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Informer (Snow) (Jamaica patois)

This song is really difficult to understand, even for native English speakers, so enjoy it and don't worry too much about it. Besides, this is a white person from Canada singing with a black English accent as it is spoken in Jamaica (Patois, see Pass the Dutchie), which is a Creole variety of British English influenced by Spanish and African languages. To sum it up, this guy here is "a white Canadian Jamaican", a white poor man (rich now) who grew up in a poor Jamaican neighbourhood in Toronto. So don't try to understand too much, this is not English , it's msrgsbrrtchnglish! confused 

      MC Shan
What's up man! hey yo what's up!
Yeah what's goin' on here
Sick an' tired of five-oh runnin' up on the block here
You know what I'm sayin'?
Yo Snow, they came around here lookin' for you the other day
Word? word! bust it!

      Snow
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down

Police-a them-a they come and-a they blow down me door
One ee come crwal troo, troo my window
So dey put me in de back de car at de station
From that point on me reach my destination
Where the destination reachin outta east detention, where the
Looked down me pants, look up me bottom, so

Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down

So, Bigger dem are they think dem have more power
Dep on de phone me say dat one hour
Me for want to use a once an' now me call me lover
Lover who me callin an' a one tammy
An' me love er' in my heart down to my belly-a
Yes say daddy me Snow me I feel cool an' deadly
Yes the one MC Shan an' the one Daddy Snow
Together we-a love'em is a tor-na-do

Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down

So, listen for me, you better listen for me now
Listen for me, you better listen for me now
When-a me rock-a the microphone, me rock on stea'y-a
Yes a daddy me Snow me are de article don
But the in an a-out a dance an they say
Where you come from-a?
People em say ya come from Jamaica
But me born an' raised in the ghetto that I want ya to know-a
Pure black people man that’s all I man know
Yeah me shoes are a-tear up an'a me toes used to show-a
Where me-a born in are de one Toronto, so

Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down

Come with a nice young lady
Intelligent, yes she gentle and irie
Everywhere me go me never lef' her at all-ie
Yes-a Daddy Snow me are the roam dance man-a
Roam between-a dancin' in-a in-a nation-a
You never know say daddy me Snow me are the boom shakata
Me never lay-a down flat in-a one cardboard box-a
Yes-a daddy me Snow me-a go reachin' out da top, so

Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A licky boom boom down


Why wo ee? why wo ee? an' wo ee an' wo ee?

      MC Shan
Me sittin round cool with my jiggy jiggy girl
Police knock my door, lick up my pal
Rough me up and I can’t do a thing
Pick up my line when my telephone ring
Take me to the station, black up my hands
Trail me down 'cause I'm hangin’ with the Snow man
What am I gonna do, I'm backed and I'm trapped
Slap me in my face, took all of my gap
They have no clues and they wanna get warmer
But Shan won't turn informer

      Snow
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
A lippy ya' 'n boom down
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me a-go blame
A licky boom boom down
‘Tective man a say, say daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane...

Giving detailed explanations about everything in this song would need a book. Besides, there are many things I don't understand, so I've written a more standard version (just a little more standard) so you can understand a bit more.

As you can notice, ME can be "me", "I" or "my". The phrase "daddy me Snow" I suppose just means "I", with the idea that "me, Snow, the daddy" (a daddy is a lover). "me I" is an emphatic form of "I", so "you no say daddy me Snow me I'll go blame" would mean "you don't say that I am going to be blamed" or "you're not telling them I'm the one who killed him!". To stab is to push a knife into somebody, and the lane is the street. "Detective man said daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane" would mean "The detective said that I stabbed (killed) someone down the street".


Here's the semi-standard version:

What’s up man! hey yo, what’s up! (= hello)
Yeah, what’s going on here. (= what happens?)
Sick and tired of five-oh (=policemen) running up on the block here.
You know what I’m saying?
Yo, Snow, they came around here looking for you the other day.
Word? word! bust it!

Chorus
Informer, you don’t say daddy me Snow me I’ll go blame, (me= I)
A licky boom boom down.
Detective man said daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane,
A licky boom boom down.
Informer, you don’t say daddy me Snow me I’ll go blame, (me= I)
A licky boom boom down.
Detective man said daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane,
A licky boom boom down.

Police they come and now they blow down me door, (they broke down my door)
One of them come (and) crawl through, through my window,
So then they put me in the back (of) the car at the (police) station,
From that point on, me (=I) reach my destination,
When the destination (was) reached
It was the east detention
Where they whipped (=pulled) down me (=my) pants, looked up me (=my) bottom, so

Chorus

Bigger they are, they think they have more power,
They’re on the phone, me (=I) say that on (every) hour,
Me (=I) for (=because) want to use it once, and now me (=I) call me (=my) lover (=girlfriend),
Lover who I’ll be calling is the one tammy (= cute girl)
And me (=I) love her in me heart down to my belly,
Yes, me (=my) daddy, me (=I) Snow me I (me I= I) feel cool and deadly,
As the one MC Shan and the one daddy Snow,
Together we love them as a tornado.

Chorus

Listen for me, you better listen for me now.
Listen for me, you better listen for me now.
When me (=I’m) rocking the microphone me (=I) rock it steady,
Yes sir, daddy me Snow me are (me are= I am) the article done.
But in the in and the out of a dance them they (them they= they) say where you come from,
People them say you come from Jamaica,
But me born (=I was born) and raised in the ghetto that’s the one I want you to know,
Pure black people man that’s all I man (I man= I) know.
Yeah, me (=my) shoes are tear up (=torn up) and me (=my) toes used to show,
Where me born in (=I was born) on the one Toronto, so

Chorus

Come with a nice young lady. intelligent,
Yes she’s gentle and irie (=excellent).
Everywhere me (=I) go, me (=I) never left her at all.
Yes, it’s daddy Snow me are (me are= I am) the roam dance man.
Roam between a dancing in in a nation.
You never no say (=You never say) daddy me Snow me are (me are= I am) the boom shakata.
Me (=I)never lay down flat in that one cardboard box.
Yes say me (= tell me) daddy me Snow me I’ll go reaching at the top, so...

Chorus

Why would he? Why would he? And would he, and would he?

Me (=I) sitting around, cool with my dibbie-dibbie girl,
Police knock my door,
Lick up (=arrested) my pal,
Rough me up and I can’t do a thing
Pick up my line, when my telephone ring.
Take me to the (police) station,
Black up my hands. (= took my figerprints)
Trail me down, ’cuz (=because) I’m hanging with the Snow man, (=I live or a friends with Snow)
What I’m gonna do? (=what am I going to do?)
I’m backed and I’m trapped,
Slap me in the face and took all of my gap.
They have no clues (=they have no idea) and they wanna get warmer (=they want to get more information)
But Shan won’t turn informer! (=I won’t become an informer)

Chorus

Darrin O'Brien known by his stage name Snow ("Super Notorious Outrageous Whiteboy"), is an Canadian reggae musician from Toronto, Ontario and, I’m sorry to say, a criminal, so his song is probably autobiographical. "Informer" (1993) has been recorded twice in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best selling reggae single in U.S. history, as well as the highest charting reggae single in history. The single was released shortly before Snow was imprisoned for a year on an assault charge.

"Informer" is a slang term, usually derogatory, for a police informant, who is protected in exchange for information used to solve cases. Another alternative yet popular term for it would be snitch.

In the song, Snow is apparently being accused of participating in a homicide near his home, but claims he was somewhere else when it happened and that the police informant who gave his name in is deliberately trying to ruin his personal life. MC Shan, a friend of his, is arrested and the police tries to make him accuse Snow, but he says he will not be an informer.

When Snow is arrested, he uses his one phone call to ring up his girl and tells about how much he loves her. He also explains that when people see him dancing they think he comes from Jamaica but he was born in a ghetto in Toronto, so poor that his shoes were all worn out and his toes were showing out (which is autobiographic), and everybody around him were black Jamaicans, so he speaks like them.

The chorus sounds like gibberish (nonsense), but someone said that if we read between the lines and work to find the "deeper" meaning behind Mr. Snow's lyrics, we can see that he is a deep and tortured soul who is speaking about his personal experience of being turned over to the police by someone (an informer told the police about him). In the chorus, he says, "Informer you no say daddy me Snow me or I'll go blame, I'll lick you, boom-boom, down. Detective man said daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane, I'll lick you, boom-boom, down." Translated into plain English, this essentially means, "You who have informed the police, if you really gave them my name I will kill you with a gun. A man who is a detective said that I stabbed someone down the street, and I will kill you with a gun." Well, that is an opinion, it might be correct.

3:56            
 
 
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