Music from the Chocolate Lands

I met Beethova Obas at a Chanté Noël in New York City. Musician, composer, and songwriter, Beethova’s songs mix compas, a slow Haitian variety of meringue, with “misik rasin” (roots music), a musical style in which he combines elements of traditional Haitian Vodou ceremonial and folkloric music with rock and roll. Rhythms often contain other world music influences, such as Afrotempo, zouk, bossa-nova, jazz, and even French chanson. In the song “Rasanblé” on Putumayo’s “Music from the Chocolate Lands” CD, he implores his countrymen to rise up and get involved after 200 years. Here he is referring to Haiti’s independence from France in 1803. Follow the link to the song, with the Creole lyrics and English translation below. Watch on YouTube: RASANBLÉ by Beethova Obas

RASANBLÉ

by Beethova Obas Eyi-é yi é yi é yi é Eyi-é yi é yi é yi é Haïtien rasamblé, pa di’m m’pa mélé (“Haitians, gather around, don’t tell me not to get involved”) O Haïtien rasamblé, nou tout concerné (“Haitians, gather around, this concerns us all”) Kou sa pa bon, kou sa pa bien pasé (“When things are not well, when things don’t go well”) Se nou tout ka’p crié. (“We all will cry”) O nêg vanyan d’Haïti (“Oh valiant Haitian men”) Pa di’m pa mélé (“Don’t tell me not to get involved”) O nêg vanyan d’Haïti (“Oh valiant Haitian men”) Nou tout concerné (“We are all concerned”) Prè 200 ans nou chanté liberté (“It’s been 200 years that we have been singing liberty”) Min ki koté nou yé? (“But where are we?”) Guin 200 pay’n malad couché (“It’s been 200 years that our country is laid sick”) Sé on seul chant l’ap chanté: (“Singing only one song”) Mwin malad, m’couché, m’pasa levé (“I am sick, I am in bed, I can’t get up”) M’pasa levé. (“I can’t get up”) Mwin malad, mwin couché, fok moin levé oy (“I am sick, I am in bed, I must get up”) M’pwal môn an ho, mwin pa moun isit o (“I am going to the mountain on high, I am not from here”) Le Bon Die réle’m, m’pwalé (“When God calls me, I will go”) Mwin malad, mwin couché, fok moin levé (“I am sick, I am in bed, I must get up”) Pay’m malad li couché, fok li levé. An moué (“My country is sick and lays in bed, it must get up”) M’pa moun isit o, fok mwin levé (“I am not from here, I must get up”) Lè Bon Die réle’m, m’pawlé (bis) (“When God calls me, I will go”)

(Translation from Creole to English by Margareth Victor)

Click here to hear the entire Putumayo's Music from the Chocolate Lands CD.

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