1. Sanba Yo Pran Pale // The Poets Speak

Sanba Yo Pran Pale // The Poets Speak

The Sanbas are the poets and keepers of Haitian history and culture. They pass on their wisdom through song and story. ‘Sanba Yo Pran Pale’ is an invitation to the Sanbas to speak their truth whilst paying respect to the vodou ‘Lwa’ or spirits. 

2. Kite Zo A // Leave the Bones

2. Kite Zo A // Leave the Bones

An impassioned protest song that calls on ‘Papa Legba’, the gatekeeper who stands guard at the crossroads between the spiritual and the real, ‘Kite Zo A’ defiantly challenges the régime of Baby Doc Duvalier. 

The lyrics “Manje Vyan nan Kite Zo A” express that while Duvalier may try to destroy the country by taking away freedoms and pleasure of daily life (i.e the ‘meat’), he cannot kill the spirit and soul of the Haitian people - the ‘bones’.

3. Night Drums

3. Night Drums

On any given night in the Haitian countryside you can hear the echoing of tanbours rise above the din of the ocean, barking dogs and crackling radios. ‘Night Drums’ pays homage to the coursing, rhythmic heart of Haiti.

4.

LAMIZÈ PA DOUS

Lamizè Pa Dous // Misery Isn’t SweetL

“Lamizè Pa Dous” focuses on one woman’s search for support and meaning. Singing the words “misery is not sweet”, she is pleading with her friends, her community, and the angels to help her get to a better place. Beautiful yet brutally sad, the eventual lyrics “Bondyè rele’m m prale” signal that it is too much and she has given up - “God is calling me and I’m going to go.” 

5. NO RIVAL!

5. NO RIVAL!

Rara, the music of the Haitian streets, sees bands of frenetic drums and chorused one-note horns march through the towns, crowds in tow. Full of swagger and fueled by local rum, the bands boast and toast and try to outdo one another. ‘No Rival!’ plants a flag in the ground - “Listen up! There’s no better band than Lakou Mizik!”

6. Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) // (Take care of me)

‘Ogou’ is the Vodou spirit of Iron and War. A Vodou follower asks for protection from the brutality of life’s daily battles - “Ogou, you brought me here, take care of me.”

7. Zeb Atè // Grass of the Earth

7. Zeb Atè // Grass of the Earth

“I am like a blade of grass growing in the ground. They don’t know what's in my heart and they don’t know what I will become.” A lament and a warning, ‘Zeb Atè’ says do not underestimate those who seem so easy to walk upon.

8.

BADE ZILE

Bade Zile // Under The Island

A traditional Vodou spiritual song, ‘Bade Zile’ references a mystical place of spirits under the island of Hispaniola which is home to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

9. Nou Tout Se Moun // We Are All People

9. Nou Tout Se Moun // We Are All People

Expressing the interconnectedness of all people regardless of religion, background, nationality or class, ‘Nou Tout Se Moun’ asserts that we are all one people on this earth and we must take care of one another to survive.

10. Boukman O’

10. Boukman O’

A traditional song ‘Boukman O’’ pays homage to ‘Dutty Boukman’, the Vodou Houngan or priest that presided over the ceremony that many say ignited the Haitian Revolution.

11. Simbi Nan Dlo // Simbi In the Water

11. Simbi Nan Dlo // Simbi In the Water

In Haitian tradition, ‘Simbi’ are a family of serpent water spirits who connect God with the natural world. ‘Simbi Nan Dlo’ emphasises that as the entire world is physically connected through water, it is similarly joined via the interconnection of people and their omnipresent spirit.