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Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)

Gibb Sahib 09 Aug 11 - 11:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Aug 11 - 05:37 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Aug 11 - 07:25 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Aug 11 - 02:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Aug 11 - 03:38 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Aug 11 - 04:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 11 - 07:07 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Aug 11 - 11:29 PM

Morwen and Q's, etc., discussions of calypso and mento reminded me of one of the notorious bawdy mentos.

NIGHT FOOD
Everard Williams, recorded in the mid-1950s.

I really thought that I was wise
Til a woman make me realize
That of the proper knowledge I was nude
For I did not know what them call "night food".

Rain begin to fall; the night was dark
On a lady's veranda I had to park
She come and say, "Why you stay outside,
When there is warmth and food inside?"

CHORUS:
I wonder what dem call this "night food"
I wonder if it is [/tastes] so good
Yes I want a lady now to tell me why
This "night food" is so very high.

I was so hungry and very cold
That once in my life I acted bold
I went right into the lady's room
But, sir, it nearly caused me doom.

She said, "Inside I have some nice night food
I hope you are in the eating mood"
This sounded to me now very strange
As she didn't visit the kitchen range.

[CHORUS]

The room went dark; she say, "Come and eat
This night food is very warm and sweet"
I said, "Lady, there's no knife and fork
And how can I eat food in de dark?"

She said, "This food needs no knife and fork
How can any human be so dark?
The food is right here in de bed;
Come ya, man, make me scratch you head."

[CHORUS]

I said, "Lady, please have me excuse
This 'night food' for me is really news
And I will not make you touch mi head
Sampson did that once, now he is dead."

She jump up and then turn on the light
An' say, "Half-a-man -- get out mi sight!
I can't stand a man who is so crude
That him don't know what dem call night food."

[CHORUS]
(Last time:) Now I know mi mama's then(?) won't think me rude
I'm going to ask her what dem call the night food.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 05:37 PM

A fragment only in mentomusic.com.
Thanks for posting the entire Everard Williams song.
Sales of the single were so good it enabled Ken Koury to construct the Federal Studio (From memtomusic.com).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 07:25 PM

I should add that I transcribed this from the recording of William's then "Calypso Quintet" group. There may be mistakes in the transcription.


Incidentally, FWIW, this song is more than usually risque in the Jamaican context where oral sex is, even today, treated as fairly taboo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 02:30 PM

NIGHT FOOD can be heard on YouTube.

I assume this is the same recording that was transcribed above because the enunciation is quite clear (compared to other calypso recordings I have heard) and your transcription is very good. Where you expressed doubt—I think the word is "tastes" not "is". And I wonder if the word in the last verse is "prude" rather than "crude." I'm not certain about the last chorus, but your transcription is as good as anything I can come up with.

The record label is shown in the video. It reads "Vocals by BEDASSE – Played by CALYPSO QUINTET." There is also a composer's name printed below the song title, but it is obscured by wear. It might be E. Williams.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 03:38 PM

Three or more "Night Food" covers on youtube, inclusing Lord Tanamo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 04:16 PM

Yes, Jim, that's the "original" version that I transcribed from, thanks.

It looks like a YouTube user posted lyrics to that page, that may clear up question spots.

They have "no clued", which I think makes sense. It does *sound* like "crude", but now "so" sounds like "no", and of the three crude/prude/clued, only the last makes sense!

And for the last bit, "Now I know me mommy didn't want think me rude," which I think is surely correct.

***

I used to get down to this skinhead reggae cover of the song.

Des All Stars

Great to dance to, but the lyrical substance is too trimmed down and lacking "elegance" of the older version. Perfect example of the Jamaican-British interpretation of the "skinhead reggae" groove from that period (probably 1970 or 71), but not so great a song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Night Food (mento/Jamaican)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 11 - 07:07 PM

Ah, clued!


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