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Book 4. “LIVE” Captain Creole, With Mighty Whitey Dedication

January 23, 2011 1 comment

Book 4. “LIVE” Captain Creole, With Mighty Whitey Dedication…

I’ve  loved Nicky ever since he showed up as an eager, inquisitive,  freckle faced  kid in an Anglican school uniform, some time in the early sixties. He had a great spirit and a great big heart even then. Nicky, aka Mighty Whitey,  offered me the sincerest sort of complement  through the years by doing many of my original songs, including La Biega Carousel/Tutsie, Lord Cherrigo Sad, Archipelago Man, and Captain Creole.

I will always miss his laughing eyes and his sense of adventure, but most of all, his camaraderie. We  were comrades in a very select fraternity.

The dedication verse is now part of Captain Creole, and touches me  with the kind of  hopeful joy that Nicky embodied, each and every time I sing the song. My wish that it may have a similar effect on those of you that feel the way I do, about our friend “The Mighty Whitey” Nicky Russel.

CAPTAIN CREOLE

  

(Words And Music, Scott Fagan, ASCAP)

 The word spread through The Virgins, the Old Creole was dead  He died in the night of the full moon light, in a sword fight, in his bed, Some say he was crazy, he had a rum dream in his head But I will tell you, in his words, what Captain Creole said…

 He said “Old Pirates never die dry your eyes we don’t ever die, Old Pirates never die, they just sail away”

 The Dancing Senoritas, the Ghosts of Buried Gold, The German and The African,that battled in his soul,The Jolly Jolly Rodger, The Treasure Ships of Spain, Called out to him and bid him come… back to The Spanish Main

 Because “Old Pirates never die, dry your eyes they don’t ever die, Old Pirates never die, they just sail away”

 The word spread through The Virgins, Like the ringing of an old ships bell, The Preacher turned to Heaven, but most folks bet on Hell. The Old Creole was sinking, the Old Creole was gone, And we cried in the light of the full moon night, Whispering his song

 He said “Old Pirates never die, dry your eyes they don’t ever die, Old Pirates never die, they just sail away”

 RECITATION: THIS ONE IS DEDICATED NOT ONLY TO CAPTAIN CREOLE HIMSELF, THE LATE GREAT CALWIN MARTIN MOOLINAR, BUT  TO OUR BEAUTIFUL FRIEND THE MIGHTY WHITEY, NICKY RUSSEL, WHO SANG THIS SONG SOO WELL AND  CALLED IT HIS FAVORITE OF THEM ALL. GOOD WINDS, GOOD FRIENDS, AND GOD SPEED …FOREVER MORE”

 Old Pirates never die, dry your eyes we don’t ever die, Old Pirates never die, they just sail awayyyyyy”

 The recording is from the current “Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band” LIVE CD “Shake a Bum” found through the link below.  www.thecollectedworksofscottfagan.com

Book 4. The CD is Shipping. And Book 4. “Granfaddah Buckra An De Ol’ Geeal”

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 Book 4. CD is Shipping and Book 4. “Granfaddah Buckra An De Ol’ Geeal”

The cover is done, the dedications are made, the printer is partially paid, and copies are on their way to lil’fish in St. Thomas. Our outlet there is “The Virgin Islands Cooperative store” on the corner of the waterfront directly across from “tent city” aka the Venders Mall. For the moment, email orders are,,, orders@lilfishrecords.com

We continue work on Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band “Live” album “Shake A Bum” we are anxious to get that finished so we can set up some concert appearances back home. We are happy to do benefits and fund raisers here there and anywhere as long as they are legit. Talk to us. I am thrilled that The Buckra tickles so many people, I love that kind of schupidness I always have and always will.  I guess that is why

the CD is dedicatrd to Mango Jones, Brownie (and Walter) Ms. Arona Peterson and her wonderful “Undah De Market”  Daily Niws column and all Virgin Island artists yet to come. Perhaps I ought to have said all Virgin Islands Artists  devoted to and specializing in “schupidness” but one needs to be supportive across the board, and, more seriously, we must encourage and support Virgin Islands Artists in every way that we can. It’s just so.

They have just released a new film “Strange Powers” about my son (also a writer, singer and recording artist) Stephin Merritt and his band “The Magnetic Fields”  I think that two of my recordings from my CD “Dreams Should Never Die” (The Virgin Islands Songs Vol. 2.) “Where My Lover Has Gone” and “La Biega Carosuel/Tutsie are in the film. Incedently, I have been credited as writer of La Biega Carosuel but La Biega is an old Virgin Islands Folk song, that predates us all, What I did write is “Tutsie” and created  the medley and arrangement of the two together. When a writer arranges a PD (public domain) folksong the performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI,  SESAC) credit him or her as writer)

I learned La Biega Carosuel directly from and at the knee of, the notorious “Ruppee” aka “The Vampire” aka “De Obeah Man” aka The Emporor Of The North” aka “Captian Creole” aka “Calwin Martin Moolenar´ himself,  of Estate Nelteburg and all points beyond. In any case, it is a very busy time, and that is good.

Here is another Buckra piece, I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did and do writing and performing it. 

Book 4. “Granfaddah Buckra An De Ol’ Geeal”

A time when I wa small ah went to see me ol’ granfaddah de ol’ Buckra de Paehae de fus fus fus. Ah sae “Granfaddah! Ah come tu see yu!” He sae “Ok den, look me hare, but yu gon got tu bettah stay ou de way, a Ol’ Geeal coming to see me fo something an ah don wan yu get mashup when de action start!” Ah sae “Ah Ol’ Geeal? Ah Ol’ Geeal? Who it tis, granfaddah, who it tis? He sae “Ah me bouy, don worry bout dat, yu gon see, don worry bout dat.”

 I sae “but Granfaddah, wha kina action yu gon do wid a ol’ Geeal, yu gon teach ha how tu fall asleep in de chair? Yu gon teach ha how tu take out an put in ha teet dem? How to play domino?  Granfaddah, Yu tink de ol’ Geeal gon wan tu hear bou when yu poisen yu self an almos whole a dounde road,  when yu cook up dat Barracota in de olden days? Oh how yu used tu tief Mango?  An Granfaddah wha yu gon gee she tu eat? De Ol’ Geeal ain gon wan no  sardine and French bread to wash doun wid kool aid, Wha wrang wid yu, Granfaddah, you don know you too ol to have a ol’ Geeal?”

 “Ahh meboy” he sae “ahh meboy” das wae yu wrang, you mubbe tink yu Granfaddah ban ol’? Yu dunno yu Granfaddah is a sharp boy? Yu dunno yu talking tu de man de used to call “Buckre de Pale-Male, de champagne ah Gingerale?” Ahh mebouy, in dose days Yu Gran Papeeto had woman like mosquito, woman like whelks, like genip, woman wha couden done me boy. Yu tink ah spen me whole life scratchin me baney? No Sah, Yu tink all I cou do is siddown onna salfishbox outside de kitchen do? No Sah, Not me me bouy, De ol Buckra still know a ting or two, yu gon see, don worry bou dat!”

 De minute Granfaddah see de Ol’ Geeall by de do, he suck in he belly an he  stann up straight straight, den he sweep off he hat an he bow doun low like Erroll Flynn, he sae “Come right in my darling, come right in my dear,”

 

Bouy, ah couldn believe me oy dem, de Ol’ Geeal wa de famous Carnival Queen from Nineteen Fifty odd and we da see ha pitchure in de newspapah almos every week for doin something good, Dis Ol’ Geeal is like de fus lady of de lan. Wha sh doin hare wid me Granfaddah?

 

 Before ah could ask ha dat question, she watch me straight in me face and she sae “Good afternoon young man, I’m hear to take de measure of your Grandfaddah’s curtin rods” and wid dat de two a dem went straight in side de bedroom.

 

De nex ting yu know, ah hearin’ “tee hee hee” and “tae hae hae” den something fall doun on de bed an de spring start to squeak and squeal , an Man, ah embarrass to tell yu wha come nex, ah hear de ol Geeal  sae “OY!, OY!” Den she sae “Oh me dahlin’  Paehae yu know das how ah like it, yu know das how ah like it,” den she start tu bawl out “Oh Godee, Oh Godee!” (Ah sae to me self “what does dat have tu do wid curtin rods?”)

She SINGIN’ now, “Yes Sah, Buckra, OOWEE!” She SINGIN”now! “Yes Sah! Buckra, OOWEE! Yu got me goin, yu got me goin OY OY,” ah hear dem bouncing up an bouncing up! “Oh Godee Oh Godee!” She bawl out “Don stop now don stop now!” Den a “KA_POW!” ah hear de bed broke doun! An den all ah hear is notin atall, noting atall  den de Ol’ Geeal say .. “Hello? HELLO?”

 

De nex tin I know de Ol’ Geeal bus out tru de do bawlin’ out “Oh God! Oh God! Sonny boy come quick, yu Granfaddah Dead, Yu Granfaddah dead!, Ah done kill yu po Granfaddah, Oh God Sonny boy, ah sae yu po ol Granfaddah dead”

 

Ah went in tu see fo meself, Man de ol’ boy wa white like a ghos, he oy dem wa roll back in he head, he toung hangin out de side a he mout,. De woman bawl out “Oh God I’s a murderah, I’s a murderah! Ah done kill de sweet ol Buckra!”

Den she sae “Ah got to get outta hare befor me chrren dem fine out, ah gato go, I ain wan me chrren dem know I ain wan nobody kno”…an wid dat she pick up ha wig an she run ou de back and clime doun in de gut an clim up de uddah side a de gut, den she broke thru de chicken coop an she wa gan..

 

Ah sae “OH Godee!, OH Godee!  De ol Geeial done gan an le me here alone wid me po dead Granfaddah”… Ah sae “Oh Godee, how ah gone tell me Mammie, who it tis kill me Granfaddah? How ah gone tell me Mamee wha dey wa doin in de bedroom? Wha ah gon tell de Police?

Ah dunno what u tell de whorl?”

 

Jus den ah hear what soun like me dear ol Granfaddah voice sae “boy wha wrang wid yu, yu bettah stop yu bawlin befo ah hit yu some clout”..when ah tun around, it…it… look like ah see me Granfaddah dae sittin down good as gol an winkin he oy

 

Ah sae “but Granfaddah yu done dead like a ol keeat, de ol Geieal done kill yu, yu ain know yu done dead awreaddy Granfaddah? Yu don tink yu bettah lay doun?”

 

He sae “Ahh me bouy, don be schupiddy, yu keean see das me good way tu get rid a dem guirl? Das me lil trick tu mek dem go home when ah done had me way wid dem.” He sae “Ahh me Bouy…don worry bout a ting, an jus wait til yu see de two Ol’ Geeal wha commin’ tomorrow”!!!

Book 4. and Book 1.The Concert, and We From UPSTREET!

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 4 and Book 1. The Concert, and We From UPSTREET!

I’m writing from St.Thomas, having arrived yesterday, Sunday, January the 24th. (One of my very favorite days of the year, by virtue of the fact that it is the Birthingday of my beautiful twins Lelia and Archie)

I am here to do a concert performance of The Virgin Islands Songs, for “The Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage Institute” and the “J. Antonio Jarvis Museum and Learning Center”.

Tuts and I have just returned from meeting with the Director, Myron Jackson and his extremely talented assistant Yvette Finch and taking a look at the performance area. 

The stage will be set up under a tent on the grounds and I will be looking south, directly at the hillside location of the “Bandmaster Alton Adams” family home. Alton Adams is the most highly regarded musician to have come from the Virgin Islands, he was the bandmaster of a local Virgin Islands Brass Band that was so good, that the Navy enlisted the whole Oompa kit and kaboddle, and sent them all around the world representing the USA. They were gentlemen of color each and every one, whose sense of possibility and self had not been saddled with the innumerable and onerous burdens of segregation. They represented themselves, the Islands and the Country well, and made beautiful music for many years.

Bandmaster Adams is considered second only to John Phillips Sousa in quantity and quality of Marches composed, and authored our own “Virgin Islands March” the Official Anthem of the Virgin Islands, which is a wonderful song. His Grand Daughter is the afore mentioned extremely talented Yvette Finch who on top of everything else, is a brilliant singer, and his Grandson is Cliff Finch the extraordinary Bass player on most of my album “Dreams Should Never Die” (The Virgin Islands Songs Vol. 2) which songs make up one third of the score of “The Virgin Islands Songs”. If ever I had occasion for inspiration it is certainly this coming Sunday. As I will be (from the stage) looking directly up at Bandmaster Adams familial home, with his granddaughter looking directly and me and his grandson’s wonderfully melodic bass leading us away from staggering off one musical precipice after another. Yes indeed, this ought to be stimulating and fun.

Since the Second Coming has not yet impressed any journalists (or for that matter anyone other than those still impressed by the first coming…well not true, some folks are saying some very nice things about my singing and treating me like I’m the greatest thing since freshwater, but they’re way back up in the states), I will probably have to review the concert for you myself.

Actually while I would have real difficulty reviewing the performance from the audience prospective while at the same time swacking the guitar and screechin’ on stage while saying nice things about how well and goodly handsome myself are, it probably couldn’t be much worse than what you may have read about me already. I suspect that some of you are aware that the lasting echoing journalistic statement of the entire forty five years of the first coming, is the oft (really oft, irritatingly oft) dismissal of me as “Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Field’s father, who did an album for ATCO in the 60’s, the obscure folk singer Scott Fagan ) 

If however (for reasons known only to me, until I finally spill the beans in perhaps book Twelve and a half) there are no post concert comments coming from yours truly, you may feel absolutely free to make up all kinds of stuff yourself…because even though I am with out question a real high ball, Ah, I mean a real high brow, ultra double artsy dude, there is no business like show business, and my dear dear friends, in spite of the best intentions of mice (“mike men”) and musicians, you just never never know.

P.S. Am I anxious? Yes I’m anxious…but I will do my best, to do my best, and then I will do my best. 

 We From UPSTREET

Yesterday after our meeting at the Jarvis museum, I pointed out to Morita (Morita is Tut’s ex-wife, the Mother of his fourth child, daughter Jamaine. She is also the Grand Mother of Tut’s Grandson “Nikell” who is the cheery little round headed fellow riding along in the truck with us. Morita is also a former class mate of mine to whom I carried sweet messages of young love from Tuts, at Charlotte Amalie High School) The “wall house” (concrete block) at the head of “pave street” (the century old name for Main Street) in which I used to live and which qualifies me to be accepted as a member of the “We from UPSTREET” organization. Whew!

 “We From UPSTREET” is a neighborhood organization very similar to the “We From DOWNSTREET”neighborhood organization in fact they are almost exactly alike except they are on opposite sides of Charlotte Amalie, UP on the East and, DOWN on the West. Each is convinced that their “We from” is best and better than all the rest (and there are many, ie. We From DOUNDEROAD, De SAVANEROS, We from ROUNDEFIELD, Dem from SILVAHDALLAH and so forth). Which is of course quite true in every case. Yep,

 When I pointed out the house and told her that I had lived there, and that that’s what made me a member of “We from UPSTREET”, she said “Man you live all over the place, you mus’ be a part of everyting” I said “Yes, that’s right, I did, I am” while Tuts chimed in “Yes, that’s why everybody know Scottie.” 

It was true and it was a very interesting reality, an interesting alternative to actually having a home and belonging somewhere. Was belonging (to a degree) everywhere. I am really grateful for that, as it allows me to feel at home just about everywhere I go, at home and all over the away.

 The “smoke truck” (a mosquito eradication truck, spraying what was commonly known to be DDT, out of a high pressure nozzle mounted at nose level for leaping, laughing, gyrating children) came to visit UPSTREET once or twice a week just after nightfall. When that high pitched hissing, the crazy flashing lights, and those billowing clouds of smoke arrived, it meant hysterical fun for all the children in the neighborhood. We would disappear into the thick white smoke, leaping and laughing dancing and carrying on to beat the band, for what seemed like hours on end.

More than once I realized a certain odd power as I emerged staggering, oiled to the bone, from the cloud and bystanders (who had no reason to suspect or way of knowing, that the pale apparition was one of two white children  (Gale and I) who had moved into their part of town), would cry out in shock upon seeing me “Oh GOD! Look a Jumbi! It was great fun.

 I learned or (began to learn) a great many things in our time living  “UPSTREET”. Among them, that even “good” children could be “taken away by the government” never to be seen or heard from again.

 When we first came to the house at the head of “Pave Street” I was befriended by two brothers, Tony and Joe, who appointed themselves as my protectors. They lived with their father in a very interesting old wooden structure on “The Beljan Road”. An actual “Sail loft” left over from the days of the massive canvas square riggers and the great Clipper Ships. Tony and Joe were bright, alert, friendly and kind boys (maybe nine and eleven years old) that for the most part, (when not taking care of me, seven going on eight) took care of themselves.

Their father was a large silent shambling man, who (in retrospect) was not able to properly care for them. One day they said goodbye by announcing that they were going to be sent to the dreaded Mandahl.

Gale and I had been in the Islands long enough to have heard one and another teacher, parent, or grumpy citizen threaten a child with “Ah gon sen yu ass Mandhal if yu don behave” We knew that being sent to Mandahl was akin to being delivered to de “Ol’ Man stinkin’ toe” who stuffed disrespectful and naughty children in his crocus (burlap) bag and took them away, most likely to cook and eat them for supper. Tony and Joe hadn’t done a thing to deserve such a fate…but the day came and they were gone. 

In reality, the dreaded Mandahl was the only resource that the system had for children without the benefit of parental or familial care givers. While I never saw them again, from time to time I would hear that they were fine and doing ok. I hope that their’s is a tale that ended well.

Years later, while still a minor myself, I watched helplessly as social services put my younger brothers Larry and Lonnie into foster care. But that, (and how I managed to avoid being snagged by the system myself), is another story… which soon come…