Miss Lou

Miss Lou’s May 2003 "Town Hall" Chat on Jamaicans.com

Written by Xavier Murphy

The first week of September is celebrated by many Jamaican as Miss Lou week as her birthday is September 7, 1919. In May 2003, Miss Lou visited Jamaicans.com for a chat in our forums with visitors to the the site. The following is an excerpt of that lively and most memorable visit.

Capitall:  Ms Lou do you still partake in Theatre productions or ‘plays’ for that matter? Any solo performances you wish to do? If you dont then do you miss doing them/it?

Miss Lou:  Well mi dear a tell everybody that I am retired tired, not just retired but well tired (laughter)

Brukky:  Good day Miss Lou, Mi did love Ring Ding, mi grow pan dat deh show mek mi tell yuh….Has any of the shows been preserved for distribution (dvd vhs or even cd) and sale? mi wud a buy every episode…..

and HP:   Miss Lou it’s Great to have you here. I’m a big fan of yours. I would love it if we could get a copy of your poems on CD or cassettes.

Miss Lou:  Yes, some are available through Sangster’s Bookstore on cassette. The legit copies.

Legend:   what inspired your career choices?

Miss Lou:  the love of jamaican folklore that was part of my up bringing when my grandmother use to tell me Anancy stories before I go to bed at nights. It was a joy to lie in Meme’s lap and listen to the stories. Here whose grandmother was 11 years old on emancipation day.

J_kid:  Miss Lou I met you many years ago in Jamaica out by the Glidden paint factory at 3 mile on Spanish Town Rd. Welcome and hope you will be back again. I use to enjoy those radio programs with you and Ranny Williams (Mass Ranny) when I was a child. Do you have any plans to put some of those episodes on audio CD or are they current available for purchase?

Miss Lou:  Read the interview on Jamaicans.com that will be posted if it is not already and it will provide a detailed answer to your question. But the answer is there are no CD’s available. (see link below)

BrukBak:  Miss Lou what do you think of the direction the Jamaican folk culture is heading, and do you think it is being preserved for future generations to enjoy and pass on.?

Miss Lou:  I am pleased that they are people not only in Jamaica writing in the language. There is a great deal of Caribbean Literture growing out of our language.

SandiF:   Miss Lou!!!! YooHOOOO!!! A hope she nuh gaawn yet, cause mi have a list of questions fi ask.  Miss Lou, first and foremost Welcome to Jamaicans.com! It’s very distinguished having such a notable person as yourself in the mix with us.  Anyhow, mi would like to know who is Aunty Roachie and what was the concept behind her creation.

Miss Lou:  Aunty Roachie was public opinion. So that is where she came from.

ackeegirl:   Faith D’Aguilar (sp?) is the only person I’ve know who does a great impersonation of you, but I haven’t heard much about Faith recently. Do you think Joan Hutchinson does a good impersonation of you?

Miss Lou:   Faith is a great performer who gets the tone and inflectios of my voice, Joan’s writings in the Jamaican dilect are outstanding.

sharee:   ms lou…even doa yuh retire…will yuh continue fe write ar are yuh jus tekkin a break completely?

Miss Lou:  mi still deh pon a write mi child.

tuffstuff:  wah yaw do clear a OhCanada? u nuh miss di sunhot an good food a yawd? what is u favrit memry of your time in Jamaica? Wha kinda food you like– you can cook good? (Mi used to wish u was mi granny- mi would picture yu a sing an tell story while u a cook some good good food).  Strangest or funniest thing that happened while u on stage? And my final questian is could u please adapt me. me kinda owl an ting, but lawd mi love u bad bad bad

Miss Lou: The night they could not change the set and they sent me out to do something and I did not know what to do but get the audience to sing a song that was made up on the spot.

Newt:  miss lou, say sumting to me please,so mi can boast off to mi breddah an sistahs dem tenite

Miss Lou:  say something. something mi dear!!

Ochigal: Oh lawd, poor Ms. Lou…how she supposed to keep up…15 minutes into dis and the post already reach 3+ pages…  Welcome Ms. Lou, I send greetins from the west coast all de way from Seakkle. We are ver honored to have you here today.  I would love to hear you give your fondest memory of Mass Ran.

Miss Lou:  hi Ranny mi de bout (Ms. Lou)
man pon spot (Mass Ran)
Weh mi piece of flat board (Ms. Lou)
Whai oh oh (Mass Ran

JamBrit:   Miss Lou!! Miss Lou!! Is really YOU???!!! 😮  Mek mi shake yuh han mam….I are very so much pleased to meet yuh mam….Yuh si di poem eena Coodeh we write fi yuh?  There’s a poem you wrote a long, long time ago…an the part that sticks in my mind is you coming off the elevator and saying “This is Cuba I presume?”….or something like that…..do you remember the one? I loved that poem when I heard it.

Miss Lou:  I believe it is Country Bwoy. It was written when Enterprise Store opened and it had an elevator that people used to visit to ride.

ackeegirl:   howdy do Miss Lou! I heard that you will be this year’s Pantomime in Toronto. Are you playing a role in Miss Annie?

Miss Lou:  no mi dear mi retire tired.

Oonu call me breda fe me
Beg yuh tell him come yah quick!
Tell him bring him pelt-yuh-kin cow-cod
And bus-yuh open stick!

Mi naw meck no joke wid yuh mah,
Quick and brisk and pay me off
Or ah call me breda in yah
Meck him beat yuh till yuh sof!

Yuh ansa mi advertisement
Yuh come slap a me yard
Come tell me how di pay is big
And how di work nuh hard.

Me neva like yuh face, but wen
Me bredda tell me say
Dat yuh husband is a nice man
Me decide fe come tideh!

Me oversleep dis mawning, never
Wake till after eight
Is a taxi-cab me teck come yah
Fi hinda me from late.

And now yuh start form fool bout yuh
Noh want me! Wat is dis!
Ooonu call me bredda fi me!
It naw go so missis.

Yuh will haffi beg me pardon loud.
Mek all di neighbour hear
Yuh will haffi pay me two weeks
Wages plus mi taxi fare.

So ah talking stupidniz?
Ooonu call me bredda deh!
Ahoa, yuh change yuh mind, tank yuh.
Goodbye. Wah dat yuh seh?

Yuh woulda like fi know me bredda?
Mi kean help yuh eena dat
Mi woulda like know him miself
For is me one me parents got!

*bow and leave di stage*

For more on Miss Lou see our exclusive interviews, tributes, the rythym, rhyme, melodies & history of Miss Lou

About the author

Xavier Murphy