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Friday, October 16, 2015

T. O. K. - "Galang Gal" (Jamaican Dancehall song, video, lyrics, and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases T.O.K.'s dancehall song "Galang Gal" and compares that dancehall song to the Jamaican rock passing song "Go Down Manuel Road" which I believe a key source for that song.

The lyrics to this song are included in this post along with explanations of some Jamaican Patois words and phrases that are found in that song.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to T. O. K. for this song. Thanks also to all those associated with this featured video and all those who are quoted in this post. In addition, thanks to the YouTube publisher of this video.

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INFORMATION ABOUT T.O.K.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.O.K.
..."Described by the New York Times as "the world's greatest dancehall-reggae boy band", T.O.K. has been Jamaica's leading dancehall group for over a decade. Since emerging on the scene in the early 1990s, they have released numerous hit songs and albums...

[Name acronyms]
T.O.K. originally stood for "Touch of Klass" however the band has devised many backronyms for their moniker, such as "Taking Over Kingston", "Tribe of Kings" or "Theory of Knowledge"."..

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COMPARISON OF T.O.K.'S "GALANG GAL" WITH THE JAMAICAN ROCK PASSING SONG "MANUEL ROAD"
The title of T.O.K.'s dancehall record "Galang Gal" has its source in the traditional Jamaican rock passing game song "Go Down Manuel Road". While the words "Galang gal" in T.O.K's song may also mean a girl who is "cool" (hip, fly, stylish), according to an urban dictionary post*, those words are quite similar to the refrain "gyal and boy" that are found in the "Manuel Road".

Furthermore, T.O.K's verse: "Whop Dem One By One. (Galang Gyal)/
Top Dem Two By Two. (Galang Gyal)/Drop Dem Three By Three. (Galang Gyal)" is very similar to the "Manuel Road" verse "Bruk (break) dem one by one...Galang boy/bruk dem 2 by 2...Galang boy".*

However, the purposes and themes of these two Jamaican songs are quite different. "Manuel Road" provides a tune and words that help participants in the rock passing game play that game well. The game teaches and reinforces dexterity, self-confidence, endurance, and other societal skills. In contrast, "Galang Gal" is a dance song in which the vocalist praises a woman who he considers is the best of the best ("the top of the toppa") and the hottest of the hot, a "ten out of a ten". The vocalist gives the woman big ups (compliments) not only because other woman can't copy her or compete with her, but also because she doesn't let other's jealousy bother her, stress her out, or try to make her get angry, i.e. "cut eye can't cut you in two", "And You No Care If A Gyal Wan Vex".

*Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/03/go-down-manuel-road-part-i-lyrics-stone.html for a pancocojams post that features lyrics for and videos of the rock passing song "Go Down Manuel Road".

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: T.O.K - Galang Gal *OFFICIAL VIDEO*



Ruffstream Videos - Bus It, Uploaded on Oct 17, 2011

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LYRICS: GALANG GAL
(T.O.K)

Cut Eye Cut Eye
Can't Cut You In Two
Penny Penny Can't By Your Shoe
Nuff A Dem A Follow But Dem See Wa You A Do
Them Try Copy Copy
But Nah Come Close To You

You A Real Top A Toppa
No Careless Lappa
No Gyal Can't Step In A You Shoes
Let Go A Passa Passa
Let Them A Chatta
No Gyal Can't Hotta Than You (Galang Gyal)
Whop Dem One By One. (Galang Gyal)
Top Dem Two By Two. (Galang Gyal)
Drop Dem Three By Three. (Galang Gyal)
From You Know Seh You (Galang Gyal)
Spin Your Roll Gyal Big Up Unnu Chest. (Galang Gyal)
When You Touch The Road Ah Pure Stress. (Galang Gyal)
You Always Wear (Galang Gyal)
And You No Care If A Gyal Wan Vex. (Galang Gyal)

Cause You A Real Top A Tappa
No Careless Lappa
No Gyal Can't Step In A You Shoes.
Let Go A Passa Passa
Left Them A Chatta
No Gyal Can't Hotta Than You. (Galang Gyal)
Whop Dem One By One.. (Galang Gyal)
Top Dem Two By (Galang Gyal)
Drop Dem Three By Three. (Galang Gyal)
From You Know Seh You Hotta Than She..

Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo..Galang Gyal..
We Big Up All A Deh Gyal Dem
Cause A Dem We A Defend
Hotty Hotty Girls A Get Ten Out Of Ten
Step Up Step Up Centa Stage Mi Friend
T.O.K A Tell Unnu Again Unnu Again

You A Real Top A Tappa
Expensive Shoppa
No Gyal Can't Step In A You Shoes.
Let Go De Passa Passa
Left Dem A Chatta
No Gyal Can't Hotta Than You. (Galang Gyal)
Gyal Whop Dem One By One.. (Galang Gyal)
Whop Dem Two By Two. (Galang Gyal)
Mi Gyal Whop Them Three By Three. (Galang Gyal)
From You Know Seh You Hotta Than She.. (Galang Gyal)
Spin Your Roll Gyal Big Up Unnu Chest. (Galang Gyal)
When You Touch The Road Ah Pure Stress. (Galang Gyal)
You Always Wear The Latest. (Galang Gyal)
And You No Care If A Gyal Wan Vex.. (Galang Gyal)

You A Real Top A Toppa
No Careless Lappa
No Gyal Can't Step In A You Shoes
Let Go A Passa Passa
Left Them A Chatta
No Gyal Can't Hotta Than You


Source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tok/galanggal.html

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SOME LYRIC EXPLANATIONS FOR THIS SONG
Some of these explanations are from online sources and some are my guesses. Additions and corrections are welcome.

"Galang Gal": While this title and refrain have their sources in the Jamaican rock passing game "Go Down Manuel Road", in the context of this song, I think that #2 and #3 below are the best definitions for "Galang Gal":
"Galang
Commonly inverted as "lang-ga" or rhythmicized as "lang-ga-langa."

1. Marijuana; either a specific strain or cannabis in general. Or being under the influence of said marijuana.

2. Cool, laid back. A Jamaican version of the common (African-)Americanism "cool," with a more nuanced meaning.

3. Far superior, but cool about it.

4. Antagonized without reciprocating or retaliating.
1. Blazin' that galang.

2. She's pure galang under stress.

3. She hit those rhythms like mad, but she's pure galang 'bout it.

4. They keep hatin', but she's still lang-ga.

applerouge January 03, 2007, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Galang
-snip-
Note that "galang" has at least one other meaning: "Galang"= "go along" [meaning behave (?)] from the same urban dictionary page given above but credited to http://niceup.com/patois.html#g http://niceup.com/patois.html#g. However, I don't think that meaning fits that word's use in that song.

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"cut eye can’t cut"= people being jealous of you doesn’t faze you (you’re not bothered about people being jealous of you" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1g5vDBvk7Yhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1g5vDBvk7Y

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"Penny Penny Can't By Your Shoe": "by" = "buy"
This is a reference to the woman's expensive tastes.

You A Real Top A Toppa
"toppa top
Jamaican Term
someone who yu respect, is "cool", or yu don't wanna mess wit them.
"did yu see that guy back there?"
"yeah, he's a real toppa top!!"

by Jessica12345 September 20, 2006
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=toppa+top


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"No Careless Lappa"
"Lappa" here may mean "lapa"- a West African term for a skirt made out of material that is wrapped around a female's waist. If so, this line is more praise for the woman's fashion taste.

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"Let Go A Passa Passa": Let them go about gossip(ing) about you (if they want to)
"Passa Passa
English Translation : Chat, converse or gossip." http://jamaicanpatwah.com/term/Passa-Passa/1530#.ViGSz-Twtv4

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"Left Dem A Chatta"
My guess is that this means "leave them behind chattering (about you). The implication is that the woman shouldn't pay that idle chatter any mind.

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"No Gyal Can't Hotta Than You." - no female is hotter (more physically attractive, sexier) than you

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"Whop Dem One By One.. (Galang Gyal)
Top Dem Two By (Galang Gyal)
Drop Dem Three By Three. (Galang Gyal)": These verses echo the verse from the traditional rock passing song and indicates that if the woman wanted to she could whop (beat them) up one by one since she "tops" them (is better than they are), and she could drip them (leave them defeated in the dirt).

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"Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo": a exclamation (from African American Hip Hop?)whose meaning here is similar to "Hey!"

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"Spin Your Roll Gyal": probably from the African American Hip Hop saying "slow your roll", which means "slow down", but "spin your roll" means "keep on going the way you are going (doing what you have been doing)

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"Big Up" Unnu Chest = all praises to you
(I don't think that "chest" here necessarily means that woman's chest, although it might [also] be praising that physical feature.)

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"Vex- This the key word that is used to mean angry, mad, upset, furious, ECT. Naa mek mi vex, mon! (Don’t make me mad!)" http://www.speakjamaican.com/jamaican-slang-glossary.html

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