Five Diaspora Winter Anthems

STORY BY: DARRYL DIEUDONNÉ • JAN 20TH, 2014

A few weeks ago, all 50 states reached freezing temperatures. The Polar vortex may be gone, but most of us still can't feel our toes. Since humans can't hibernate, staying in and hunkering down is only a temporary fix. Plus, we have to brave the cold to pay those bills. Good thing, we have music to warm our souls.

Quite a few Haitian artists have migrated to the States, Canada, and Europe. They've all experienced the winter blues and expressed their lingering homesickness in song. Here are a few of our favorites. They're a potent cocktail of frustration and nostalgia. We'd cry, but the tears would turn into tearcicles. So click on the songs below and let's just sing along.

Tabou Combo - Lakay
Kick things off with Lakay from the legendary Tabou Combo. Shoubou takes us on a trip back home. And delivers each line with so much emotion the nostalgia washes over you. Wipe your eyes and shout "Li mèt "below zero," n'oblije al ponche. Nou bouke!"

Sweet Micky - Ayiti
Long before he became head of state, Sweet Micky was a traveling musician who missed home. If you don't feel anything when he signs these lines, you may have already frozen into a block of ice.
"Santi kè m kap dechire, zantray mwen kap rache M'sonje'w, m'sonje'w, Ayiti cheri mwen."

D-Zine - La Vie en Exil
Life abroad isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Truth be told, it's quite the reality check. In this D-Zine classic, Gazzman sings about the cold, loneliness, dead-end jobs and other plight of the diaspora. You'll be rhythmically nodding your head in agreement.
"La vi a pa fasil o, pou frè nou yo ki lot bo dlo La vi a konplike wooo, pou frè nou yo ki a l'etranje"

Mikaben - Ayiti Se
This instant classic is a poetic ode to all the little things that make home, well home. Though Mika sings about never leaving home, those of us who left know home is where the heart is. The lyrics paint a beautiful picture of our gorgeous country and culture. And the picturesque video is enough to make you want to teleport.
"Ayiti cheri pou jan m'adore w Pa gen anyen kap janm fè mwen kite w Ayiti cheri pou jan mwen renmen w Mwen vin depoze ti kè mwen nan men w"

Jacques Sauver Jean - Haiti Cherie
If you spent your childhood in Haiti, you'll feel like this Jackito classic is narrating your summer days. And as you shovel your car out of the snow, the lyrics will hit home even harder.
"Ayiti cheri Mwen pa gen dwa troke w Menm si yap banm dyaman, cheri"


For Mom

That voice in your head isn't your conscience. It's your mother, whispering "Pitit mwen, sa a w'ap fè la a?" Reminding you that you're better than this. Telling you to dust yourself off and finish what you started. Urging you...

Songwriter's Corner: Paul Beaubrun

His grandfather, Languichatte, is a national treasure and his parents lead the internationally renown and Grammy-nominated Boukman Eksperyans. Now, Paul Beaubrun and his band, Zing...