by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.



Na Hawa Doumbia - "Danaya"

"Tell me the long story."

The old woman laughed and shook her head, "No, no. Not the long story. Not tonight. It's too late."

"Please. Please tell me the long story. There is still time."

The old woman laughed again, pleased and with a warm heart. "Okay, but you must sleep."

"The Long Story" was an embellished version of The Story. The story that the old woman knew best and told often. The story of how she left home long ago on a train and didn't see her family ever again. Of how she saw in her palms the lines like a map and followed them to the North, where she met a camel trader and fell in love with his cunning smile, his warm and heavenly eyes. How they lived together in a little room on the 14th floor and didn't bother anybody else for years. How eventually the police came looking for her and she hid under the sink and they inspected with dogs and they went right by her cheek pressed against the cupboard door and they didn't find her. How they beat up her husband and took him away. How she ran through the streets to the worst man in town, Herake, and asked him for a favour: to find out where they had taken her husband. How she followed her husband into prison, she got herself arrested under a charge of praying incorrectly, and when she was released after a few months, she brought with her a throng of women who escaped and open the doors to the men's prison. How they ran and cried and lived off help from strangers all the way to the East. How they started a home here in the trees and how their new family grew into what it is today. How he still watches over this land, he still has his cunning smile and that will never die. That was The Long Story and it was the long version that had all the details; about the way the water tasted, about the way tears tasted, about the way food tasted when you hadn't eaten. About love and the way it feels. About the sky and the way it forced light through almost anything. About how guns make people cold, and uniforms make people unable to listen. About money, about talk. They way a person can talk all around you like a puff of smoke or talk directly to you like a gift, cupped in their hands like water.

[Incredible album released at Awesome Tapes in October]


Posted by Dan at August 23, 2011 8:47 PM

Lovely, Dan. During dark days, it's lovely to be reminded of real wealth.

Posted by Moominmamma at August 24, 2011 12:49 PM

i'm glad they asked for the long story.

Posted by q at August 28, 2011 5:36 PM


Posted by MCO at August 30, 2011 1:58 AM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
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drawn + quarterly
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
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yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
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