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Where The Galleon Sank

by Kobo Town

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1.
when Jonas saw the light did he take fright did he recoil when it seemed to spoil his mood when Jonas met that dawn, did he curse the sun that shone upon that gloom which he consumed like it was food did Jonas regret the years spent in that vale of tears which he would not let himself leave behind and did Jonas shut his ears from the singing of the spheres or did it soothe his overused and aching mind high above the town what did he see when he looked down at the edge of space did he look down to see he had a place and of the faces rushing by as he scaled the summit of the sky of those flying past did one linger as the last when Jonas met that day was he dismayed did he bid it go away, wish it was night or was Jonas overjoyed to be flung into that void where all he knew vanished from view, slipped from his sight did Jonas lament at last how quick his days had passed did he mourn to be torn from them so soon and did Jonas have a care from those now waiting there gathered in his dim and silent room up through the thinning air did his sight become more clear did he alight upon that place that could erase his pride and pain and in those starlit climes did he reflect on misspent times did he wish he could undo his days and live them all again when Jonas saw the light.....
2.
London Town 03:03
London, you are not quite what I expected I beg your pardon if I seem dejected from the colony you one neglected outside child coming home america had the muscle but you had the mind they had the hustle but you had the design that wound worlds together like rope from twine I thought as I walked up the Serpentine we once wanted to be like you bowler hats, garbadine suits now we ape and empire closer to home mimic men, to the end, you bred it in our bones we were the margin, you were the metropole we were the fragment, you were the whole we were the flesh, you were the mind and soul at least that is how we heard the story told London, your sun is set but the night has not quite fallen yet all the stars once caught in your galaxy flicker like lamps here in your city in you London town walking the streets, history crashing all around…. long time, London, since your flag came down long time since we moved along but now I see just how entwined we were left by the years that we left behind with you, Londontown….. ….
3.
King Sugar 03:15
king sugar dead that's is what they said king sugar eh,eh come again from the cane to the rum, now rum to kingdom come it was the reason we came from where we came from from the carrack to the barrack, to press out the syrup to send the best away and drink the rest as guarap glucose, fructose, maltose, overdose last mill closed, old king comatose so from island to island and coast to coast gone is the king that sat on the throne long was his reign, the years of lash and chain horn blown in the night to start the canboulay where flames burn night and day keeping snakes at bay to sweeten cakes a continent away none mourned his demise, bittersweet enterprise none surprised to see the king capsize so from island to island and coast to coast gone is the sovereign that held the throne while rum glowed like gold in the glasses blood flowed thick and slow like molasses gilded age, birds sang in the cage, but time is always turning another page kingdom overgrown in the grasses none can hold back time as it passes of his domain all that remains are ruins standing in fields of cane
4.
Guayaguayare 03:17
i dreamt a long and lonely bay first to catch the light of day as dawn comes rushing over waves in Guayaguayare first stop of those who, passing through, declared the world they found was new you almost might believe it to in Guayaguayare three sails went by, not long ago, years of fire to unfold the embers are still growing cold at Guayaguayare black as oil, yellow as gold the sands spell dangers to the soul thy are grey as death if truth be told in Guayagauyare row on row of green crowned trees len out over tossing seas as if pulled back by memories in Guayaguayare and when the dawn begins to break its light refracted by the spray send colours rolling over waves across the silent bay across the silent bay across the silence broken by the coming of the day I dreamt a far forgotten bay whose long and winding name remain to tell us of a vanished age Guayaguayare
5.
january, frozen winter day down by the bus stop dancing the cold away bitter wind, blowing the snow around but she don’t notice she’s captured by the sound coming through headphones from far away songs that bring the light and sing the green of day sounds stream making her troubles seem to be passing like a dream midnight, busy hospital floor worn down, doesn’t know how she will endure tomorrow’s day shift at the grocery store but for the children she would do all that and more hoe for a quick change of uniform time to kiss two cheeks and rush out the door manager uptight, ready to fight, he don’t know what she does it for mother dear, whatever brought you here to this place so far from all that you held near I know it was hard, you never let your worries show, mother dear, you are so much stronger that you know….
6.
the other night I had a dream strange and portentious it did seem the other night I had a dream strange and portentious it did seem a man in a top hat with stars and stripes was dancing with a lady all dressed in white and as the crowd gathered around man, they were the talk and toast of the town we ent going home before day morning not until the sun is high in he sky we ent going home before day morning the band was playing on the gent and the dame dancing up a storm she waving a flambeau in she hand he plotting to win her affection a bulldog was barking by she feet and he beat it like an old pothound in the street and as the crown started to cheer he get brave and he fighting condor and bear this display of courage and might made the young lady to scream with delight so he started making outrageous claims in an attempt to further impress the dame he said “come leh we travel in class from the Berlin Wall to the Khyber Pass and when get tired of the West Indies we go bathe in the Tigris and Euphrates...” by the end of the dance interest had bloomed into romance which soon turned to jealousy he didn't want no one else talking to she he said come leh we build a home she said she could belong to no man alone in a rage he cuffed the dame to the ground and the fire from the torch burned the whole place down
7.
on this place by the shore could ask for nothing more this place by the shore can't help but suspect something more lies way down in the deep long hidden by the sea way down in the gloom where ships and seamen met their doom remnants of that golden tide which drew men across the ocean wide left by those times which these wide waters try to hide down in the deep where colours fade where slaving ships and pirate raids left silver coins and rusted chains half eaten by the waves what the sea remembers is all it takes away what the sea remembers will it spit it out some day what the sea remembers it buries in the blue what the sea remembers could have been me and you. on the place by the shore I sense something long obscured worn by the wash of time half-eaten by the salty brine if you look close you could see the outline of that history which if you look close you could see is a reflection there of you and me because we really never step outside the world these waters try to hide not on this windy shore where natures elements collide but when the waves reached for you I could not share you with the blue no, you were mine to keep no, not for you the hungry deep what the sea remembers is all it takes away what the sea remembers will it spit it out some day what the sea remembers it buries in the blue what the sea remembers could have been me and you.
8.
Smokestacks, not steeples, towered over the people no bells, now whistles kept the time and men sought nothing higher than sated desire while neon, not fire, lit the signs it was a time very like our own when gods and princes were overthrown it was a time very like our own when gods and and princes were overthrown it was an age when things were rearranged put the devils out of sight and the heaven's within range for some it was wonder, for others passing strange santimanite smokestacks, not steeples, towered over the people no bells, now whistles kept the time and men no longer wanted a world that was haunted still haunted by the divine it was a time very like our own when long held customs were outgrown young men in boots marched to new absolutes trying to pull the tree up by the roots they sought relief in the arms of unbelief but the emptiness that followed send them rushing after dreams which paraded down their promenades, went dancing across their screens santimanite bridge: and prophets of doom said the end would come soon we'd fade into the night just like the waning of the moon and sour statisticians said we were running out of room there was no light to pierce the gloom.
9.
last night I awoke to the sound the town of Karachi burning down people was adding wrong to wrong the town of Karachi burning down they were burning buses and looting stalls the town of Karachi burning down man, they beating the rickshawallah and all i never seen in all of my days how grief could set a city ablaze i never seen in all of my days how grief could set a city ablaze some people beating their chest in shame the town of Karachi burning down some people chanting miss Bhutto's name the town of Karachi burning down and to underscore what they mean the town of Karachi burning down they dousing the whole place in kerosene the town of Karachi burning down as if the sticks and stones and strife could restore a leader to life as if the sticks and stones and strife could restore a leader to life some people said it was taliban the town of Karachi burning down some was out batting for imran khan the town of Karachi burning down some even said it was she own husband the town of Karachi burning down rumours was flying through the land the town of Karachi burning down as if all the malicious talk could make the dead to get up and walk as if all the malicious talk could make the dead to get up and walk
10.
before the day star you were formed in the womb by the light of the Spirit warmed before flesh and blood were stitched to bone before the day star you were known before the day star you were willed then by breath and being filled in that unseen place where you would grow before the day star you were known before the day star you were made no accident, no mistake you say your mama barely knew your dad before the day star you were planned before the day star you were conceived in the mind of God, to be received into the waiting arms of all that is before the day star you were his you are the meeting place between dust and grace the infinity of heaven, the lines of time and space the apple of all-seeing eyes before the day star you were prized before the waters split into sky and sea before the day star you were called to be a ray reaching back to that ageless light which before the day star was burning bright….
11.
in the shrine on the mountain no bells ring to call no candles burn late and low to greet the nightfall and wooden saint keep watching from their shelves on the wall over the changing world.... the world is turning time marching on the field is burning it ent waiting for none the sea is churning the world we know is just a passing shadow in the fort on the coastline two guns rust away on guard against the galleons of a long vanished day while they gaze from their outpost on the still quiet bay over the changing world.... in the field on the flatlands no spades break the soil no calloused hands now catch the fruit before it falls and it spoils and the great house stares blankly across the years of blood and toil over the changing world....
12.
you should watch your children as they sleep eyes plunged down into the higher deep there will be vows to make and vows to keep in the still air of the room when the evening’s protesting cries have fallen all to lullabies oh, I advise you stay awhile before you tiptoe away when the flash of anger has left those cheeks and you trace the lines where the tears left streaks and kiss the lids over eyes that seek all their answers from you memories are for them like they are for us some loom like mountains, others blow away like dust some lodge like splinters and others, like rust, must be scraped off before you can shine so sitting here by this bedside fumbling for words to entreat the Divine and render thanks for this blessed life that has become the reason for mine…
13.
Abatina 03:52

about

Kobo Town brings the past to the surface on Where the Galleon Sank

Drew Gonsalves was on a boat when the idea came to him. The Kobo Town bandleader was heading out on the Gulf of Paria, a pocket of the Caribbean Sea which stretches between Trinidad and Venezuela, when he spotted the rusted wreck of an old barge beneath the surface.

"Looking down I was struck by how much of our history - like that sunken vessel - lies buried under waves, its outline barely visible in the blue shadows", the Trinidadian-Canadian songwriter observes in his liner notes to Kobo Town's long awaited third album, Where the Galleon Sank. Gonsalves continues: "Beneath this much traversed patch of ocean lie Spanish galleons, slaving ships, pirogues (fishing boats), oil tankers and even U-Boat submarines – all covered by that vast water which serves as both a barrier and bridge between our islands and the wider world."

The barriers and bridges built by the colonial rule that governed Trinidad have long been at the heart of Drew Gonsalves' much acclaimed writing. On "Galleon", he sets out to raise some of that hidden past to the surface. He named his band Kobo Town after the historic neighborhood in Port-of-Spain where calypso was born. Over the past decade, the Toronto-based musician has reinvigorated and reimagined calypso, infusing this Caribbean folk music with reggae, ska, and an array of contemporary sounds to create Kobo Town's driving, joyous calypso rock.

On his new release, Gonsalves continues to explore 500 years of history through his Trinidadian lens, armed with his trademark wit and gift for melody. Belizean maverick producer Ivan Duran - integral to the success of 2013's Jumbie in the Jukebox - is once again manning the console, creating a warm, percolating, richly layered sound. The making of "Galleon", recorded in Montreal, Toronto and Belize, was delayed when Gonsalves and Duran became involved in one of the biggest musical comeback stories of 2016. Along with Manu Chao, they co-wrote and produced one of their childhood musical heroes, Trinidadian legend Calypso Rose, whose new album has already gone gold in France.

As on Kobo Town's two previous outings, "Galleon" is filled with buoyant music that stimulates both body and mind; propulsive, infectious grooves are juxtaposed with incisive lyrics that expose human folly and our tendency to repeat our mistakes. Part poet, part correspondent, Gonsalves delivers compelling dispatches from events both real and imaginary. "King Sugar" recounts the end of the sugarcane export which shaped the Caribbean, reminding us that today's extraction economies may not last forever. "Karachi Burning" is a first-hand account of the fiery expressions of grief after Pakistan's prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. "Smokestacks and Steeples" is a remarkable overview of the forces that shaped much of modern mankind - ingeniously crammed into a 3-minute pop song!

Kobo Town is a vehicle for taking Gonsalves' penetrating calypso journalism to the dance floor but, on "Galleon", another, more spiritual, side of the affable front man is also on display. "Before the Day Star" sees Gonsalves deliver a moving tribute to the human spirit, and the hushed final track "As They Sleep" paints a scene of perfection, serenity and gratitude as the singer watches his children sleep. The exquisite album closer is made all the more arresting as the very last note of the record is one of ambiguity and uncertainty. As if to say, don't take anything for granted. Enjoy it all while there's still time. www.kobotown.com

credits

released February 10, 2017

Produced by Ivan Duran
Written and Arranged by Drew Gonsalves
Recorded and Mixed at Breakglass Studios and Stonetree Studios in Montreal and Belize
Additional recordings at Rier Studio (Toronto) and Happy Rock Studios (Wakefield,ON)
Recorded by James Benjamin, Ross Murray, Dennis De Souza, Al Ovando and Ivan Duran
Audio editing by Maxime Hervé at La Hacienda, Montreal.
Mixed by Ivan Duran at Stonetree Studios
Mastered by Joao Carvalho at Joao Carvalho Mastering, Toronto
Album Photography: Paul Wright , Inside photo by Shawn Escayg
Design: MID51


Drew Gonsalves: lead vocals, guitar, cuatro, percussions
Robert Milicevic: drums, backing vocals
Cesco Emmanuel: guitar
Linsey Wellman: baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, backing vocals
Patrick Giunta: bass, guitar
Don Stewart: backing vocals
James Benjamin: backing vocals
Jan Morgan: trumpet
Terence Woode: trombone
Danilo Rodriguez: trombone
Al Ovando: guitar
Ivan Duran: bass, guitar


This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

This recording was made possible through the assistance of the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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KOBO TOWN Toronto, Ontario

Founded by Trinidadian-Canadian Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town is named after the historic neighborhood in Port-of-Spain where calypso was born. Kobo Town takes the intricate wordplay of Caribbean music and runs it through a 21st Century filter. In the world of Kobo Town calypso, roots reggae, and acoustic instrumentation meet innovative production techniques, social commentary and indie rock attitude. ... more

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