Monday, October 28, 2019


The well-known singer Candy Taman took the Beatles' original Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da and gave it a Chamorro twist, making it a song about an åpbladora, a woman who talks too much and who talks about other people's business.

The word åpbladot (for a man) or åpbladora (for a woman) is borrowed from the Spanish, based on the Spanish word hablar which means "to talk." We also get from there the word åpbladurías, meaning "gossip, rumor, hearsay."

Humånao yo' machocho tåftaf gi ega'an;
(I went to work early in the morning;)
gaige i asaguå-ho gi besino.
(my wife was at the neighbor's.)
Tinane' de umåpbla yan si kumaire
(She was occupied gossiping with comadre)
ya i gimå'-ña mampos mutung kochino.
(and her house was overly stinking dirty.)

Obladi oblada åpbladora.
(Obladi oblada gossiper.)
Ti måtto tåtte gi ora.
(She didn't come back on time.)

Sige de tumånges sa' ma trompåda;
(She kept crying because she was punched;)
todo man ma botcha matå-ña.
(all her face was swollen.)
Trinikos ni asaguå-ña sa' ha såsångan
(She was hit in the face by her husband because she was saying)
i mina' tres na påtgon otro tatå-ña.
(the third child had a different father.)

Obladi oblada åpbladora.
(Obladi oblada gossiper.)
Hågo lao pot mudora.
(You alone are stupid.)

Yanggen esta tåya' para un cho'gue, kieto.
(If you already have nothing to do, keep still.)
Maolek-ña un fama'gågåsi masea un fan lålåkse.
(Better for you to be washing or sewing.)

Maolek-ña mo'n pendeha ennao un cho'gue;
(It would be better silly for you to do that;)
laksiye famagu'on magågo.
(sew the children clothes.)
Tulaika i kostumbre-mo båsta umåpbla
(Change your ways, stop gossiping)
sa' i probecho puro ha' para hågo.
(because the benefits are all yours.)

Obladi oblada åpbladora.
(Obladi oblada gossiper.)
Hågo ha' bai adora.
(You alone I will adore.)


(1) Kumaire comes from the Spanish word comadre, or co-mother. The mother of a baby and the godmother of that baby are co-mothers or kumaire. But in this song the lady isn't necessarily gossiping with her kumaire. Kumaire can mean, at times, a woman with whom you are close, as if you both are kumaire.

(2) The idea here is that the lady is gossiping about other people's dirty laundry and yet her own house is filthy because she neglects her duties in order to gossip with others.

(3) I am unsure if these lines refer to the gossiping lady, or do these lines represent the kind of gossip she engages in? In any case, the first two lines talk about a lady, I assume, being physically abused; she is crying because she is punched and her eyes are all swollen. Why? Possibly on account of the next two lines. Her husband has been deceived because the third child is not his but another man's.

(4) She should give up gossiping because she herself will benefit, not just those she is gossiping about.

(5) "You alone I will adore," is meant sarcastically. A gossip makes everyone else look bad, as if he or she is perfect and worthy of adoration.

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