History of Ceylon Tea - Forum

GENERAL => Reminiscing => Topic started by: admin on August 09, 2008, 06:14:47 PM

Title: The Houpe Song posted by the Editor
Post by: admin on August 09, 2008, 06:14:47 PM


I recently spent a fascinating day with Phan & Cynthia Dias at their home in Kotmale (must be tough waking up to a view with no concrete walls) and I have reproduced below a poem that Phan recited in relation to the planting crew at Houpe Estate in the early 60s, which I think many will find interesting and amusing! Many thanks to Ian Gardner, one of the crew at the time, for helping me to fine tune its accuracy!

The Houpe Song (Sung to the tune of Oh Island in the Sun)

This is our thottam in the sun,
Houpe by name is a famous one,
Houpe boys are really class,
In work and play they are hard to surpass,

Our PD Gamini Salgado,
Is better known as Gal Sadho,
He’s ready to help in every way,
And his wife Irene too

Our senior SD, B.I.G.
Is always looking for a D.I.G,
He has just returned from leave,
Something always up his sleeve,

Our second lieutenant Manilal,
Like Daha, he hails from Galle,
He’s ever ready to think,
There’s nothing in the world like a drink,

Our third lieutenant Balthazar,
Is better known as Vul Satha,
He is always in a whirl,
When he sees something like a girl,

Our junior SD PHAN Dias,
Is better known as Darned Pious,
He is ever ready to flirt,
Even with a lamp post in a skirt,


B.I.G. - Ian Gardner (then Gunewardene)
Manilal – Abeywardene
Balthazaar - Wilhelm

David Colin-Thome

RE: The Houpe Song Editor 20/10/06 13:00

Unfortunately, no poems, songs or lymerics have been forthcoming since the Houpe Song, so I thought I would add this beauty sent by Victor Melder. Its relevance to plantations...well let's just say that many planters were also famous for their trips to the jungles!

This is an actual poem written by a bengali school teacher in the '70s ........... !!!

Through the jongole I am went
On shooting Tiger I am bent
Bustaard Tiger has eaten wife
No doubt I will avenge poor darling's life

Too much quiet, snakes and leeches
But I not fear these sons of beeches
Hearing loud noise I am jumping with start
But noise is coming from damn fool's heart

Taking care not to be fright
I am clutching rifle tight with eye to sight
Should Tiger come I will shoot and fall him down
Then like hero return to native town

Then through trees I am espying one cave
I am telling self - "Bholanath be brave"
I am now proceeding with too much care
From far I smell this Tiger's lair

My leg shaking, sweat coming, I start to pray
I think I will shoot Tiger some other day
Turning round I am going to flee
But Tiger giving bloody roar spotting this Bengalee

He bounding from cave like football player Pele
I run shouting "Kali Ma tumi kothay gele"
Through the jongole I am running
With Tiger on my tail closer looming

I am a telling that never in life
I will risk again for my damn fool wife

RE: The Houpe Song Terry Mills 29/11/06 02:44

On reading through the articles in the website I was interested to read the 'Houpe Song' and the reference to B.I.G. and in the Notes section it refers to B.I.G. as Ian Gardner (then Gunewardene). Is this the Ian Gunewardene who played and captained Dimbula Rugger team in 1958?

I played for Dimbula in 1958/59 and for Uva in 1956/57 and was the Resident Engineer for Davidson & Co Ltd who manufactured and supplied most of the tea machinery in the Ceylon estates.
I PG'd with the well known Dr Ceri Jones at Dukes Bungalow Talawakelle, looking out at the Great Western mountain every day rain or shine.

I left SL in 1959 and then went to East Africa and Nyasaland. Now retired, in my home in Northern Ireland, I went back for a month's holiday in SL in 1997/98 visiting the tea districts of Dimbula and Bandarawela. My years in SL were the best of my life and I will always have a soft spot for the 'Pearl of the East' and its people.

Terry Mills

RE: The Houpe Song Ian Gardner. 16/12/06 14:24

Yes, Terry, the Houpe Song B.I.G. is the Ian Gardner who was Ian Gunewardene!
It is good to see this photograph again as I gave my copy to the Radella Club after the fire together with my other D.A.C.C. rugby photographs. A couple of years ago David Parker may have shown me a copy as well.

RE: The Houpe Song Terry Mills 18/12/06 02:30

Received Ian's e-mail today and replied to him with some photographs of Radella and 'a blond' ex-rugger player at Bandarawela.