Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)

GUEST,Albnut 19 Feb 17 - 05:06 PM
Jack Campin 19 Feb 17 - 07:31 PM
leeneia 19 Feb 17 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 19 Feb 17 - 10:55 PM
Joe Offer 20 Feb 17 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 20 Feb 17 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,Albnut 24 Feb 17 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Albnut 24 Feb 17 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Albnut 24 Feb 17 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 24 Feb 17 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 24 Feb 17 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 24 Feb 17 - 10:35 PM
Joe Offer 25 Feb 17 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,Albnut 25 Feb 17 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 25 Feb 17 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 25 Feb 17 - 07:59 PM
Joe Offer 25 Feb 17 - 08:27 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 17 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 26 Feb 17 - 05:53 PM
Mrrzy 26 Feb 17 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Jo VH - Antwerp 04 Mar 18 - 09:33 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock
From: GUEST,Albnut
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 05:06 PM

Kalenda Rock, by Harry Belafonte

This track is included on Harry Belafonte's 1954 LP Mark Twain on the RCA Victor label.
It is referred to as a mourning song and sung in French creole.
The following is an attempt to decipher the lyric.
We are familiar with the French language but there are words and expressions here that we are having difficulty with.
Any help would be appreciated.

(Woman singing / mourning)

waille aille aille
waille aille aille

maman moi moi
kalenda roche

papa manque à pleurer

maman oh, (Woman singing / mourning)
papa oh, (Woman singing / mourning)
maman oh, morte à kalenda

papa manque à (???) pleurer

Tan bola come se va (???) - Could that be commencera?

vient papa manque à pleurer - Could manque mean stop?

… danse encore ….

morte à kalenda roche

(repeat last line)

Why aille aille
why aille aille

mother has died in kalenda rock
father has cried and cried (Woman singing / mourning)

mama oh (Woman singing / mourning)
papa oh (Woman singing / mourning)

mama oh morte à kalenda
papa manque à pleurer

(Woman singing / mourning)

tan bola come se va (???)

vient papa manque à pleurer

dansait encore …

morte à kalenda roche
morte à kalenda roche

why aille aille.

« morte à » actually sounds like « more than » - Could it be morte en?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 07:31 PM

And there was I thinking someone had found a metal version of "Kalenda Maya" (well, why not, mediaeval/metal fusion groups have done a lot of numbers like that and many of them have worked).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 10:08 PM

Here it is on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N2nKBYZ6ZE

Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 10:55 PM

The 'original' should be:
Song #6: Mourning Song
Calypso Songs of the West Indies
[Patterson, Massie, Belasco, Lionel, (New York: M. Baron Co., 1943)]

I'm not near my copy at the moment but I can post it in a few days if someone else hasn't figured it out before then.

I believe Belafonte picked it up through 1950s American theater; most likely Robert Destine (Bob Destiny) a dancer in Patterson's touring company and on/off Broadway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Feb 17 - 10:54 PM

refreshed as a reminder to Phil. I looked through the books I have, and couldn't find it.
Thanks, Phil.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 20 Feb 17 - 11:10 PM

Thanks Joe, erm... remind me again about Thursday or so? Sorry guys. Family bidness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Albnut
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 04:55 PM

Here is what Cary Ginell had to say in his review of Harry Belafonte's early recordings.

The haunting Kalenda Rock is described as a mourning song, derived from the calinda, an African tradition of
stick fighting during Carnival on the French speaking islands of the C aribbean. The activity, known as cannes
brûlées (burnt canes), had its origins during slavery. Eventually spelled kalenda, it came to define the songs
and other performances accompanying the fighting, which could turn deadly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Albnut
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 05:08 PM

And here is a scan of the liner-notes for the album Mark Twain and Other Folk Favorites. This does not bring much to the discussion except to show how little is known about the origins of this haunting lament.

Sorry, thought I could attach a jpg image but it did not work!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Albnut
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 05:19 PM

Here are some notes I made earlier on as I was listening to the track.

"A high and haunting female voice leads off the track and continues to provide backup vocalizations throughout (no actual words).
Belafonte takes over with wailing sounds before leading into a French patois lyric along with English translations for the chorus only."

Sadly, all of this leaves us with an incomplete reading of the lyric(s).

I will stay tuned and report back if I uncover any leads or tidbits.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 09:20 PM

Mourning Song
Calypso 24
A "Calypso" by Massie Patterson and Lionel Belasco
English Version by: Olga Paul
Free Transcription by: Maurice Baron

Wo yo you, wa ya yai
Mama moen mort dans Kalenda Roche,
Papa moen Ka pleuré.
Mama O, Papa O
Mama O mort dans Kalenda,
Papa moen Ka pleuré.
Papa moen Ka pleuré.
Tambour la commencé bat' Vieux
Papa moen Ka pleuré,
Li pas v'lé danser encor Dépi
Mama mort dans Kalenda Roche.


Wo yo yoi, wa ya yai
Mother has died in Kalenda Rock,
Father has cried and cried.
Mother, Oh! Father, Oh!
Mother has died in Kalenda,
Father has cried and cried.
Father has cried and cried.
The drum has begun to beat,
But father is old and cries,
He does not want to be dancing
Since mother died in Kalenda Rock.


(Kalenda Rock is a native dance)
[Calypso Songs of the West Indies, Copyright 1943, M. Baron Co., New York]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 09:28 PM

A pretty amazing song book. Odd that it hasn't seen a reprint in 70+ years:

Subject: RE: Songbook Indexing: Calypso Songbooks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 09:47 PM

CALYPSO SONGS OF THE WEST INDIES

Massie Patterson and Lionel Belasco
Free transcription by Maurice Baron
English versions by Olga Paul

1943
M. Baron Co., New York, quarto, 26pp., pbk.

Invocation = O Ken Karanga (Kingston Trio)
Tinga Layo (Donkey Song)
Pack She Back to She Ma
Louis Camille = Louis Camille (calypso); Colby (Martinique); Choucoune; Yellow Bird
See Me Little Brown Boy?
Mourning Song = Kalenda Rock (Belafonte & Destiné)
Petite Brun Doux-Doux (I'm Dark-eyed and Petite)
Borde, C'est Vrai (Trinidad Race Track Song)
Martinique Brulée (Martinique Has Burned)
Oh, Not a Cent
L'Année Passée (Last Year) = Rum and Coca Cola
Déviré Katie (Katie Come Home)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 10:35 PM

"The activity, known as cannes brûlées (burnt canes), had its origins during slavery." Caribbean stick fighting &c.

This is probably another example of historians reading connections into things where they probably don't exist.

Canne brûlée or "cane fire" signals the start of Cropover and the start the of the, often riotous, French Caribbean carnival seasons. Planters set fire to their ripened cane fields to burn off the leafy "trash". Saves the field workers carrying 20-25% of the (useless) weight and odd fer-de-lance to the sugar mill. This has been true, albeit in other languages and sneks, since the Egyptian and Azores expansion eras. It still worries air quality experts and reptilians today.

Fire hardening of wooden weaponry: canes, clubs, spears &c is more like 400,000 years old. Old school carnival road marches make mosh pits look like a wedding procession. People died every season, though I don't think that's what this song is about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 12:01 AM

Thanks for remembering to post the lyrics, Phil.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Albnut
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 02:58 PM

Phil,

Thank you so very much for posting "les paroles" for this mystery song that has sparked so much interest.

Actually I was just about to relay comments from my friend Ville in Finland with his spin on things when I saw your entries.

I will do so anyway to underline the importance of what you have brought to the table.
Here goes-

" I don't understand much French, even less Haïtien, but, in regard to the (very short) story of one's mom having participated in a (potentially dangerous, mockingly-violent)Kalenda dance and having been hit and died by that) might the "tan bola" be equivalent with "(ce)tombeau-là"?
And might the meaning in another line be like "il faut danser encore, a dit maman"? At least it would make sense.
In any case, I have no idea of what the syllable sounding like "bli" in that same line might mean, or why (instead of "a")there twice can be heard "de" or "deh".
Actually, I love that song in its sadness, and would so much like to know what exactly is told there.
If you can help, Im grateful.
Ville K, Helsinki"

Again many thanks Phil,
Albnut in Montreal


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 07:36 PM

You're both very welcome and thanks for your patience. I really did expect to answer sooner. (Boat work, I didn't volunteer; I was drafted.)

Belasco was born in Trinidad and Patterson in Martinique but neither commented on the song as far as I know. Without context it's sort of what you make of it:

In Trinidad the Kalenda stick fighting bands were mostly a young man's sport linked with Lenten Carnival. The story would be a mourner's song but also part murder ballad.

In Martinique old, settled, Catholic couples danced and chanted the Kalenda at Christmas midnight mass. Here the same lyric reads like a pure tear-jerker.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 07:59 PM

Here are some links on Patterson touring company dancer Bob Destiny (1933-2015)(RIP) who released his album three years after Belafonte. It's the only other cover I'm aware of:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Destiny

http://www.bobdestiny.eu/

also: The Voice Of Bob Destiny, Tampa, TP-3, 1957


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 08:27 PM

Phil, can you recommend some calypso songbooks?
I have Calypso Folk Sing from Ludlow Music, and I like it very much. I thought I had others, but can't find them now.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 11:50 AM

A big thank you follows from Ville in Helsinki-

"Oh, Great..
You cannot imagine how grateful I am.
Now I must sleep again for a while.
Then I'll return.
-Ville-"

He had just returned from 2 days of rehearals that included the introduction of Kalenda Rock. Hence the reference to catching up on his sleep.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 05:53 PM

Ville: "Now I must sleep again for a while."

I know exactly how you feel.


Joe - Songbooks: Depends a lot on what you're collecting for and your audience. Song history & the subject of cultural appropriation are more likely to come up with 'Modern Calypso' or the Lomax folk books around lefty folkies. Pop audiences are as forgiving as you are entertaining.

The Ella Jenkins and Raffi books are good for school groups. The vinyl or CD reissue and matching songbooks from the Folk Scare era are really useful if that's your thing. (Easy Riders, Belafonte, the Patterson Calypso LP, &c.)

I used to think the really classic stuff like Q posted was just too pricey for me but sometimes it seems they're not on offer at all anymore. Maybe we should start a preservation society.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 06:28 PM

And I just got this record again, too. I really should have known the answer to this query, but de tam tam call and de lemon grass...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song)
From: GUEST,Jo VH - Antwerp
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 09:33 AM

How interesting is this thread, "Kalenda rock" is truly a moving song. I just listened to the whole "Mark Twain" recording once more and find it the most beautiful LP Belafonte ever made. (and I have some to compare: my late brother in law's collection of Belafonte records and my own add up to some 40 LP's).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 September 12:46 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.