Edited by Azizi Powell
The words "chune" and "choon" were unfamiliar to me when I first came across them on YouTube Caribbean music video comment threads. Since then I've gathered that "chune" and "choon" are a form of the word "tune". I've also learned that the word "chune" is a way of pronouncing "tune" that isn't unique to Trinidad, Jamaica, and other English speaking Caribbean countries. Indeed, the word "chune" may have originated in Great Britain. That pronunciation of the word "tune" is still used in Ireland, and in other parts of Britain. And, it also appears from my reading (but not my personal interactions or my television/radio experiences) that "chune" as a pronunciation of the word "tune" is also found in some parts of the United States. And, presumably, the word "chune" and/or that pronuciation of the word "tune" is also found in some other English speaking nations.
From my online reading I've also learned that in those nations where the word "chune" is found (including in English speaking Caribbean nations), that word and "choon" rhyme with the English words "dune" and "moon". [Read my comment below about another pronunciation of the word "tune"].
Here's something else I've learned from reading YouTube comment threads of certain Calypso, Reggae, and Dancehall soundfiles & videos and from reading some other online articles about the word "tune" : the definition for the word "tune" (regardless of how it is spelled or pronounced) is different in the Caribbean than it is in other English language nations. [Hyperlinks for some of these articles are found in the comment section below along with an excerpt of one of those articles.]
In non-Caribbean nations, the word "tune" refers to the melody of a song. However, in contemporary Caribbean English patois, "riddim" and not "tune" is the word that refers to a song's melody. In English speaking Caribbean cultures the words "tune", "chune", and "choon" refer to both a song's melody (riddim) and a song's lyrics. In that sense, in Caribbean patois, the words "tune", "chune", and "choon" mean the entire song. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddim
But in Caribbean patois "tune", "chune", and "choon" mean more than just the word "song". That is particularly so when the spelling of those words is elongated by repeating letters and/or when multiple exclamation marks are added after those words. In those cases, "tune", "chune", and "choon" mean "a great song" and/or "a hit song" [a song that was and maybe still is hugely popular], and/or "a person's favorite song".
One frequent custom that I've noticed is for YouTube commenters on certain Caribbean music threads to write the word "chune" or "choon" or "tune" as a single word that is spelled with multiple added vowels or consonents. Frequently multiple exclamation marks are written along that spelling of "tune", "chune", or "choon", or along with the standard spelling of those words. In all of these cases, the word "tune", or "chune", or "choon" takes on an added meaning that is the same as (but it seems to me to be more intense than) the American English colloquial sentence "That song is a golden oldie" or the African American derived sentence "That's my jam!" However, I've never seen or heard the single word "jam" or "song" or the words "golden oldie" (or its more contemporary form "old school jam") used the same way that those single Caribbean patois words are used. Nor have I ever seen the words "jam" or "song" etc. spelled in the same elongated fashion. For instance, I've never seen these exclamations on any American music forum: "Jaaaam!" or "Sooooonggg!!!" or "Golden Oldie!". Nor have I ever heard those words used like.
Here's another point that I want to make about this subject - It seems to me (admittedly from the outside looking in as I'm an African American who is of Afro-Caribbean descent on my maternal side but have no first hand knowledge of Caribbean culture) that if "tune", "chune", and "choon" always meant "a great song", "a very popular song", and/or "a song that you really like", it would be redundant to preface those words with adjectives such as "big" and "massive". Yet, there are numerous comments on those Caribbean music threads* indicating that the sound file or video is a "big tune" (or "chune" or "choon") or a "massive tune" (or "chune" or "choon".)
As to which of these words are used more frequently on Caribbean music comment threads than the others, I think that more commenters use the word "tune" in these word than those who use the words "chune" or "choon". And it seems to me that the second most frequently used form of the word "tune" is "chune".
It also seems to me that the word "chune" and "choon" are particularly on comment threads for YouTube Dancehall music videos more than other Caribbean music videos. But I'm not sure of that
Here are fifteen selected examples of how "tune", "chune", and "choon" are used in comment thread of three Caribbean songs. I have featured each of those sound files in previous posts on this blog. The links to those posts as well as links to several online articles about the meaning of "riddim", "tune and chune" (in Britain & the United States) are found in the Related links section below.
These examples are presented in no particular order and are numbered for possible reference use only.
1. "Yes star! Dis chune sound good, mates! Dee music light up me feace. Me can easily pleay dis melody pon me keyboard. Dis week, ah gwan pleay dis melody pon me keyboard, mon. ;)"
- jtmsmooth072088, 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYkqMT6HKD0
Lord Nelson - King Liar [hereafter given as "King Liar"]
2. "Calypso in trouble. You think any one of them singing calypso these days could sing a tune like this?"
-Sham9909, 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kca32orFys[hereafter known as "Ram Goat Liver"]
3. "thesewere the days when nuff tune after tune after tune was bigbig mash up the dance tune's true!!!"
-herbert boone, 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfFXKxSFmOo[hereafter known as "Winey Winey"]
miahdibes3, 2010, ["Ram Goat Liver"]
daroyalgeneral, 2010 [Winey Winey]
6. "Big Choon! Winey Winey"
-RAPTIMESTV, 2008 ["Winey Winey"]
7. "Massive choon Winey Winey"
-sistagirl1234, 2008 ["Winey Winey"]
8. "Dont show him no man my tailor is class. just show him the corner weh the fella pass..!! and he gon mek a suit.!!!!! that is lie... TUNE..!!!!!"
ruminni rogers, 2012 ["King Liar"]
9. "Winey....Winey....Winey...2 much..........bubblah chooooooooooon
-Goodaaz1, 2010 ["Winey Winey"]
10. "teacher percy say if yuh tell ah lie yuh going to hell as soon as yuh die"!! Big Tune!"
-BajjaLion1, 2010 [King Liar]
11. "BIG BIG BIG Chune, Kaiso boy. One of the best ever recorded kaiso."
-therookiemusic, 2012 ["King Liar"]
12. "biggest tuneeeeeeeeeeeeee ever remember this when i was a kid"
-izel wee, 2012 ["King Liar"]
13. "Great great tune"
Atlanta rex, 2013 ["King Liar"]
14. "the fish your father caught to you it was great, but is them small fish meh father does use for bait..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yuh hear lie... das is lie haha TUNE..!!!"
-SxmJuniorCalypsoKing, 2010 "["King Liar"]
15."I grew up with tune like this in Guyana...29 years later and it still booming. Best song ever!!
-lowKut, 2012 ["Ram Goat Liver"]
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/09/pluto-shervington-ram-goat-liver.html "Pluto Shervington - Ram Goat Liver"
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/09/lord-nelson-king-liar-sound-file-lyrics.html "Lord Nelson - King Liar (Calypso sound file, lyrics, comments)"
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/09/shabba-ranks-peany-peany-winey-winey.html "Shabba Ranks - Peany Peany (Winey Winey) with partial lyrics & comments"
Other Internet Links
http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101221083456AAfR0XC "If I pronounce "tune" as "choon", will this seem odd?"
"Do British people really pronounce Tunes as Chunes? #1"
http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t9114.htm "Pronunciation of "tunes" in UK and N. America"
Thank you for visiting pancocojams.
Thanks to all those who I quoted in this post.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric and educational purposes. I published this post because I'm interested in the Caribbean use of the words "tune", "chune", and "choon" and to date I've not found any online posts about those words. If you know of such posts, please share those links.
Corrections, additions, and comments about this post are welcome.