Celebrating the life of Miss Lou

Posted: under "Jamaica Labrish ~ Louise Bennett", "SMILE" Jamaica ~ "Once You Go --- You Know".
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LOUISEB.jpg LOUISE BENNETT image by MGHS1995 

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The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission has earmarked the month of September to celebrate the life and work of Hon Dr Louise Bennett-Coverley OJ, OM.

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The amazing Miss Lou was born on September 7, 1919.  She was a Jamaican poet and activist for the Jamaican language and is described as Jamaica’s leading comedian.  Miss Lou has been lauded as the only poet who has really hit the truth about her society through its own language.  She has managed to capture Jamaican thoughts, feelings and lifestyle through her poems in the vernacular.  This has been done through masterful taste in use of the dialect which is acceptable to and appreciated by all in Jamaica and the Diaspora.

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In September, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) staged a series of activities across the island.  St. James hosted ‘MoBay Ring Ding’ as part of the celebrations.

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‘MoBay Ring Ding’ is a mini concert with a mixture of poems and storytelling.  This year the National Exhibition

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Comments (0) Oct 18 2010

“Bans O’ Killing” . . . by Miss Lou

Posted: under "Jamaica Labrish ~ Louise Bennett".
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Louise Bennett (Miss Lou) 1919-2006

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“Bans O’ Killing” , 1944

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So yuh a de man, me hear bout!
Ah yuh dem sey dah-teck
Whole heap o’ English oat sey dat
Yuh gwine kill dialect!

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Meck me get it straight Mass Charlie
For me noh quite undastan,
Yuh gwine kill all English dialect
Or jus Jamaica one?

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Ef yuh dah-equal up wid English
Language, den wha meck
Yuh gwine go feel inferior, wen
It come to dialect?

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Ef yuh kean sing “Linstead Market”
An “Wata come a me y’eye”,
Yuh wi haffi tap sing “Auld lang syne”
An “Comin thru de rye”.

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Dah language weh yuh proad o’,
Weh yuh honour and respeck,
Po’ Mass Charlie! Yuh noh know sey
Dat it spring from dialect!

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Dat dem start fe try tun language,
From de fourteen century,
Five hundred years gawn an dem got
More dialect dan we!

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Yuh wi haffe kill de Lancashire
De Yorkshire, de Cockney

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Comments (2) Oct 07 2010

Anansi and Miss Lou

Posted: under "Jamaica Labrish ~ Louise Bennett".
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 Jamaican poet and broadcaster Louisa Bennet - Coverley, the subject for Miss Lou at RADA for BBC Radio 4. by Whistledown Studios.

Miss Lou

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Anansi, Miss Lou and the ‘raw chaw’ argument

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Published: Sunday | March 8, 2009
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Killing originality
In one of her wicked poems, ‘Bans a Killin’ Miss Lou persuasively argues that Jamaican - which she calls ‘dialect’ - is not inferior to English. And she firmly puts in his place censorious Mas Charlie who, somewhat like the Broadcasting Commission these days, is trying to kill off verbal creativity in the slack local language. Here are the first two and the last two verses of Miss Lou’s poem:
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So yuh a de man me hear bout!
Ah yuh dem seh dah teck
Whole heap a English oat seh
dat
Yuh gwine kill dialect!
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Comments (0) Mar 08 2009

CUSS - CUSS

Posted: under "Jamaica Labrish Korner", "Jamaica Labrish ~ Louise Bennett".
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“Jamaica Labrish Korner”

 Jamaican poet and broadcaster Louisa Bennet - Coverley, the subject for Miss Lou at RADA for BBC Radio 4. by Whistledown Studios.

Ms. Louise Bennett-Coverley
“Miss Lou”

CUSS - CUSS
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Not to be confused with Kas-Kas, this poem re-stages a tracing match (i.e. a quarrel) between two Jamaican women. Common cuss-words like “boogooyagga” (low-grade) “heng-pon-nail ” (bedraggled) are here liberally used. Opponents are sometimes subjected to the most unexpected similes as ” Yuh lip dem heng dung lacka wen Mule kean meck up him mine”.
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Gwan gal yuh fava teggereg,
Ah wey yuh gwine goh do?
Yuh an yuh boogooyagga fren
Dem tink me fraid o’ yuh?

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Comments (9) Sep 29 2008

Back to Africa

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“Jamaica Labrish ~ Louise Bennett”
Back to Africa

Jamaican poet and broadcaster Louisa Bennet - Coverley, the subject for Miss Lou at RADA for BBC Radio 4. by Whistledown Studios.

  LOUISE BENNETT
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Back to Africa, Miss Mattie?

You no know wha you dah seh?

You haf fe come from somewhe fus

Before you go back deh!

Me know say dat you great great great

Granma was African,

But Mattie, doan you great great great

Granpa was Englishman?

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Comments (2) Sep 29 2008

“Colonizing in Reverse”

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Jamaican poet and broadcaster Louisa Bennet - Coverley, the subject for Miss Lou at RADA for BBC Radio 4. by Whistledown Studios.   

“Jamaica Labrish ~ Louise Bennett”
“Colonizing in Reverse”

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Jamaica people colonizin
Englan in reverse.
By de hundred, by de t’ousan
From country and from town,
By de ship-load, by de plane-load
Jamaica is Englan boun.

Dem a-pour out o’ Jamaica,
Everybody future plan
Is fe get big-time job
An settle in de mother lan.

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Comments (0) Sep 29 2008