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CrazyFruits13  » WELCOME TO CRAZY FRUITS BOOK CLUB » DR Louise Bennett was a Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer, and educator

DR Louise Bennett was a Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer, and educator

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BOBmarleyADMIN

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Writing and performing her poems in Jamaican Patois or Creole, she was instrumental in having this "dialect" of the people given literary recognition in its own right ("nation language"). She is located at the heart of the Jamaican poetic tradition, and has influenced other popular Caribbean poets, including Mutabaruka, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Paul Keens-Douglas. 



 She appeared in leading humorous roles in several Jamaican pantomimes and television shows. She travelled throughout the world promoting the culture of Jamaica through lectures and performances. Although her popularity was international, she enjoyed celebrity status in her native Jamaica, Canada and the United Kingdom. Her poetry has been published several times, most notably the volumes Jamaica Labrish (1966), Anancy and Miss Lou (1979).


Her most influential recording is probably her 1954 rendition of the Jamaican traditional song "Day Dah Light", which was recorded by Harry Belafonte as "Day-O", also known as the "Banana Boat Song", in 1955 on a Tony Scott arrangement with additional lyrics. Belafonte based his version on Bennett's recording. The Louise Bennett version of "Day O" is available and documented in both French and English on the Jamaica - Mento 1951-1958 album. Belafonte's famous version was one of the 1950s' biggest hit records, leading to the very first gold record.


Among Loiuse Bennett's many recordings are: Jamaica Singing Games (1953), Jamaican Folk Songs (Folkways Records, 1954), Children's Jamaican Songs and Games (Folkways, 1957), Miss Lou’s Views (1967), Listen to Louise (1968), Carifesta Ring Ding (1976), The Honorable Miss Lou, (1981), Miss Lou Live-London (1983) and Yes M' Dear (Island Records).


She wrote her poems in the language of the people known as Jamaican Patois or Creole, and helped to put this language on the map and to have it recognized as a language ("nation language") in its own right.

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