Tuesday, June 2, 2015


In the late 1930s, Påle' Roman Maria de Vera, the most outstanding expert in the Chamorro language among the Spanish Capuchin missionaries, was busy trying to raise money to build a new church in Santa Cruz, Hagåtna.

This was the second parish in the capital city, which had around 10,000 residents. The original church was built almost 20 years before and was too small for the growing population.

In order to raise funds, Påle' Roman conducted raffles. One of the main prizes was an Indian bull, donated by Pedro Martinez, the wealthy businessman and close friend of the missionaries. He owned a large herd of cattle in Dandan.

As usual, Påle' Roman used music to attract buyers of raffle tickets. He used commonly-known school songs and put them to Chamorro words. Most of these tunes are not known today.

Here they are :

Sung to "There's a cry behind the hill" :

Ayogue' i dangkulo, Indian bull! Indian bull!
Påtas, ulo, kanghelon, Indian bull! Indian bull!
Håfa ya-mo Christmas-mo, sångan på'go i ya-mo;
Indian bull! Indian bull! Indian bull!
(There is the big Indian bull!
Feet, head, horns, Indian bull!
What would you like for Christmas, say now what you'd like;
Indian bull!)

Sung to "Postman! Postman!" :

Dollar, dollar, bente na numero;
dollar, dollar, sa' riko hao.
Nihe ta anaga, nihe ta afana,
ombre, ombre, na' geftao hao!
(Dollar, dollar, number twenty;
dollar, dollar, because you're rich.
Let's flood each other, let's face each other,
man oh man, be generous!)

Sung to "Cherries are ripe" :

Giya Guåhan, giya Dandan
ma påsto i Indian bull.
Ti ga' ice cream, ti chichipa
lao ya-ña Santa Cruz.
(In Guam, in Dandan
the Indian bull pastures.
He doesn't like ice cream, he doesn't smoke
but he loves Santa Cruz.)

My favorite one, and one sung to a tune we should all know, is sung to "Ring around the rosie" :

Rifa, rifa, rifa, kuånto para hågo,
one, two, three, four, iyo-mo i bull!
(Raffle, raffle, raffle, how much for you,
one, two, three, four, the bull is yours!)

Chule' numeru-mo, kuånto malago'-mo,
one, two, three, four, iyo-ko i bull!
(Take your number, how many do you want,
one, two, three, four, the bull is mine!)


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