Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ocean Bliss... Jack, dah beach is mine!

Ocean Bliss...
"Jack, the beach is mine!"

As the sunshine begins to peak through the cold winter sky and the icicles start to drip, melting the snow beneath, I can't help but remember the warm sundrenched days that I spent in Barbados. 

What was only supposed to be a maximum of 6 months volunteering as a consultant for a children's garden initiative, my passion for the project was too strong and a year later I was finally packing my bags and returning home to Canada. 

As a volunteer, there was never much money for fancy dinners, rum-soaked nights or joining my friends who always had one fabulous outing or another to attend. 

Thankfully, the beach was always welcoming and always free. In fact, unlike some of the other islands, all beaches in Barbados are open to the public.  This is somewhat of an historical carry over - held strong and firm by the people of Barbados - that was incorated into the law after Jack Dear, a lawyer for the Barbados Board of Tourism made the decree that hotel owners had the right to bring their property down to the waterfront.

It was this story as well, that led to a very famous song by a Barbadian calipso artist - the Mighty Gabby!  Although I never had the chance to get to know Gabby during my stay in Barbados, he will always stay firmly planted in my esteem.  Why is that?  Well, aside from his wonderful music, the Mighty Gabby used to volunteer his time teaching music to the children at St. Paul's school where I first started working in Barbados.  To me - for a big calypso star like that to volunteer his time at a little school like that - well, that was pretty impressive!

The song is called "Jack, the beach is mine!" As the story goes, Gabby came up with the idea for the song one night while he was singing at a hotel. A white woman said to him, “could you play some local music.” Jack - the corporate lawyer from the Board of Tourism - was at the hotel that same night.  The encounter led to the creation of “Jack”.  (You can find the lyrics and a YouTube video to listen below!)

So, inspired by my memories of Barbados and all of my wonderfully supportive Bajan friends, here is a peak at my current 'work-in-progress'.  It's a huge triangular chunk or sea glass found just outside of Speightstown in a little spot where I used to drink my morning coffee (Roger I think you know where that is!)

Work-in-progress!  Huge chunk of triangular sea glass with a wave pattern that's frosted over by the natural tumbling of the sea and the sand.  The sea glass is wrapped in fine silver and surrounded by an assortment of quartz chips as well as pink, peacock and keishi pearls. 

Let me know what you think! (finished seaglass necklace!)

Lyrics and song by The Mighty Gabby, from the song Jack, Barbados.
I grow up bathin, in sea water
But nowadays, that is bare horror
If I only venture, from my seashore
Police Telling me, I cyan bade no more
Cause “Jack” doan want me to bade on my beach
“JACK” tell dem to keep me outto reach
“JACK” tell dem, I would never made de grade
dey STRENGHTEN SECURITY and build barricade
Dat cyan happen here in this country
I want Jack to know that the beach belong to me (we)
Dah cyan happen here, OVER MY DEAD BODY
Tell (big guts) JACK (him)
GABBY (I) say that de beach belong to me (we)
Look! That beach is mine, I can bade anytime
Despite what they say I go there anyway
(I gine bade anyway)

Here is the YouTube link to listen to "Jack"!  I love this song...  the Mighty Gabby is awesome!


  1. No time to edit on this post - but hopefully you won't mind too much! X

  2. So nice to hear to u enjoyed the time you spent on our beautiful island! I just wanted to give you the correct spelling for the town you mentioned - 'Spitestown' is spelt 'Speightstown'

  3. You are so right! Thank you for pointing that out. I don't know how I made that mistake. Thank you so much! :)

  4. Are you still alive? - JG

  5. Yup! Was overseas for over a year and half. It was a little hectic. Just started creating again and hope to start blogging again soon :)


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