Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2015 - Track Sixteen - Mrs Palmer

Nate Taiapa AKA Nate Ness Monster, born and raised in Hamilton New Zealand, is the man behind GO FEET! Radio, a excellent weekly program featuring the best in ska, rocksteady, reggae, roots and dub.  Nate also showcases modern bands throughout New Zealand and the world!  You can check out his broadcast streaming online via online stream here or you can download and listen to his podcast on his accompanying blog Musical Occupation. And... Nate holds the distinction of being the contributor from the farthest distance away and what I wouldn't give to visit New Zealand!  Mauruuru koutou Nate!

 "'Mrs. Palmer' was produced and performed in a dancehall style by Rankin Roger (not to be confused with The English Beat's Rankin Roger) on VEA Records and released during the late 70s or early 80s. It uses the popular Jamaican riddim, I Can't Hide, which has been used by many great artists including Dennis Alcapone & Lizzy on "Ba-Ba-Ri-Ba-Skank," King Tubby & King Jammy on "Drums Of Africa," Horace Andy on "Freedom," and Barry Brown on "Trod On" to name a few.
According to the legend, the spirit of "Annie Palmer" haunts the grounds of Rose Hall Plantation near Montego Bay. The story states that she was born in Haiti to an English mother and Irish father and spent most of her life in Haiti. When her parents died of yellow fever, she was adopted by a nanny who taught her witchcraft and voodoo. She moved to Jamaica and married John Palmer, owner of Rose Hall Plantation. Annie murdered Palmer along with two subsequent husbands and numerous male plantation slaves, later being murdered herself by a slave named "Takoo". A song about the legend called "The Ballad of Annie Palmer" was recorded by Johnny Cash. Well you can believe it or not, that's up to you, but let me tell you a true story about a ghost I once saw.

When I was about 15 years old some friends and I decided to walk home to my house after a late movie in town (Hamilton, New Zealand). As we came through some alleyway shortcuts we were heading up the last stretch of road before my house. I was familiar with my neighborhood and many of the people living there. Only two weeks earlier, an elderly man had passed away in the house up ahead of us and many of his family and friends had come to visit and stay at his house for about three days (an old Maori custom) before they buried him. As we came around the bend we could see his house in front of us. Standing there, with a walking sticking and dressing gown on, overlooking his garden, was the old man I knew had passed away only two weeks earlier. Even though I was with several friends I felt afraid and slightly shocked. I whispered to my friends, 'do you see that old man over there?' Still walking, they looked over, and almost in unison, replied, 'what old man?'

"The old man standing over there looking at his garden."

"We don't see any old man, there's no one there."

"Yes, he's standing right there," I said as I pointed towards his garden.

Tired and wanting to get home, my friends just kept walking and not another word was said.  As we reached the last alleyway before home, I turned for one last look.  He was gone.

To this day I have always maintained that I saw the ghost of the elderly man taking one last look over his garden.

Do ghosts exist?

They did for me that night."

Ranking Roger - Mrs. Palmer - 2015 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular Track Sixteen

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