Way Down Demerara

When your ship has passed the islands and the blue sea turns to brown,

And the leadsman calls ‘Five Fathoms’ when he casts the lead-line down,

And you see a long flat coastland and a smokeless wooden town,

You can reckon you are nearing Demerara.

Demerara, Demerara, you can reckon you are nearing Demerara.

 

When you’re wakened in the morning by a cheerful kiskadee,

And you see a sakiwinki by a mukka mukka tree,

And the very homely features of the slimy manatee,

You can know that you are down in Demerara.

Demerara, Demerara, you can know that you are down in Demerara.

 

When you spot an alligator who is waiting for a feed,

And observe a salempenta (of the iguana breed),

And you dodge the marabunta (ripe for any evil deed),

You are somewhere, without doubt, in Demerara.

Demerara, Demerara, you are somewhere, without doubt, in Demerara.

 

When you sail up mighty rivers and you scarcely glimpse a hill,

And you see the great Kaieteur (which perhaps you never will),

When you pay your fare in shillings, though it’s dollars on the bill,

You will boast that you’re at home in Demerara.

Demerara, Demerara, you will boast that you’re at home in Demerara.

 

Song by R.C.G. Potter

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Listen to rendition by our very own Charmaine Blackman