GUYANA: This mixed up place – By Dave Martins – Commentary



You’re in Guyana for a week, or for a longer spell

Let me give you some background, it will serve you well.

I summarise by saying that we have a mixed up place.

Your first time come to Guyana? I’ll give you the straight case.

Most of what you hear ‘bout it, you better realize

The water this side really rough, so everything capsize.

Guyana not like Barbados, Antigua or St. Kitts,


We bigger than the British Isles, check that with the Brits.

We have a real varied cuisine, with food from far and wide,

So we have the standard rice and peas, but with fried fish inside.

Demerara, Essequibo, Berbice, and Pomeroon

Those are rivers, also counties, each one a different moon.

When it come to cuisine, friend, all kind of things to eat,


Curry yes, a lot of that, and shrimps, too, really sweet.

Fried carilla, mixed with bora, plantain chips with souse,

You’ll find that in a restaurant, or in somebody’s house.

Contradictions, I admit, we have them all the while

Some of them will make you fume, but some will make you smile.

First of all the place real big, so in the Caribbean,

If Guyanese say a place is near, is 50 miles they mean.


African people surnamed White, a white chap named Persaud

A red faced girl named Agnes Brown, it’s enough send you mad.

A Jewish chap from London, strolling Guyana breeze,

English accent, loud and thick, selling padlocks and keys.

And Chinese names I swear to you, you hurt yourself pronouncing

But the females have such lovely calves, walking and they’re bouncing.


Some of these things I’m quite aware will have you laughing, folks

But honestly this is Guyana, it’s real life here, no jokes.

We get apples from the US, and Australia, as well

Wines from all over the world; just drink it, what the hell.

Guyana got nuff greenheart wood, wallaba and mora

And plenty sugar estate friend, Mahaica and Leonora.

We make a champion pepperpot, crab back and chow mein too

And good fry bake, Christmas cake, and a winning callaloo.

You’ll learn of sydium and bora, and the phrase “bun bun”

And when we say, “story over”, that means the talking done.


Doesn’t matter where you run, New York, London, Toronto

Doesn’t matter where you wander, any place you go.

Guyana never stops calling you back, you long for tropic heat

Back to leaning mango tree, Middle Walk, Carmichael Street

To the smooth skin of the corial, the sakiwinki face

The pan bread calling you to buy in the cakeshop show case

The passing sound of donkey cart from way out there just so

That’s a sound in Guyana in every part you go


And if you wander overseas, in any place you’re choosing

If it’s not Guyana, friend, you’re definitely losing.

You are GT, and it is you, the place just fills your cup

But oh yes, I freely admit, Guyana real mix up.

Don’t fret yourself, take two XM, work in a trip to Bourda

Lean back, relax, cool breeze we say, in this mixed up Guyana.

So in the end, the Guyanese in almost every case

Wherever we go, we running back straight to this mixed up place.

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  • Dennis Albert  On 02/14/2021 at 12:25 am

    This reads like a Dr. Seuss book. Gonna read it to my nephew tomorrow.

  • Peter De Abreu  On 02/14/2021 at 9:27 am

    Well said Dave. I enjoyed the joyride.
    Expected the Tradewinds to break into song at any moment.🙂

    Bro Pete

  • detow  On 02/14/2021 at 4:52 pm

    Don’t know what you were drinking Dave but not many Guyanese I know of in Canada who are chomping at the bits to return to mixed up Guyana.

    Lock up all the cheating, thieving politicians, criminals, thieves, murderers, stop all of the discrimination of blacks by other ethnicity in the country, get everyone to understand that Guyana belongs to everyone, not just a selected few and make the place worthy of being called HOME again and I will be the first to return. Until then, CANADA with all of its ups and downs, snow, freezing rain and other weather anomalies will remain home to me.

    I am in the “wish it were different” expats category but I do not think that I have enough time left for that wish to be fulfilled in Guyana.

    I will never deny my nationality but that is as far as I am prepared to go as far as Guyana is concerned.

    • Dennis Albert  On 02/14/2021 at 5:53 pm

      Plenty African-American brethren exiled to GT because of Trump. The situation is different for everyone. I have learned that being African-American in Trump country is far worse than living in a “third world country” like Guyana or Suriname.

  • dhanpaul narine  On 02/14/2021 at 6:55 pm

    And we say Dave Martin and the Tradewinds can sing ‘bad bad’ we really mean they can sing ‘good good!’ More mix up!

  • Francis Quamina Farrier  On 02/15/2021 at 10:48 am

    It was the late, great African-American, jazz singer and trumpeter, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong who sang the song “What a wonderful World.” Maybe we should listen to the lyrics of that song some more. BTW, the WORST song in the history of the world, in terms of lyrics, and message, was written by a Guyanese. I will not identify that song here. The most I will say now, is that it was not written by my dear friend, Dave Martins.

  • Terry Paul  On 02/15/2021 at 2:23 pm

    To Dave Martins formerly from Hague/Den Amstel and me from Pln Leonora on West Coast Demerara. I remember a real mixed up time when the boat we travelled to go to school in GT, the lady Northcote I think had a mooring accident and you lost part of your ring finger. You may not realize how much the guys hurt also for you. There were the Henry boys, Derek Rayman from Vreedenhoop, myself, Gerald Chung. We usually assembled astern when on board if it was the Queriman , etc. Have all your Zlps from Trade wind days, and I try to keep in touch with your : Mel snd Vic . Must do so today yo tell them if your spiel . Nice one and stay well!

    • wally n  On 02/15/2021 at 5:07 pm

      the lady Northcote ran as ferry, seems too small?

  • wally n  On 02/15/2021 at 4:02 pm

    I am a betting man, I have the losses to prove it. $2 Eddie Grant

  • Ian Wishart.  On 02/16/2021 at 3:55 pm

    Kindly inform Dave Martins that Guyana (83,000 sq. miles) is not bigger than the British Isles. As I learned at Queen’s College, Guyana is bigger than England and Scotland but not as big as England, Scotland and Wales – far less so if Ireland (part of the “British Isles”) is included. Encyclopaedia Britannica confirms this: England 50,333, Scotland 30,414, Wales 8000; total 88,747 sq. miles.

    • brandli62  On 02/17/2021 at 3:41 pm

      With the real possibility of Scotland leaving the union, the numbers might change in the near future again in for of Guyana. 😉

      • brandli62  On 02/17/2021 at 3:42 pm

        *in favour of Guyana!

      • Terence Paul  On 02/17/2021 at 5:44 pm

        You can reply to Dave directly.

        Sent from my iPhone


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