Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Africans Use Of African American Vernacular English Terms In A YouTube Comment Thread For Skales' "Shake Body" Video (Part I: A-K)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I in a three part post that documents the use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) originated words and phrases by African commenters and others in the YouTube discussion thread for Nigerian singer Skales' "Shake Body" official video.

Pancocojams' linguistics posts document and consider the ways that African American Vernacular English, Caribbean Patois, African Pidgin English, and other Pidgin languages have been used and are now being used.

Part I provides comments from that discussion thread that include African American Vernacular English words/phrases beginning with the letter A - K.

Part II provides comments from that discussion thread that include African American Vernacular English words/phrases beginning with the letter L - Z.

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and folkloric purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Skales for his music and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.


Skales Published on Jul 22, 2014

Official music video to the worldwide certified hit, 'Shake Body' by SKALES.
This video is embedded for referencing purposes only. A considerable number of commenters on this video's discussion thread vehemently praised this song while negatively critiquing its video.


Pancocojams Editor's Note:
These African American Vernacular English word/phrase entries are given in bold font and in capitol letters followed by a brief definition. To highlight the fact that many of these slang definitions mean the same thing, I've used basically the same definition for those particular entries.

A number of vernacular terms have more than one colloquial meaning. This compilation only gives the meaning that I think is intended by the commenters.

The selected comments are from this 2014 Nigerian/Ivory Coast Afrobeat video: Skales- "Body Shake". That discussion thread was selected for this post instead of another one only because that was the discussion thread that I was reading when the idea occurred to me for this post. However, the wide use of African American Vernacular English terms/phrases also occurs in other Afrobeat and other contemporary African music YouTube discussion threads that I have read since at least 2014.

The comments from this discussion thread are given under those entries in chronological order by year, with the oldest dated selected comment presented first.

The featured slang words/phrases are written in italics when they are part of a long comment. Additions and corrections for these definitions are very welcome.

Each comment is given only once in this compilation although certain comments include more than one AAVE word/phrases. In those cases, I've referred readers back to the entry for the first vernacular word that is used in that comment.

While these comments are described as being "selected", I've included most of the comments that I believe include African American Vernacular English terms/phrases that entire discussion thread of 1,514 comments (as of the date and time of this publication), except for some comments which include extensive profanity and except for those one word comments such as "cool" or "dope" for which an example has already been given.

adjective; very good, great, awesome

Rocky Quel, 2017
In standard English this sentence would read "That tune is very good .
:Chune" is most often used by people from the Caribbean, although I've found that spelling for the word "tune" in some early 20th century writing by African Americans (such as in Thomas W. Talley's 1922 book Negro Folk Rhymes: Wise & Unwise.

Some of the commenters on that YouTube discussion thread for Skales "Shake Body" official video identified themselves as being from the Caribbean. Furthermore, certain Caribbean (perhaps mostly Jamaican) terms and phrases such as "Big up!", "Much love", and "Much respect" were found in that discussion threads and appear to be commonly found in other Afrobeat discussion threads as well as some other contemporary African music and dance YouTube discussion threads .

adjectival term used to describe something that (or someone who) is great, wonderful, awesome

Kuddy, 2015
"Never get bored of this song! It's the bomb..."

Ellaura, 2015
"This music is the bomb my goodness. .cameroonians ar strongly behind u haters get lost bcs yr opinion don't really count here instead they make u popular and motivated. .OYA I Don already d shake the body sef"
This comment serves as one example of the lack of interest that YouTube commenters (and many other internet bloggers) have in punctuation, capitalization, and standard spelling rules. Here's how I think that comment would be written using those standard English language practices:
"This music is the bomb. My goodness, Cameroonians are strongly behind you. Haters get lost because your opinion doesn't really count here. Instead, they [the haters?] make you popular and motivated."...

"Oya I Don already d shake the body sef" is Nigerian Pidgin. Skales' Afrobeat song "Shake Body" repeats the word "Oya shake body". Here's information about the word "oya" from Common Nigerian Words Used In Place Of English Equivalents:
"Ngwa" is the Igbo version of the Yoruba word "Oya". They are both used to hasten someone. Ngwa make we de go". Oya na let's go.
-end of quote-
Given that information, the lyrics "Oya shake body" may mean something like "Come on. Hurry up and shake your body".

temi adekola, 2017
"bomb song
nigerinas are the best"
I think that African American would say and write "This song is the bomb" and not [This is a] bomb song.

"nigerinas" is a misspelling of "Nigerians".

The term "bombed" has an entirely different meaning. "This song bombed" means that it was a big failure.

BOSS [definition "a"]
[in the context of this discussion thread], an adjective that is used to describe something that is the best in its category

PE Cornal, 2015
"Dear Nigerians,

You're music is boss , Your dancing slays life, And you have very beautiful people.

The phrase "slays life" here probably has the same meaning as the word "killin'"given below and "murdered" given in Part II of this series.

Scorpion Cool, 2017
"the music is very boss."
In this comment, "boss" has the same adjectival meaning as "the bomb" and "dope". I don't think that this is the way African Americans use the vernacular term "boss".

BOSS [definition "b"]
noun, a person who is the "head man (or woman] in charge", a person who rules others in his or her field (career, performance art)

D BS, 2016
"Skales, Tha Boss."
"Skales [is] the boss.

noun; a referent for the part of the body that African Americans also refer to as "butt", "behind" and "ass".

Claire Dreher, 2015
"shakes our bodies, and bootys, in Paris, France

Mehdi Tabit. 2015
"Nigerian Music is so dope ;) This song makes me wanna shake my booty :D"
My sense is that African Americans "booty" seldom use the word "booty" anymore. We seem to prefer the vernacular terms "butt:, "behind", and "ass" and not the word "bum" which has the same meaning. In my experience, the word "bum" (as in the sentence "Sit on your bum") is used much more by White Americans than by Black Americans.

noun; clip of the word "brother"; a referent for a male who may not be your sibling, but is a male who you acknowledge "like a brother because of shared racial and/or ethnic ancestry or just by virtue of your shared gender

bankole gome, 2014
"Nice song,no doubt about it but not too good dance choreography and visuals. I reckon that the short video of timaya' dance actually matches the song. Thumbs up bro for the sounds!

Hadish Mengisteab, 2016
"Shake body love this music very much keep going bro from Eritrea 🇪🇷

peter Laqua, 2016
"nice bro"

verb; playing [a record]; Here's a definition of bumpin that was submitted to urban dictionary:
"blaring music and getting down to it. Jaming. Rocking out. Grooving to the music. Often used in reference to people driving down the road in their cars listening to some recording artists that they really like."

by runandwin June 27, 2005

Erik Forman, 2015
"First heard this track at my daughters dance performance. I've been bumping this all day and passing it along. are getting some love and support over here in NYC!!!"
"Track" here means "record".

"NYC" means "New York City". I've also seen "nyc" in a number of YouTube discussion threads for Afrobeat music and finally figured out that the letters "nyc" don't always mean "New York City" but can be a vernacular [West African originated?] way of spelling the word "nice" (meaning "very good").

george blake, 2015
its in new york now so its a wrap, bumpin this tonight.
In the context of this comment, "It’s a wrap" means that nothing more needs to be said or done (from a producer's words to actors when a scene is performed and filmed well). My sense is that the commenter meant that if Skales song has even reached New York City, it means that it has “made it” [to the big time].

JanyllHquez, 2016
"still bumping this!!!"

[in the context of this discussion thread]
adjective; something or someone who is "hip", up to date with the latest "in" urban youth/young adult cultures; a term used to describe something that is [or someone who is] great, wonderful, awesome.

adam binta, 2014

crooks d. jango, 2014
"Cool video (but not great though), he could have out some "coupé-décalé" dansers in it, i believe it would made ot more interrestiong."
Here's information about "Coupe-decale" from
"Coupé-Décalé is a type of popular dance music originating from Côte d'Ivoire and the Ivorian diaspora in Paris, France"...
This commenter (and many others in that YouTube discussion thread) wasn't pleased with the dancing that was done in the official video for Skales' "Shake Body" song.

Eniola ade, 2014
"This video is disappointing, I was expecting more than this, but ish cool..."
"ish" is a socially correct way of writing and saying the word "sh&t" (which is only partly spelled on this blog.) Examples from this discussion thread of comments using a vernacular meaning of the word "sh&t" are included in Part II of this pancocojams series.

Benson Owusuansah, 2015
"hey guys this song b cull"
I think that "b cull" probably means "be cool" [i.e. "is cool"].

Kodjo [an email address], 2015
"cool yo he killed it man"
"Cool" here may have the meaning that is given above or may mean something like "Yeah" or Hey". The word "yo" in sentence means something like "Hey" if it has any meaning at all beyond its "hip" African American connotation.

Read the entries for "killin'" below.

Relson relson, 2016
"i love it it so cool just feel like dancing"
Do African Americans usually use qualifiers for adjectives in African American Vernacular English? Intensifiers like the word "stone" in the phrase "stone cold" and the words "big ass" in the example "big ass car" come to mind. However, I think qualifiers such as "so", "too", "very", "real" and "really" aren't usually used with AAVE adjectives.

The use of qualifiers such as "so cool" (as in the discussion thread comment that is quoted above and other such comments from that discussion thread given below) and the lyric "I'm too hot" (that is found in pop singer Bruno Mars's 2014 hit song "Uptown Funk") may mark either an incorrect use of qualifiers in African American Vernacular English or a departure from past AAVE grammar and innovations in AAVE by African Americans and/or by non-African Americans.

Relson relson, 2016
"i love it it so cool just feel like dancing"

boubacar mar gueye, 2016
"Trop cool"
"trop" = French meaning "very much"

Note that a commenter reply with what I believe is a criticism of the practice of mixing French with another language:
Shanna. Shannaa, 2016
"A oooô chui pas la seule française merciiiii mdr"

[Google translate: "A oooĂ´ chui not the only French merciiiii mdr"]

cool gamer, 2016
this is a cool song

superAweber, 2017
That's rather cool.

ohcantona10, 2017
I could have sworn I heard this song on Cool tune!

Nebyu Nebyu, 2017
"so cool music"

adjective; a term used to describe something that (or someone who) is great, wonderful, awesome

Savior Self, 2014
"Too dope"

Elizabeth Asemah, 2014
"The introduction is too dope.

Andres Rodriguez, 2014
"very dope song"
As I wrote above [after comment in the "Cool" entry], I don't think that African Americans usually use qualifiers such as "too " or "very" or "so" for words like vernacular adjectives such as "cool" or "hot" or "dope". However, these comments document that those qualifiers are used by West Africans and others who posted to that YouTube discussion thread.

oke eva, 2014
"what a sellout!! this dude was a dope rapper with fire now he sounds like every dick,jack tom and harry SHAME!"
For the folkloric record, here are two responses to this comment from that discussion thread. Note that two of those responses are given in Nigerian Pidgin English. I've included my relative interpretation in standard English for those comments using in part this online source: Babawilly's Dictionary of Pidgin English Words and Phrases. Additions and corrections are welcome.

John Bosco, 2014
O boi as he was a dope rapper hunger no nearly kill am? if tom, dick and harry na the way to chop belle full abeg Skales, continue in that path, ask Inyanya and recently Praiz.
Here's my attempt to put this in standard English: "Oh boy, and if he were a very good rapper he wouldn't have to worry about being killed by hunger? As if being like every Tom, Dick, and Harry is the way to succeed [sarcastically written]. Please, Skales, continue do do what you are doing. Ask [two Nigerian successful recording artists] Inyanya and recently Praiz."
Note that "In June 2013, an upbeat dance song was released on YouTube by Minjin titled "Coupé-Décalé" It featured Iyanya, a Nigerian artist famous for his hit single "Kukere". [from Wikipedia's "coupe-decale" link given above]

louie dana, 2014
+oke eva
"Guy, nothing like dope rapper inside this matter o! Na until hungry dey follow am drag pillow for night ur body go calm down abi? Abeg free the guy JOR! LMAOOOOO
Here's my attempt to translate that comment into standard English "Man, being a dope [awesome] rapper has nothing to do with this. It's a matter of survival. Shouldn't you calm down. Please free this guy [who wrote that statement I'm responding to as he has spoken nonsense.]
Although it's off topic, here's some information about "I beg" from
Beginner’s guide to Nigerian pidgin English:
"I beg (abeg) is a Nigerian Pidgin English term that means "Please, but usually not a repentant plea. Example – Abeg! No waste my time!; Which means Please! Don’t waste my time!"

amour zongo, 2014
"Disons que sait cool le sound"
Here's Google translates translation of this comment from French to English:
Let's say that cool the sound
Here's my translation in standard English: "Let's say that the sound is [the song is] cool."

fasika bini, 2016
"it's dope :)"

Joshua Onyango, 2017
“Onyango” is a Kenyan [Luo] surname
Also, here's a comment from that discussion thread that includes the word "doper". (That word isn't used by African Americans)

Josi Jeo El, 2014
"This video cld have been doper dan dis, he really worked hard on it but picked an inexperienced director, too many scenes to fit into a 3mins video was just a problem typical mistakes from directors who are over zealous."
"This video cld have been doper dan dis" = "This video could have been better (more "hip") than this."

verbal phrase meaning to dance really well; to show off your best moves, similar to "to break it on down" ("Breakdown!)

Cherise Yanick, 2014
"Love the song but damn it says ah yuh shake body and the were shaking slow shoulda turned it all the way up in this video uh oh!(in my haitian voice) lol I get down to this song

Lisa Avery, 2017
"I think it's interesting how even modern African music unites Nigerian parents and their children (especially if the kids are born outside of Nigeria). Like you see both adults and kids get down on the dancefloor when this song comes on during our functions.

noun; people who criticize others [i.e. "hate on others"] for no real reason

chiyere1982, 2014
"Make all of you haters go make you sing your own make we hear!!!!!!! I beg im loving this song

adjective; very exciting, very stimulating; something that (or someone who) is great, wonderful, awesome

Gabriela Veizaga, 2014
"This song is HOT, I'm hispanic (From Bolivia) dance is a universal language

Mary Stephen, 2016
"THz beats is 2 hot and I cant sit still without dancing!"

sheniqueen, 2017
"Too Hot"
The apparent popularity of the phrase "too hot" can be labeled "the Bruno Mars effect" as that phrase is repeated in his popular 2014 Pop/Funk song "Uptown Funk".

"Too hot" is a very strong compliment and not a complaint about the weather or otherwise.

Shella Stella Khalista, 2017
"Wow, the music is Hot. Love this from Atlanta Georgia!!!!!"

FIRE [definition "a"]
an exclamation indicating that something [or, less often someone] is "hot" [in the African American slang meaning of the word as given in the entry below], something (or someone) is very exciting, really stimulating; Note other AAVE "hot" words that also have the same meanings such as "smokin", "the bomb", and [the now largely retired slang expression "Dynamite!"

Ayodeji Marquis, 2014
This beat is "fire" !!!!

TdotJohn, 2014
"toronto sending love sh&ts* fire"
*This word is fully spelled out in this comment. The word love probably marks the end of one sentence and "sh&ts" the beginning of the next sentence.

Additional comments from that Skales' "Shake Body" discussion thread that include the word "sh&t" are given in Part II of this pancocojams series.

DJ Trinivibes, 2015
"this tune is FIRE!!!! even would make the dead get up and DANCE. blessings from DJ TRINIVIBES"

FIRE [definition "b"]
noun; meaning energy, intensity, passion [in a pure, non-sexual sense]

Read the comment written by oke eva, 2014 in the entry for "dope" for an example of this usage.

Additional comments that include the word "fire" are given in comments that are featured in Part II of this pancocojams series.

adverb; an intensifier that is formed by clipping the phrase "a hell of a lot of"; used to mean "very"

Ghizlane Z, 2016
"lol the beat is so north African. I hear this beat at Moroccan weddings often, but this is more sped up and more autotune to it. STILL HELLA NICE THO
For the folkloric record, here's one reply to that comment:
JoStylin, 2015
"+Ghizlane ZThe instrument you are hearing is called the Goje and is only found in West Africa. The reason why you think its North African is because of the Tuareg tribe and Gnawa people who have transported traditional West African music to North Africa, particularly Morocco"

noun; song, [music] recording, music instrumental composition

noun; song, record; ("Jam" also may be used as a verb: to play music, to enjoy playing or listening to music and dancing to that music)

Bryan i Braimah, 2014
This jam is a hit, We are jamming to it in San Francisco. Everyone loves it.
I think that the word "jamming" [which in the context of the above comment means enjoying music and/or dancing] is of Caribbean (probably Jamaican) origin.

African Barbie, 2015
"My workout jam I love it

Cece Christian, 2016
"my favorite zumba jam

Victor Aganoke, 2016
If you no shake body to this jam, your spirit go help you shake the body.

Darlene X, 2016
this is the jam!!!!!! Love it
"This is my jam" means that the song is your favorite or one of your favorites.

I believe "jamming" is of Jamaican origin and not African American origin. As such, this compilation doesn't purposely include any examples of "jamming" from that discussion thread.

Emmanuella Niamke, 2017
"i beg that moment where you going to the bathroom and the dj decides to play this jam .i even forgot about bathroom #Nigerians you guys rock I love your music can't help but dance well done

noun; an unquestionable winner; something that kills (vanquishes) any other competition; Read the definition of "killin'" below.

Frank Lafavela, 2014
"''them wan hold me 4 randsom cuz im #young n im #rich and im #handsome'' #OYASHAKEBODY this beat is a killa
bigup 4rm Kamerun!
Them wan hold me for ransom cause I'm young, rich, and handsome" and "oya shake body" are the most quoted lyrics from Skales' "Shake Body" song.

"Big up" is a widely used Jamaican phrase on Afrobeat music video's discussion threads. It doesn't appear to be used that often by African Americans. Click for the pancocojams post "The Term "Big Up" In The YouTube Discussion Thread For The South African Music Video "Xigubu" by DJ Ganyani ft FB (Fiesta Black)."

"Kamerun" is a contemporary colloquial spelling for the nation of Cameroon, West Africa.

verb; doing something very well; without question vanquishing any competitor; Other AAVE words with the same meaning are "murdered" and "slaughtered". Read those entries in Part II of this series.

Abraham Aklilu, 2016
NAIJA boys "killing" it!
"Naija" is a contemporary informal term for "Nigeria".

JuiceHarris, 2016
"Just was in Jamaica and they're killin this song! That's how I discovered it. Love it!!"
"Killin" here means that they are really loving this song [more than any other song.]

Yonis Ahmed, 2017
"lam a young a rich and awesome damn he killed l like that papa."
"Papa" here is a term of respect for another man.

In contrast, when a man calls another man "son", it might be an insult.

Dat Bih, 2017
lmaooo chris brown was killing this song in ny
Chris Brown is a contemporary Hip Hop star who is widely noted for his dancing skills.

Another commenter on that Skales "Shake Body" discussion thread wrote:
Oldies, 2016
Oh My God!!! This song is a pain killer.
-end of quote-
This isn’t the original African American vernacular meaning of the word “killin' ["killing"]

Click "African American Vernacular English: What "Killing It" Means & How It Got Those Slang Meanings" for one of pancocojams' posts on the AAVE term "killin'.

This concludes Part I of this series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chuck Berry - "Roll Over Beethoven" (Lyrics, Three YouTube Videos, & Comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about Rock & Roll (Rhythm & Blues) musician, singer, and songwriter Chuck Berry and showcases Chuck Berry's classic 1956 song "Roll Over Beethoven".

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Chuck Berry for his musical legacy. Rest in Peace.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these YouTube videos.

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.[1]...

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance."[5] Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine's "greatest of all time" lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[6] The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry's: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music".[7] Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.[8]"...

"Roll Over Beethoven" is a 1956 hit single written by Chuck Berry, originally released on Chess Records, with "Drifting Heart" as the B-side. The lyrics of the song mention rock and roll and the desire for rhythm and blues to replace classical music. The title of the song is an imperative directed at the composer Ludwig van Beethoven to roll over in his grave in reaction to the new genre of music that Berry was promoting. The song has been covered by many other artists, including the Beatles and the Electric Light Orchestra. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 97 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[2]

Inspiration and lyrics
According to Rolling Stone[3] and Cub Koda of Allmusic,[4] Berry wrote the song in response to his sister Lucy always using the family piano to play classical music when Berry wanted to play popular music. The lyric "roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news" refers to how classical composers would roll over in their graves upon hearing that classical music had given way to rock and roll.

In addition to the classical composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the lyrics mention or allude to several popular artists: "Early in the Mornin'" is the title of a Louis Jordan song; "Blue Suede Shoes" refers to the Carl Perkins song; and "hey diddle diddle", from the nursery rhyme "The Cat and the Fiddle", is an indirect reference to the Chess recording artist Bo Diddley, who was an accomplished violin player. Although the lyrics mention rocking and rolling, the music that the classics are supposed to step aside for is referred to as rhythm and blues. The lyric "a shot of rhythm and blues" was appropriated as the title of a song recorded by Arthur Alexander and others.

The lyric about a "rhythm revue" refers to old-style R&B shows, in which numerous artists appeared on one bill in front of a big band."...

(Chuck Berry)

I'm gonna write a little letter,
gonna mail it to my local DJ
It's a rockin' rhythm record
I want my jockey to play
Roll Over Beethoven, I gotta hear it again today

You know, my temperature's risin'
and the jukebox blows a fuse
My heart's beatin' rhythm
and my soul keeps on singin' the blues
Roll Over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news

I got the rockin' pneumonia,
I need a shot of rhythm and blues
I think I'm rollin' arthritis
sittin' down by the rhythm review
Roll Over Beethoven rockin' in two by two

Well, if you feel you like it
go get your lover, then reel and rock it
Roll it over and move on up just
a trifle further and reel and rock it,
roll it over,
Roll Over Beethoven rockin' in two by two

Well, early in the mornin' I'm a givin' you a warnin'
don't you step on my blue suede shoes
Hey diddle diddle, I am playin' my fiddle,
ain't got nothin' to lose
Roll Over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news

You know she wiggles like a glow worm,
dance like a spinnin' top
She got a crazy partner,
oughta see 'em reel and rock
Long as she got a dime the music will never stop

Roll Over Beethoven,
Roll Over Beethoven,
Roll Over Beethoven,
Roll Over Beethoven,
Roll Over Beethoven and dig these rhythm and blues


Example #1: Chuck Berry - Roll over Beethoven 1972 live

fritz5173, Uploaded on Jan 17, 2008

Chuck Berry - Roll over Beethoven 1972 live
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
deweypug, 2013
"Chuck blows into town with just his guitar, hires some amateur musicians and rocks the house... amazing."

MultiScooped, 2013
"I thought he was crazy when he toured without his own band... but when he's doing the guitar, it doesn't even matter, it's just that good!"

John A, 2013
"Here is an ultimate tribute to Chuck, the Beatles opened their 1st ever concert in the USA with this song..."

William Willberforce, 2016
"he invented the sound that so many copied and still copy."

scouserla1, 2016
"Correct. The Stones were truly influenced by Chuck. Jagger and Richards don't have a problem admitting it either. Elvis was never the king of rock n roll, this fella was. End of"

Wylie Miller, 2016
"Mos Def" would have to play young Chuck Berry! "

Dolfin3sque - Music Artist, 2016
"+Wylie Miller lol he already has, havnt you seen the film about chess records called cadillac records, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James, Mos Def as Chuck Berry"

Nam Yarasree, 2017
" "If Rock n'roll had a name, it could be called Chuck Berry" J. Lennon.
R.I.P., Chuck Berry🌺"

Hudrun Hilde, 2017
"now he sings and swings and rocks with the angels....R.I.P. <3 ...we will never forget CHUCK BERRY!!!!" **** Example #2: Roll Over Beethoven (live) - Chuck Berry

LaforcedePoupouille, Uploaded on Oct 22, 2010

Roll Over Beethoven est une chanson Ă©crite en 1956 par Chuck Berry. Ce single, rapidement devenu un hit, est notoirement un des premiers enregistrements de rock 'n' roll.
Le titre de la chanson est une référence au compositeur de musique classique Ludwig van Beethoven et à l'arrivée massive du rock 'n' roll sur les ondes radios, qui bousculent les mœurs de l'époque.
L'introduction, reste incontournable, pour tous les guitaristes.

Google translate from French to English
Roll Over Beethoven is a song written in 1956 by Chuck Berry. This single, quickly become a hit, is notoriously one of the earliest recordings of rock 'n' roll.
The title of the song is a reference to the composer of classical music Ludwig van Beethoven and the massive arrival of rock 'n' roll on radio waves, which shake the manners of the time.
The introduction, remains unavoidable, for all guitarists.
Several commenters guessed that this performance was from a concert in the 1960s, probably in Europe.

Here are some selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Eleanor Howard, 2016
"It's Tchaikowsky -- composer of Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, 1812 Overture, many other classical masterworks. The first time I heard this clever & rockin' gem I was gassed by the very idea of the lyrics. Berry was a genius."

Esmeralda's Life Fandango, 2016
"How I love this guy's music. I remember back in the day when each of his new records came out. (Yes, I am an old broad!) I would skip lunches so I could use my lunch money to buy his newest 45. It cost 52 cents, tax included. The music shop was right across the street from my grade school. I would buy the records and rush right home to play them over and over. Chuck Berry and Little Richard were kings of rock and roll! Still are, in my opinion."

dlebret, 2017
"What a precious time that must have been."

Esmeralda's Life Fandango, 2017
"It was, indeed, dlebret. Of course, when you are about ten years old, what isn't to like? But I feel privileged to have been around to enjoy the start of rock and roll and so many careers of rock giants."

Example #3: Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry LIVE

Rabih Amhaz Published on Jul 28, 2012

Chuck Berry performing in a French TV show Live*

AMAZING Performance ! One of 500 Greatest song of all time !
* Several commenters corrected the description in this summary. This performance was actually in Belguim (1965). Here's one of those comments:
countryclassic100, 2014
"1965 - Belgium TV(RTB) with Willy Albimoor(piano) , Willy Donni(guitar), Ed Rogers(bass)"
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread
Jacqui Stephenson
"memories of a music lesson at school when our teacher asked us to bring something classical in .one of the lads brought this in !the teachers face was a picture .RIP CHUCK BERRY .KEEP ON ROCKING IN HEAVEN ."

Nickygino 1964
"Thank you Chuck for the tremendous and powerful legacy of Rock & Roll music you single handedly invented and left the world with. So many picked up a guitar and tried to copy what you did and became rock stars in their own right.Your songs are legendary and surpass generations. What would the world have been with out Chuck Berry? You are the roots, you are the true beginning,You are the true pioneer, you are the man that put it all together. I thank GOD that i had the chance to see you in concert several times over the years and LOVED every minute of it.Words couldn't describe seeing a true living legend perform.What would a Wurlitzer jukebox be without a couple of Chuck Berry records (remember those?) spinning in it??............Maybelline, Johnny B. Good, Roll over Beethoven, Rock & Roll music, School Days,..........TRUE ROCK & ROLL.........May GOD rest your soul Chuck and I THANK YOU for all the great music and truly the wonderful legacy you left us with and all the memories your songs brought! Rock on in heaven Chuck..........RIP............"

"Wow- Chuck Berry died! Thoughts: Elvis was a vocal genius who synthesized country, gospel, Western, blues into unique vocal performances of songs written by others. You could say Chuck Berry had a narrow range compared to Elvis and total respect to Elvis, but Chuck Berry still stands above and beyond Elvis for two main reasons: 1. Chuck wrote at least 30 hits- 2:45 rock and roll singles- which defined the form for the next 30 years. 2. Chuck Berry's guitar playing sound and style influenced a two generations of rock guitar players. Whenever I hear Roll Over Beethoven it sounds as fresh today as it did 60 years ago. I honestly can't say that about Elvis records- they sound dated- except the Sun Sessions. Thanks for reading."

Thomas Lang
"Decades ahead of it's time. Truth people were doing this in the 40's. Rock "n Roll was actually called black music and the general public was told not to listen to it. This was one of those "break" the barrier moments. The Beatles, the Stones, etc...guess what, this is where it came from. I'm still amazed at how some people deny it...."

Ryan Silver
"i wish i had the confidence of black men who were successful at this time. imagine the self esteem you must need to do your thing when most of the country hates you"

From Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven (1956)
King Bee, 2014
"If you'll notice, Chuck starts off so fast on the guitar riff that it catches Johnnie Johnson (piano) and Willie Dixon (bass) by surprise for a bit! However, they lock in by the end of the riff. With the still-uncredited trumpeter and violin, tenor sax L.C. Davis (later James Brown's first bandleader) and the solid beat of drummer Fred Below, Chuck hits the first verse dead on."

Robert Moyse, 2014
"If you look at the early days of rock and roll, many songs were composed by black people and performed by white people, for example Shake Rattle and Roll (Turner/Haley), and Sh-Boom (Chords/Crew-Cuts). Music, as with much of society at the time, was heavily segregated, if you want to know more, research the controversy on Ray Charles' What'd I Say."

Jennifur Sun, 2014
"sadly this was true one reason is because back in that time period Black music wasn't allowed in the home. i wish i could say i'm sorry to a lot of those people about how they were treated, it's too late and probably a lot of them wouldn't care. glad music has changed in that respect"

King Bee, 2014
"+Robert Moyse Here's an interesting fact...way back in 1951, the owners of WLOU-AM Louisville, then a struggling AM daytimer, divided their programming day roughly into thirds to get the ratings up. It was 1/3 each of standards, C&W, and for Louisville's large "Negro" community, R&B....standards didn't improve things, C&W rose ratings 36%...and the R&B programming upped ratings 228% over previous periods, with C.E. Hooper Ratings (now Nielsen Audio to you youngsters) saying that 1/4 of the rise was wiithin White radio households! WLOU re-tooled and became one of the USA's first five full-time R&B stations October 21, 1951. (The same weekend CBS-TV introduced The Eye logo, BTW.) "

WarpRulez, 2016
"Is it just my imagination, or does the beginning sound an awful lot like Johnny B. Goode?"

Franco, 2016
"Johnny B. Goode - Roll Over Beethoven - Let it Rock! - Dear Dad - Fun, Fun, Fun - Carol - Little Queenie - Back in the Usa...Etc"

Benny Biggums, 2016
"Most Chucky Berry Songs use the same guitar rift, just slightly different."

wifey, 2017
"It's the exact same arpeggio for the opening of the riff but changes it up a bit after that. Roll over beevtoven is in Eb and johnny b good is in Bb both 12 bar boogie woogie blues."

Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling (1972)
David James, 2016
"Here's something to think about. This song, My Ding a Ling, was Chuck Berry's only #1 hit song and it didn't happen until 1972, well past Chuck's prime song era of the late 50s. Chuck has often been referred to as the Father of Rock and Roll, and for good reason. His compositions are rock classics. Songs like Johnny B. Good, Roll Over Beethoven, No Particular Place to Go and Memphis, plus dozens more, made him a rock legend. So, why didn't any of those songs hit #1? Very simple. Racism. There were literally hundreds of radio stations in the 50s, especially in the South, that were owned by white individuals or corporations who refused to play what they considered "race" music. Some performers, like Pat Boone, stepped in and made vanilla cover versions of Chuck's classics. This divided the audience and prevented Chuck Berry from getting the #1 hits he deserved, and rightfully so. To me, Chuck was denied his rightful place on the Billboard Top 40 Charts, but he'll always be the Father of Rock and Roll."

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Connections Between The British, Caribbean, & United States Children's Games "What Time Is It Mr. Wolf?", "I'm Going Downtown To Smoke My Pipe", "Children Children" etc.

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post documents what I believe to be connections between several children's recreational games from Britain, the United States, and the Caribbean that involve role playing with ritualized speaking parts, and are (usually) followed by chasing.

My position is that these recreational games - which include the titles "Witch In The Well", "Chicka Ma Chicka Ma Crany Crow", "What Time Is It Mr. Wolf", "I'm Going Downtown To Smoke My Pipe", and "Children Children" among others - all have their primary source in specific British recreational games.

Particular attention is given in this post to several examples of this sub-set of recreational games that are known as "I'm Going Downtown To Smoke My Pipe" (in the United States). "What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf" (in Great Britain & in the United States), and "Children, Children" (in the Caribbean & in the United States*).

*Although I've collected an example of "Children Children" from African Americans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my guess is the teacher who shared that rhyme with her students learned it from relatives or other people from the Caribbean.

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, cultural, and recreational purposes.

I include comments from other online sources in part to help ensure that that information is retained and disseminated. I encourage pancocojams visitor to visit those linked articles/blogs to read their entire content.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

Notice the similarities between the textual structure and words of the following examples. Also, when these chants have accompanying performance activities, notice the similarities between those activities.

These excepts are numbered for referencing purposes only.
Excerpt #1:

Subject: BS: 'I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe,
From: dulcimer42
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM

"We played a game in our neighborhood which began with a rhyme: I'm going' down town to smoke my pipe. I won't be back till broad daylight. If you let one of my children go, I'll spank you with my rubber shoe". Just happened to recall it.... it was in Michigan, probably around 1950. Anyone recall anything like this? I don't recall the details of it. We neighborhood kids played it out in the yard..."

Subject: RE: 'I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe,
From: GUEST,FransDotir
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 10:01 PM

"We also played this game in Detroit in the 1940s, but before the internet I could never find anyone outside my old neighborhood who had heard of it. About 12 or 13 years ago I joined a storytelling listserve and we had a discussion about the game. A query produced versions from all over the country. Someone mentioned that a part of the game resembled the children's book, Heckedy Peg by Audrey and Don Wood. Someone else suggested Games and Songs of American Children by William Wells Newell, an anthropological account of children's games first published in 1893 and reprinted by Dover Press. Newell lists the game as a version of "The Old Witch" and traces it back to 17th century Europe. Heckedy Peg is a beautifully illustrated story based on one version of the game - well worth looking at.

I now tell kids about the game we played growing up and then tell them the story of Heckedy Peg. They love it!"

Subject: RE: 'I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe,
From: GUEST,FransDotir
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 10:09 PM

"Saturday, April 6, 1996 5:50 pm (To the Storytell Listserve)

How delightful to find someone else who grew up playing my favorite game.
For you and anyone else who's interested, here's the rest of
what I remember about it.

It took at least 5 or 6 kids to play and mostly it was a game that girls
liked, though occasionally we could get a younger boy to participate if
there wasn't anybody to play catch with.

We usually played it at our house, a late 1930s brick bungalow
with a low cement front porch. We lived on the corner, which gave us plenty
of sidewalk. One of the older kids - nine or ten - would be the mother and
another would be the witch. Those two roles had a lot of ritualized speaking
parts which the little kids couldn't always remember. Before the game began
the witch would choose a category of food, such as "pies" and then she'd go
up on the porch and wait for the counting out ritual to proceed.

The rest of the children would sit on the step at the end of the walk and the
mother would count them out, chanting the refrain we've mentioned before:

I'm going downtown to smoke my pipe
And I won't be back 'til Saturday night.
I'll whip you black and I'll whip you blue,
Especially you, my daughter Sue.

As soon as she had pointed to "Sue", the mother would casually saunter around
the corner walk making a big show of smoking an imaginary pipe, while the
witch would come down and take "Sue" up on the porch, meanwhile whispering to
her the name of a particular pie (blueberry, apple, lemon, etc.) which "Sue"
was supposed to remember for the second part of the game.

When the mother returned from her stroll around the corner, she would ask,
"Where's daughter Sue?" The other children would reply in unison that the
witch had come to get her. Then the mother would repeat the rhyme and count
out another "daughter Sue". This part of the game continued until all the
children were up on the porch.

When the mother returned to find all the children gone, she'd make a great
fuss, lamenting loudly for her lost children. Eventually, she would go up to
the porch and pretend to knock on the witch's front door. Another ritual
dialogue would ensue:

Mother: Have you seen my children?
Witch: Yes, they were here, and I gave them a piece of bread and butter and
sent them down to Slippery street.

The mother would thank the witch, then walk out to the front sidewalk and
pretend she was on Slippery street, slipping and and sliding all over the
sidewalk. This part of the game would be repeated several times with the
mother returning to the witch to report, "I went down to Slippery street but
they weren't there." The witch replied, "They came back and I gave them
another slide of bread and butter and sent them down to Noisy street."

When the mother had looked for her children on Noisy street, Prickly street
and any other street the witch could think of to have her act out the name
of, the game would move into a new phase, another and rather bizarre dialogue
between the mother and witch.

Mother: May I come in?
Witch: No, your shoes are dirty.
Mother: I'll take off my shoes.
Witch: Your feet 'll stink. (to great hiliarity of the group)
Mother: I'll cut off my feet.
Witch: No, you'll get blood all over my beautiful carpet.
Mother: I'll put on golden slippers.
Witch: (giving in reluctantly) All right, you can come in.

Meanwhile, the children stood in a row on the porch with their hands
stretched out, palms up. The mother would pretend to look around the room
curiously and eventually let her eyes fall on the children. "Oh, what a
beautiful piano!" she would say , then go over and pretend to be playing the
outstretched hands of the children. When she touched their hands, the
children would respond, "Mama, Mama!" The mother would turn to the witch
and say, "That sounds like the voices of my children?"
However, the witch would deny it and the mother would not press the issue.
Eventually, ( and I may have forgotten some detail here), the mother would
invite herself to dinner, overcoming any of the witch's objections.

That's when the game would move out onto the sidewalk again and turn into
what Bronner calls "Pies." The mother would stand behind a designated line
with the children and begin to guess the names of pies or whatever category
of food the witch was seving [sic] for dinner. When she called out a particular
pie, say "Lemon," whichever child had been given that name would race the
mother to the big elm tree next to the street. This part of the game went on
until each child had raced the mother to the tree and the game was over - a
sort of anti-climax.

We kept ourselves busy for 45 minutes to an hour with this game and I found
it very satisfying with its elements of storytelling, slapstick and role
playing. Other games we played were Hide and Seek (of course), Tag, Giant
Steps or Mother, May I? and a game called Whale, which involved jumping off
the porch. I thought that one was dumb, but my sister, two years younger,
liked it."

Subject: RE: kids' game: I'm goin' down town to smoke my p
From: GUEST,Emily
Date: 06 May 09 - 09:19 AM

"I played this game, we called it Witchypoo, in Washington, MI in the 1970's. I learned it from Guest.Flora (Hi Mom!).

The beginning of our game went:

I am going downtown to smoke my pipe.
I won't be back til broad daylight.
Whatever you do - DON'T GO UPSTAIRS!
or I'll spank you black, I'll spank you blue.
especially you my daughter Sue.

When the mother came back the dialog was:

Mom: Where's sister Sue?
Kids: She went upstairs.
Mom: How'd she get there?
Kids: Climbed on a chair.
Mom: What if she falls?
Kids: We don't care."

The rest of the game proceed as in FransDotir's version."

Subject: RE: kids' game: I'm goin' down town to smoke my p
From: Azizi
Date: 06 May 09 - 10:42 AM


Children, Children.

Yes, Teacher.

Where have you been?

To Grandmom's *

What did she give you?

Bread and cheese.

Where's my share?

Up in the air.

How can I reach it?

Stand on the chair.

Suppose I fall?

We don't care.

Ha, Ha, Ha.

Class is dismissed.

London Bridge is falling down, {This part is sung to that familiar tune}
Falling down falling down,
London Bridge is falling down.

Back to Detention. (this part returns to the spoken voice)
-Jackie (Black female, 13 years old); Daynail (Black female, 10 years old) , Marlon, (Black male, 8 years old ); 1998, collected by Azizi Powell, 1998, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

*The word "house" was understood in the phrase "to Grandmom's"
By the way the children recited this, you could tell that the children in the "story" were being smart alecky toward the teacher.

[I rewrote this background-with minor changes- in March 18, 2017 although I've retained the date references. In the Mudcat post this was given after the example of this game that I found in Grace Hallworth's book.]

As background, I heard the words to "Children Children" when I was driving the siblings Jackie, Daynall, and Marlon home from an Alafia [ah LAH-fee-ah] game song session* that I facilitated in a nearby town. During that 30 minute or so drive, I asked them to share with me some rhymes that they knew. Jackie started reciting "Children Children" first and then her other siblings joined in. They recited this chant in unison and not in call and response although there are clearly parts for a teacher and parts for the children/students.

I asked the children how they learned this rhyme. Jackie said she learned it from a teacher, Ms. Callis who had recited it during a bus ride during a school field trip. Jackie then taught it to her sister and brother.

Ms Callis is a Black female teacher in her mid to late 30s who taught at the same elementary school where my daughter teaches. I had met Ms Callis several times before and my daughter gave her the message that I was interested in collecting children's rhymes and hoped that she would recite that rhyme for me. Ms Callis agreed to do so one afternoon when I met my daughter after class.

Her recitation has a slightly faster tempo than the one that the siblings chanted, and she didn't sing the "London Bridge Is Falling Down" part at the end. However, that might have been because was faster and her speaking and not singing that part was because she had work to do after class or she might have been embarrassed to recite this rhyme for me. I asked Ms Callis where she had learned it, and she said she learned it when she was a child.* In response to my question, Ms. Callis said she didn't remember anyone ever doing any movements to this rhyme. Jackie, Daynail, and Marlon also indicated that they did no movements done while reciting this rhyme.
[Added on March 18, 2017] I didn't ask Ms. Callis whether she had any Caribbean ancestry, and unfortunately my daughter and I have lost touch with her. However, it wouldn't surprise me that she has Caribbean ancestry and that is how she learned "Children Children".

*Alafia Children's Ensemble was the name of an after school game song group that I founded and facilitated (with my daughter and other staff) in Braddock, Pennsylvania and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1998 to 2004. Girls were ages 5-12 years and boys were ages 5-7 years [although older boys were welcome]. The group's performance repertoire consisted of traditional and adapted (by me) African American singing games and contemporary cheers. A beginning djembe (drum) class was also a component of Alafia's Braddock "chapter". Most of the older boys who participated in the Alafia were in that sub-set of that program.
-end of addition-


Children, children
Yes, Mama.

Where yo' been to?

What she give yo'?
Two apples.

Where yo' put them?
On the shelf.

How will yo' get them?
Stand on a chair.
-Grace Hallworth; Down By The River: Afro-Caribbean rhymes, games, and songs for children (Scholastic, 1996)


Different fonts were given in the book for the lines as shown above. This indicates to me that these lines were recited in a call and response manner. Hallworth writes "As the "children" answer "Mama" they creep closer and closer to her until finally "Mama" turns and chases them."


In my opinion, "Children Children" is an example of a rhyme that has become separated from its movement activity. The text and performance activity (chasing) of "We Don't Care" is very much like a portion of the Witchypoo game that Emily shared with us from Washington, MI in the 1970's."

Subject: RE: kids' game: I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 06:41 AM

"The version of this game that Azizi posted on 26 Apr 08 - 07:40 PM is similar to one we used to play in london (England) in the early 50s.

Whats the time Mr Wolf?
The players follow the wolf around asking the time, and the wolf would give arbitrary replies until she shouted DINNER TIME and chased everyone. if one was caught before touching 'home' they were the next wolf.
We played this at Junior school ( up to age 11) and the first year or two at secondary school.
It was simpler than the 'Smoke my pipe game', but had the same elements of chanting question and answer, a mini-drama, then a chase."

Excerpt #2:
Folk-Games of Jamaica





[page] 8
"The wake or "set up" for the dead is probably the most strictly popular of ajl [sic] Jamaican festivities and the one most closely approaching old African customs. On the third night after death — some say on the third to remain until the ninth night — the spirit of the dead is believed to return at night "to visit his relatives and associates and overlook all his possessions. " For this reason, the friends must gather on this night — the third in some districts, the ninth in others — and indulge in all sorts of sports supposed to interest the ghost and prevent him from harm- ing anyone until day dawns. 7 Such a festivity is called "Bakin- ny," or "Back in i' " as I take to be the meaning with reference

Folk Games of Jamaica [page] 9

to the driving of the ghost back to the grave. A bonfire is built outside the house, around which the men and boys gather in a circle while the women sit by to watch the sport. Among the games most commonly played are the stone-pounding and stone- passing games, and such song-games as "Going through the
rocky road," "Thread the needle/' and "Hill and gully riding." Games of wit with words are also popular at such times. Only a few specimens of the innumerable games, songs and dances improvised for such an occasion are represented in this collection."


15. Children, children. 19


All the "children" line up before "mama." At the end, all run
and "mama" tries to catch and beat them.

Children! children!

Yes, mama.
Where have you been to?

What have she given you ?

Bread and cheese.
Where's my share?

Up in the air.
How shall I reach it?

Climb on a broken chair.
Suppose I fall?

I don't care.
Who learn you such manners?

Who is the dog?

You, mama.

19 See "Old Mother Tipsy-toe," Newell 143; "Old W T itch," 217; "Mother, Mother, the Pot Boils Over," Gomme I, 396, dialogue, 398; "Mother, Mother, may I go out to play," Courtney, Cornish Folk-lore, Folk-lore Journal 5, 55."...
"Claremont" is a parish in Jamaica.

Excerpt #3
From [Jamaican children's ring games]

Anonymous, October 13, 2014
"Mama-Lashy!...not really a ring game...but a game children use to play generally started out with these lines...

A:Children! Children!
B: Yes mama
A: where have you been to
B:To granpapa
A:what did he give you
B:bun and cheese
A: so where's my share
B:up in the air
A:how can I reach it?
B:climb on a broken chair
A:suppose I fall
B:we don't care
A:who teach you that manners?
B:the dog
A:and who is the dog
B: yuh!!

At this point children (part-B) would start running and mama (part-A) would start chasing them."

RELATED LINK Congotay Children's Game (words, play instructions, and comments)

Here's an excerpt from that 2014 pancocojams post:

Several children's chasing games involve children in the role of "chickens" being protected by their mother from attackers. Among those games are "Bull Inna Penn" (original source location: Jamaica), “Chicamy" (original source location: The United Kingdom); and "Chicka Ma Chicka Ma Craney Crow" (African American version of "Chicamy", given as "Hawk and Chickens" in Thomas W. Talley's 1922 book Negro Folk Rhymes: Wise and Otherwise.

Other closely related children's chasing games in the United States are "What's the time, Mr. Wolf", "What time is it Mrs. Witch", "What's The Time, Mr Fox", and "I'm going downtown to smoke my pipe".

To serve as an example, here is a description of "Bull Inna Penn" from Xavier Murphy; "Games played by children in Jamaica", Published May 1, 2002, retrieved October 29, 2010:
"[Bull Inna Penn] is a tense, rough and super exciting game, much loved by every child (and adults) in Jamaica.

This game is basically a story of a mother hen and her chicken, a bull in the pen and a hawk.

The mother hen is protecting her brood who are tightly lined up behind her, each little chick clutching tightly onto each other and in step with every move that mother hen does.

The Bull is standing a couple feet in front of mother hen, taunting and jeering, making noise, and trying everything to reach behind Mother Hen to grab one of her precious chicks. The game has a song and little play..."

Do you know these games or any similar games? If so, please share them in the comment section below.

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Derek Walcott.- "A Far Cry From Africa" & "Love After Love" (poems)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about St. Lucian (Caribbean) poet, essayist, and playwright Derek Walcott.

Two of Derek Walcott's poems "A Far Cry From Africa" and "Love After Love" are showcased in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owner.

Thanks to Derek Walcott for his life's legacy. Rest in Peace.

Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

"Sir Derek Alton Walcott, KCSL OBE OCC (23 January 1930 – 17 March 2017) was a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.[1] He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013. His works include the Homeric epic poem Omeros (1990), which many critics view "as Walcott's major achievement."[2] In addition to winning the Nobel Prize, Walcott received many literary awards over the course of his career, including an Obie Award in 1971 for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen's Medal for Poetry, the inaugural OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature,[3] the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry White Egrets[4] and the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry Lifetime Recognition Award in 2015."...

...."About his work, the poet Joseph Brodsky said, “For almost forty years his throbbing and relentless lines kept arriving in the English language like tidal waves, coagulating into an archipelago of poems without which the map of modern literature would effectively match wallpaper. He gives us more than himself or ‘a world’; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language.”

Walcott’s honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Montale Prize, a Royal Society of Literature Award, and, in 1988, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry. In 1992, Walcott became the first Caribbean writer to receive the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, and in 2015, he received the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters."

SHOWCASE VIDEO: A Far Cry from Africa

Mark Richardson, Published on Oct 6, 2013

Derek Walcott reading his amazing poem A Far Cry from Africa. I found his audio recording on an old PC I have.... I claim no copyright to anything. I made this out of respect to Mr. Walcott. How can any of us turn from Africa and live?

(Derek Walcott, 1930 - 2017)

"A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
“Waste no compassion on these separate dead!”
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?

Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilization’s dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.

Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?

I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?"

“A Far Cry from Africa” from Selected Poems by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 2007 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.


SHOWCASE VIDEO: Derek Walcott e Davide Rondoni leggono Love after love (D. Walcott)

CameraOffstudio, Published on May 3, 2012

Lettura poetica "Love after love" in occasione dell'assegnazione del Premio Montale 2012 a Derek Walcott

(Derek Walcott)

"The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life."


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