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> Issue 18 > Page 5 - A Visit with Mary and Clarence Lashley

Page 5 - A Visit with Mary and Clarence Lashley

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1 (919 reads)
 

friend bringing the next, have a good time. Mary: It was really a good life. All the years I had there I don't regret one. With the neighbours, with the law, with every? body you know • and Clarence, he could sing and dance like I don't know what. (Did you sing songs from the Barbados?) Clarence: Oh yes. "Sly Mongoose" • ever hear tell of that? Sly mongoose. Sly enough but the dog knows your ways. Sly mongoose. Sly enough but the cat is on your track The mongoose went in the Mrs.' kitchen. Took up two of her fattest chickens. Passed them into his vestcoat pocket. Sly mongoose You look to me like a mile and a quarter. You look to me like you require some water. You look to me like your blood's out of or? der. Drink bush tea Drink bush tea, drink-y bush tea. Sure to do you good. Drink bush tea, oh my belly, drink bush tea The mongoose went to the Mrs.' kitchen. And he took up two of her fattest chickens, Passed them into his vestcoat pocket. Sly mongoose. The mongoose kills snakes. They're in Barbados. They used to take them from Bar? bados and carry them to Trinidad and Dem? erara and different places to kill snaJces. I caught them myself and sold them. Ten cents apiece. Back home, everybody was so lively. Every? body used to sing and dance and we had a good time. And in lk Yard, Waterford, we'd dance to those songs many a time. That's calypso. We'd dance probably every other night, for God's sake. Dance in the houses, dance in the street, dance in every open spot you'd get. Millie gone to Brazil, Oho, poor Millie. Millie gone to Brazil, Oh, poor Millie With a wire wrapped round her waist And a razor cut up her face, A big rock to keep her down, boy. But Millie belongs to me. You know what happened? A fellow killed a woman and he carried her to the sea and put a rock on her to sink her. He said Millie gone to Brazil, but no, he killed her. This song came up after that. They are strange songs to what you hear, because they orig? inated in Barbados. This one's a fisher? man's song. A magistrate, he had this case. A barber is a fish. He asked this person to sing this song • and after every line the magistrate would sing, "14 days." Mrs. see the barber • lk days If the grocer want him • 1' days If the boiler want him • lk days Take him up and give me • lk days Offer Mary dinner • 14 days I want my barber • 14 days My big blue barber • lk days I caught him in the harbour • lk days If you also wauit him • 14 days If you two want him • 14 days In the boiler want him • lk days Take him off and give me~l4 days Offer Mary dinner • 14 days (Did your mother sing songs?) No. She used to sing hymns. She was a very religious per? son. If you tried to sing a song in the house she'd chase you out. And my grand? mother was the same. She was too much a Christian-minded person for any of that rough stuff. She'd sing like this: Oh, come let"us hark unto the Lord/ let us hark and rejoice in the strength of his salvation/ let us stand before his presence with thanksgiving/and show our? selves joyful and be glad/ for he's the Lord, he is God/ and we are the people who pasture the sheep of his hand/ when your father tempted me/ proved me and saw my works/ 40 days were we living in misery and sin/ from the heart, for they hath not known my ways/ and whom I swear in My wrath/ should not enter into my breast/ glory be to the Father and to the Son/ and to the Holy Ghost/ as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be/ world without end/ Amen. Mary: He couldn't play any instrument. Cape Breton*s Magazine/5
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