Dancing in Paradise - Bruce Cockburn

    praying mantis on screen
    canoes prowl reef in early morning sun
    as it flashes on the rhythmic fall of weed cutter's cutlass blade
    everybody's got something to sell besides the obvious dollars and dope
    aloe rub, starfish, vegetable patties, braid your hair miss and bush doctor cures
    sudden angry eruption between aloe peddler and man with property to protect
    muscular security guard with truncheon of twisted wire
    "kiss my blood clot" she hisses and they're enemies for life
    in the beach front bar they're playing reggae versions of Jim Reeves' Greatest Hits
    the waitress sings along, eyes focused dreamily on that sentimental world
    and there's DANCING in PARADISE...

    blue green ship in turquoise bay
    swollen bauxite-red river rushing
    stream rising from feathered bamboo hills
    tracks once paved now falling away into deep lush valleys
    and the farmed-out road contracts pass through so many hands
    the print erodes with the weather-worn blacktop
    and the jungle's always trying to reclaim the right of way
    and the mangoes cacao turmeric goats soursop
    mushrooms cane plantains limes
    horses crayfish long-legged birds donkeys
    curved horns of cattle above dense grass
    ganja sensitive plant ackee
    and some thorn whose prick brings lockjaw
    and tires torn by sharp yellow rocks --
    young girl stares pensively from dark door in pale blue wall
    Big About and friends at their crossroads bar
    with its dirt corral for dancing
    drink soursop juice all day long
    in quest of the perpetual stiff bamboo
    and there's DANCING in PARADISE...

    Biggy Dread gunned down by police at Big Bridge March 16
    riding a mule cart to Sav-la-Mar pulled out a cutlass and they had to shoot
    that's what they say
    something tells me they like to shoot
    something in the eyes of the ones at the road block
    where they searched the car and tried to get us to confess to whatever...
    there's truncheons and gas down in Harbour St. --
    typical response where life isn't so sweet
    and somebody gets desperate enough to say so --
    price of fish price of flour
    going up up up almost by the hour
    and they throw away money on spectacular shows
    to show the world the right likes the right music
    and the Prime Minister sucks ice cream in the company of a happy band of children
    while a naked man, sores on his neck,
    lies for days in Washington Blvd. gnawing chicken bones
    and the Chamber of Commerce thinks there's too much crime
    and there's a kung fu movie in every town
    and there's DANCING in PARADISE...



    Marco Giunco
    Work Basket Music Words