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Jamaican Medley

By Paul Tucker

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SSAATTBB choir a cappella (SSAATTBB choir a cappella)
Arranged by Paul Tucker. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0728. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0728).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0728


Jamaican Medley
(Solas Market, Mi Cawfee, & Mi Mummah No Wan')
arranged by Paul Tucker

Folksongs highlight various aspects of the lives of the inhabitants of a country. Because they are passed down from one generation to another orally, folk song melodies and texts vary from one singer to another. The melodies used in this medley represent my own recollection of these songs growing up on the island. The text, on the other hand, is compiled with the help of some of my childhood friends. To these folks I am forever indebted.

The three songs in this medley describe three views of the lives of some Jamaicans. The medley could be simply described as a reflection on food. All the songs have much more to them than I have chosen to use here. Mi Cawfee,y for instance, has many humorous verses expressing how much the old lady who is singing cherishes her coffee.

The first song is simply a call to journey to the famous Solas Market, or as we called it, Jubilee Market. The second song is an old woman's confession that nothing is of more importance to her than her bowl of boiling coffee in the morning. The vocal accompaniment, in this piece, is meant to mimic the sound of an old coffee pot as it percolates. The third song is a child's insistence that his mother is not in need of yam, fish, or coconut oil from the market. All she seems to care about is dandy shandy, or liquor.

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