Tonton Macoute

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • According to Al Stewart biographer Neville Judd in the 2nd Edition of The True Life Adventures Of A Folk Rock Troubadour, "Tonton Macoute" was recorded at Larrabee Studios, Los Angeles, for Time Passages but didn't make it onto the album, although it was sometimes performed on the tour; Judd includes the lyrics here.

    In 2007, it was released as a bonus track by Collector's Choice Music as part of the 24 Carrots album wherein it runs to 4 minutes 11 seconds, though it is not clear if this is the version alluded to by Judd in 2005.
  • The Ton Ton Macoute, or to give them their full title, the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale, were formed in 1959 as a paramilitary force cum secret police cum instrument of terror by Papa Doc Duvalier, the President of Haiti. It is clear from the lyrics though that here, Al is using Ton Ton Macoute as a metaphor for political repression, although even a dedicated fan might question the wisdom of marrying such a heavy subject to such a light melody. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

American Hits With Foreign TitlesSong Writing

What are the biggest US hits with French, Spanish (not "Rico Suave"), Italian, Scottish, Greek, and Japanese titles?

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Reverend Horton HeatSongwriter Interviews

The Reverend rants on psychobilly and the egghead academics he bashes in one of his more popular songs.

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & FireSongwriter Interviews

The longtime bassist of Earth, Wind & Fire discusses how his band came to do a holiday album, and offers insight into some of the greatest dance/soul tunes of all-time.