Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A song for beautiful, tragic Haiti--please help

Yellow Bird, sung here by The Mills Brothers, is a traditional Haitian tune based on a French berceuse, or cradle song. The lyrics were originally a poem, written in 1883--in Creole--by legendary Haitian poet and politician Oswald Durand, who'd been imprisoned for criticizing local political leaders. (Ahem.) The song was originally titled Choucoune, the nickname of a young woman named Marie-Noël Bélizaire who'd captured Durand's imagination and could inspire him to dream of sunlight and birds and the freedom of open skies--even in his darkest hours.

Times are tough and things are bad all over the country, all over the world; I know.

Right now, though, things are extraordinarily bad for the citizens of beautiful, tragic Haiti. If you possibly can, please consider donating to relief efforts--you can visit the Red Cross, of course, who've set up an easy way to donate quickly by texting, or, if you prefer to give to smaller, more community-based aid agencies, Laura Freschi at AidWatch has compiled a helpful list of NGO's and CBO's (non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations) who are already gearing up to transport food, water, medicine, and relief workers to Haiti (via Andrew Sullivan).

And here is the donation page for Doctors Without Borders.

Thank you, as ever, dear readers.

Yellow Bird
Up high in banana tree;
Yellow Bird
You sit all alone like me.
Did your lady friend
Leave your nest again?
This is very sad--
Makes me feel so bad.
You can fly away
In the sky away;
You're more lucky than me...

-- Oswald Durand

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