Bell Over Yonder
DESCRIPTION: "Bell over yonder, ball-a la-vier." I plant corn, roseau comes up. I plant cane, okra comes up. I plant corn, pumpkin comes up.
EARLIEST DATE: 1954 (Elder-Tobago)
KEYWORDS: vanity death farming nonballad religious Caribbean
FOUND IN: West Indies(Tobago)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Elder-Tobago 12, "Bell Over Yonder" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: Why isn't the title "Belle Over Yonder"? There is French patois in this song and the idea seems to be -- in this wake song -- that humans screw things up in this life, but it's good in the afterlife.
This is a wake "bongo." In notes to "Nora Nora" Elder writes "'bongo' are concerned with day to day life, with work and procreation and dying and living after death takes the individual away." In his notes to "Ma Dagoma" he writes about the guardian of death, "Ma Dogoma is a kindly, very aged woman," so the afterlife may be "belle." And in his notes to "Ophelia Letter" Elder writes about "this belief that life is continuous and that death is a mere juncture in a constant process." - BS
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