Author Topic: Linton Kwesi Johnson  (Read 5309 times)

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Linton Kwesi Johnson
« on: 06 Nov, 2005, 15:27:15 »
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Making History

Mekkin Histri
now tell mi someting
mistah govahment
tell mi someting
how lang yu really feel
yu coulda keep wi andah heel
wen di trute done reveal
bout how yu grab an steal
bout how yu mek yu crooked deal
mek yu crooked deal?
well doun in Soutall
where Peach did get fall
di Asians dem faam-up a human wall
gense di fashist an dem police sheil
an dem show dat di Asians gat plenty zeal
gat plenty zeal
gat plenty zeal
it is noh mistri
wi mekkin histri
it is noh mistri
wi winnin victri
now tell mi someting
mistah police spokesman
tell mi someting
how lang yu really tink
wi woulda tek yu batn lick
yu jackboot kick
yu dutty bag a tricks
an yu racist pallyticks
yu racist pallyticks?
well doun in Bristal
dey ad noh pistal
but dem chase di babylan away
man yu shoulda si yu babylan
how dem really run away
yu shoulda si yu babylan dem dig-up dat dey
dig-up dat dey
dig-up dat dey
it is noh mistri
wi mekkin histri
it is noh mistri
wi winnin victri
now tell mi someting
mistah ritewing man
tell mi someting
how lang yu really feel
wi woulda grovel an squeal
wen soh much murdah canceal

wen wi woun cyaan heal
wen wi feel di way wi feel
feel di way wi feel?
well dere woz Toxteh
an dere woz Moss Side
an a lat a addah places
whey di police ad to hide
well dere woz Brixtan
an dere woz Chapeltoun
an a lat a addah place dat woz burnt to di groun
burnt to di groun
burnt to di groun
it is noh mistri
wi mekkin histri
it is noh mistri
wi winnin victri
« Last Edit: 18 May, 2011, 15:12:24 by Frederique »
I can live everywhere in the world, but it must be near an airport -and a pharmacy, I would add.

Δεν είναι ο ύπνος της λογικής που γεννάει τέρατα, αλλά ο άγρυπνος ορθολογισμός που πάσχει από αϋπνίες.


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Linton Kwesi Johnson, Reggae fi Dada
« Reply #1 on: 07 Jan, 2010, 13:47:50 »
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Reggae fi Dada

galang dada
galang gwwaan yaw sah
yu nevvah ad noh life fi live
jus di wan life fi give
yu did yu time pan ert
yu nevvah get yu jus dizert
galang goh smile inna di sun
galang goh satta inna di palace af peace
o di waatah
it soh deep
di waatah
it soh daak
an it full a hawbah shaak
di lan is like a rack
slowly shattahrin to san
sinkin in a sesa af calamity
where fear breed shadows
dat lurks in di daak
where people fraid fi waak
fraid fi tink fraid fi taak
where di present is haunted by di pass
a deh soh mi bawn
get fi know bout staam
learn fi cling to di dawn
an wen mi hear mi daddy sick
mi quickly pack an tek a trip
mi nevvah have noh time
when mi reach
fi si noh sunny beach
wen mi reach
jus people a live in shack
people livin back-to-back
mongst cackroach an rat
mongst dirt an dizeez
subjek to terrorist attack
political intrigue
kanstant grief
an noh sign af relief
o di grass
turn brown
soh many trees
cut doun
an di lan is ovahgrown
fram country to toun
is jus tissel an tawn
inna di woun a di poor
is a miracle ow dem endure
di pain nite an day
di stench af decay
di clarin sights
di guarded affluence
di arrogant vices
cole eyes af kantemp
di mackin symbals af independence
a deh soh mi bawn
get fi know bout staam
learn fi cling to di dawn
an wen di news reach mi
seh mi wan daddy ded
mi ketch a plane quick
an wen mi reach mi sunny isle
it woz di same ole style
di money well dry
di bullits dem a fly
plenty innocent a die
many rivahs run dry
ganja planes flyin high
di poor man im a try
yu tink a lickle try im try
holdin awn bye an bye
wen a dallah cyaan buy
a lickle dinnah fi a fly
galang dada
galang gwaan yaw sah
yu nevvah ad noh life fi live
jus di wan life fi give
yu did yu time pan ert
yu nevvah get yu jus dizert
galang goh smile inna di sun
galang goh satta inna di palace af peace
mi know yu couldn't tek it dada
di anguish an di pain
di suffahrin di prablems di strain
di strugglin in vain
fi mek two ens meet
soh dat dem pickney coulda get
a lickle someting fi eat
fi put cloaz pan dem back
fi put shoes pan dem feet
wen a dallah cyaan buy
a lickle dinnah fi a fly
mi know yu try dada
yu fite a good fite
but di dice dem did loaded
an di card pack fix
yet still yu reach fifty-six
before yu lose yu leg wicket
' a noh yu bawn grung here'
soh wi bury yu a Stranger's Burying Groun
near to mhum an cousin Daris
nat far fram di quarry
doun a August Town
« Last Edit: 18 May, 2011, 15:13:38 by Frederique »

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Linton Kwesi Johnson, Reggae Sounds
« Reply #2 on: 07 Jan, 2010, 13:48:46 »
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Reggae Sounds

Shock, black double down-beat bouncin'
Rock-wize tumble doun sound music
Foot drop, find drum blood story
bass his'try is a-movin' is a-hurtin' black story
Thunder from a bass drum soundin'
Lightnin' from a trumpet and a organ
Bass and rythm and trumpet double up
Keep up with drums for a deep pound searchin'
Ridim of a tropical, electrical storm
Cool doun to de base of struggle
Flame ridim of historical yearnin'
Flame ridim of de time of turnin'
Measurin' de time for bombs and for burnin'
Slo' drop, make stop, move forward
Dig doun to de root of pain
Shape it into violence for de people
They will know what to do, they will do it
« Last Edit: 18 May, 2011, 15:14:57 by Frederique »


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Linton Kwesi Johnson, Five Nights of Bleeding
« Reply #3 on: 07 Jan, 2010, 13:49:43 »
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Five Nights of Bleeding

Madness, madness
Madness tight on the heads of the rebels
The bitterness erup's like a heart blas'
Broke glass, ritual of blood an' a-burnin'
Served by a cruelin' fighting
5 nights of horror and of bleeding
Broke glass, cold blades as sharp as the eyes of hate
And the stabbin', it's
War amongs' the rebels
Madness, madness, war

Night number one was in Brixton
Sofrano B sound system
'im was a-beatin' up the riddim with a fire
'im comin' down his reggae reggae wire
It was a sound checkin' down your spinal column
A bad music tearin' up your flesh
An' the rebels dem start a fighting
De youth dem just tun wild, it's
War amongs' the rebels
Madness, madness, war

Night number two down at Sheppard's
Right up Railton road
It was a night name friday when ev'ryone was high on brew or drew(?)
A pound or two worth of Kali
Sound comin' down of the king's music iron
The riddim just bubblin' an' backfirin'
Ragin' an' risin'
When suddenly the music cut -
Steelblade drinkin' blood in darkness, it's
War amongs' the rebels
Madness, madness, war

Night number three, over the river
Right outside the Rainbow
Inside James Brown was screamin soul
Outside the rebels were freezin' cold
Babylonian tyrants descended
Bounced on the brothers who were bold
So with a flick of the wris', a jab and a stab
The song of hate was sounded
The pile of oppression was vomited
And two policemen wounded
Righteous, righteous war

Night number four at the blues dance, abuse dance
Two rooms packed and the pressure pushin' up
Hot, hotheads
Ritual of blood
« Last Edit: 18 May, 2011, 15:16:25 by Frederique »

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Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sonny's Lettah (Anti-Sus Poem)
« Reply #4 on: 07 Jan, 2010, 13:50:54 »
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sonny's Lettah (Anti-Sus Poem)

From Brixton Prison, Jebb Avenue London S.W. 2 Inglan

Dear mama
good day
I hope that when these few lines reach you they may
find you in the best of health
I doun know how to tell ya dis
for I did mek a solemn promise
to tek care a lickle Jim
an try mi bes fi look out fi him

mama, I really did try mi bes
but none a di less
sorry fi tell ya seh, poor lickle Jim get arres
it was de miggle a di rush hour
hevrybody jus a hustle and a bustle
to go home fi dem evenin shower
mi an Jim stan up waitin pon a bus
not causin no fuss

when all of a sudden a police van pull up
out jump tree policemen
de whole a dem carryin baton
dem walk straight up to me and Jim
one a dem hold on to Jim
seh dem tekin him in
Jim tell him fi leggo a him
for him nah do nutt'n
and 'im nah t'ief, not even a but'n
Jim start to wriggle
de police start to giggle

mama, mek I tell you wa dem do to Jim?
mek I tell you wa dem do to 'im?

Dem thump him him in him belly and it turn to jelly
Dem lick 'im pon 'im back and 'im rib get pop
Dem thump him pon him head but it tough like lead
Dem kick 'im in 'im seed and it started to bleed

Mama, I jus couldn't stan up deh, nah do nuttin'

So mi jook one in him eye and him started fi cry
me thump him pon him mout and him started fi shout
me kick him pon him shin so him started fi spin
me hit him pon him chin an him drop pon a bin
- an crash, an dead

More policman come dung
dem beat me to the grung
dem charge Jim fi sus
dem charge mi fi murdah

mama, doan fret
doan get depress an downhearted
be of good courage-acap
« Last Edit: 18 May, 2011, 15:17:27 by Frederique »

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Linton Kwesi Johnson
« Reply #5 on: 18 May, 2011, 15:22:18 »
Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ) (born 24 August 1952, Chapelton, Jamaica) is a UK-based dub poet. He became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Classics series. His poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Patois over dub-reggae, usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae producer/artist Dennis Bovell.

Johnson studied for a degree in sociology at Goldsmiths College in New Cross, London (graduating in 1973), which currently holds his personal papers in its archives; in 2004 he became an Honorary Visiting Professor of Middlesex University in London. In 2005 he was awarded a silver Musgrave medal from the Institute of Jamaica for distinguished eminence in the field of poetry.

While still at school he joined the British Black Panther Movement, helped to organize a poetry workshop within the movement, and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers.



  Linton Kwesi Johnson at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2008

Poems published in Translatum:

Communicate. Explore potentials. Find solutions.