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Remembering “SOOKIE”S WESTERN JAMBOREE”

September 9, 2014 Leave a comment
 SOOKIES WESTERN JAMBOREE

Some of you good people will remember that once upon a time we had one radio station in The Virgin Islands, called WSTA.

A wonderful station that did it’s best to play something for everyone. This meant that we were all exposed to every kind of music.

Believing in music as I do, I believe that this wide exposure had a very positive effect on us all. Among the varieties that we enjoyed was good old Southern Gospel and what they called back then, Country and Western.

At 3 O’clock in the afternoon the Virgin Islands looked forward to a show hosted by a young Buckaroo from Frenchtown called “Sookies’s Western Jamboree”. The show featured artists like Hank Williams, Gentleman Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Skeeter Davis and Patsy Cline and songs like “Your cheating Heart” “Cold Cold Heart “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On” “He’ll Have To Go” and many others.

In those days as you know we here in The Virgin Islands had a number of our own “home-grown cowboys” young (and old) rough and ready hombres who worked and lived out in the wild wild East, West, North and South Side and rode their horses all over the place and once a year in the big carnival parades.

In addition to the working cowboys, there were a number of fellows in town who had perhaps been too strongly influenced by the Western Movies that played at The Apollo, The Alexander, and The Center Theater what seemed like every day and night of every week of every month of every year for many years running.

These home-grown  hombres certainly considered themselves to be the real deal also, and as romantic a figure as any other cowpoke anywhere and they were.

As noted elsewhere in “The Virgin Islands Songs”, I fully intended to grow up to be Gene Autry the singing cowboy. So naturally I was very interested in learning how to “make up” songs like those that we heard, on Sookies Western Jamboree, and in the cowboy movies.

Here is one of my own Caribilly influenced songs, (written with the brilliant McCauley Brothers) reflecting the influence of and my love for “Country and Westindian” or Caribilly. So here we go..in rememberance of Sookie’s Western Jamboree and our very own Caribilly Cowboys.

“Sweet Cheyenne”

I’m going to tell you a story

about Sweet Cheyenne

it’s been, a hell of a life, but she’s always done

the best that she can

There is a girl called Sweet Cheyenne

she comes from down Texas way

she needs someone who understands

she’s spending the night in Santa Fe

A cowboy came south from Alberta

To leave his past behind

it’s been a hell of a life, but he never gave up,

he’s just not that kind

There is a girl called Sweet Cheyenne

She comes from down Texas way

She needs someone who ‘ll understand

He’s spending the night in Santa Fe

There on St. Francis street

these two travelers meet

God Blessed the girl called Sweet Cheyenne

The girl from down Texas way

And the Calgary cowboy they call Dan

Spending the night in Santa Fe

God Blessed a girl called Sweet Cheyenne

who does the best she can

And a kind gentle cowboy they call Dan

Cause he’s found his woman, and she’s found her man…

God Bless Sookie’s Western Jamboree, The Drifting Buckaroos, The Center Theater, and every Rootin’ Tootin’ Carabilly Cowboy (and Cowgirl ) there ever was.

“When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De Stats”

August 26, 2014 Leave a comment

A familiar setting!! It’s My Birthday..Birthday present to YOU!!

The "Buckra De Paehae" CD Cover

The “Buckra De Paehae” CD Cover

“When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De Stats”

The Sand Box Kids…Trader Dan’s..Duffy’s…

June 27, 2013 1 comment

Recently I was” invited/automatically included” in a new Facebook group called “Sandbox Kids” by a founding member “Bite Size”. I am grateful to be invited/included in anything started by the mighty Bite Size and thank her for her kindness.

 The Sand Box was a fine bar in a good drinking local, specifically backstreet, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Sand Box Kids group, is made up of the children who drank there during the sixties and seventies and have miraculously survived to this day.

 I say children because there was no minimum drinking age in the Islands in those days, and many of us started very early, (13 in my case) we drank and danced and fought and f*cked like ..well,.. crazed drunken children in a perfect never land.

 Anyone that knows me or my recordings, knows that in truth and above all, I am a Trader Dan’s Boy (Trader Dan’s was another fine bar in a good drinking local, specifically the waterfront in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas) through and through.

 My first recorded reference to T D’s (as we called it) was in my 1966 recording of “Tutsie” (BANG Records) (which I built my La Biega Carousel medley around), “Tutsie” was a 45 (bw “Give Love A Chance”)   that quickly showed up on the jukebox at “Duffy’s”, (my second most favorite bar).

Duffy’s Bar is where “The Mamas and The Papas” got started, and my own first group “The Urchins” came together in early 1964. Duffy’s is also where I met “Lotus” a wild woman/child who would become the Mother of my Son, Stephin Merritt.

 My song “South Atlantic Blues” (from My album South Atlantic Blues, ATCO 1968) references an alcoholic Priest, and a homeless woman/mother living “in the alley” that alley is of course the alley that led from Trader Dan’s to Duffy’s then across Main street to Back street and ‘Eddies Backstreet Bar” which in time became the afore mentioned “Sand Box”.

 The last verse talks about a girl standing by the sea side waiting for her lover to rescue and take her away, she is of course standing on the waterfront directly across from T D’s. Almost exactly where I went overboard into the sea, drag racing in her step father’s red Volkswagen in 1962, but that is another story.

 A photograph surfaced recently during the making of the Doc Pomus movie “AKA Doc Pomus”, of that Trader Dan’s boy at his first recording session at Columbia Records in late 1964.

 I had sailed out of Charlotte Amalie  at dawn on July 2nd, 1964 on a fifty foot Ketch rigged Sloop called “The Success” heading for Coconut Grove/Dinner Key, Miami, Florida.

A month at sea and a few weeks later, I found myself in N.Y. I was immediately signed by Doc Pomus and then Columbia Records. I was just turning 19.

 Absolutely no one has ever missed his home town, his friends and our fantastically free life any more than I did in those first years away from home. The life that we shared and my longing for it, has informed every bit of my music since.

 I am posting the photo of that displaced Trader Dan’s/Duffy’s/Sand Box boy’s first Columbia recording session.

Here it is

Here it is

I am posting the song “South Atlantic Blues” which more than any other captured the depth of emotion that I was feeling in those days,

South Atlantic Blues

 And I am posting the recent recording of my song  “Sure Has Been Good Loving You Baby” which accurately reflects the way that I feel and have always felt about the beautiful girls/young women of that time and place.

Sure Has Been Good Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band

 I will dedicate this to Patricia, Bonnie Barr, Jeanette, Barbara, Kathleen, Harriet, Delia, April, Lotus and Bite Size, and to all the girls and boys who lived and loved (and died) in our crazy never never I’land.

 Thank you Bite Size, and God Bless us all.. now, then and forever.   

Scott Fagan, On the road, in the states, still singing about it.. and you all. June, 2013.

Book 2 SOON .3, and Book 4. Soon 3

July 31, 2011 1 comment

Book 2. SOON .3,

 As I said, I’m trying to stay focused on “SOON”.  And as I further said, the first time I saw the RITZ Theater (where SOON would open in January of 1971) was from my room at the Forrest Hotel.

At that time I had a south-facing room on the ninth floor; I was gazing out and noticed this odd, curiously configured roof top down below. Over time I realized that it was what a theater roof looks like from above. Years later, I would gaze at the same roof from below. Reaching across time to reconnect with the me that was, once upon a then.

I certainly felt much more at ease and at home looking out the window in (or from) what the Daily News, (in recounting the details of the murder most foul of a Barnum and Bailey circus clown), described as a “cheap west side hotel”.

In reality the Forrest Hotel was straight out of Damon Runyun, because Damon Runyun lived there and wrote there for many years. This or that reality is of course the past perfect invitation to investigate (if only for a moment) the question of relative reality, or the relative question of what (rather, which) reality is the real real deal. Dig? Capeche? Were we living in a world of Rock and Roll, or Guys and Dolls the reality show? 

The truth is both and.. thirty or countless more other parallel realities all scrunched into one.

To be continued …  

Book 4. Soon 3

I am riding on a train up over and through the Allegany Mountains on my way back to the Middletown collective (MAAC) from Johnstown, PA. Where I met the young impresario who intends to stage a concert production of SOON this coming 17th, 18th, and 19th of November. I’ve spent the last two days and nights thoroughly enjoying my self with he and his family. An all American mix of Mexican/Hungarian salt of the earth folks of the first order. I like him and them (Johnstown) very much and so we will proceed with the show.

 As I referenced earlier in the Memwa? The possibility, likelihood and indeed chronic evidentiary factorama of yours truly having FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects) is quite good, almost guaranteed.

The dear Mudder dear is no longer here to ask about her consumption of Ethel in the nine long months starting with December 1944 and ending with me birthday on the 26th of August 1945, but based on what I know as a “once upon a moment” UCLA trained “little time big time” drug and Alcoholism wazam, the referenced likelihood is almost inescapable, and more to the point the symptoms (and their side-effects across the life areas) appear to be ever-present. 

If I ever get around to publishing my book “The New Paradigm for Alcoholism Addiction and Recovery” you will see what I’m talking about.

However, if you are too wise to wait, and  know it may be best look FAE  up now, then you will know that  I don’t do too well with working on more than one thing at a time, and right now I’m working on many more than one thing at a time and it appears that I will be for the foreseeable future. The question for anyone would be “how to do it”; the question for me is HUH?

 Apparently folks with FAE are blessed (well perhaps blessed isn’t exactly the right word, but you know what I mean) with the ability to go really really deep on a subject, but have extreme difficulty “changing sets” or, trying to move, pull ourselves out of, or shift our attention, from one subject to another.

For example, that is why, when I am concentrating on anything (like writing a song.. words OR music), I long ago learned that it is better, far better, if I do not try to cross the street, or be married etc.

I do love going deep beyond deep, but good Godawmighty it would be nice to be able to move comfortably and effectively from one thing to the next. Or just effectively.

That is why my Memwa? posts have begun to slow down as our gigging has picked up.

 Interesting gigs every one, for example, Yesterday, July 30th was National Dance Day. A concept promoted by the great tv dance show “So You Think You Can Dance”  along with producer Nigel Lithgow, and the great Congress Woman Eleanor Norton Holmes. We did an event, a National Dance Day Dance Party at a sky scraper housing development for seniors and the disabled (HOY Towers) in “Steelton” an honest to God, Steel Mill town (fallen on hard times like many another) in rusty post industrial Central Pennsylvania. We and they had the greatest time.

Here’s our recording of the theme of the day “Shake A Bum” and a photo of the good folks dancing.

"Shake A Bum" at National Dance Day!  Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

National Dance Day! 2011 Steelton PA. Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

However in addition to steady gigging, The SOON production and the Memwa? We have a Television show in development, two upcoming albums and “The Virgin Islands Songs” making its way towards a stage production inSt. Thomas.

This is not me complaining, it’s just that I am like a cross-eyed  juggler.

We are busy and I am grateful. I just wish that I were capable of being more effective, as many too many things not mentioned, like the record company and  music publishing, distribution and promotion and editing video and so on and on are not getting done in a timely manner.

I’m grateful a thousand times over for the grace and the real blessings that I have been given, the gift and the gifts.

I just wish that I could manage it, and them all, better.

Book 4. Virgin Islands Singer Scott Fagan to perform at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s big “CONVERGENCE IN RED HOOK” on May 7th 2011

May 1, 2011 6 comments

 Here is The Press release for the upcoming NYC gig.. followed by the “Backstory attachment” to that press release, that folks got. It’s here because this sort of stuff is interesting, and necessary in this business.

I have added the Theme form “SOON” and The Theme From “The Virgin Islands Songs” You will find them at the very bottom of the page.

BWAC.org is a great venue and we very much enjoy our time there, come on down (or up as the case may be) if you are free.

For immediate Release:
 
Virgin Islands Singer Scott Fagan (Subject of Jasper Johns Lithograph “Scott Fagan Record”, Author and Lyricist of “SOON” the very first Rock Opera produced on Broadway, and Father of 2009 OBIE Winner and Magnetic Fields front man Stephin Merritt), is coming to New York to perform at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s big Spring opening “CONVERGENCE IN RED HOOK” on May 7th 2011.
 
Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band, are currently promoting their LIVE Album “SHAKE A BUM” which includes selections from Scott’s new Musical “The Virgin Islands Songs”. Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band will perform three sets between 1 and 5:30 PM.
 
The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Cooperative is located at 499 Vanbrunt Street, Brooklyn, NY. For Directions please visit bwac.org 
 
Please contact  Shari Brandt  717-944-1187 at the Middletown Area Arts Collective. www.middletownarts.com or scottfagan@lilfishrecords.com  
Thank you!

SCOTT FAGAN “De Real Ting Mon”

Scott who? Scott Fagan. Here’s the 411…

 Scott Fagan is a brilliant musician born in New York City and raised in the Virgin Islands.  This talented artist has a one of a kind sound with a Caribbeankick.  Scott has been an international recording artist since leaving Charlotte Amalie High School in 1964 to sign with Columbia Records. During that time he has released nine albums and multiple singles, in addition to writing and appearing in “SOON” the very first Rock Opera produced on Broadway!

 His Caribbean consciousness is manifested throughout his work. Scott’s musical innovations underlie the “Contemporary Caribbean” or “Caribilly” genre widely popularized by Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney, and others.  His very first album, “South Atlantic Blues”, released in the summer of 1968, now recognized as a classic, inspired Jasper John’s lithographic series “Scott Fagan Record” part of the permanent collections of museums all over the world, including MOMA, The National Gallery, and The Tel Aviv.

Scott’s albums: “South Atlantic Blues”1968, “Many Sunny Places”1976, “Sandy the Bluenosed Reindeer”2000, “Buried Treasures, (The V.I Songs Vol. l)”2004, “Dreams Should Never Die” The V.I. Songs Vol. ll) 2005, ”SOON”2009, “The Virgin Islands Songs, The MUSICAL”2010, ”Buckra De Paehae” ( a spoken word Calypso Comedy album)2010, and most recently his LIVE album with The MAAC Island Band “Shake A Bum”2011, Can all be found at www.thecollectedworksofscottfagan.com

 Scott Fagan has spent 40 of the past 47 years, trying to revive his career after being “blacklisted” by the “old school” Music Business for his Rock Opera “SOON”.  Scott wrote “SOON” to bring attention to the “absurdity and cruelty of the music business, and its destructive effects on artists and society”.

Here’s what Martin Brookspan had to say:
“The tide of Rock musicals reaches its high water mark in SOON… an inventive, imaginative, brilliantly realized creation.”

Emory Lewis said:
“SOON is a hallelujah blessing, glorious music easily the best score of the season… I loved every rocking minute.”

And John Schubeck:
“Staggering shots of meaning. Dynamite in so many ways.”

In spite of reviews like these, and a cast which included Peter Allen, Richard Gere, Vickie Sue Robinson, Nell Carter, Marian Ramsey, and Leata Galloway, SOON was pulled the day after it opened.  Ironically, Scott’s son, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, Gothic Archie’s, The 666’s, and Future Bible Heroes fame, recently won the Obie award for his first musical “Coraline”. Quite a chip off the old block…

 So, where’s Scott Fagan now? He’s busy busy, gigging with the MAAC Island Band, promoting the LIVE album “Shake a Bum” and Scott’s own Calypso Comedy album “Buckra de Paehae”, keeping an eye on two of his musicals  in pre-production.  First is “The Virgin Island Songs”, scheduled to debut inSt. Thomas,Virgin Islands, and the other?? “SOON” scheduled for November, in Johnstown,Pennsylvania.  That’s right, “SOON” is back in production!

But wait, there’s more! You can catch Scott Fagan and the MAAC Island Band  live in New York on May 7th, 2011 (from 1-5:30 PM) at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s big spring show “Convergence in Red Hookwww.bwac.org 

At The United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York’s Citywide Music Festival (Make Music New York) on June 21 st at 4:00PM, 

Or at Scott and the band’s stateside home base the Middletown Area Arts Collective (MAAC) (www.middletownarts.com) at 3 South Union Street in Middletown, PA.  (Contact Shari Brandt at 717-944-1187).Thank You!

The Theme from “SOON”

The Theme from “The Virgin Islands Songs”

Book 4. Brand New Grandson…Jacob Max Charles Fagan! “Dreams Should Never Die” and “El Gringito”

April 13, 2011 4 comments

Book 4. Brand New Grandson…Jacob Max Charles Fagan!

My boy “The Bix” (Scott Francis Fagan) Son of Patricia Trepuk Evelyn Nelthrop Fagan and Great Grandson of Max Trepuk (of M.E. Trupk and I. Levine fame) has just had a little one. Here’s a photo of the fine young gent.

Jacob Max Charles Fagan

The Newest Chip off the Old Block

 He is not one bit better looking than his father or Grandfather (me)  at his age and so unfortunately, is not terribly likely to be able to get by based on looks alone. This means the lad is destined for hard work and long labor and may expect to start his first job  well before nursery school.

 Such is life for the likes of we…

Too bad he doesn’t look like his Grand Mother Patricia, why then the boy would be “King of The World”.

However, if he brings even a quarter of the happiness, delight and joy to his father, that his father has brought to me, then there is great cause for high kicking and hot footed celebration all across the land, and I welcome him with all my heart and soul.

 God bless you little Jacob Max Charles Fagan, you are most certainly a chip off the old block. Welcome, Welcome, to the World.

Here is “El Gringito” from “The V.I. Songs Vol. ll”  ’cause the dear lad is “Un Cuarto Puertoricanio”

 and  “Dreams Should Never Die” from the same CD to mark the occasion.

Feliz Navidad! Looking Forward!

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 Buckra De Paehae CD Cover and Link and Book 4. “The Virgin Islands Song”

November 9, 2010 1 comment

Book 4. The Buckra De Paehae CD Cover and Link and Book 4. “The Virgin Islands Song”

Dear Friends,

Here is the cover of “Buckra De Paehae”  and a link to  www.thecollectedworksofscottfagan.com where the Buckra CD is available right now.

 

The "Buckra De Paehae" CD Cover

The "Buckra De Paehae" CD Cover

 

Please pass the Buckra De Paehae link along to your friends and anyone that you think will identify with, enjoy and understand this kind of Virgin Islands ”Schupidness”.

 It is an honor and a pleasure for me to be associated with Buckra and all that he represents culturally and comedicly about our lives in The Virgin Islands.

It is my prayer that Buckra De Paehae and the Buckra stories will always be seen and received in the spirit offered, a spirit  of intense love and pride in the Virgin Islands and their people.

 Now, having gotten my self all stirred up, I am attaching “The Virgin Islands Song”. to get you all stirred up too! Hoping to see you someday, somewhere, sometime, soon

The Virgin Islands Song  

                                                           

Have you ever been, to a Virgin Island?
If you answer no, come let’s go come let’s go
Have you ever seen what
Virgin Islands mean?
If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

In this world of gray on gray
I know where the rainbow day
Is born upon the golden sunrise
That scatters the stars turning diamonds to sky
Over Amalie… like an emerald in the sea
Her perfumed mystery, bold as love longs to be.

Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?
If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

In this world of grey on grey
I know where the rainbow day
Is born upon the golden sunrise
That scatters the stars turning diamonds to sky
Over sisters three… like emeralds in the sea
Their peoples history, bold as love wild and free.

Have you ever been, to a Virgin Island?
If you answer no, come let’s go come let’s go
Have you ever seen what
Virgin Islands mean?
If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

If you answer no, come let’s go, come let’s go…

                    Scott Fagan Music ASCAP

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”!!!

POST 73. Book 4. “The Buckra CD” And Book 4. “When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De States”

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

POST 73. Book 4. “The Buckra CD” And Book 4.  “When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De States”

We have, or rather, while we are right in the middle of compleating our LIVE Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band CD “Shake A Bum” We have sent out a few Demos of the new “Buckra De Paehae” CD (Titled “Introducing The Virgin Islands Own “Buckra De Paehae”) while the Demos are out, we are finishing up the cover and will be releasing the CD as early in November as possible.

Three of the eight recordings are LIVE in concert preformances at The J. Antonio Jarvis Museum in Pollyburg, St. Thomas V.I. and capture some of the fun that the audience and I had in presenting and hearing the Buckra material for the very first time.

What a joy it is for me to hear the home folks laughing so heartily. Further,  what a pleasure for me to know that some of our own Virgin Island charactors, with their wonderful and profoundly human silliness played out against our own colorful local settings, are not only recorded for posterity, but are alive and well and abroad in the world.   I  absolutely love that.  

As a child I was bothered with why we in the Islands had only things imported and made by someone else somewhere else, why didn’t we make our own things?

At the very least our own music, our own records, our own books, poetry and liturature. Why weren’t our  own cultural artists represented on the world stage? I determined to do all I could to change that. I wanted us on the map for things other than cheap rum and trinkets at free port prices.

I have been recording for forty seven years now and have fought to make my way as a “white” artist from a primarily black society. I’ve never pretemded to be a child of Africa, but I am most certainly a child of the criss cross crazy quilt of cultures  everpresent in the Virgin Islands and the West Indies at large. I have sought to make my own unique contribution to the music and the liturature.

 I  wanted to lift us up, I wanted our local children and young people (and every one else for that matter), to know and see and believe that that we were as good and bright, as  inventivly creative and worthy as any children of any people anywhere ever, because we are.

Hopefully, beyond the laughs and enjoyment inherent in hearing our own people and places referenced, the Buckra works will further stimulate the idea that indeed we DO have the good goods here in the Islands and can contribute and compete at a world class level.

PS I am not unaware of the irony inherent in the idea of “Buckra De Paehae” as an anbassador to the world. However,  De Buckra is a universal reminder that every people every where have their own brand of, (as Brownie – Irving “Brownie” Brown of WSTA Radio ST. Thomas) says, “good good schupidness”!

I want to express and acknowledge that Buckra De Paehae is directly inspired by Ron Delugo’s  beloved “Mango Jones,” Brownies “Uncle Walter” and Ms. Arona Peterson’s long running Daily News Column “Undah De Market” I thank each of these Virgin Islanders for their inspriation and I hope that Buckra De Paehae will in turn, encourage more and more Virgin Islanders of every age, to shoot for the sky in their own creative efforts.

Now, having said all of that, here is another Buckra recording that  I hope you will enjoy. One titled:

When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De States”

 

“Man one day I look around ana realize all me fren dem, every las one a alla dem boy, done gan to de states..an so I sae to me self, ah sae “Buckra you bettah go see wha goin on up in de states to see if yu want to join up wid dem up dae an become one a dem  freshwater Yankee jus like de res a dem boy.”

 Well me boy, de trouble start, when ah went down to de travel office to buy me plane ticket,  De white woman sittin doun in dare sae “May I help yu?” Ah say yes Mum,  ah wan to go to de states. De woman say, “where would you like to go?” Ah say, ah say, ah would likes to go to de states, de woman say fine, where do you want to go, Ah say wha wrang wid yu you keeyan undahstan English? Yu bettah don frig me up, Ah sae ah wants tu go tu the states S.T.A.T.S. de states, de states! Wha wrang wid yu? Is yu schupid o sumtin?

 Wid dat de woman went in de back an come back out wid a big strang bighead jackass of a island man. He say..yu wan me bilge in yu ass fo yu? Wha yu come in here tu frigg up de people dem fa,.. yu bettah scat yu ass befo ah broke it up in splinters!

Wha? ah say wa? Yu kno who yu talking to like dat? Ah say I is a man wha come in here to pay Kole keash to go tu de states an yu going on like a jack ass wid me? Wha wrang wid yu, ah say ah wan to go tu de states, yu nevah heard a de place?

 Jus den de woman squeaky lil voice pipe up from in de back, she sae “ask the Idiot where  he wants to go to, you’ll see” So de Islan man say “Whey ‘tis  yu wan tu go” Now de Buckra starting tu ge frigup, yu know ha ah mean?

How many times ah gat u tell dese schupiddy people whae it is ah wan tu go?

Ah say ah wan to go tu de states! De man come up close close and he say “look yu schupid buckra, Don’t you know that there is more than one state in de states?”

Ah say more dan one state? more dan one state? of course I kno dares more dan one state. wha wrang wid yu, yu tink I don kno about  Englan and France? but I wan tu go see dem boy in de united state.

 De woman in de back call out, “call the cops, Renwick, nobody can’t be that stupid”

Ah sae who de hell yu callin schupid.. is yu don’t know how to sell a  plane ticket tu go to de states, Ahh yu cou kiss me royal red bate me boy, I gan frum here!

 An wid dat ah leave ou de place, ana went straight ovah to de seaplane. De fus man wha ah see ovah dae ah sae, tell me something my good fellow,  does ah yu know how to fin de states? De man sae of course, but dis plane goin Sain Croix, ah sae but if ah gon ge yu me good money tu go tu de states, yu can’t tun around de plane an go to de states?

 De man sae, wha wrang wid yu, yu drunk o something?

Ah sae no man it too early fo dat, I only had bout tree or four..tu start off de day…de man sae “My dear fellow,.. yu bettah go down tu de airport and tell dem people whae yu wan tu go..ah tink dey gon know exactly wha to do fo yu.

 So ah pick up me suitcase, ana wen doun de road lookin fo de airpoat, Boy when ah reach up tu de top a China Man Hill, ah cou see how de ting dem change up, almost alla China Man Hill,.. gan from China man Hill,  Ah stop a fellow ana say “Hey meson, Wha happen to de whole a doun de road, wha happen tu de China Man dem? whey all dey people dem fum Nisky gane?,

An “OhGodee”, ah sae, look wha happen tu Sara Hill!

 De whole a Sara Hill what was dare since de Island get belch up from de bottom of de deep blue sea, is gan, ah sae Tell me man, ah gotta know, wha goin on doun here?

 De man sae, “No entiendo, meson I no speakiddy de englee”Ah SaeWha? I mubbe gan Poto Rico.

 When ah did finally arrive at whea de Harry S. Truman airport suppose tu be, ah see all kina ting, but what I don see is de Harry S. Truman airport,

Ah see a kina fatty woman livin in a smally smally lil house right in de middle a de road, de woman stannin up wid she hand out side de door beggin money from de car dem, an every onea dem stopping to ge she some, Ladee me boy, Oy ain nevah see noting like dat an look a joke, I ain even reach close to de states yet

 But de ting wha ah keean see is de terminal, de big ol hangah  place whey de steelban dem used to be bawlin blood for we cu dance an wuk up wid dem Puerto Rican Gurl when de come  fo Carnival! Ah hol ah man ana sae “Hey, wha goin an here meson, wha dey hidin’ de airport?” He sae “Allah Akbar? Abdoul Ab Salamm, Abdoul Ab Salamm..

De fatty woman sae, look ovah de hill man, look ovah de hill.

 Lemme tell yu something, all I wan tu du is gemme plane ticket tu go tu de states tu see dem boy an fine out if I wantu join up wid de fresh watah yankee dem, but not only doan nobody know how tu sell a plane ticket tu de states, but now dey gan an change up de name and move de airport. Yu sure dis is dey way every body does get tu de states? Lard if is so had tu go, imagin how hard it mus be tu come back, wha yu tink?

 Meson when ah finally reach dung, tu de place wha dey suppose tu be selling de ticket dem, ah sae “ah wan tu buy a plane ticket tu de states” de woman sae “Ok where are yu goin” Ah sae Oh lard don’t tell me dis is dat again, ah sae Ah wan tu go tu de states! Wha wrang wid alyu people, ah wan yu go tu de states!

 Den de woman sae, ok which state. Now dis is  one Islan woman wha mussa had good states side training because das de fus time any body ask me dat question, ana wan yu know I were ready wid me ansah,  Ah sae ah wan tu go to de place wha name Miami, Atlanta, Florida, New Yawk, because das whea alla dem boy is.

 She sae I’m sorry, that’s impossible, there is no such place. I sae Yu lie, Yu Lie, Yu big bum ting yu, ah catch yu now, yu lie, das whea alaldem boy gan, wha wrang wid allyu crazy people, Ah sae, gimme me plane ticket an don frig me up no mo o I’ll broke off me foot in yu Batey!!

 When she hear dat De woman eye dem open wide wide and she say “of course Mr. Buckra De Paehae, just one moment please, wait here, I know exactly who can help you.

Ah sae now yu talking, dis is de way yu suppose tu treat a man who is all dress up an goin to de states.

Jus den two man hooks me up from behine, dey grab on tu de back a me pants an lif me up straight up in de air, me pants went up in me bum til ah had tu bawl out “Oh God Ah Dead, ah give up, ah give up! Den dey grab me han an me foot an thro me in de back like two hundred poun a wet sal fish.

 All dis time all de touris dem laughing me  boy, ana hear one a de chrerenn dem sae “Mommy whats the matter with that man?” De muddah sae “Nothin dear that’s just what too much rum and hot sun’ll do to ya, an thats exactly what’ll happen to your blasted Father if we don’t get ‘im back to Baltimore right away”

 When De man dem thro me doun, de bigges one sae

“C’mon now Buckrat boy, let’s hear some more of your noisy big lip about what you’re gonna do wid yer foot, an who your gonna do it to”

Ah sae Oh God, Oh God ah give up, ah give up, ah change me moine sah, ah change me moine, I ain want tu go tu de states, ah change me moine, ah wan tu go home.

 Walll… De man sae “It’s too late fer that  Buckrat, ya crazy little weasel, you’re goin ta Guantanamo wid the rest a dem terrorists. Ah sae “Oh Godee Oh Godee!, Ah give up Sah Ah Give up Sah!

Man, ah had tu beg dem, an beg dem, an beg dem boy tu loose me, an when de finally lemme getaway, Lord me boy, ah ain stop til ah pass Demarara. Wen ah catch meself, ah sae “Buckra, It look like yu bettah tell one a dem boy in de states tu sen doun a ticket fo yu, if dey wan yu come up tu play fresh watah yankee wid dem. An when dey sen doun me ticket, das how de Buckra finally get tu go tu de states,..  but das a whole uddah story meson, believe me..das a whole uddah story,

Laa-dy, me bouy… whata trelele!”