Chris'mas a Jamaica

by Charles Levy
(Near Ottawa, Canada)

Jamaican Foods

Jamaican Foods

"Wha' happen den, Mas Charlie?"
"Ah, chile, is dream me a dream,
'Bout Chris'mas in Jamaica -
So lang ago it seem.

"Yuh know we las' spen' Chris'mas deh
In nineteen sixty height,
An' every time me tink of it,
Me 'member how it great!

"Remember how at Palisadoes
When we start fi lan',
Yuh tun to me so frighten
Dat me had fi hol' yuh han'?

"Yuh tought seh dat de plane was gwine
Fi crash wi' yuh an' me:
Yuh clean faget de runway dem
Shove out into de sea!

"Remember how de hill dem look
So tall against de sky?
No hill like dat a Ottawa,
Believe me gal - no lie!

"Chris'mas Eve a Harbour Street!
Ha' mercy! What a ting!
Me have two whites wi' Ronnie dere
An' boops! We start fi sing!

"Every Chris'mas song there is,
An' carol dat we know -
'Cept any one at all dat mention
Anyting 'bout snow!

"We visit all de stall dem which
Dem set up roun' Parade,
Where every kind a bric-a-brac
An' toy we see displayed.

"Remember we had dinner at
Blue Mountain Inn dat night?
Dat really is a pretty place!
Bwoy! What a lovely sight!

"Nex' morning bright an' hearly,
We hear a happy noise -
De pickney dem wake up fi see
If Santa bring dem toys.

"Den off to church we hurry,
An' dere we sing an' pray,
An' give Big Massa tanks again
Fi one more Chris'mas Day.

"(Remember chile, when we was young
How every single year,
We use fi tek tram car go down
Fi see Victoria Pier?

"Me hear de market mash up now
An' hotel buil' down deh -
It really seem a pity,
But is progress - so dem seh!)

"Dat morning after clean up,
My time fi have a go -
At las' mi get fi play six game
A pretty domino!

"Believe me chile, me tell yuh,
Me feel jus' like a king,
When me an' ol' frien' D.P.
Gi' Dick an' Dave "de ting*"!

"De relative an' frien' drop by
Fi have a drink wid we;
But what a heap a people so
Dis long time we no see!

"An' den de time fi dinner come -
An' mek me tell you dis:
Dat when you live a farrin,
Is de vittles dat yuh miss!

"Ham an' turkey common -
But still, is Chris'mas fare!
But all de good Jamaican foods -
Everyting was dere!

"Rice an' peas an' yellow yam,
An' green banana too;
Breadfruit, pear, cassava,
An' even duckanoo!

"Whole heap a good Jamaican food -
Some farrin tings as well -
All finish wid plum pudding
An' wash down wid sorrell.

"Den afterwards we ketch a smokes -
Me know it bad fi yuh,
But nutting like a Ryal Blen'
After a Chris'mas do!

"Nex' day we tek de pickney dem
Fi see de pantomime;
All a we enjy weself -
We had a backra time!

"It really sweet me once again
Fi listen to Miss Lou;
Dere's not a soul can tek she place -
She really good fi true!

"Ah, chile! Remember what a blast
Dat Chris'mas prove to be?
Well, if me win dis cantest yah,
We gwine home fi FREE!"

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