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Dixon Athanase: Lamo Pa Dou (Death Is Not Sweet)

from Songs of Hard Times: Up, Over & Through (1936​-​1982) by Various Artists



A sawing song composed by Athanase, recorded by Alan Lomax in La Plaine, Dominica, June 1962.


(Translation from Dominican Kweyol:)

Mother, mother, death is bad.
Mother, mother, death is not sweet.
Mother, mother, death is bad.
If I had some money I would buy a box [casket]

Alas, mother, my mother went.
Mother, mother,
I have no father.



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Alan Lomax Archive

Alan Lomax (1915–2002) was a documentarian, ethnologist, cultural activist, and arguably the foremost folklorist of the 20th century. Over his seven-decade career he collected thousands of audio recordings of folk and traditional music from around the US and the world, and dedicated himself to the pursuit of what he called "cultural equity." 100% of proceeds go to the Assoc. for Cultural Equity. ... more

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