Fetchin Water

CLAUDE McKAY

Watch how dem touris' like fe look

Out pon me little daughter,

Wheneber fe her tu'n to cook

Or fetch a pan of water:

De sight look gay;

Dat is one way,

But I can tell you say,

Nuff rock'tone in de sea, yet none

But those pon lan' know 'bouten sun.

 

De pickny comin up de hill,

Fightin wid heavy gou'd,

Won't say it sweet him, but he will

Complain about de load:

Him feel de weight,

Dem watch him gait;

It's so some of de great

High people fabour t'ink it sweet

Fe batter in de boilin heat.

 

Dat boy wid de karasene pan,

Sulky down to him toe,

His back was rollin in a san',

For him pa mek him crow:

Him feel it bad,

Near mek him mad,

But teach him he's a lad;

Go disobey him fader wud,

When he knows dat his back would sud!

 

But Sarah Jane she wus 'an all,

For she t'row way de pan,

An jam her back agains de wall

Fe fight her mumma Fan:

Feelin de pinch,

She mek a wrinch

An get way; but de wench

Try fe put shame upon her ma,

Say dat she cook de bittle raw.

 

Dis water-fetchin sweet dem though

When dey mek up dem min',

An nuff o dem 'tart out fe go,

An de weader is fine:

De pan might leak,

Dem don't a 'peak,

Nor eben try fe seek

Some clay or so to mek it soun';

Dem don't care ef dem wet all roun'.

 

Den all 'bout de road dem 'catter

Marchin along quite at ease;

Dat time listen to deir chatter,

Talkin anyt'ing dem please:

Dem don't a fear,

Neider a care,

For who can interfere?

T'ree mile - five, six tu'n, - an neber

W'ary, but could do it for eber.

 

Back to Africa

LOUISE BENNETT

 

Back to Africa, Miss Mattie?

You no know wha you dah seh?

You haf fe come from somewhe fus

Before you go back deh!

 

Me know say dat you great great great

Granma was African,

But Mattie, doan you great great great

Granpa was Englishman?

 

Den you great granmader fader

By you fader side was Jew?

An you granpa by you mader side

Was Frenchie parlez-vous?

 

But de balance a you family,

You whole generation,

Oonoo all barn dung a Bun Grung-

Oonoo all is Jamaican!

 

Den is weh you gwine, Miss Mattie?

Oh, you view de countenance,

An between you an de Africans

Is great resemblance!

 

Ascorden to dat, all dem blue-yeye

White American

Who-fa great granpa was Englishman

Mus go back a Englan!

 

What a debil of a bump-an-bore,

Rig-jig an palam-pam

Ef de whole worl start fe go back

Whe dem great granpa come from!

 

Ef a hard time you dah run from

Tek you chance! But Mattie, do

Sure a whe you come from so you got

Somewhe fe come back to!

 

Go a foreign, seek you fortune,

But no tell nobody say

You dah go fe seek you homelan,

For a right deh so you deh!

 

African

PETER TOSH

Don't care where you come from

As long as you're a black man, you're an African

No min' your nationality

You have got the identity of an African

 

Cos if you come from Clarendon, you are an African

And if you come from Portland, you are an African

And if you come from Westmoreland, you are an African

Don't care etc.

 

Cos if you come from Trinidad, you are an African

And if you come from Nassau, you are an African

And if you come from Cuba, you are an African

So don't care etc.

 

No min' your complexion

There is no rejection, you are an African

Cos if your 'plexion high, high, high

If your 'plexion low, low, low

And if your 'plexion in between

You are an African

So don't care etc.

 

No min' denomination

That is only segregation, you are an African

Cos if you go to the Catholic, you are an African

Or if you go to the Methodist, you are an African

And if you go to the Church of God, you are an African

So don't care etc.

 

Cos if you come from Brixton, you are an African

And if you come from Neasden, you are an African

And if etc. (with Willesden, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens,

Manhattan, Canada, Miami, Switzerland, Germany, Russia,

Taiwan - Fade)