just ride to Ginger Piece and 
all the girls are dying for you." Then, turning to one 
of them, he adds : — " Oh, you boil the soup with your 
best, taking Anatto and salt fish to stick into it Do 
you want to kill me with kindness?" 

Anatto gives a rich yellow colour to the soup. Salt 
fish (stockfish) is one of the principal articles of diet of 
the peasantry. 

Dancing Tunes. 




Ban - goMoo-lat - ta, Bun -goMoo-lat - ta, Who de* go 

i* J'J' I J TTtJ-Jy/ J>j> | J'>J^ 

married you? You hand full a ring an' you can't do a t'ing, 

Who de" go married you ? Me give you me shirt fe wash, You 



J*^ J* /I 

burn up me shirt with i - ron, You hand full a ring an' you 

can't do a t'ing, Who d£ go mar • ried you ? 

"You Bungo Mulatto, who is going to marry you? 
Your ring-bedecked fingers can't do anything. When I 
gave you my shirt to wash you burned it with an over- 
hot iron." 

Bungo (rhymes with Mungo) means a rough un- 
civilized African. 

A Mulatto is the child of two Brown parents, Brown 
being the offspring of Black and White. He has rather 
a yellow skin. 

$tA Figure. 


J- J J- r i .i u 

Ad « a you must bahI7 


Jamaican Song and Story. 



j' p j ' j 



Ad - a yoa must bahl/ 

^i 1 J" I 

Ad • a yoa must bahl. 

Ad - a you must 

bahl till the cock say coo - coo - coo - coo - ry co. 

Ada has been naughty and has been shut up for a 
night in the dark. The poor little thing is "bawling/* 
crying out in terror of the nameless horrors of the 

2nd Figure. 

Rise a roof in the morn-ing, 

Rise a roof in the 

morn-ing; Tell all the nig- ger them to come, come, come, 

Rise a roof in the morning. The Monkey and the Baboon them was 

sit -ting on the wall, Rise a roof in the morn-ing; 

I an' my wife can - not a - gree, Rise a roof in the 

Dancing Tunes. 


morn-ing. She 'pread me bed on the dir - ty floor, 

Rise a roof in the morning ; For De - vil made the wo-man an' 

God made man, Rise a roof in the morn - ing. 

"Rise a roof" seems to mean, as far as I can under- 
stand the explanation, "raise the roof"; as we might 
say, "row enough to blow the roof off." 

"Baboon" always has this accent on the first syllable 
and a French a. 

The Blacks do not mind calling themselves niggers, 
but a White man must not call them so. To say 
"black nehgher" is an offence not to be forgiven. The 
word is used again quite kindly in the following: — 


Oh we went to the riv - er an' we couldn' get a - 

cross, We jump on the nig- ger back we think it was a 





horse. 1 


Then Ste - phen, Ste • phen, Ste - phen 







boy, Ste - phen, Ste • phen, poor Ste - phen ! 

1 A last reminder to pronounce "acrahss," "harse." The Negro rejects 
the sound aw altogether and always changes it to ah. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

A party get to one of the bends of Four-and-twenty 
River, so called because the road crosses and recrosses 
it twenty-four times. Stephen carries them all over. 



Aun-ty Jane a call Min-nie, Minnie won't go 'peak to 

him ; Aun-ty Jane a call Min -nie, Min-nie won't go 'peak to him. 

ajjl t-rj^g i f p j^uv ^j^ e 

Wrap up in a cro-cus beig In a Sand-y Hill, 

*F js J^ J- U^M | J»/jj ^^| 

Wrap op in a cro-cus beig In a Sand-y Hill. 

Aunty Jane does not want Minnie to keep company 
with the boys at Sandy Hill. Of course Minnie wants 
to go, and she does go. Aunty Jane sets off to bring 
her home. When she reaches Sandy Hill she calls. 
Minnie hears, but will not go and speak to her. She 
hides in the coffee-store by wrapping herself in a crocus 
bag or sack. " Crocus" is a rough cheap material 
Coffee ready for market is put in the finer and smaller 
canvas bags. 


Mar - ty, Mar - ty t me wan-ty go home, Mar - ty 

-tn^mm^^mut ^*-v« 

Dancing Tunes. 



) J I J J'j l 

Mar - ty, me wan-ty go home, Mar • ty, Mar - ty, me 


I I J r J I J J 




wan-ty go home, Me wan-ty go home back a yard. 


Tell me mum -ma say me want-y come home, Me want-y come 

\ p j J i J J j i .i 

home, Me want • y come home, Tell me mum - ma say me 

\ ih j j j u i- j g=j=s 



want - y come home, Me want • y come home back a yard. 

Martin has been flogging his wife — not an unusual 
condition of things — and she wants to go home to her 
mother. He will take her message quite loyally. The 
matter will be arranged and they will be good friends 
living apart. Before long she will go back to him of 
her own accord. They make up their quarrels as 
quickly as they fall into them. 

5 th Figure. 

fKFjJ*! J % j, j S' J" I J- jr pg 

What make you shave old Hall , Rosie Fowler ? What make you shave old 


jjjj j i i j-jj j" J, J 


What make you shave old Hall, Ro - sie Fow - ler ? 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

What make you shave old Hall ? 

What make you shave old 

hf-J' ." * p J s 

Hall, Ro - sie Fow - ler ? What make you shave old Hall ? Mis - ter 

Bar-ber have two teeth a him mout',Them sweet likea su - gar - plum. 

Rosie Fowler left old Hall for Mr. Barber, and being 
remonstrated with, shaved him, i.e. gave him a good 







Run, Mos - es, run, 

Mis -ter Walk-er da come; 

i rf j j j i J ^ 

Run, Mos -es, run, Mis -ter Walk-er da come. 

<j> JVJ J &.N J I J"/ 

lj r J S J V 1 

buck your right foot, buck your left foot, Nev-er try lookback; If you 





buck your right foot, buck your left foot, Nev - er try look back. 

To "buck" is to strike, and the word is applied to a 
stumbling horse, who is said to buck his foot against a 
stone, or simply to buck. It also means to butt with 
the head and is most likely a corruption of this word. 
Bucking, or charging stag-fashion with the head, is the 
favourite way for women to fight Here is an account 
of such a contest : — 

Dancing Tunes. 


. 5 th Figure. 


i j * e f c j irrr- 1 

WW yon da do? WW you da do? WW you 

T~^ — 

da do make 

I ji j* J* j j TlTc g 


Sa - rah buck you? Wh^ you da do? Wh£ you da do? 

I*j g E c J ^"17"^' j- j 1 JJ» JJ J" J 1 

WW you da do make Sa - rah buck you ? A-de-la da jump but 

4 j- ^ j* j- i j 

m 1 J' J" ;■ ;■ 1 

Sa - rah buck him, A-de-la da jump but Sa - rah buck him, 

A-de-la da jump but Sa - rah buck him. Whe* you da do make 

\§ i- i ■ j jic bee jjatjjj 'i 

Sa - rah buck you? You A-de-la ho— you ought toshame ! 

You A-de-la ho — you ought to shame I You A-de-la ho— 

c **tt \ ?ijM 

you ought to shame ! Wh£ you da do make Sa - rah buck you ? 

Fights between women are by no means uncommon. 
This was a case of cherchez thomnu. The ladies both 
wanted to marry the same man. The "sing" was 
evidently composed by one of Sarah's partisans for the 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

words are: — "What did you do to make Sarah buck 
you? Adela jumped, but Sarah bucked her. You, 
Adela, oh you ought to be ashamed ! " Adela's sideway 
jump was not quick enough to save her from Sarah's 

"Wh£ you da do?" literally, What you is do? for 
What you did do? meaning What did you do? So, if 
they were trying to talk " deep English," for " Adela da 
jump " they would substitute " Adela is jump " and think 
it was quite right 

$tk Figure. 

Mother William hold back Le - ah! Mother William hold back Le 

i3z ; TTTp~^ /J^N.ii jH 


Me tell you say hold back Le - ah ! 


l^j/jjjli. 1 ;: 

'way, Den a Le • ah Le - ah dead 'way, 

Let go Jane Ann! 

j- j j j^ j ^ ■■ i 

Let go Jane Ann ! Hold back Le - ah, let go Jane Ann ! 

This is sung agitato and pulsates with excitement. 
We see the bustling, restless action — Mother Williams 
holding Leah, who is frantic to get at Jane Ann, and 
who faints with exhaustion as she struggles to escape 

Dancing Tunes. 


from the strong arms thrown round her. "Let go Jane 
Ann ! " cry the bystanders, which means : — Make Jane 
Ann go away, get her out of Leah's sight. 

This seems a fitting moment to introduce : — 

4/A Figure. 


Oh Gen-er-al Jack -son! Oh General Jack -son! 

ijN j'jjlj^Jv l jjj.rji i 


Oh Gen-er - al Jack -son ! Oh yon kill all the Black man them ! 

Oh what a wrongful judgment ! Oh what a wrongful judgment ! 





Oh what a wrongful judgment I You kill all the Black man them. 

Oh what a aw - ful mourning ! Oh what a aw - ful mourning ! 

\ § j- j^j, j.ij'T^rtrjJ'J'J'U.P 8 

Oh what a aw - ful mourning You bring on St. Thomas peo-ple ! 

' This is the other side of the question, referred to in 
the Digging Sing, No. 88. It is the rebellion of 1865 
again, from the point of view of that section of the 
Blacks who considered themselves aggrieved at the 
measures taken for its suppression. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


We get a glimpse of the doings of the soldiery in 
peaceable times in : — 

5 th Figure. 

Sol - dier da go 'way, Mar-ried wo - man let go your bull 


dog to-mor-row; Sol -dier da go way to - mor - row, The 



last of the ring ding to-mor-row, Sol -dier da go 


'way, Mar-ried woman let go your bull - dog to-mor-row; 

Sol-dierda go 'way, Mar-ried woman let go your bull-dog. 

The soldiers are shifting their quarters. As they are 
apt to be rather riotous on the night before departure, 
the owner of the bull-dog is advised to unchain him so 
that he may guard her property more effectually. 

There is also a tender side to the parting: — 

4tA Figure. 

Don't cry too much, Ja - mai -ca gal, First West will soon come 

Dancing Tunes. 


1^ J J j J 1 J* J J ^ l^C^g^fl 

back a • gain. Don't cry too much, Ja - mai - ca gal, Se-cond 

West is gone to the war. 

Don't cry too much, don't 

cry too much, First West will come and cheer you up. Don't 

cry too much, Ja - mai-ca gal, Se-cond West is gone to the war. 


A few years ago Jamaica boasted of water as effica- 
cious as that of Mecca in the opinion of some people. 
It seems to have lost its repute in these sceptical days : — 

4/A Figure. 


Dip them, Mis • ter Bed - ward, dip them, 

^ Mj'J JiJiM 

Dip them in the heal- ing stream; Some come with jack-ass, some 

come with bus, Dip them in the heal - ing stream. 


It says much for the expertness of the dancers that 
they can fit the same steps to tunes of such varying 
accent as the two last examples present Here is another 
which differs again: — 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

4th Figtirt. 

Ver - y well, ver - y well, Mis - ter Col - lin now, An' him 

leave an' join Sab-ba - tar - ian bands, An' him lose the whole of his 


N fs N 

* j J l J ^Tji 

mem - bers now, Oh then poor Sab - ba - tar - ian bands ! 

Mr. Collin was a minister who told his flock that he 
had made a mistake in keeping Sunday holy, and that 
for the future he would have service on Saturday and 
the people were to come to church on that day and 
work on Sunday. The "sing" suggests that his con- 
gregation was not persuaded by his arguments. 


The light-hearted way in which the Negro turns 
serious things into fun is well illustrated by: — 

4/A Figure. 

Oh tri - al! Great tre-ve - la - tion chil-dren hoi 

tfr^ / r ITT^^ g 

Tri-al! We're bound to leave this world. Bap-tis', Bap-tis', 

Baptis' till I die. I been grown up in the Baptis' side an' die under Baptis' 

Dancing Tunes. 


rule. Oh tri - 


Oh tri - al ! Great tre - ve - la - tion children ho t 

Tri -all We're bound to leave this world. Church-light, Church-light, 

Church-light till I die, I been grown up in the Church-light side an' 


die un - der Church-light rule. 


Oh! tri - al! Great tre-ve - 

la - tion children ho! Tri -al! We're bound to leave this world. 

And so on through all the sects and persuasions, 
Wesleyan, etc., etc., among them Mettetis (Methodist). 

There is no doubt about the word being trevelation, a 
mixture of Revelation, one of their favourite books in 
the Bible, and tribulation, for which it is intended. The 
wrong phrasing of two notes to "bound" is as they 
give it. We should allow only one. 


Every district has its rival churches and the various 
ministers have to humour their congregations, and not 
preach too hard things to them, so as to keep them 
from deserting to the enemy. 

2nd Figure. 

Fa-ther, I goin' to join the con - fir - ma - tion. No, me 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

rj£J*t\f J' g 

son, you most have a lit -tie pa - tien', Why I 

tell you to have a lit - tie pa - tien', 

You most go an' read the Rev - e - la - tion. 

v J*«*.T J Jl/ / 

heard from my old gen - er - a - tion 

That they 

nev - er go an' join the con - fir - ma - tion, For they 


did - n' have that great oc - ca - sion 

leave an' go an' join the con - fir - ma - tion. 

It will have been observed that rhyming is the last 
thing sought after. Here, however, we have a genius 
who has set his mind upon it' with some success. 
Patience, as pronounced by the Jamaican without the 
final letters, is a good and new rhyme to the rest. In 
the old days of slavery, says the father, they did not 
have the occasion (is. opportunity) to leave their work 
to go and be confirmed. 

The Black man is such an accomplished actor that 
he can assume any character. In these sings he throws 
off the stage trappings and shows his real attitude 


Dancing Tunes. 


towards religion, his indifference and levity. He does 
not take it as a serious matter at all, and it has no 
effect upon his daily life. To go to church is a mark of 
respectability. To obtain that mark is one of his reasons 
for going. The other reason is to show his clothes and 
his boots. He will talk like a saint for the mere pleasure 
of rolling out words, and the ministers have to pretend 
to believe something of what he says. They are not, 
however, really deceived, and will tell you in private 
with a sigh that Christianity makes no progress; it is 
profession without practice. Of the Negro's real religion, 
which is bound up with Obeah, we get hardly a hint 
in the sings. This is what we should expect. Some 
things lie too deep for words and a man's religion is 
one of them. One general reference I have been able 
to find, and one particular one, and that is all. Here 
is the first: — 

5 th Figure. 

tjjUc c r 1 6'^^ 

O - bcah down 66 why oh ! O - beah down d£, 

O - beah down d£ why oh ! O - beah down dl. 

Gib-er - al-tar is a well fine place but O- beah down de", 

Gib-er - al-tar is a well fine place bat O-beahdown de\ 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

And here the second : — 

$th Figure. 

The o • ther day me waist-coat cut, The o - ther day me 

waist -coat cut, The o - ther day me waist-coat cut 



pain an* grief to me. 

I spend me mon-ey but the 


beggar don't dead, I spend me money but the beggar don't dead, I 

spend me mon-ey but the beggar don't dead, What a pain an' grief to 

j*lj <• I J-M'-M' J' I J JJ 


All me mon-ey gone like but - ter 'gainst sun, 

All me money gone like butter 'gainst sun, All me money gone like 

1 & «. » :__<. - Tin .. - T-. -->> ^:.( «.~ ~ 

but -ter 'gainst sun, What a pain an' grief to me! 

Sake of the man me live 'pon tree, Sake of the man me live 'pon tree, 

Sake of the man me live 'pon tree, What a pain an' grief to me ! 

Dancing Tunes. 241 

Obeah (pronounced in two syllables, Ob-ya, with 
short Italian vowels) is the dark blot upon this fair 
island of Jamaica. In every district there is an Obeah- 
man, or Bush-doctor, as he is often called, from his 
supposed knowledge of herb simples. He is by no 
means the innocent person which this latter designation 
would seem to imply. He deals in magic and sorcery 
of all descriptions, and there is not a Black man who 
does not believe in his powers. They consult him on 
every conceivable business and he gets heavy fees. 
He will secure a man the favour of his master so that 
he shall not lose his place, or help him to revenge a 
wrong, real or fancied. And herein lies the danger. 
The puerilities of inefficacious charms and mysterious 
ceremonies with which he deludes his clients are not 
all. He keeps poison in his bag, and for sufficient 
reward arsenic has been obtained to put in the liqueur, 
or ground glass for the coffee. The Government attempts 
in vain to stamp out the evil. 

The story of the last sing is briefly this. A has a friend 
who is an Obeah-man. From him he gets Obeah to 
injure an enemy B. The enemy does not suffer. So A 
says his waistcoat is torn, a figurative way of expressing 
the fact that he is beaten, B's Obeah turning out to be 
stronger than A's and able to repel it. Having indis- 
creetly talked about what he meant to do to B, B reports 
him to the police, and he has to abscond and seek 
shelter in the bush till the matter blows over. 


It is a pleasure to be able to leave the hypocrisy of 

Negro Christianity, and the lurid atmosphere of Obeah 

and to return to every-day amusements. 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

$th Figure. 

All them gal a ride merry-go-round, Me no see no gal like a 

II J J* J JMJ Q =23 

dem ya. 

Ride him, ride him, ride him, ride him, 

Ride him round the town, 

Ride him, ride him, 

iyi j ;■ j ;■ £^ 


ride him, ride him, Ride him round the town. 

The merry-go-round is popular. "I never saw such 
girls/' says an admiring bystander. Literally, "I have 
not seen any girls like those (here) girls." A neighbour 
of mine used to be made very angry when he first came 
to Jamaica because when he asked " Have you seen 
so-and-so?" the answer always was "I don't see him." 
This is good negro English for " I haven't seen him." 
It does not mean, as he thought, " I don't see him now," 
and the poor boy could not understand why his master 
got so "crahss." 



5 th Figure. 




J.. * • ' J^" * 1 - U- 



Mer • ry - go-round a go fall down, fell down, fall down, 

Mer - ry - go-round a go fall down, Sake a de \ 


Dancing Tunes. 


ljl>J. J"M | J J'J J- I |! p g J ■§ 

ri - der. 

Ri - der, ri - der, try to sit down good ; 

J -N J* I 

Ri - der, ri - der, try to sit down good ; Ri - der, ri - der, 

try to sit down good, Mer-ry- go-round a go fall down. 

Grammar nowhere as usual. It was not the Merry- 
go-round that was going to fall down, but the worthless 
(i.e. bad) rider who was going to fall off. "Try to sit 
down good" is an exhortation to hold on well. This 
curious use of " try " is found again in : — 





1 j 1 1 -|g= ^=s 

» J J U,rr 


Try, dear, don't tell a lie, Try, dear, don't tell a lie, 

\ § j J j ij^jJ j ij^p f c r^ 

Try, dear, don't tell a lie, For I will nev - er mar - ry you. 

Try an' 'peak the truth me dear, Try an' 'peak the truth me dear, 

Try an' 'peak the truth me dear, An' you shall get the ring me dear. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

Here are two more references to the colour question : — 

1st Figure. 





Look how you moat', 


Look how you mout', 


Look how you mout' fe go kiss moo-lat - ta. Look how you mout', 

Look how you mout', Look how you mout' like a pan. 





Breez - y say him no want Brown la - dy, 

$*\ r j J |J J J jA^ &, 


Breez - y say him no want Brown la - dy, 




Breez - y say him no want Brown la - dy, 

IjMf j j U M 



Af - ter - ward him go take Brown la - dy. 







Why ! Why 1 Why, Breez - y ! 

Why ! Why ! 

Dancing Tunes. 


l f'V>l JUT 



< g rf 

Why, Breez ■ y ! Why ! Why ! Why, Breez - y ! 

Think you say you no want Brown la - dy. 


Here are three sings referring to Colon, the port of 
disembarkation for labourers on the Panama Canal: — 

5 th Figure. 

jMillJ J' J. 


I • saacPark gone a Co -Ion, 

I - saacPark 

gone a Co -Ion, 

I - saacPark gone a Co -Ion, 

f"i'J N'J'J' I 

t J j. J 

Co - Ion boat a go kill them boy. Co - Ion bo - low * 

§*\ j'j^j'MlJY fy 

gone a Co -Ion, Co-Ion bo -low gone , a Co -Ion, 



P > |v i s 1 =3 

Co - Ion bo - low gone a Co - Ion, 




J* J 1 /' J* 


Co - Ion boat a go kill them boy. 

It was not the boat from Kingston to Colon that 
killed the boys; the deaths took place on the other 

1 Bo/ow, comrade. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

side. Many were due to fever, but more, if the stories 
current here are true, to organised assassination. The 
wages were very large, and when a Jamaica boy has 
money in his pocket he gets "boastify." This annoyed 
the low-class mongrels. A Coolie who was there described 
to me the proceedings of one night, when the 'panish (by 
which is meant any straight-haired people) went out in 
a band and murdered every woolly-haired man they met 
They began at one end of the camp, a straight line of 
barrack huts. Some of the victims were shot through 
the windows, others slashed with cutlasses. Where there 
were no lights the assassins passed their hands over the 
strangers' heads, and if they felt wool, revolver or cutlass 
did its work. Straight-haired Coolies, that is to say, 
East Indians, were allowed to go unharmed. 

$tA Figure. 

Ma - til - da d£ 'pon dyin' bed, Ma - til - da d£ 'pon dyin' bed,Ma- 

i fv :■ J' J' ;■ 1 J £ 

til - da d£ 'pon dyin' bed, Ma - til - da d£ 'pon dyin' bed, Me 

want go Co - la -bra, Me want go Co - la -bra, Me 

If'i, J J'TT^T 


want go Co - la - bra, Ma - til - da, d£ 'pon dyin' bed. 

When anybody is very ill all the members of the 
family, including quite distant relatives, think it incumbent 

Dancing Tunes. 


upon them to go to the sick person's yard. They crowd 
into the house and sick-room and pour out a clatter of 

Colabra (Culebra) is a place near Colon. Matilda must 
have been an old Jamaica acquaintance who had gone 
over to settle there. 


5/A Figure. 

\§> l V I ;> 1 





Mas' Char - ley say want kiss Mat - ty, 

I^PEfCB l FuJVjJ' l J.MJ^ 

Kiss with a will-ing mind, Me ra - ra- bam why 1 Colon money 

\ §* v J' < J > 1 J 

done. Me ra - ra-bum why! Col -on mon-ey done. 

"Me rarabum" is a nonsense phrase equivalent to 
"my boy." "My boy, hi! the money I made at Colon 
is done!" 

Here is the lament of an out-of-work cabdriver: — 

$th Figure. 

Me bog - gy a sell fe eight an* six -pence 

3 . 

Whlme a g get fe drive? Me 

gy a sell fe 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

Ifry J j. ;■ j'l J J J j> F f U h n 

eight an' six-pence, Whl me a 20 set fe drive? Me 

bug-gy sell at last, poor me boy ! Wh6 me a go get fe drive ? Me 


bug-gy sell at last, poor me boy ! WW me a go get fe drive? 


The words of the next dance have a certain interest, 
but the tune is poor: — 


Oh 'zet - ta Ford, gal, yon name no worth a cuss ! 

Tiefbigbig hog, Futahmin a jar. Pic-ca-ny da cry, 


j^jjU r " 


Sit down whole a day, You tief big big hog, Nyam ahm out a door. 

The girl stole the pig, killed it, cut it up and put the 
meat into a jar. This was done out in the bush, far 
away from her yard, and took the whole day. Meanwhile 
her poor little babies were starving at home, having 
been left without any one to look after them. 

Dancing Tunes. 



There is an idyllic simplicity about the following: — 

$th Figure. 

Bir - dy - zee - na, Bir - dy - zee - na, Come make we go da 

Champong mar • ket, Come make we go, dear, Come make we go, dear, 




Come make we go da Cham - pong mar - ket. 



5 th Figure. 

Me an 1 Katie no 'gree, Katie wash me shirt in a sea. 

Ifyout'inka lie, Ifyout'inka lie, Look in a Ka-tie yeye. 


Water seems formerly to have been scarce in King- 
ston, judging by the following: — 

5 th Figure. 


t> '4 fs J> J* 

Down town gal no have no wa - ter to wash them head to 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


keep them dean. Down towngal no have no wa-ter to wash them head to 

J . r-N V 




keep them clean. Why ! Why ! Why ! Take them gal in charge. 


i J; f J' J 1 1 J' ;■ j j u mi 


Why! Why! Why! po- lice -man, Take them gal in charge. 


The policeman is not always on the spot when he is 
wanted : — 

4tA Figure. 

tief Mis - ter Diz - on Brah - ma, You nyam ahm a Yaws-house 1 

\§> /■ j' < 



lev - el, 

Sal - ly ought to been a - shame. 

In this country any plot of ground that is moderately 
flat is called a level. 

4/A Figure. 

Good morn-rug, Mis - ter Har-man, How are you this 

1 Yaws, see p. 57. 

Dancing Tunes. 


^'J'U'J'Jj' l 

morning? I brought a ser - i - ous corn-plain a - bout the old Bar 

badian. What a 

.-bout the 'badian? Him shirt has no bor-der, Him 

FT W ^ Tl 

face ikv-our mar - Ian, Come give me me one an' ninepence. 

The singer goes to Mr. Harman, who is employing the 
Barbadian (whom he accuses of wearing a ragged shirt 
and having a face like a marlingspike), to try and get 
some money which the latter owes the complainant. 
This is an excellent example in short of an inter- 
view between two Black men. Of the sixteen bars four 
are occupied with salutation, four with complaint, and 
four with abuse. Two are given to a question as to 
the cause of complaint which receives no answer, and 
two to a demand for money owed by another person. 
So we have three-quarters of the interview devoted in 
equal parts to compliment, complaint, and abuse; one- 
eighth to an attempt on the part of the person inter- 
viewed to discover what is amiss; and one-eighth to a 
demand for money from the wrong man. 


The lovers' quarrel which comes next is evidently not 
serious : — 

$th Figure. 

Hul-lo me hon - ey ! Hul-lo me su - gar ! Hul-lo me old time 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

\ %> X J ' J '^ ^^ 

gal! Oh den, gal, if you love me, Why don't you write me? 

Hul-lo me old time gal ! Hul-lo me hon-ey ! Hul-lo me su - gar ! 


Hul-lo me old time boy ! Oh den, boy, I wouldn' married you, 

Not for a far - din', Hul - lo me old time boy ! 

5 th Figure, 

When mumma dare you say you sick, Dis mum-ma gone 


'tan* 'teady till him come 'tan' 'teady, 

'tan' 'tead - y till him come 'tan' 'tead - y. 

When mamma tells her daughter to take her hoe and 
come out into the field she feigns sickness. Her brother 
comes in and finds her quite well. " All right," he says, 
"just (dis) you stand steady ('teudy, French eu), just 
you wait till she comes home and you will get a 


Dancing Tunes. 



We never go far without meeting some story about 
petty thieving: — 

5 th Figure. 

Oh Jil-ly oh! how you man-age a jump the win-dow? 


Oh Jil-ly oh! how you man-age a jump the window? Doc-tor 

* JH i J ^ J ^ J^I* f ^^ 

Clark a one an' tan-ner, Ma-jor Black a two an' six, Mis-ter 


Nel- son three an' six, How you manage a jump the win-dow? 

J illy had been "tiefing" money and made her escape 
by jumping out of window. "Tanner," for sixpence, is 
common in English slang but not here. It seems to 
have been derived in this case from the White soldiers 
at Newcastle. 


5 th Figure. 

:j.;Jjj r. j'iJ'/j E|app 

James Brown, you mahmy call you. James firownashakehim shoulder 


Sake • a the young gal but- terdore, James Brown a shake him shoulder. 

2 54 

Jamaican Song and Story. 

To express dissent they do not shake their heads but 
wriggle the whole of their bodies. It is a most expres- 
sive action. 

A butterdore, more properly butter-dough, is a kind 
of cake. 


The next repeats the idea of No. CXVIIL, but in the 
mouth of a girl. 

4th Figure. 

When I go home I will tell me mum -ma say, 

When I go home I will tell me mum-ma say, 

When I go home I will tell me mum-ma say That the 

boy in the coun - try love me ver - y much. 


The next is the only example of pure fiction that I 
have met with: — 

5 th Figure. 

|fo I ft^f^ f ^^Ff 

Feather, feather, feather, 

Ba - by da born with 

Dancing Tunes. 


feather. Yon cut off the fowl head an' boil it in a 'tew-pan, 

t* frfrh.. I . ^ ^ I » • ^ ^ I J l £ 

j^jljj* 1 r ^ 


Ba-by da born with feather. Feather, feather oh! 

My; J' J' US 



Ba-by da born with feather. 


feather oh ! 

«i -< f» 

Ba-by da born with feather. 

You cat off the fowl head an* 


boil it with the feather, So the ba - by go born with feather. 


hear the news as I re'ch to Hagley Gap, Say ba-by da born with 

<p j*j*lr 

feather. Something me nev - er hear, Something me never hear that 


t pjJ'J;.j | j .j^ 

Ba-by can born with feather. 

Something me nev - er hear, 

a^j i jjn dgi 

Something me nev-er hear that Ba- by can born with feather. 

All the other sings are chronicles of true events, and 
it is an exceptional case to find one purely the offspring 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

of imagination like this one. The compiler of the words 
could not get quite free of actuality; he puts in Hagley 
Gap, which is the name of a pass through the hills. I 
once asked why it was so called and was told because 
it was a hugly place. The cooking described savours of 

2nd Figure. 

\ VTfJ\ 


When the rain an' the breeze an' the storm an' the sun I 

nev-er see a man like Qua -co 

) Sam, He live in the sun as 


well as the rain, I nev-er see a man like Qua • co Sam. 

Qua -co Sam was a lit -tie bit a man, I nev-er see a man like a 

Qua - co Sam, For he nev-er build a house but he live as an - y man, I 

#B i * * JJ J>* I j* J 

N * 


nev - er see a fun • ny man as Qua - co Sam. 

Dancing Tunes. 



Anch a bite me a me back gul - ly, gul - ly ; 

Anch a bite me a me back gul - ly, gal - ly ; Anch a bite me 


X JJ'jJ^ I 

a me back gal - ly, gal - ly ; 'cratch me back, me will 



make one shirt fe yoo fe you. Anch a bite me, Anch a bite me, 

Anch a bite me, Anch a bite me, Anch a bite me a me back gal 

y *• ■ 

j/j-jjo^j i^i 

ly, gal - ly ; 'cratch me back me will make one shirt fe you. 

Small black ants often swarm on the orange-trees, 
and the pickers, who do not use ladders but climb the 
branches, get covered with them. We all know that 
place in the "gully" or furrow of the back which we 
cannot reach ourselves. 

4/A Figure. 





Me know one gal a Cross Road, Name of Lu - cy 



Jamaican Song and Story. 




Ban - ker, Him boil the long long cab - bage bush, Him go 

4 J " J J* J^Jjy l> /3" 1 " 

long like a sai - lor nanchor. Fol - low me, fol-low me, You no 

j* J s . " 71 

see whe the gal a fol - low me, Fol - low me, then 



H g J * ' J3 ^ 

fol - low me, You no see wh£ the gal a fol - low me. 

The story of the foregoing sing is this : — Lucy asked a 
fiddler and his friend to breakfast The cooking was bad. 
The boiled bananas, which should have been light brown, 
were black, and the cabbage was not done enough, so 
that it was ropy or "long," as they aptly describe it. 
For these shortcomings the fiddler "put her a sing," 
i.e. put her into a sing. 


Moonshine baby, don't you cry, Momma will bring something fe you, 

Some fe you, Some fe me, Fe we go boil wi' dir - ty pot. 

This is a hit at another careless cook who had dis- 
regarded the time-honoured rule, "First wash your pot. 
A moonshine baby is a pretty baby. 


Dancing Tunes. 


2nd Figure. 

I have a news to tell you all a - bout the Mowitahl 

men, 1 Time is harder ev - 'ry day an* harder yet to 

come. They made a dance on Fri - day night an' failed to pay the 








Say that they all was need of money 

leed of money to 

9* J'J'I J*T13 

f.M JJ*1 ^-| 

buy up their August pork. Don't let them go free, drummer ! 

Don't let them go free, drummer ! For your fin-ger cost money to 

tick - le the poor goat - lei 

poor goat - Tun. 

Not if the pork ev - en 

purchase self Take it away for your labour, For your finger 


J J Vj a 

cost money 

_J_^ J— ^i 


to tick-lc the poor goat • 'kin. 

The first of August (Ahgust as they call it) is the 
anniversary of Emancipation Day, and is a time of 

1 Mowitahl = Mowatt Hall. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

feasting and rejoicing. As in the case of wedding 
festivities, they do not limit themselves to one day, 
and holiday-making goes on for a week or longer. 

The goat-skin drum is pitied for the thumping it gets. 
So a man will often stroke his picker (pickaxe) and 
say : — " He no a come out if he fought him face 
would a jam so a dirty/' he would not have come out 
if he had thought his face was going to be thrust so 
hard into the ground. 

" Self" is a redundant word. It strengthens "even if." 

2nd Figure. 

Once I was a 


trav • 'Her ov - er the 

Ip-p c - 1 £ I e-C-£-C-J£ £=I 

mountain, I near - ly dead for wa - ter 

but a 

\ § > g g-g -A ffi ^ 



young gal show me the fountain. Why, why me pic-ny ! 

You shall be me wife. Show me you mammy an 1 you daddy, An* 

you shall be me wife. I have a - nother sis - ter, she 

blind she can - not see, But, if you wish to court her, 

Dancing Tunes. 


B feg-F-F J1J r | >-ijj|j^HJV.rj HJ r] 

you can come with me. Why, why me picny ! you shall be me wife. 

k h r\ 

JV'N *• II 

Show me you mammy an' you daddy, An' you shall be me wife. 

When a Black man says he is nearly dead for water 
he only means that he is rather thirsty. 

This sing is of an unusual form and suggests a foreign 


Here, on the contrary, is something typically 
Jamaican : — 

5 th Figure. 

f I J- -N 

Oh ! me wouldn' bawl at all, 

Oh! me 

wouldn' bawl at all, 

Oh ! me wouldn' bawl at all, 

I' J' l J' J 1 i H . 1 



For the po-lice-man come tell a lie 'pon me. 

A boy who has been arrested, conscious of his innocence, 
does not go through the usual pantomime of shrieks and 
tears. The policeman (observe the accent on the word) 
told a lie about me, he says. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

Thoroughly Jamaican too, as to its words at least, is : — 




You take jun - ka 'tick fe go lick mau - gre 

dog, You take junka 'tick fe go lick maugre dog ; 

E | b ' f r c cfHHr^ 


When maugre dog dead a wh6 you a go do? 

ph=t t /l iJ sf \ j^ 


WW you a go do, Bir-die ? WW you a go do ? 

This is a remonstrance addressed by a mother to her 
daughter who has taken up a short stick to beat her. 
" It is true," she says, that I am but a lean dog, but when 
the lean dog is dead what are you going to do?" 
(Maugre^ French tnaigre, pronounced mahgher.) 

John Canoe dance. 

i j frTii j j> p U f ^^r r Jtj tj^ 

Yellow fe - ver come in, Me can't walk a - gam ; Him 





broke me hand, him broke me foot, Me can't walk a - gain. 

The "John Canoe" are masked dancers very agile in 
their movements. Yellow fever is now happily rare in 

Dancing Tunes. 


Jamaica. " It has come and caught me," says the patient, 
"and broken my arms and legs so that I really can't walk." 
" Again " has a curious use here, which is perhaps better 
shown by the following illustration. A man was reported 
to be dead. Next day came the intelligence : — " He 
don't dead again," he is not dead after all, he is not 
really dead. Compare No. LXII. 






Jim - my Ramp - y a 



g * V Hf= 

come oh, 




oh! Jimmy Rampy a come oh, Sal oh 1 Some a 

j E3 *? I .P J* 3^ 

wash him foot, some a comb him hair, Some a put him to bed, 

put him to bed oh, Sal oh ! Jimmy Rampy a come 

oh ! Sal oh ! Jim-my Rampy a come oh, Sal 

Some a wash him foot, some a comb him hair, Some a 

put him to bed, put him to bed oh, Sal oh ! 

" Sal oh ! " is perhaps a corruption of Salut. Tradition 
associates a curtsey with the word. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 


The next calls to mind the Ring tune (No. 
"Rosybel oh, why oh!" 

$th Figure. 


Sus - an ve - ry well, why oh ! Sus - an ve - ry 

well, why oh ! Sus - an chop bo • low with turn - bier, 

§ ^ S 't jU J^ 

£-6 g j ' J I 


Sus - an chop bo - low with turn - bier, Sus - an go chop bo 


r g g j " J I 



*- * 

N N 

low with turn - bier, Sus - an go chop bo • low with torn - bier. 

A case of assault with a broken piece of glass. Here 
is something more serious : — 

1st Figure. 

i ft&iu. , i , HJ i ^-r u-^uju 

Bahss, Bahss, you married you wife ; Bahss, Bahss, you 

married you wife ; Bahss, Bahss, you married you wife, You married you wife an' 

-M. ^ IW V 1 KT" S V ». ! *T W^^ *»- 

w* ^ j\*,-j EJ1 JVi-,T=£, ,> Jr s 

kill him a - gain. You take up you wife an' carry him to church, You 

Dancing Tunes. 



take up you wife an' carry him to church, You take up you wife an* 


>- \ ji?fljUf±m 

carry him to church, An 1 af - ter - ward you kill her a-gain. 1 


The next is a pretty lullaby, which they call a Nursing 
sing : — 


frV.«j»jJc F |;N - J- I joJcppJ 

Blackbird a eat puppa corn, oh ! Blackbird a eat puppa 

corn, oh ! Come go da mountain, go drive them, Blackbird a eat puppa 

corn, oh ! Blackbird a eat pup • pa corn. 



i MU j. jqr=E3 ^E 

» — i-t-*A 

Me da Coo lie sleep on piaz - za with me 

wrap- per round me sooul- der, Me da Coo - lie sleep on 

§ »\\ J j- jjt r~v JT * lyym 

piaz - za with me wrap per round me shoulder. 

1 BaAsSj Boss. " Carry him " is in two syllables, sounding like ca-yim. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

" Me da," literally, " I is," I am. 

The piazza, which is not pronounced in the Italian 
way but nearly rhymes with razor, is the long narrow 
entrance-room of Jamaican houses. A wrapper is a large 
piece of linen which serves all sorts of purposes. It is 
used as an article of clothing both by day and night, 
and also makes a convenient bag for rice. 

Many of the East Indian Coolies, originally brought over 
to work on plantations, have now settled in Jamaica. 


Not • ty Shaw, you bet - ter go home ; 


fj f*¥F^ 

Shaw, you better go home ; Notty, run in the garden an* 

pick a bunch of flowers ; Notty Shaw, you bet - ter go 



jfaHJ. jij ag ffrr 1 -^ 



home ; Notty Shaw, you mother want you service ; Notty 

Shaw, you mother want you service ; Notty, go in the garden you 

f^Te J'T^y^JVj^j l j m 

see abunch of rose ; Notty Shaw, you better go home. 

"Notty" is short for Nathaniel. 

"Rose" means any kind of flowers. When they want 
to indicate what we call roses they say "sweet-rose." 

Dancing Tunes. 


\st Figure. 




S p^ M = 

*l ^ 

Yon worth-less Bee - ca Wat - son, You worth • less Bee - ca 

Watson, You worthless Becca Watson, You ought to been ashame. Them 

write you name an' t'row it a pass,Them write you name an' t'row it a pass, Them 

write you name an' t'row it a pass, you ought to been a - shame. 

A familiar tune, I think a mixture of two. 

To write disparaging remarks on paper, which is 
then thrown in the "pass" (path, road), for anybody to 
pick up and read, is a common trick. The epithet 
" worthless " seems to imply that Becca was not altogether 
free from blame. They seldom say "bad." It is almost 
always "worthless." 


5 th Figure, 


Sf iiJ IjjJim 

Since the waggonette come in 

Par - ker take to heart 

dead, Since the waggonette come in Parker take to heart dead. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

-{$ Jir.jqi-J^j.| r - ri | 

Nev - er mind con-duc-tor, 

Par - ker take to heart dead. 


^ * r N-^-^^fl 

Nev-er mind con-duc-tor, 

Par-ker take to heart dead. 

The reference is to a local enterprise, the Waggonette 
Company. It unfortunately failed, and the death of a 
person interested in its success, happening immediately 
after, is attributed to the failure. For "come in" we 
should say "were taken off." 




Schottische or 4th Figure. 

r?*=*f=r= ±i 

Them Gar'n Town people them call me follow-line, Them Gar'n Town 

| j»J Jl f |!J|£ fc^ P 

people them call me follow-line, Them Gar'n Town people them call me 


i # ppr ipT j pg-r eg J ^i j m j^ j*i 

follow-line, Somebody dy - ing here ev-'ry day. A ten pound 

If*? J ip f J l J J 1 Jj>;iTT=i^ 

or - der him kill me pardner, A ten pound or - der him kill me 


»4 . N^ 



pardner, A ten pound order him kill me pardner For somebody 

Dancing Tunes. 


w* 1 e g . |v l 



dy - ing here ev'ry day. Den number nine tunnel I would not 

work d£, Den number nine tunnel I would not work de", Den number 


nine tunnel I would not work d£ For somebody dying here ev'ry day. 

An incident, or perhaps it were better to say an 
accident, in the making of the road to Newcastle. A 
man who undertook a piece of contract work for £>\o 
was killed by a falling stone. The so-called tunnels are 
cuttings. Number nine had a very bad reputation. 

Gordon Town is a hamlet nine miles from Kingston. 
The driving road ends there, and access to the mountain 
district beyond is obtained only by mule tracks. 

Strangers are called w follow-line " because, as they come 
down from their homes in the higher hills, they walk in 
strings. No Black man or woman ever goes alone if he 
can help it He always hitches on to somebody else, 
and the string increases in length as it passes along. 
This walking in Indian file is necessitated by the narrow- 
ness of the track, which is seldom wide enough for two 
to walk abreast. 

The tune has the character of a march rather than of 
a dance, but I am assured it is used for a Schottische, 
which has a somewhat slower measure than a Polka, and 
for Fourth Figure. Their cleverness in adapting the 
same steps to different rhythms has been already com- 
mented on. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

The last of our tragedies, a murder this time, is 

chronicled in: — 

2nd Figure. 

Young gal in Ja - mai-ca take warn-ing, Never 

•If— z— ^ —^ * h-fr 

leave your mother house, a-lone, 

For that was the cause why 

Al-ice get her death while driving in the May Pen cyar. 

" The May Pen cyar " is a tramway which runs to May 
Pen, the cemetery of Kingston. 

4/A Figure. 

Me no min d£ a conceit the night When Martha an' Pom pey catch a 

fight. Da Martha da Pompey, Da Martha da Pompey catch a fight. 

"Me no min d£," literally, "I not been there," I was 
not there. Nobody hearing these words for the first 
time would ever suspect that they were English. People 
are always said to "catch fight" when they come to blows- 
Few of the old classical slave names like Pompey 
now survive. 

■ "I. 

Dancing Tunes. 


I st Figure. 

\§>\ w j j j>j Jip n p- r. r yn ^ 

Complain complain complain, Complain a - bout me one, Me 

f"i.j^rWr^ , | J J-i-H; 1 "! 

daddy com plain, me mahmy complain, Complain about me one. 

"Me one," i.e. "only me." Everlasting complaints, 
always about me! (What child does not suffer in this 
way ? ) In Negro speech complain stands for complaint 
as well as for the verb. 

2nd Figure. 

Elderly readers will recognise a popular song of thirty 
years ago in the following: — 

I can't walk on the bare road, cyart man, I can't walk at all ; 



When I re-member, When I remember, When I remember them. 

j^r -^ 



£lgg£ E' *'\^ E& 

Oh Captain Ba-ker, I never can walk a - gain, For 

when I remember the cyart man, cyart man, When I remember them* 


Jamaican Song and Story, 

These words taken as a whole refer to the carts of 
the United Fruit Company of which Captain Baker is 
the manager. In defiance of rules girls may be seen 
perched on top of the bunches of bananas in the laden 

5 /A Figure. 

■$*\l J^Jg ^ 

Come go da mountain, Come go da mountain, Come go da mountain go 

pick co - 00 fin - ger, Busha Webb an' all a pick co-co fin - ger, 



Busha Webb an* all a pick co-co fin - ger ; Pick co-co fin - ger, 


Pick co-co fin - ger, Come go da mountain go pick co-co fin - ger. 

"Come let us go to the mountain and dig cocoes. 
Overseer Webb and everybody is digging them." A 
plan often adopted is to dig round the root, search for 
the tubers, pick them off and then push back the soil. 
This may be the picking referred to, only the tubers do 
not look like fingers. They are the shape of a peg-top. 

Another suggestion is that the fingers are the young 
rolled-up leaves which are picked before they expand 
for spinach. This variety of interpretation, coupled with 
the fact that the word finger \ always applied to bananas, 
is never used in speaking of cocoes, points to this being 
a yery old sing. 

Dancing Tunes. 




<ji ^i> it . 



A - man-da Grant, me yer * ry your name, 







yer-ry your name a bam - boo root. 



ijf/i. j j i j j j 


Why ! me yer-ry your name, Why I Why ! yer-ry your 









name, Me yer-ry your name a bam - boo root. 

Amanda stole some money and hid it at the foot of 
a bamboo. 

2nd Figure. 

Last night I was \y - i 

ing on me num - ber, An* a 

fool-ish man come wake me out of slum-ber, Say Why oh I 

Why oh! I nev-er see a woman dancing with a wooden leg. 

Bammerlichy, bammerlichy, bamby, Bammerlichy, bammerlichy, 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

I * J J J 1 


Bammerlichy, bammerlichy, bam-by, I nev-er 

see a wo - man danc-ing with a wooden leg. 

The scene is laid in the People's Shelter at Kingston 
which has numbered sleeping-berths. 

At * Bammerlichy " etc. the dancers imitate the stiff 
action of a wooden leg. 

5 th Figure. 


Ij'lj I jJ-jsJH 



Me las • sie me dun - dooze, 



me dun-dooze come kiss 


The kiss that you give me it rest on me mind till it 

i y f Jl ^ j' i 

give me the ay - go. 

J J ~J"" 

When we mar - ried an* 

set-tied down we have no cause to say, For as soon as the par-son 

j' J' J' j> u * m 

pass up the sen • tence noth • ing to part as. 

" Dundooze " (or dundoze, for it is rather hard to catch 
the vowel) is a term of endearment. Others are, honey, 
lover, sugar, sweety, marvel, bolow, bahzoon. 

"Aygo" is ague; "say," perhaps, sunder. 

Dancing Tunes. 



The next conveys an appreciative reference to a pro- 
prietor who is a large employer of labour. 


Mis - ter Dav - is bring some • f ing fe we all, 

Mis - ter Dav - is bring some - t'ing fe we all. Oh him 

bring black gal, An' him bring brown gal, An* him bring yaller gal an* all. 

$th Figure. 

§ ' inl 

/* *N 


cc r ir 


A wh^the use yon da hang da me neck-back, 



Married man me no want you. 

Turn back, married man, 

turn back, you brute, Turn back married man, married man a dog. 


Jamaican Song and Story. 

4iA Figure. 

I ffi 4 ^E E ^ 

Quattywort'ofthig! Quattywort' of that ! till him come up to a 

? J I j J' Ji j 

shil - ling oht Why Brown man! Why Brown man! you 

\ §t 1 J' J 



have a 



Rob • son. 

The boy has run up a score at the shop and professes 
astonishment at the items and' the total. Black trusts 
White more than Brown. 

We end with the pretty flowing melody: — 


\ §ii fff.l J N' l j •MNJ MJJ ^ 

Mahngoosea come, Dory, Mahngoose a come. All them gal are 

deadfe Do-ry, Mahngoosea come. Come back me dear Do-ry, 

Come back me dear. All them gal are deadfe Dory, Mahngoose a come. 

The mongoose was introduced into Jamaica to kill 
the rats. Unfortunately rats sleep in the day and the 

Dancing Tunes. 

mongoose sleeps at night so they never met How 
mongoose took instead to killing chickens has been o: 
told. Dory is having a private interview with a girl i 
has another admirer. This man has announced his intent 
of chastising Dory. " Mongoose has come " is a prec 
certed formula which means, "the other man has co 
Dory, look out I " When a gang of labourers is work 
and one of them catches sight of his master in 
distance, he will sing this song and the others underst; 
that they must pretend to be busy. 

NOTR.— {Accidentally omiittd on pagt ^ : Cf. Nos. 56, 67, 13a, 133), 
Marriage is, unhappily, often a failure. The woman, in marrying, 
attained tbe goal of her ambition. Now that she is Mr. Smith she " 
down " and refuses to help her husband, provision -ground food is not g 
enough for her, and she is always calling out for a new frock. In a 
years the couple separate and the home is broken up, with disasti 
consequences to tbe children. In the old day* the custom was to d< 
the ceremony (as Constantine deferred his baptism) to a very late peri 
This plan worked very well. The couple did not marry till they ki 
for certain that they suited each other, and often their well-brought 
children and grandchildren danced at the wedding. 


A. Tracks of African Melody in Jamaica. 

I have been asked to read through this book in proof, with 
the object of ascertaining whether the Jamaican songs bear any 
traces of an African origin. 

Unfortunately, it must be confessed at the outset that our 
knowledge of African music is scantier than that of almost any 
other kind of primitive music In other regions of the globe 
the phonograph has been effectively utilised in acquiring accurate 
records of songs and dances. These records have been brought 
back to Europe, where they have been studied at leisure and 
their peculiarities of interval and rhythm have been precisely 

But in the case of African music (apart from a few imper- 
fectly studied records in my own possession) we have to rely 
entirely on the versions which travellers have taken down for 
us in the field. We have to assume, in the first place, the 
correctness of their ' musical ear/ and in the second place, the 
possibility of expressing in European notation those delicate 
shades of pitch and time in which the characteristics of primitive 
music so essentially consist And both these are unwarrantable 

However, from our study of comparative music elsewhere, we 
may make one statement with certainty, namely, that an African 
music does not exist There must be almost as many styles 
of native music in Africa as in Europe — varieties differing not 
only broadly in general form and structure, but also more 
minutely in the intervals and rhythms which are employed. 

I have been informed by travellers in West Africa that sur- 
prising differences occur in the degree of development of musical 



art even in closely neighbouring regions. In one district hardly 
any music is to be heard at all; in another the music is most 
uncouth ; in a third it is highly agreeable to the European ear ; 
while some parts of West Africa have advanced to the stage 
of part-singing. 

The most erroneous notions have been expressed as to the 
nature of African music. I have seen it stated that African 
songs consist in a gradual descent from a higher to a lower 
pitched note. That this is far from being usually the case is 
shown in the following specimens, which I have gathered from 
various narratives of African travel. 


Boat Song. Congo District. 

tptdrr j i r cfrr fjccrir J J i Efe|a 


Boat Song. Congo District. 

Song of Bawili Women. 



Funeral Song. Angola. 

IMM.J I J J | J J N_M' I ^ 

i y >''" 1 m j j 1 M 



Jamaican Song and Story. 

Song. Angola. 

form* r i rr ai 

rnrr i rr i fri 

Song. M. Balunda. 

h^ t-r- c J H- J J =trc-i I f I I 


Dance-Song. M. Balunda. 

Boat Song. Guinea Coast. 



Song. I. of Bimbia. 

Songs I. and II. from La route du Tchad. Jean DybowskL Paris. 1893. 
pp. 198-9. 

Songs III. -VII. from Aus West-Afrika. Hermann Soyaux. Leipzig. 1879. 

Song VIII. from Einige Notiun iiber Bonny. Gottingen. 1848. 

Song IX. from A Narrative of the Expedition . . . to the River Niger. 
London. 1848. 



A great deal might be said about the general character of 
these songs, e.g. the simplicity and brevity of the phrases, and the 
fondness for triple measure. 

But I pass on to consider three very interesting examples of 
Jamaican music which, thanks to my friend Mr. N. W. Thomas, 
I have found recorded in 1688 in Sir Hans Sloane's Voyage to 
Jamaica. " Upon one of the Festivals where a great many of 
the Negro Musicians were gathered together/' he writes, "I 
desired Mr. Baptiste, the best musician there, to take the words 
they sung and set them to Musick which follows/ 1 

Angola Song. 



e ^te 

i lffii " ' i cefCrCfJj ' i ccrtM 


Ho - ba - ognion 


Papa Song. 

ijjr, J*pr JpHB ^E 

Koromanti Songs. 



Jamaican Song and Story. 


E J, *- 

I jf > J- J I IH 

rr.u,f.j j 


Men Bonbo mich langa 


wa* langa. 



From A Voyage to . . . Jamaica ... by Hans Sloane, M.D. London. 
1707. Vol. i. pp. 1, li. 

The words of these songs are Hobaognion, ognion and Meri 
Bonbo mich langa meri wd langa. Sir Hans Sloane observes 
that the Jamaican negroes of that time had their native instru- 
ments : (i) gourds with necks and strung with horsehair, (ii) a 
"hollow'd Timber covered with Parchment," having a bow for 
its neck, the strings tied longer or shorter. 

These songs, however inaccurately recorded, are of the greatest 
value for the hint they give us of Jamaican music as it existed 
over two centuries ago. It will be observed that the songs are 
named 'Angola' and 'Koromanti,' according to their African 
provenance. In the present collection of modern songs, reference 
is made in Song CI. to Koromanti (' Cromanty '). So, too, the 
word 'Bungo' in Song CXXVI. no doubt refers to the large 
Bongo district of Africa (cf. 'Bungo talk,' p. 12, *.). 

We can hardly expect to find considerable traces of this 
aboriginal African music alter two centuries of missionary and 
of trade influence. African travellers have repeatedly told us 
how prone the negro is to introduce fresh tunes from other 
villages and to adapt them to his own purposes. Indeed, the 
contaminating influence which the Arabs and Portuguese have 
exercised upon primitive African music makes the study of the 
latter especially difficult. 

But a community does not adopt exotic music without at the 
same time exercising selection. Those melodies have the greatest 
chance of success which, to some degree at least, follow the 
current canons of public taste. Revolutionary innovations are 

284 Jamaican Song and Story. 

rare. The gradual changes in taste which take place are the 
result of such selective adoption of foreign music as we have 

There is one feature in the above-quoted ' Angola ' song 
which is also shared by the modern songs of this collection, 
namely, the presence of * bobbins' or short refrains. 

The simplicity in structure of the songs is still a feature of 
Jamaican music. I may be allowed to call attention to the 
repetition of single phrases in Song XVIII. and to the building 
up of simple phrases in Songs LXXVII. and LXXIX. 

I had hoped that some light might be thrown on the antiquity 
of certain songs by the presence of nonsense words ; but in this 
I was disappointed. 

I quite agree with Miss Broadwood (see next page) that 
the majority of the songs are of European origin. The negroes 
have learnt them from hearing sailors' chanties or they have 
adopted hymn tunes. 

But adoption always involves adaptation. A song is modified 
to suit the current canons of taste. In Song L. I observe 
'Home, Sweet Home' and (in the latter half) a hymn tune 
which I frequently heard in the Torres Straits. Song CXXXIX. 
is doubtless 'The British Grenadiers.' But it, again, has not 
been adopted without modification. 

Needless to say, a detailed study of these modifications would 
throw light on the characteristics of modern Jamaican music 

In Song XXXI. a typical non-European modification is the 
insertion of an extra (the fifth) bar, so that the phrase consists 
of nine bars. The five time in Song XI., the change of accent 
at the close of Song XXIV. and in Song XLL, are no doubt 
the expression of African delight in the complexities of rhythm. 

In the already-quoted * Koromanti song,' we may observe the 
curious temporary change of rhythm in the second air, and 
the characteristic measure which prevails throughout the third 
air with its syncopation and almost baffling changes. Such 
features are precisely what we should expect to meet with 
among a primitive people who more than two centuries ago 
doubtless possessed in a still higher degree that delight in 
complication of rhythm which according to Mr. Jekyll (p. 6) 

Appendix. 285 

persists among their descendants of to-day. For a more detailed 
study of this aspect of the subject I may perhaps refer enquirers 
to my " Study of Rhythm in Primitive People " {British Journal 
of Psychology, vol. i. pp. 397-406). 

The present taste and preferences of the Jamaican negroes 
may perhaps be gauged by the similarities and differences in 
the first bars of Songs LXIIL, LXIV., and LXXVIIL, by the 
similarity of Songs I. and VIII., XV. and XXVII., and of the 
bobbins in LIV. and LXVIII. 

But it is not my intention to make a detailed analysis of 
the songs of the present volume. My object has been rather 
to emphasize our present ignorance of African music, and to 
indicate the lines along which a more intimate acquaintance 
with African and Jamaican songs may be expected to lead to 
conclusions as to their relation to one another. 

C. S. Myers. 

B. English Airs and Motifs in Jamaica. 

By far the greater part of these Jamaican tunes and song- 
words seem to be reminiscences, or imitations, of European 
sailors' "chanties" of the modern class; or of trivial British 
nursery-jingles adapted, as all such jingles become adapted. 

Except in the cases specified below, I have not found one 
Jamaican tune which is entirely like any one English or 
European tune that I happen to know. But unrecorded folk- 
times are essentially fluid, and pass through endless trans- 
formations. In all countries any one traditional ballad may 
be sung to dozens of distinct traditional tunes, each of these 
again having variants. It is therefore quite possible that 
versions of some of the older-sounding Jamaican airs are 
being sung unrecorded at this moment in the British Islands 
or elsewhere. 

I note below such instances of modal tunes as occur in 
this collection. I should perhaps explain that by " Modes " are 
meant those ancient scales (other than our major and minor 
scales) which amongst European composers fell into disuse at 
the beginning of the 17 th century, but which survive still 

286 Jamaican Sang and Story. 

in the ancient Church Music (popularly called "Gregorian"),, 
and in the Folk Music of most European countries, and 
notably that of the British Isles. 

III. King Daniel, p. 14. 

Cf. the old ballads "May Colvin" and "Young Hunting."* 
In the latter the parrot reveals a murder. In both ballads the 
lady makes the same promises to the bird (see Child's English 
and Scottish Popular Ballads). 

VII. The Three Sisters, p. 26. 

Although the story of the monster outwitted by the maiden 
he tries to carry off is an almost world-wide motif, and is 
found in Africa among other countries, this particular version 
has evidently been in contact with European (English or Scottish)* 
sources. This is shown not only by the fact that the suitor 
proves to be the Devil, but by the question and answer (mis- 
placed by the story-teller): 

"What is roguer than a womankind?" 
"The Devil is roguer than a womankind." 
This riddle appears in three versions of the ballad of "The 
Three Sisters," otherwise " The Elfin Knight," or " Riddles wisely 
Expounded " (Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, voL 
i. pp. 1-6), as: 

" O what is greener than the grass ? 

Or what is 'worse than e'er woman was?" 
"O poison's greener than the grass, 

And the Devil's worse than e'er woman was. . . ." 
"As soon as she the fiend did name, 
He flew away in a blazing flame," 

says one version, but in the rest there is no disenchantment, 
and the youngest sister wins the visitor as her husband by her 
ready wit in replying, which Professor Child {Additions and 
Corrections, vol. v. p. 283), thinks a modernization of the 
original story. He quotes a manuscript version taken from 
a book of Henry VI. 's time, wherein the "Elfin Knight" is 
the foul fiend himself undisguised. 

For similar survivals of Riddle Songs and Tales see "There 
was a Lady in the West" and "Scarborough Fair" in English 

Appendix. 287 

County Songs, and Kidson's Traditional Tunes, and "The 
Lover's Task " in Songs of the West, etc. 

The tune is evidently an old ballad air. It is in the Aeolian 

XVII. Man Grow, p. 54. 

The tune is the same as that sung in Worcestershire by 
children to "A finger and thumb keep moving." 

XVIII. Saylan, p. 59. 

This is a version of "The Maid freed from the Gallows," 
"The Golden Ball/' or "The Prickly Bush." For the latter 
see English County Songs. Child gives very exhaustive notes 
on the story and its variants; also a tune, noted in North 
Carolina, " The Prickly Bush " has a tune quite unlike Child's, 
and the Jamaican air is quite distinct from both. 

XXI. Tacoma and the Old Witch Girl, p. 65. 

C£ " The Keys of Heaven M in English County Songs, " Blue 
Muslin " in Songs of the West, and " Madam I will gi'e you," 
etc., in fournal of the Folk-Song Society, No. 7. All these airs 
are distinct from each other, and from the Jamaican tune. 

XXIX. Parson Puss and Parson Dog, p. 91. 

This tune is the first half of the old French air " Ah, vous 
dirai-je, Maman?" used so often by English children in their 
games. See note in Moffat and Kidson's Children's Songs and 
Games of Long Ago, p. 42. Other adaptations of the same tune 
are CXVI. (p. 215), CLXXVII. (p. 264), and CLXXXIX. (p. 272). 

XXXI. Pretty Poll, p. 96. 

Cf. " King Daniel" This is again the story of " May Colvin » 
or " The Outlandish Knight." The tune " Come, pretty Poll w 
here given is rather reminiscent of one traditional air to the 
ballad sung still in different parts of England (where numerous 
tunes to the favourite story have been noted). See "The 
Outlandish Knight" in Songs of Northern England (Stokoe 
and Reay) for the type of tune referred to, but plentiful 
variants from Hertfordshire, the West of England, Yorkshire, 
etc., exist in MS. 

XXXVI. Leah and Tiger, p. 108. 
The tune is in the Aeolian Mode. 

a88 Jamaican Song and Story. 

LXIII. Oh, Sunoel, oh, p. .68. 

This tune is in the Mixolydian Mode. 
LXXXVIII. War down a Homeland, p. 187. 

The tune is in the Dorian Mode. By far the most interest- 
ing tone in this collection. It is a fine Dorian air, I should 
think an old traditional tune imported by English or Irish. 

There ate slight modal influences in other tunes, viz. : " Bad 
homan oh," " Bell oh," " A Somerset me bam," " Whe me 
loon dey "Me da If," and "Since Dora Logan a wahk with 
Gallawoss" (Nos. 56, 57, 85, 91, 100, 123). 
CXI., p. 209. 

This tune is a variant of the well-known children's game-song, 
"Here come three Dukes a-riding." 
CXIX., p. ai8. 

The tune is a variant of one commonly sung in the North 
of England and in various parts of Scotland, to a children's 
game, " Hullaballoo bailie," in which reference is made to 
lilting the right foot and the left foot. 
CXXVII., p. 225. 

This air is the first part of the tune of " O dem Golden 
Slippers," the negro revival song of some twenty years ago. 
CXXX-, p. 227. 

This is a reminiscence of the Scotch dance-tune usually sung 
to the words " There's nae luck aboot the hoose." 
CLXXVUL, p. 26+ 

This is a well-known old English dance-tune, known also in 
CLXXXIL, p. 267. 

The second part of this tune is merely a reminiscence of 
" We won't go home till morning." 
CLXXXVII., p. 271. 

This tune is the first part of a very commonplace modern 
Italian popular composition called " La Mandolinata," played 
on every conceivable instrument, and sung also, about the year 
1876 and for some years afterwards. 

L. E. Broadwood.