Aye na Påtgon


When I first listened to this song more than 20 years ago, gi hinasso-ku gof na'chalek, lao ti hu komprende i tinahdong-ña gi kostumbren Chamoru.

I was not aware when I first listened and translated to it, how much deeper the meaning is beyond the silly things described in the lyrics. 

 This song "Aye na Påtgon" from Johnny Sablan's album "My Marianas" describes a father taking his son to the ranch to try to teach him some basic life skills. 

But for everything that he tells his son to do, his son does something different and sometimes nonsensically, as well as all around gago'. 

 For instance he tells his son to boil the papaya and the coconut and instead his son goes to pick berries. 

 He tells his son to go collect firewood but he doesn't actually come back until all the cooking is done. 

The lyrics are silly and more about sounding fun or funny than actually depicting something real.

But when I was younger I never connected this song to earlier sayings, poems or songs that often use "Juan Malimanga" as its framing device. 

Most known of Juan Malimanga today through the comic strip that has been in the Pacific Daily News for decades. 

 Clotilde Castro Gould created that character, but he was based in part on Juan Malimanga, a sort of community character that prior to World War II people would use to tell jokes. 

In the same way in which Johnny Sablan's song references a boy who is told to do one thing but does another, that was a common refrain for Juan Malimanga.

It would be a way to set up a joke, or just combine words that are funny and sound hysterical in combination with each other. 

I first heard of this from my grandmother when I was asking her to help me translate Juan Malimanga comic strips when I was first learning Chamoru. 

She would sometimes remember from her youth silly sayings or stories associated with Juan Malimanga. 

Over the years, I've heard others share their own stories like this. 

Below are the lyrics to "Aye na Påtgon" as well as link to a YouTube video for it.



Aye na Påtgon

Tinige’ as Rick Cruz, Kinata as Johnny Sablan

Ginen I Plåka “My Marianas”



Ai na påtgon, ai sen agua’gua’

Fihu ha’ di masaolak, sa’ sen agua’gua’

Ti siña makuentusi, kada diha magaluti

Ai na påtgon, ai sen agua’gua’



Hu konne’ i lahi-hu

ya ma’u’dai ham gi karabao

Humånao ham, pa i lancho

Bai hu fa’nå’gue, muna’chocho



Ilek-hu hånao ya un ngayu

ya Guahu bei fangåmyo

humånao ha’ lao ti måtto

Esta ki munhåyan i nina’lågo






Ilek-hu sotne i papåya yan i niyok

Lao må’pos ya mamfe’ pi’ot

Anai hu lalåtde ya hu saolak

Lalalo’ ya tumånges, må’pos maigo’ gi hilo’ guafak





Ilek-hu sotne i chetda yan i lemmai

Lao må’pos humugåndo gi inai

Hu chule’ ba’yak ya u galuti

Sa’ ha oppe’ yu’ tåtte anai hu kuentusi




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