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Monday, January 11, 2010

Shut your mouth, go away!

The Miller/Carter Tree; carrabean centered
but some roots are still missing

GAK! Have been quite busy. Spent most of the weekend working on my family geneology project. No great discoveries, but did add numerous 2nd and 3rd cousins on the paternal side of my family tree. Who knew I had so many cousins, and them spread all across North America?

Truthfully, I sometimes had an arm's distance relationship with my Father's side of the family. I used to get dragged to visit them at family parties, which in general I hated visiting them because dancing for the adults - torture for me - was a requirement. Anyway, the Miller's loved a party, the air was always full of calypso and Latin Music.

The only song I liked was Mama Look at Boo Boo. I remembered that song for ages, but never heard it after we left NYC. That is, until I was on my first trip to Alaska, and sat down for supper in a podunk cafe in the podunk tiny town of Tok. In the middle of nowhere, what played on the radio? Mama look at Boo-boo! Great calypso song about a man so ugly his impudent children call him 'Boo boo', like he's a wound - how cold is that! I remember the beat being much faster, but here's a version of it on YouTube. Click here to hear it! Sing it and get your Caribbean on!

Mama Look a Boo Boo
by Lord Melody (Belafonte at Carnegie Hall version - 1959)

I wonder why nobody don't like me. Or Is it a fact that I'm ugly?
I leave my whole house and go. My children don't want me no mo'.
Bad talk inside the house they bring. And when I talk, they start to sing...

Chorus: "Mama look at Boo Boo", they shout. Their Muddeh tell dem "Shut up your mouth! That is your Daddy."
"Oh no! My Daddy can't be ugly"
So... Shut your mouth, go away, Mama look at Boo Boo day! (UMMPH!)
Shut your mouth go away! Mama look at Boo Boo day!

Couldn't even digest me supper due to the children's behavior. "John!"
"Yes Pa?"
"Come here a moment, Bring the belt, you're much too impudent."
John says, "It's James who started first"
James tells the story in reverse!
I raise me belt from off me waist. You should hear them screaming 'round the place

Chorus

So I began to question the mother, "These children ain't got no behavior
"They're playing with you," my wife declared, "You should be proud of them my dear.
Them children were taught to bloom and slap."
That ain't no kind of joke to crack

There I was, one foot in Tok Alaska, one foot in Harlem NYC, swinging to Belefonte and Boo-boo!

These days, all my paternal uncles and my aunt are gone. My cousins - zillions of them are who are left and I'm learning about them on a family site on Facebook. Amazing! I thought I'd never get to know any of them, but the Internet is rounding us up - and this time I don't have to dance.

In other news, I did something new on Saturday. I volunteered 2 hours getting petitions signed at the Sacto Food Coop with a Museum docent acquaintance, Mary. Went very well, we got 130 signatures while I was on duty. The cause celeb? Saving our California State parks through an initiative to add a $18 bucks to car registration which would go directly, no bypassing allowed, as secured funds for CA State Parks. When you compare the $18 annual with the cost of one adult visit to Disneyland at $98 it doesn't seem like much, does it? The reward? Free park entry fees for everyone. So one State park visit per year and your registration sum is re-cooped in full. We're hoping the initiative goes on the ballot in November. Really want it to pass.

It was COLD, but the signatures made it all worth while

1 comment:

  1. So...now we know why the Miller brothers were such snazzy dressers..kinda goes along with listenting to H. Belafonte, don't ya think?

    ReplyDelete