Parang ! Parang !

Yuh finish bake de bread and mix de coffee, 'Cause de parang group just leave from by yuh Aunt Masie. Yuh know dem boys like to drink and lime. But when dey leave ah place dey doh waste no time. And when dey leave yuh aunt is straight here dey go come. So wash dem glasses and bring out de rum. Before yuh blink and wipe de yampee out yuh eye, Dem boys go be in front we gate singing " Cy, Cy,Cy." Is once a year dey does come, dey aint leaving so. So do quick and get de place ready. Move way de chairs and make room in de gallery. Gurl, open de windows so dat all de neighbours could see. For sure dey go know dem boys was by me.

Ah hear dem boys in Chin shop last Saturday, Doh let nobody fool yuh, dem boys could really play. Rain was falling so de shop was pack up tight. But dem boys play non-stop right through de night. From de time Pablo call a tune and de tocks start to roll, Ah feel de parang spirit rise up in mih soul. Gurl, Tony and Rick does make dem cuatros sing. And mih mouth remain open when de marac man shake he thing. And when Keithos get down on de box bass, Yuh could feel de vibration and heat in de place. Chin and all was making merry, smiling from ear to ear. He run out ah ice bt he just sell out de very last beer. Dem boys good for business, hear what ah say, If ah had a shop, ah would hire dem every single day.

And when dem boys start to sing dey voices does fill up de room. Yuh pores does raise when dem boys begin to croon. And when time come for a slow aguinaldo, Nothing on earth could beat back de old man Pablo. Doh mind he loss a few teeth and have a lisp, When he sing each word does come out clear and crisp. And when Jose start up with "ay ay ay" and get into a warap, Everybody does sing along and start to clap And dey have two girls in de band, from down de street. Ah swear dey voices laced wid honey, ah fus it sweet. Josie and Shelly does caress dem notes from deep down inside. Yuh does feel yuh in heaven and dat aint no lie. Dem notes does float straight up to de sky, Is enough to put water in Daisy and Papa Goon eye.

And dem boys does make yuh swing yuh hip or shake a leg. Look when dey done play for more parang yuh have to beg. Once, ah see sore foot Olga get a vaps and jump off she chair, And start dancing Castilian as if she just doh care. And Taffy, dat dotish saga boy from way up de hill, Doh know one word Spanish but he does hum along still. And some does shout out " Eso! Eso!" and "Ahi! Ahi!" In a special magic dat yuh have to be there to see. Sabanando, Mazanares and Sereno does always score, When dem tunes play, is ah sure encore. And when dem boys done play people does gather 'round like sand, To touch dem, congratulate dem or simply shake dey hand. Gurl, if shake hand was money, dem boys would be rich already, Getting big contracts to sing in dem foreign country.

And dem boys been playing parang from way back when. Is something dey learn from dey family and dey friend. From grandpa to fadder, from uncle to son, From generation to generation de songs live on. The cocoa payol blood strong and dats a fact !! De folks from Grande to Siparia could tell yuh dat José like he born wid a cuatro in he hand. And from small Pablo fadder make him sing in de band. And before Ramón could say "Mama" od "Dadda" or even bawl ! He could say "adíos", " gracías", "caramba" and all.

So, gurl, tonight prepare yuhself for a very special treat. Dem boys go make yuh dance de shoes off yuh feet. 'Cause tonight yuh go hear parang like yuh never hear before. Mucho mas música from de time dey come though de door. Dis house go be hot ...gurl, mucho calor. Mih athrithis go act up and mih bones go be sore. Gurl, fix yuh face and doh look so dead pan. Is not ah wake yuh know, is de culture of de land. Parang is part of we heritage, gurl, is living art. Sweet payol music coming straight from de heart. Cuatro, marac, scratcher and voices all combine, To create an artform dat is truly yours and mine So smile gurl !!... And when dem boys start to play in de verandah, Shout out loud and hard , "Viva la paranda !"

Source: By Miguel Browne

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