Monday, October 10, 2005

Translation: Colonization in Reverse

Original: Colonization in Reverse
By: Louise Bennett

Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie,
I feel like me heart gwine burs'
Jamaica people colonizin
Englan in reverse.

By de hundred, by de t'ousan
From country and from town,
By de ship load, by de plane-load
Jamaica is Englan boun.

Dem a-pour out o'Jamaica,
Everybody future plan
Is fe get a big-time job
An settle in de mother lan.

What a islan! What a people!
Man an woman, old and young
Jusa pack dem bag an baggage
An tun history upside dung!

Some people don't like travel,
But fe show dem loyalty
Dem all a-open up cheap-fare-
To-England agency.

An week by week dem shipping off
Dem countryman like fire,
Fe immigrate an populate
De seat o' de Empire.

Oonoo see how life is funny
Oonoo see de tunabout,
Jamaica live fi box bread
Outa English people mout'.

For wen dem catch a Englan,
An start play dem different role,
Some will settle down to work
An some will settle fe de dole.

Jane say de dole is not too bad
Bacause dey payin she
Two pounds a week fe seek a job
Dat suit her dignity.

Me say Jane will never find work
At the rate how she dah look,
For all day she stay pon Aunt Fan couch
And read love-story book.

Wat a devilment a Englan!
Dem face war an brave de worse,
But I'm wonderin how dem gwine stan
Colonizin in reverse.

Translation:

What joyful news, Miss Mattie.
I feel like my heart will burst.
Jamaicans are colonising
England in reverse.

By the hundreds and the thousands,
from rural and Kingston ground,
by the ship-loads and the plane-loads
Jamaica is England bound.

They are pouring from Jamaica.
Everybody's future plan
Is to get a high-class job
and settle in the motherland.

What an island! What a people!
Men and women, old and young
are packing their bags and barrels
and turning history up side down.

Some people don't like to travel,
but just to show their loyalty
they're opening their very own
'cheap-fare-to-England' agencies.

Week by week the volume of
countrymen shipping out gets higher,
all to populate and saturate
the seat of the Empire.

Do you see how life is funny?
Do you see the irony?
Jamaicans are now the ones
with English folks' money.

Once they get to England,
they settle in their different roles.
Some will get right down to work
but some will settle for the dole.

Jane says the dole is not too bad
because they will pay her
two Pounds a week to find a job
that she's well suited for.

I think Jane will never find work
at the rate that she claims to look,
for all day long she sits on Aunt Fan's couch
and reads her romance book.

What confusion and excitement in England.
They faced war, and braved the worst,
but I'm wondering how they will manage
colonizing in reverse.

3 comments:

Trinidad said...

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
There are various sea vessels involved in shipping to jamaica. It may include box boats or container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, cable layers, dredgers and barges.

Mals!! said...

Thanks for the translation!! good work..and of great help..

Cindy Dy said...

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