Bob Marley's Three Little Birds Synopsis and Glossary
Ziggy is a sensitive young boy who lives in Jamaica. His mom, Cedella, tells him to go out and experience the island. Ziggy's friend, Nansi, also wants him to come out and play, but he doesn't like leaving the safety of his home. Ziggy is superstitious and wants to make sure that hurricanes and the evil spirit bird, Duppy, who wears a wig of children's hair, stay far, far away. Meanwhile Duppy has his sights set on getting Ziggy's long locks which would give him even more power.
Cedella tells Nansi and Ziggy to get water from the well and then join her at the seaport, where she sells jerk chicken. Nansi craftily persuades Ziggy to go on the adventure and to get ocean water instead. To keep them company, they bring along Doctor Bird (Ziggy's best bird friend) and Nansi's pet spider. As they walk, they start to argue over whose animal is better. Duppy sees them arguing, and secretly makes mangoes fall on their heads, leading to more arguing and causes the two friends to go separate ways. Nansi continues toward the ocean, while Ziggy heads toward home.
Now on their own, both Nansi and Ziggy run into Duppy, but manage to hide—in the same spot! Their cover is blown and Duppy chases them until they are cornered. They try to make him weak, failing at first, but once Ziggy starts channeling the rhythm of the island, they are able to trick him. All of Duppy's hair falls out—his power is gone!
Ziggy and Nansi make it safely to the seaport, where they tell Cedella about their adventure. Ziggy, now fearless and excited, wants to start exploring Jamaica and asks to go visit Doctor Bird's family on the north side of the island. Cedella agrees, but only if Nansi goes with him. Ziggy is happy to finally be outside and unafraid, and wants to share the spirit of Jamaica with everyone!
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Bob Marley's Three Little Birds transports kids and adults alike to an island paradise, while also educating audience members about Jamaican culture. From food to folklore—and, of course, music—there's a lot to take in! To help you learn the lingo and follow along, here's a glossary of terms and ideas in the show.
A yasso nice! An expression used when one is having a good time.
Ackee, Mango: Two fruits mentioned throughout the show that are central to the food in Jamaica.
Bad like yaz. A phrase to say that something is really cool.
Big man ting. Meaning, "grown up business."
Blue Mountains: A mountain range that covers the Eastern third of the island of Jamaica.
Brown Girl in the Ring: A Jamaican kids' game. Also, a traditional children's song in the West Indies, thought to have originated in Jamaica.
Chaka chaka: A word/phrase meaning messy and untidy.
Cheddar: A slang word used in Jamaica meaning money.
Cockroach no business in a fowl fight! A phrase meaning don't meddle in things that don't concern you.
Dandy Shandy, Puncinella Likkle Fella, Stucky Freezy, Stucky Ketchy, Simon Says: Jamaican kids' games.
Deh'pon: A Patois word meaning "on," as in "we deh'pon street again."
Dreadlocks: Also called "dreads," this hairstyle is created by allowing hair to matt into locks. Long dreadlocks are associated with wisdom, knowledge, patience and other virtues.
Duppy: This creature from Jamaican and West African folklore is portrayed as a mischievous bird spirit in Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. Duppies can take on a variety of forms, but are generally classified as evil spirits or ghosts.
Hawk, dey near. A phrase meaning to be careful when things are going too good, as its always possible that danger is around the corner.
Hurricanes: Characters in the show often refer to hurricanes and the bad luck they bring. That's because Jamaica is situated in warm water, and is often plagued by these dangerous storms that bring heavy rains and strong winds during summer months.
Jerk Chicken: "Jerk" is a style of cooking native to Jamaica which uses a heavy spice mixture used to marinate meats. Traditionally, chicken or pork is used, but you can also find jerk shrimp, tofu, beef, lamb and more.
Jonkonnu: A traditional Jamaican dance.
Likkle muore: Meaning, "see you later."
Mongoose: A medium-sized, carnivorous and furry mammal that can be found in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
One coco full basket. A phrase to say that every little bit adds up.
Patois: Pronounced "Pah-twah." You can probably recognize certain words, phrasing and grammar choices from Bob Marley songs that are sung in this Creole dialect, and you will hear certain Patois words and phrases throughout the show. ie: See "deh'pon."
Pickapeppa Sauce: A popular tomato and vinegar-based Jamaican condiment.
Reggae: A style of popular music with a strongly accented beat, originating in Jamaica. Reggae evolved in the late 1960s from ska and other local variations on calypso and rhythm and blues, and became widely known in the 1970s through the work of Bob Marley.
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