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Singing as a tool

In Haiti, singing is omnipresent at all ages and in daily life in general.

Throughout the country’s history, singing was linked with transmission of memories and stories.

As such, Haiti is one of the countries where history is transmitted orally.
The MPP has been using songs since its creation, but it was only able to create its own repertoire at the end of the 1980s, after the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship.

Its song repertoire now serves to confront the serious issues the organisation is facing.

As such, the movement wrote and published a booklet of over 100 songs covering many types of mobilisation and conscientisation, such as the right to own a land, social injustice, women’s rights, etc.

Example of one song :

The following is a Haitian creole song about women’s status and the need to fight back, first translated into French, and then into English :

Click here to listen to it ->

Medam mete fanm sou nou
Medam mete fanm sou nou
Fo’n goumen pou’n bati yon lot sosyete
Sonje nan listwa peyi nou
Okenn lit pa janm fèt san medam yo

Sonje Klè Erez, Madam Desalin
Te sipote mari li ankouraje li

Sonjje Ren Anakaona ki te yon fanm vanyan
Lite goumen ak kolon yo, li prigale yo

Sonje Anriyèt Senmak, libète ou lanmo
Li te konbat kolon yo, li krabinen yo

Sonje Sizan Janbatis, fanm total kapital
Man Tousen Louveti, li te nan lit la

Sonje Sanit Belè, Madam Chal Belè
Fanm ki pa ret ak fanm, lite brav anpil

Sonje man Morepa, li pat pran nan kraponnay
Pandye ak tout fanmiy li, yo mouri ansanm

English version

Ladies, take heart
Ladies, take heart
We must fight to build a new society
Remember that throughout our country’s history
No fight was fought without women !

Remember Claire Erez, Desaline’s wife
Supporting and encouraging her husband

Remember Queen Anakoana, she was a valiant woman
She fought and defeated the colonists

Remember Henriette Senmak, freedom or death
She fought and crushed the colonists

Remember Suzanne Janbatis, a valiant woman
Toussain Louverture’s wife, she fought by his side

Remember Sanit Belè, Chai Belè’s wife
She didn’t stay with the other women only, she was very brave

Remember Morepa’s wife, she feared nothing
Hung with her family, they died together.

Singing as a tool
Auteur(s) : MPP