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King Sugar

from by Kobo Town

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From the Gold Coast of Africa to India’s Deccan Plain, and from the ports of Canton to the Portuguese island of Madeira – land of my own ancestors – they came to toil away in the cane fields, mills and distilleries that turned out rum and sugar destined for faraway lands. In the last few years, the mills have closed all across the islands, marking the final passing of that industry that once reigned supreme - with the power to shape entire lands and the peoples that worked them. Their now-derelict barracks and scattered stones, glimpsed amid the bright green spears of wild sugarcane, whisper to our own time that nothing is permanent…that what seems immovable today is gone tomorrow.


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


from Where The Galleon Sank, released February 10, 2017



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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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