Tuesday, September 19, 2017



According to Candy Taman himself who told me, this was the first song Candy wrote in Chamorro. The tune he adopted from songs he heard from Chamorro singers who had lived in Yap and who had returned to the Marianas after World War II.

The song is full of sarcasm and humor. I'll explain in the notes below.

Uriyan tåno', hålom tåsi
(At land's end, in the ocean)
annai hu plånta i gigao-ho.
(where I set my fish net.)
Puro ha' sesyon yan satmonete
(It was all rabbitfish and goatfish)
ya sen dimålas sa' gai hiting.
(and what misfortune as there were bigeye scad.)

Aga' manila yan papåya
(Manila bananas and papaya)
ayo tengguång-ho gi mattingan.
(was my food at the reef.)
Ya låstima i dångkulon talåya
(What a waste was the large net)
sa' todo tinitek nu i guihan.
(because it was torn by the fish.)

I un lancheru mås gef saga
(The rancher is the richest of all)
sa' abundånsia tinanom-ña.
(because his planting is abundant.)
Ya i bulachero et mås dimålas
(And the drunkard is the most unfortunate)
sa' tåya' para kinano'-ña.
(for he has nothing to eat.)

Chinachak tuba na sen mames,
(Very sweet coconut toddy cuttings,)
kinemman kangkung ni bibisbis.
(Sizzling, pan-fried kangkung)
Tamåles chotda para agon-ña,
(Banana tamales as a staple,)
linemmok lemmai na mahange.
(fermented, pounded breadfruit.)

Macheten doffe', galon tuba.
(A dull machete, a gallon of coconut toddy.)
Båtden abono chinile'-ña.
(He brought a bucket of fertilizer.)
Tåya' produkto gi lanchon-ñiha,
(Their ranch had no produce,)
meggai tinanom marihuåna.
(it had a lot of marijuana plants.)

Verse 1 talks about a fisherman using a gigao, a fish trap made of netting. Sarcastically, he says that it turned out to be a bad catch because it included hiting, which was actually a prized fish among the people.

Verse 2 continues the fisherman theme and says that the fish net tore apart because of the abundance of fish caught, recalling a biblical image!

Verse 3 compares the life of a farmer who grows what he eats, and the drunkard who is so drunk that he cannot work and make money or grow food, and thus has nothing to eat.

Verse 4 talks about food, such as tuba, a mild liquor made from coconut sap by cutting certain branches, and kangkung which sizzles in the pan. Older dictionaries spell the word besbes but here they say bisbis. Candy Taman is part Chamorro (Babauta) and part Carolinian (Taman) so he then sings about a Chamorro food (tamåles chotda, banana cooked in a banana leaf wrapping) and then a Carolinian food (linemmok lemmai), which is breadfruit pounded and allowed to ferment.

Verse 5 pokes fun at marijuana growers, who could care less about running a farm for food. They could care less that the machete is not sharp. They make more money growing and selling marijuana, so no food is grown on their farm.

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