Sunday, September 16, 2012

At The Market, Ladies Cry Out, "Salt Fish Is Nice"

The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources Facebook above highlights this blog's posting about hawkers and their calls. Thank you MEWR.

Even in another 60s pop song there is a description of the market place. A well-known calypso Jamaica Farewell, originally by Harry Belafonte, is another example that tells of ladies crying out their wares.

Jamaica Farewell by Lord Erving Burgess

(Only part of the song)

Down the way where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop


Down at the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their head they bear
*Ackie rice and salt fish is nice
And the rum is good any time of year

(*Ackee rice refers to the fruit of a tropical tree indigenous to the Ivory Coast taken to Jamaica in 1793. It is poisonous but if properly prepared is used as food additive.

Other well-known singers of Jamaica Farewell  include Kingston Trio, Sir Lancelot, Brothers Four, Sam Cooke, Nina n Frederik, Carly Simon and Sting. Information from Wikipedia).

Do you know of other pop 60s songs that refer to the market place and food calls?

Images from Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and Google.
Original article by Andy Lim.
You Tube Video by: aladywriter.



LAM CHUN SEE said...

The hawkers of those days were very tough indeed.

In my kampong, we had a yong tau hu seller whose 'stall' was much like this one; except that it actually included the stove and big wok for cooking the yong tau hu.

Whenever this young man came to our house, he would top up the soup with some fresh water from our well.

Thursday at 11:11pm ·


Victor Lim
Singapore, Singapore

Jenny Quek
Works at Public Utilities Board

Non-Profit Organization..

Karen Lim.

Jagathishwaran Rajo
Industrial Relations Officer at National Trades Union Congress

Jason Kok
Singapore, Singapore

Jasmine Toh
Nanyang Technological University

Roland Lee..

Sorensen Lkh
Works at Government of Singapore

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for response. I guess Facebook is the media to go places with this blog.

burnley5960 said...

Harry Belafonte is more than a match for this, these lads are great but Harry was and is one of the very best voices of them all, with this song the great Marty Robbins and the greatest voice of all Sam Cooke also did a grand job.

MrAlfredhbk said...

I have not heard this version of 'Jamaica Farewell' by the Brothers Four.  They are super.

Thank you so much for sharing. Where I live, in India, songs like these are not available in music stores.


Last two comments from You Tube. Click above to connect.


Dear Andy,

I have just read your entry and replies concerning markets and hawkers.

I remember the street hawkers selling foodstuffs and using their short lengths of bamboo to advertise their presence. Very evocative.

Juicy pineapple slices come to mind. I went on a visit to a pineapple plantation and factory in Johore in 1965 and still have some of the souvenir labels we were given.


I am attaching a photograph which I took at twilight on Changi Beach of an Indian selling peanuts. They were contained in newspaper cones which were piled on a wooden tray which he carried on his head.
I also remember the little Malay boys who patrolled the beach, crying out: "Nasi lemak! Curry puff! Nasi lemak! Curry puff!" Wonderful memories of more relaxed times.

Finally, who could forget the Magnolia Man on his motorcycle with an ice-box full of cold drinks and iced lollies?

I remember accidentally buying a durian flavoured iced lolly, thinking it was vanilla, and the shock when I tasted it! Yuk!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Allan again for the comments and support you have given to this blog.

Allan's stories and pictures about our 60s hawkers will appear in another episode soon.