Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jamaica Farewell

by Harry Belafonte

Down the way
Where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on a mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop

(chorus)
But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down
My head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston Town

Sounds of laughter everywhere
And a dancing girl swings to and fro
I must declare my heart is there
Though I've been Maine to Mexico

(chorus)
But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down
My head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston Town

Down at the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their heads they bear
Ackee rice, salt fish are nice
And the rum is fine any time a year

(chorus)
But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down
My head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston Town

I love my country but something has shifted inside me. I don't think I want to come back home without ESC again. I am also not feeling coming back next year as much as we planned to. I feel I need to be in a place that is bigger than me and this is not it. Am I happy to be home? I am relieved to have left the Island Behind God's Back. But even the word "home" sounds pitchy when said out loud in the context of my reality. I have no "home" here. I just 'kotch.' I gave up that freedom/responsibility when I decided to leave the country.

I haven't forgotten why I left. Many of the reasons are still here.

I don't want to come back for a at least two years- not even for a visit. I just want to be away for a while. I hope that one day my own country will again be "home" but until then, I will continue to feel like the leader of a one woman nomadic tribe- just passing through.

3 comments:

Azikiwe said...

yes...we spoke...;-)

The Cloudcutter said...

I've been listening to Harry Belafonte all my life. Even now, my dad and me sometimes huddle together over the Ipod and sing along to Mama Look A Boo Boo!
It's really cool to know you btw.

Sheer Almshouse said...

Azi.. that we did.

Cloudcluter... my fave Harry Belafonte is "Island in the Sun." He is a timeless Jamaican treasure. My fave quote from him is "Poverty is no excuse for the absence of class."

 
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