Miss Lou Poems
Written and Performed by Louise Bennett

Miss Lou Poems are creative, comedic and cultural. They have always been the highlight of Jamaica's Folk industry.

When it comes to dialect and taking the Jamaican Patois to the world, Miss Louise Bennett Coverley was perfect for that.

Here are just a few of Miss Lou's poems that you can familiarize yourself with.

Noh Lickle Twang

This poem bemoans the fact that a recent repatriate Jamaican has returned from the United States without a trace of having been--not even a little "twang"! This, to say the least, is a highly unusual occurrence and all the more unforgivable.

That along with the poem - Dry-Foot Bwoy are two of the more popular Miss Lou Poems and are crowd favourites. I have the words below as well as an audio of her presenting them both. Enjoy!!

Miss Lou Poems - Jamaica Labrish

Louise Bennett - Noh Lickle Twang

Me glad fe se's you come back bwoy,
But lawd yuh let me dung,
Me shame o' yuh soh till all o'
Me proudness drop a grung.

Yuh mean yuh goh dah 'Merica
An spen six whole mont' deh,
An come back not a piece betta
Dan how yuh did goh wey?

Bwoy yuh noh shame? Is soh you come?
Afta yuh tan soh lang!
Not even lickle language bwoy?
Not even little twang?

An yuh sista wat work ongle
One week wid 'Merican
She talk so nice now dat we have
De jooce fe undastan?

Bwoy yuh couldn' improve yuhself!
An yuh get soh much pay?
Yuh spen six mont' a foreign, an
Come back ugly same way?

Not even a drapes trouziz? or
A pass de rydim coat?
Bwoy not even a gole teet or
A gole chain roun yuh t'roat.

Suppose me las' rne pass go introjooce
Yuh to a stranga
As me lamented son wat lately
Come from 'Merica!

Dem hooda laugh afta me, bwoy
Me could'n tell dem soh!
Dem hooda sey me lie, yuh was
A-spen time back a Mocho.

Noh back-ansa me bwoy, yuh talk
Too bad; shet up yuh mout,
Ah doan know how yuh an yuh puppa
Gwine to meck it out.

Ef yuh want please him meck him tink
Yuh bring back someting new.
Yuh always call him "Pa" dis evenin'
Wen him come sey "Poo".

Dry-Foot Bwoy by Miss Lou

Wha wrong wid Mary dry-foot bwoy?
Dem gal got him fi mock,
An when me meet him tarra night
De bwoy gi me a shock!
Me tell him seh him auntie an
Him cousin dem sen howdy
An ask him how him getting awn.
Him seh, 'Oh, jolley,jolleyl'

Me start fi feel so sorry fi
De po bad-lucky soul,
Me tink him come a foreign lan
Come ketch bad foreign cole!
Me tink him got a bad sore-troat,
But as him chat-chat gwan
Me fine out seh is foreign twang
De bwoy wasa put awn!
For me notice dat him answer
To nearly all me seh
Was 'Actually', 'What', 'Oh deah!’
An all dem sinting deh.
Me gi a joker de gal dem laugh;
But hear de bwoy, 'Haw-haw!
I'm sure you got that bally-dash
Out of the cinema!'
Same time me laas me temper, an
Me holler, 'Bwoy, kirout!
No chat to me wid no hot pittata
Eena yuh mout!'
Him tan up like him stunted, den
Hear him no, 'How siiley!
I don't think that I really
Understand you, actually.'
Me seh, 'Yuh understan me, yaw!
No yuh name Cudjoe Scoop?
Always visit Nana kitchen an
Gi laugh fi gungoo soup!

'An now all yuh can seh is "actually"?
Bwoy, but tap!
Wha happen to dem sweet Jamaica
joke yuh use fi pop?'
Him get bex and walk tru de door,
Him head eena de air;
De gal-dem bawl out affa him,
'Not going? What! Oh deah!'
An from dat night till tedeh, mah,
Dem all got him fi mock.
Miss Mary dry-foot bwoy!
Cyaan get over de shock!

I know a lot of you will not be able to read the words to those two Miss Lou Poems so just listen to them via this audio.

Another one of Miss Lou Poems is a crowd favourite. It's called Cuss Cuss

Not to be confused with Kas-Kas, this poem re-stages a tracing match (i.e. a quarrel) between two Jamaican women. Common cuss-words like "boogooyagga" (low-grade) "heng-pon-nail " (bedraggled) are here liberally used. Opponents are sometimes subjected to the most unexpected similes as " Yuh lip dem heng dung lacka wen Mule kean meck up him mine".

Cuss Cuss - by Louise Bennett

Gwan gal yuh fava teggereg,
Ah wey yuh gwine goh do?
Yuh an yuh boogooyagga fren
Dem tink me fraid o' yuh?

Goh wey, yuh fava heng-pon-nail,
Is me yuh want fe trace?
Me is jus de one fi teck me han
An leggo pon yuh face.

Fe me han noh jine chu'ch an me naw
Pay licen fe me mout',
Me wi tell yuh bout yuh--se yah
Gal noh badda get me out.

Me noh know is wat kine o' chu'ch
Fe yuh mout' coulda jine,
Yuh lip dem heng dung lacka wen
Mule kean meck up him mine.

Gwan, me an yuh noh combolo,
Yuh foot shapeless an lang
Like smaddy stan far fiing dem awn
An meck dem heng awn wrang.

Fe yuh foot fava capital K,
Koo pon yuh two nose-hole!
Dem dis big an open out like
Miss Tane outsize fish bowl.

Goh wey, yuh kean bwile sof egg
But still yuh want get ring,
Noh man na gwine fe married yuh
Wen yuh kean do a ting.

Is grudge yuh grudgeful, me kean cook
But me ben goh dah good school,
Me got intelligency yuh
Illiterated fool !

Me sorry fe de man yuh get
De po' ting hooden nyam
When you ackebus him salt-fish
An bwilivous him yam.

Here is an audio of another one of Miss Lou Poems. This is  one of MY favourites. She explained "Fi Wi Language" best: Take a listen!

So the next time you hear any of Miss Lou Poems you will be a bit more familiar with her style of writing and presentation and you will be able to follow along.

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