I'm mulatto

so I have a special relationship with the donkey. The mule and her dad are working overtime in the West, where they carry a lot of cultural weight: think Balaam and Jesus and Muhammad. Jerusalem. Peasants. Slaves. Deep South cotton fields. Andalusia. Nazarin and Don Quixote, Platero and Balthazar.

You'd think the donkey would be kind of a dud, with the long hours he works: a good guy, good values, but a little square. Instead, the donkey is the funkiest of all creatures. He can kick it downlow-funky-style, which seems to be his native habitat. If he gets drunk enough, he can catch a groove and shake his ass very credibly. He can tango horizontal and his stamina is pleasantly surprising. But he's got a sense of humor and he's good with your kids too. He rides a bike and flies kites and does goofy shit with hula hoops. He's fucking perfect.

The donkey gets the job done. Respect is due.

And respect is due: thanks to Funky16Corners for the inspiration.

For some background on the concert recorded on Calypso After Midnight, see this. Tell me, people, am I the only one who hears lewd subtext on "My Donkey Want Water" (aka "Hold Em Joe")?

My donkey want water

Better hold your daughter

Oh when me donkey want water

My donkey is bad

"Hold Em Joe" is a calypso standard that has been covered by many greats, including the famous calypso singer Louis Farrakhan. Moistworks was outbid by David Geffen in our effort to acquire Calypso Too Hot to Handle, which includes some of Minister Louis's 1950s releases (in those days he was known as "The Charmer.") I shit you not, people. And since calypso is a topical medium, The Charmer wasn't afraid to take on the issues of the day. Here's Louis chronicling the sex-change of Christine Jorgenson in "Is She Is, or Is She Ain't" [mp3].

It's a Farrakhan original. Pretty forward-looking for 1955, eh? Sort of? I couldn't play them on my antique mac, but there are more of Farrakhan's calypso tunes available online.