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Song Parodies -> "Haitian Discourse"

Original Song Title:

"Haitian Divorce"

 (MP3)
Original Performer:

Steely Dan

Parody Song Title:

"Haitian Discourse"

Parody Written by:

Andy Primus

The Lyrics

Columbus Day 13th October 2008 in USA. 1st verse is the late 15th C. - early 16th C. massacre of the indiginous Taino Indians by the Spanish. Most were either killed or taken as slaves and then worked to death (it was cheaper than feeding them - there was a plentiful supply of fresh slaves). Some managed to hide out in the mountains. The Taino had numerous kingdoms throughout the Caribbean islands, all of which were treated in the same way by the Spanish. 2nd verse is the early 16th C. importation of African slaves by the Spanish (they brought voodoo to the Caribbean). Some managed to escape and hide out in the mountains. 3rd verse is back to the massacre of the Taino. 4th verse is about the mixing of the remaining Taino with the escaped African slaves. Their mixed race offspring were called zambos.
Captain Columbus was a lout they said
Such...a lout...the Taino race felt dread
Soon everybody thought they would be dead
He shouts...he fights...he kills 'em through the night, yeah
He is crazy
He will take their gold away
Make 'em pay

Oh - no restitution
No hope with their heads breakin'
No recourse
Oh - death of the nations
This is my Haitian discourse

They take their captives on the ocean swell
On...the way...they feel that this is Hell
They make a zombie with their voodoo spell
It looks...a fright...it wants to take a bite, yeah
It's alive now
Go 'an kill the crew they say
Make 'em pay

Oh - no restitution
For years of their slave takin'
No recourse
Oh - rape of the nations
This is my Haitian discourse

Now the Taino
They're not treated fair
There's no parley with the Spanish, they are in despair
They are riled, they wanna brawl
Their foe was hot though
They trounce the natives an' they know
They won't cut 'em slack
As they blow their stack

They form a union with the slaves an' say
They...will pay...those Spaniards we will slay
Their babies grow to hate 'em the same way
Can't change...their view...coz everybody knew, yeah
Spanish know no
Acts of pity so they go
Toe to toe

Oh - no restitution
No hope with their heads breakin'
No recourse
Oh - death of the nations
This is my Haitian discourse




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Voting Results

 
Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 4.9
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 8

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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 5   8
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User Comments

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Paul Robinson - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
An ugly tale, but well told, Andy...and a story that SHOULD be told...I was specifically not aware of this particular horror, although I certainly knew that the Spanish colonizers could be plenty ruthless. A couple years ago I did a piece on the fall of the Aztecs, "Praise Be Quetzlcoatl(Then Kiss Your Aztec Good-Bye)"...I leavened it with a little more humor than your piece here, but going over what seems to have happened, I'm not sure you could have done that...it appears the Haitian's were perhaps dealt with in even a more brutal manner than the Aztecs...maybe - not sure. I doubt it was any type of fun to be under the Spanish colonial boot in any circumstance. Good job setting up the background information in the "Top Comments" area. 5's across, including "funny" category...I'm subbing "historically interesting, topical (the anniversary date is near), and highly informative" as criteria in it's place.
alvin - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
well done...unique concept and a tough song to pace
Andy Primus - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
Thanks Paul - for a brief but very informative read go to http://www.eaglerocktradingpost.com/columbusday.htm. A lot of stories about attrocities committed in wartime etc have been invented by one side as propoganda to make their own people hate the opposition more. Not so in this case, the main person writing about this at the time was a Spanish priest named Bartolome de las casas who came to the island as a colonist but was horrified at what his people were doing to the natives under the banner of religion. Columbus may not have set out from Spain with genocide as his intention (his main interest seems to have been to discover somewhere new where he could steal gold & use natives as slaves) but it is certainly what happened when he got there. Every Taino Indian over 14 had to find a quota of gold every 3 months for their Spanish overlords. Anyone who couldn't come up with the right amount had their hands cut off & were left to bleed to death. It was also well documented that the Spanish would feed native babies to their dogs for the fun of it - nice guys eh.
Andy Primus - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
Thanks Alvin
Paul Robinson - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
Andy...YOUCH!
AFW - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
I likee song about Haiti
Andy Primus - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
Thanks AFW
Paul Robinson - October 09, 2008 - Report this comment
BTW, Andy...Wikipedia confirms the abominable treatment the Taino's received at the hands of the Spaniards.
Tommy Turtle - October 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Great telling of an abomination, but, uh, ummm... what about the huge number of slaves brought to the New World Colonies by the *BRITISH* and Dutch, and treated not much better -- worked to death, families broken up and sold, whipped, used as sex toys, castrated, lynched, etc.. ???? Always easier to poke fun at the other guy's bad moves.

Doesn't mean I didn't like it, of course. DKTOS, also of course, so can't rate. But a good retelling of ugly history. Looking forward to the parody of those British traders and plantation owners, and of their slave-trading and slave-dependent farms in North America. Nice job here.
Andy P - October 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Thanks TT - I'll leave the US slave/plantation one for you to do. You're probably better at dodging flak :)

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