12. The Hammer – David Rudder

David Michael Rudder (born 1953) was a Trinidadian calypsonian. He was one of the Charlie’s Root vocalists and lead singer. In 1986 “The Hammer” and “Bahia Girl” brought him to prominence.

Teaching Point

This song can be used as a teaching tool for the history of steel-pan and how the steel-pan was made. The song can also be an excellent tool for teaching figurative language. This is a very poetic song and students would find it most interesting analyzing and finding the meaning of the song.

Song – The Hammer

Lyrics: The Hammer

(Act 1 The Beginning)

Somewhere up in Lavantille
Many years ago
A man had a hammer
Used to follow him to and fro
He used to use it to pound a pan
Or sometimes a stupid man
All in the savannah
Never miss Panorama
One day the old hammer just disappear
Some say that it vanish into thin air

Where de man wid de hammer gone
Tell me, tell me wher he gone
Anybody know where de hammer gone
Tell me, tell where he gone
Can you tell we what going on
Tell me, tell where he gone
Ah want to know where de hammer gone
Tell me, tell where he gone

Why you up and leave, trail
Why you make me grieve, trail
Hammer tell me flat, trail
Why you do we dat, trail
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more,
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more.

(Act 2 – The Passing)

From April of 85
Hammer went to sleep
After years of making noise,
Not even a peep
He used to move wid de dragon man
All through this soca land
Always on the scene
They used to control the barber-greene
But the dragon doh walk the trail no more
Who holding the hammer I want to know.

Where de man wid de hammer gone
Tell me, tell where he gone
Look Thunderbolt Williams, what going on
Tell me, tell where he gone
This thing like a police boot on meh corn,
Tell me, tell where he gone
And now ah hear it by Y’De Lima on pawn
Tell me, tell where he goneLook children
Search under yuh bed, trail
All above yuh head, trail
Look behind the door, trail,
What yuh waiting for, trail
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more,
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more.

(Act 3: The Funeral)

On a silver chariot
Riding to the sun
Leaving fire in its wake
Spirits on the run
As we gather round that day
Ah hear sister Sheila say
How last night she see a sign
She see the hammer and it doing fine
Same time thunder roll she bawl out “You see!”
He done start to tune a pan already

Where de man wid de hammer gone
Tell me, tell where he gone
Sister Sheila darling, what going on
Tell me, tell where he gone
This hammer giving we a heavy horn,
Tell me, tell where he gone
This thing like a police boot on meh corn,
Tell me, tell where he gone

Children
Search all through the town, trail
Turn it upside down, trail
Check on top de hill, trail,
On dat window sill, trail
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more,
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more.

(Act 4. The Dream)

I want to hear the hammer ringing out
>From every panyard
>From Europe to Africa
Just like here in Trinidad
This hammer must never die
Let me tell you why
Anytime the music dead
Is then life go buss we hed
So the children start singing the refrain
Begging me to ask the question again

Where the man wid de hammer gone
tell me, tell me where he gone
Search up in Whitehall
Ransack de town hall
And if we eh find it deh
Mus be Millette who take it away
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more,
Well the dragon doh walk the trail no more.

Source: Musixmatch

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