Anjelik o!

AFSC works with local peace communities in Haiti.

Here's another Haitian song that I learned when I was looking into Choucoune. It's quite old and well known in Haiti but I have only heard two recordings of it in Haitian Creole. One is from the Lolita Cuevas' "Haitian Folk Songs" the other is part of Jocelyne Dorisme's beautiful rendition of Choucoune, which is really a medley of Haitian songs. In the 1950's, Harry Belafonte did an English language version that was also recorded by the Brothers Four.

The translation is roughly, "Anqelique Oh! You can't wash or iron. I'm going to send you back to your mother." Seems pretty sexist, but there is another interpretation. Anjelik was sung during the first U.S. occupation of Haiti [1915 – 1934], in reference to the marital problems of the U.S. commander. Like so many songs sung under occupation it was taken as code for "Yankee, go home to your mama!"

Sadly, the name of Haiti in recent years has become almost synonymous with suffering. It would be a shame to enjoy their culture without giving something back. I recommend supporting the work of Unicef and American Friends Service Committee in Haiti.

Lyrics: 

Anjelik o!
Ale kay manman ou!
Anjelik o!
Ale kay manman ou!
(repeat)

Ti fi ki pa konn lave, pase
Ale kay manman ou!
Ti fi ki pa konn lave, pase
Ale kay manman ou!
(repeat)

Ale kay manman ou, chè !
Ale kay manman ou, chè !
Ale kay manman ou, ma chè
Pou ou pa ban mwen dezagreman.

Ale kay manman ou, chè !
Ale kay manman ou, chè !
Ale kay manman ou, ma chè
Pou ou pa ban mwen dezagreman.

(Repeat from the top)

Instruments: