Alan Cave, La Pesonn Ou vs. Madonna, This Used to Be My Playground
What they Have in Common: Nostalgia
Notes: Madonna sings of childhood lost…she reminisces about a playground that holds all the memories of a longed-for childhood. “All the best things in life are free”, she sings, but apparently no amount of money can bring back the good old days. Alan Cave longs in vain for the neighbors, norms and habits of old. “Moun yo pa menm,” Alan Cave laments, talking about the new people in his old neighborhood don’t come close to comparing to the sensible neighbors of the past. I’m feeling the ballroom/jazz/bolero that is featured in the Alan Cave song, but not that visual about the doggie who gets kicked during the rainstorm. Podyab! But what a visual. It’s interesting how both songs end abruptly.
In Madonna saying, “Before you know it/You’re feeling old/And your heart is breaking…Don’t hold on to the past/Well that’s too much to ask”, shows a reluctance to show . Madonna’s tone is that of near resignation, whereas the tone that Alan Cave uses shows a great deal of agony about the good ole’ days still remain. His voice is drenched with regret and pain. “Say goodbye to yesterday/Those are words I’ll never say,” Madonna sings towards the second verse, but her near-stoic manner shows that she has a balanced view. There’s sadness, but not half of the subtle affliction in Alan Cave’s voice. Could it be because Cave is not just mourning beautiful childhood memories, but also cultural loss too as a Haitian-American.
Now listen to both songs.
“La Pesonn Ou” by Alan Cave…
And “This Used to Be My Playground” by Madonna…
This has been an episode of Kreyolicious’ Haitian-American playlist…Tune in next time.