Entrevista: Elkin Robinson – Come ‘Round

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This worksheet can be found in the ebook Cancionero 2015.

“Come ‘Round” is from the EP of the same name, one of 2014’s best EPs.

Guiding Questions

  • What is a typical dish from Old Providence and how is it prepared?
  • What are some common recreational activities on the island?
  • What cultural connections are there between Old Providence and its Caribbean neighbors?

Interview with Elkin Robinson about “Come ‘Round”

Food

What dish is being prepared in the music video of “Come ‘Round”? It looks delicious! What ingredients does it have?

    The dish that is prepared in the video “Come ‘Round” is the famous Rondon, a typical dish from the islands, made with a coconut milk base. It contains yucca, plantain, potato, dumpling (a flour dough ball that goes in the pot), fish and you can also throw in, as seen in the video, lobster, pig tail and sea snail. To give it flavor, it’s also got basil and oregano.

And what is your favorite dish?

    My favorite dish is crab soup, also made with a coconut milk base. It also contains yucca, potato and dumpling, but it is crab-based.
Recreational Activities

In the music video of “Come ‘Round” we also see images of softball, basketball, fishing, horse races, dominoes, coconut boats and dancing. Are these Old Providence’s favorite pastimes?

    As a boy, I was part of a band. I used to play street and field baseball a lot, basketball, I fished a lot with my father, we often went to the horse races, I made coconut boats and I also participated in traditional dance groups.

    On the island you have to make life up as you go, just like we do with our recreation, but all these things that I used to do as a child are still done by many other kids. A very beautiful event is the regatta or typical boat race, designed by carpenters from the island. My uncle Felix Robinson is one of those that have dedicated themselves to the construction of these boats. Dominoes are a pastime among the older ones. Occasionally getting together with friends and cooking a good plate of Rondon by the wood fire is usually very enjoyable.

And what do you like to do on the island?

    Nowadays on the island, during the day, I try to enjoy each corner, go to the forest, to the beach or to the mountain and connect with nature. At night, on the other hand, I enjoy most being at home composing. Sometimes I get together with friends, we cook, chat, exchange songs from our youth and, why not, play a bit of dominoes, all together with family.
Old Providence, Jamaica and Caribbean Connections

We hear the word “irie” in “Come ‘Round” and we see a Bob Marley sticker on your guitar. What connections are there between the culture of Old Providence and Jamaica? And how has Bob Marley’s music inspired you?

    Old Providence and Jamaica share a lot of similarities in their language, culture and their ancestry. In Jamaica there is reggae and dancehall, in Martinique zouk, in Haiti compas, in Trinidad and Tobago soca, but in Old Providence there are all of these, including Jamaica’s reggae.

    Bob Marley, his music, and Jamaican culture share a musical closeness with Old Providence and the word “irie” is part of our creole language, as are many others. Many of Bob Marley’s lyrics have cultural, culinary and ideological references from all over the English-speaking Caribbean, such as when he refers to cornmeal porridge in “No woman, No cry”, a dish that is also prepared here.

After reading…

  • What is a typical dish from your community and how is it prepared?
  • What are some common recreational activities in your community?
  • How does the culture of your community compare to that of Old Providence?
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