Gillena Cox, TT



The Fold*

Mesmerizing Harangue

Savouring, the sweet sound of parang;
After dinner suffusion;
The dancers, as the paranderos sang;
The music, overwhelming every care;
Days to Christmas, sweet sound of parang;
In frilly blouses, and swirling skirts;
Singing in their Spanish twang;
Of Jesus and Maria;
Delivering a mesmerizing harangue;
Rainstorms and thunder storms all;
Recoil to the sweet sound of parang.


*Gillena Cox created The Fold form.






Parang is a Caribbean folk music genre with its origins in Trinidad and Tobago. It is closely associated with Christmas festivities, and traditionally has religious (Christian) lyrics, often in Spanish. Modern popular parang music has absorbed various other musical styles, and often features English lyrics and North American cultural influences. The word is derived from the Spanish word parranda, meaning 'merry-making' or 'a group of serenaders'.

Traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmas time, when singers and instrumentalists (collectively known as the parrandero) travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends and neighbors using whatever instruments are to hand. Popular parang instruments include the cuatro (a four-string small guitar) and maracas (locally known as shak-shaks. Other instruments often used are violin, guitar, claves (locally known as toc-toc), box bass (an indigenous instrument), flute, mandolin, bandolin, caja (a percussive box instrument), and marimbola (an Afro-Venezuelan instrument). In exchange for the entertainment, parranderos are traditionally given food and drink: rum or ponche a creme (a form of alcoholic eggnog).

While traditional house-to-house caroling tradition is still practised by some small groups and larger organized groups, modern parang music has also developed a season of staged performances called parang fiestas, held from October through to January each year, culminating in a national parang competition.






Polling Day 2007

As billowy clouds dissolve,
Egrets from gusty heights installed,
Justly kittled, lend
Monday's nexus of polling queues,
Regal sagacity;
Treetops undulate,
Vying with xiphoid yielding zephyrs.


*ABCEDARIANA poem having verses / words beginning with successive letters of the alphabet. See the Writer's Handbook.

ELECTIONSin Trinidad and Tobago the 1946 elections were the first with universal adult suffrage. 2007General Election Monday 5th November.









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