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Lesson 2: Learning “La Karidad”

Aim: What are the distinctive rhythms found in Haitian compas music?

Summary: Students will learn about the distinctive rhythm of compas through rhythmic exercises and dance.
Standards: National 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11
Vocabulary: compas, tanbou drum

Emeline’s original song “La Karidad” is in the style of compas, one of the most popular styles of music in Haiti. Compas features the tanbou drum that propels the dance.

Emeline Teaches “La Karidad”

“La Karidad” Demonstration

Haitian artist Emeline teaches “La Karidad” with Yayoi Ikawa, piano.

Sing “La Karidad”

  • Listen to “La Karidad,” Track 20.
  • Learn the chorus to “La Karidad,” using Track 21 and Track 22.

“La Karidad”

Text

Nou vini kontre bab pou bab
Nou ri jis tan nou pa kapab.
Lontan nou pa kwaze
Epa tout zanmi nou yo bwaze.
Se te lontan La Karidad.
Banm bay memwa’w on ti bourad.
Jou pye mango vinn konn pale,
Gen de koze li pwal koze.

Chorus:
Zipitipitipim, yon bisou.
Zipitipitipim, men lanmou.
Nap chanje let rankontre chak jou an kachet a la sa te gou.
Zipitipitipim, yon zye dou.
Zipitipitipim, de moune fou.
Zipitipitipim, premye lanmou.
Dim kiles ki ka bliye.

Pa gen yon jou nou te rate tropicana k tap
repete.
Pi bel renmen ki te marye nan katye ya si’w
pa blye.
Papa tap travay Gonaïves.
Lo manman buzy ap fe lesiv.
Jou pye mango vinn konn pale,
A la koze li pwal koze.

(Chorus)

Lala lalalala lala lala lalalalala
Jipon dore (san manniga).
Ki fet an o (san manniga).
Boutonnnen sou kote (san manniga).
Ki fet an o (san manniga).

 

Translation

We bumped into each other
We laugh so hard.
It’s been so long
Lots of our friends have left.
Remember La Karidad.
Let me boost you memories.
The day the mango tree will talk,
He will have a lot to say.

Chorus:
Zipitipitipim, a kiss.
Zipitipitipim, here comes love.
We’re exchanging letters and meeting
everyday.
Zipitipitipim, a wink.
Zipitipitipim, two crazy kids.
Zipitipitipim, here comes love.
Tell me who can ever forget.

We would not miss one day of the band’s
rehearsal.
This was the most beautiful love story in the neighborhood.
Daddy was working in Gonaïves.
Mom was busy with the laundry.
The day the mango tree will talk,
He will have a lot to say.

(Chorus)

Lala lalalala lala lala lalalalala
Golden underskirt (with no starch).
Made of gold (with no starch).
Buttoned on the side (with no starch).
Made of gold (with no starch)

Move to “La Karidad”

Compas is the most popular style of dance music in Haiti. It can be performed as a solo or as a partner dance. The basic movement is simple. You step to the right and then to the left, while swishing your hips.
  • Learn the compas dance using the Emeline Teaches “La Karidad” video resource.
    • Play “La Karidad,” Track 20.
    • During the verses, dance the basic compas movements, swishing your hips:
      • For four beats: Step to the right; step together; step to the right; step together.
      • For four beats: Step to the left; step together; step to the left; step together.
    • During the chorus:
      • For four beats: Step to the right; step together; step to the right; step together.
      • For four beats: Step to the left; step together; step to the left; step together.
      • For eight beats: Turn in a circle to the right.
    • During the instrumental breaks, have your students improvise with their movements alone or in pairs.
    • Dance the compas as you listen to “La Karidad,” Track 20. Sing along during the chorus.

Learn about the Tanbou Drum and Compas Rhythm

  • Explore the tanbou drum (PDF).
  • Explain that the tanbou drum plays traditional compas rhythms that propel the compas dance.
  • Explain that the lyric “zipitipitipim” mimics the sound of the tanbou drum.
  • Have your students create their own syllables to mimic the tanbou drum rhythms and then perform them with “La Karidad,” Track 20.
Literacy Extension

Little Fanfan Sings and Dances in Haiti

In Little Fanfan Sings and Dances in Haiti by Susan Gleason Pierre-Louis, Little Fanfan describes Haiti for the reader, from what the island looks like to how its people celebrate Haiti’s birthday on January 1!

Book cover for "Little Fanfan sings and dances in Haiti" depicting a little boy dancing among flowers

Musical Word Wall

Add the words compas and tanbou drum to the Musical Word Wall.

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