Sunday, April 19, 2009

Palm Wine and Song

"The sweet, old West African tradition of palm wine guitar has few great players left. Palm wine music dates back to the days when Portuguese sailors first introduced guitars to West African port cities. Early African guitarists and bottle percussionists played at gatherings where revelers drank the fermented sap of palm trees, a traditional alternative to bottled beer.
Rogie, from Sierra Leone, was/is palm wine music's greatest ambassador. "

The blend of Portuguese and African music has created some of the finest in the world. Palm wine music combines the happy sounds of calypso from Trinidad to create music that belies the circumstances surrounding the origins in the days of the slave trade. This video slips in some reality about today as well. Satire certainly helps. No wonder I love calypso.
"Calypso rhythms can be traced back to the arrival of the first African slaves brought to work in the sugar plantations of Trinidad. Forbidden to talk to each other, and robbed of all links to family and home, the African slaves began to sing songs. They used calypso, which can be traced back to West African kaiso, as a means of communication and to mock the slave masters.
Trinidad was colonized by the Spanish, received large numbers of French immigrants, and was later ruled by the British. This multi-colonial past has greatly impacted the development of calypso in Trinidad. Many early calypsos were sung in a French-Creole dialect called patois. These songs, usually led by one individual called a griot, helped to unite the slaves."

The complex tapestry of language, music, political communication, and connection through travel across the oceans of the world never ceases to fascinate. Happiness is inexplicable and unpredictable, as it weaves in and out of tragedy. We get it all.


Blogger Tseka said...

Great story.

I love calypso too. My father loved it, blues & jazz too. They were the only records we had when I was growing up.

19/4/09 7:04 PM  
Anonymous dble aries said...

Your words, I need to remember, and thank you.

"There are some good signs of life locally, though, and some people at work who actually care about this country. A battle is required."
This does make us turn around, and the work will be worth it.

I am begining, to put this together, as to why we thought we needed "Obamamania". But the uniqueness of a real person, Susan Boyle, will further open our eyes.

I loved the music, the rich ethnic quality, the rich Heritage background. I loved the purity of the song and singers. Then, I stop and think, all we have destroyed of this in the American Adventure. Our arrogance, has made us change all that is not the mirror of "us". This is more and more a sad realization.

The PBS series on the Indians, Monday evenings, "We Shall Remain" has been fantastic.

Thank you for the new introduction to some great, soul, music.

19/4/09 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Thanks for the alert on "We Shall Remain," dble aries. I looked it up and got chills at the depiction of the tipi tilted with the American flag at an angle reminiscent of the Iwo Jima statue.

Our arrogance, has made us change all that is not the mirror of "us".omg, just had a thought: Isn't that exactly what cancer cells do? Do they not spread and change healthy cells into unhealthy ones? Wish I could stay up late and see what discussion develops from this... but I have an early day tomorrow so I will leave it at that. Good night everyone!

19/4/09 8:07 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Jazz, blues, and calypso. Enough to make life good.

I am beginning, to put this together, as to why we thought we needed "Obamamania".

Incredible, dble A. I just came to the huge dawning after a conversation with a wonderful woman a couple of hours ago. I gave it time, but the end has come. I have zero interest in Obama and I'm moving on. I have no problem with him being there since it doesn't matter at all. He'll be gone soon anyway.

The woman said she moved on awhile ago after great enthusiasm during the campaign. She said we all needed to do that to get him elected, but now it's done, and I agree. We needed to end the extreme right wing reign. He is completely insignificant. we have greater challenges before us and I think energy spent playing his game is useless now that the job is done. No reason to figure it out. No regrets.

Yes. I agree. A lot has been destroyed. There is much work ahead in rebuilding the cultural richness. The mirror idea is a good one. We can do so much better. Much much better.

But the uniqueness of a real person, Susan Boyle, will further open our eyes.

It's opened mine. New roads, new endeavors.

19/4/09 8:34 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I intend to focus on the good things, the things I value, as much as possible, and return to my natural gentle self.

Yes. Cancer cells spread in rapid growth and overtake healthy cells. They are also immortal. Cancer is associated with deep deep hate and revenge finally turned to the self in suicide. Eating the self alive. This country knows not where to put the resentment which could lead to more internal disease, or it could eventually bring healing of the psyche. "Nobody's fault but mine" is my favorite saying of all time and until we the people accept culpability as a whole, we will not heal. We are very far from that.

It would be such a good time to look at our history and what went wrong now that the first Pluto return is starting. Maybe it will happen. Predicting or forcing the result are hindrances. Allowing destiny to take its course, keeping individual good intentions intact, are the best things we can do. Righting our own wrongs as we go. Again, it's still on the distant shore for the huddled masses. But it's in the chip.

19/4/09 8:54 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I have found as an astrologer that the retrogrades of Mars and Venus are particularly significant. They don't happen very often and they are long, a departure from their usual fast forward. Being personal planets they can affect us in tangible, understandable, and immediate ways. This one had the added 29 Pisces factor so I think the effects will be felt for a long time. The next one, Mars in Leo, is going to be major for me, and possibly for the country, too, hovering around the north node of the nation and the south node of the inaugural chart. That will start in October and end the following June, exactly when Uranus and Jupiter enter Aries. How 'bout that?

There are signs of life.

The south node will be on USA Sun and Saturn will be finishing up in Virgo. It could be a time for humility in keeping with what dble aries is saying. We will have to get there in order to heal. The arrogance factor and the lost promise. The flex in the knees.

19/4/09 11:24 PM  
Anonymous dble aries said...

"Predicting or forcing the results are hinderances," is so true. That is like, when I was younger!, and wanted a relationship to develop, and the more I pushed for it, the more I scared the person away! LOL
I had to learn to let things follow its due course. Glad those days are over!
Following the retrograde planets will be signifcant for us to watch.
I have NN in Leo.
Joe, I hope you enjoy the PBS series, and thank you for the Cancer Cell theory. I will ponder that one.
Back to the music.

19/4/09 11:47 PM  
Anonymous dble aries said...

This is old news, but Susan Boyle's Chart from an UK astrologer.

20/4/09 8:08 AM  
Blogger jm said...

Thanks dble A. I was waiting for verification.

20/4/09 1:28 PM  
Anonymous dble aries said...

Thank you jm. I was hoping the info might fill in some blanks.

What great timing, in snatching that center stage? Ah, the miracle of minutes.

20/4/09 1:37 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Quite amazing. Getting the spotlight was a mythic feat. No one else could do it. Not only that, she took the cartoon spotlight in my paper today. Phenomenal accomplishment. The people here are less than enamored, though, with the normal star. Inner pages, hardly any pictures, brief mention. All a great relief. Life and breath.
I was delighted to see her there. So the reverberations are in

21/4/09 4:30 AM  

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