Songs of Jamaica (1912)
[Footnote on title: “Ribber Come-Do’n”]
From de top o' Clarendon hill
Chock down to Clarendon plain
De ribber is rushin' an' tearin'
'Count o' de showers o' rain.
An' a mudder, anxious an' sad,
Two whole days be'n gone away,
A-buyin' fresh fish fe tu'n han'
Slap do'n at Old Harbour Bay.
But de dark ribber kept her back,
Dat night she couldn' get home,
While a six-week-old baby wailed,
An' wailed for a mudder to come.
Dere were four udder little ones
'Sides de babe of six weeks old,
An' dey cried an' looked to no use,
An' oh dey were hungry an' cold!
So de lee fourteen-year-old gal,
De eldest one o' de lot,
Was sad as she knelt by the babe
An' byaed her on de cot.
"Bya, bya, me baby,
Baby want go sleepy."
Nor puppa nor mumma could come,
Aldough it be'n now nightfall;
De rain pour do'n an' de wind blow,
An' de picknanies dem still bawl.
So de poo' Milly 'tarted out
To whe' a kin' neighbour lib,
Fe see ef a bite o ' nenyam
Dem couldn' p'raps manage fe gib.
"Ebenin', cousin Anna,
Me deh beg you couple banna,
For dem tarra one is berry hungry home;
We puppa ober May, ma,
We mumma gone a Bay, ma,
An' we caan' tell warra' time dem gwin' go come."
The kind district mother thought
Of her own boy far away,
An' wondered much how he fared
In a foreign land that day.
She opened de cupboard door
An' took from it warra be'n sabe,
A few bits o' yam an' lee meal,
An' a pint o' milk fe de babe.
De parents dat night couldn' come,
De howlin' wind didn' lull,
But de picknanies went to bed
Wid a nuff nuff bellyful.
- The river in flood ↵
- To peddle ↵
- The Rio Minho: pronounce 'miner' ↵
- Cultivating his ground or provision field ↵
- In vain ↵
- A verb formed from hushaby ↵
- Corruption of 'Martinique,' the best variety of banana in Jamaica ↵
- Ripe ↵
- Food ↵
- I am begging a few bananas of you ↵
- Those other ones, i.e., the little children at home ↵
- Over at Mayfield ↵