Ban-mwen on ti bo

Lyrics Traditional Martinique/Guadeloupe Song by Armand Siobud (1865–1943)Music arrangements by Paul Mindy
Performers Marie-Paule Dantin, Lucienne Samson

Toc-toc, toc-toc !
Qui frappe à ma fenêtre !
Sé mwen lanmou
Sé mwen pen-dou sikré
Dèpi dézè
Lapli ka mouyé-mwen
Pa pityé, pa imanité
Wouvè lapòt-la ban-mwen

Ban-mwen on ti bo, dé ti bo,
Twa ti bo doudou
Ban-mwen on ti bo, dé ti bo,
Twa ti bo lanmou
Ban-mwen on ti bo, dé ti bo,
Twa ti bo
Ban-mwen tousa ou vlé,
Pou soulagé kyè mwen

Mwen ka travay
Si jou dan la simenn
Twa jou pou mwen
Twa jou pou doudou-mwen
Sanmdi rivé
Béké pa ka péyé-mwen
Tifi-la pwan pwagna
Pou-li pwagnawdé-mwen

Quand tu iras
Un jour au cimetier’
Tu trouveras
Trois pierres gravées à mon nom
Sur ces trois pierres
Trois petites fleurs fanées
La plus fanée des trois
C’est mon coeur oublié par toi

 

Knock, knock!
Who’s knocking at my window
It is I, my love
It is I, your sweet warm bread
For two hours
I have been in the rain
For pity’s sake, for humanity’s sake
Open the door and let me in

Give me one kiss, two kisses,
Three kisses, my dear
Give me one kiss, two kisses,
Three kisses, my love
Give me one kiss, two kisses,
Three kisses
Give me as many as you like
To soothe my heart

I work
Six days a week
Three days for me
Three days for my darling
But Saturday is here
The béké* hasn’t paid me
She took the dagger
To stab me

When you go
One day to the cemetery
You will find
Three stones with my name engraved on them
On these three stones
Three little wilted flowers
The most wilted of the three
Is my heart forgotten by you

*Béké: wealthy white man, in this case the boss