“From The Archives: Tribute to Marshall”

from-the-archives-bloc

The following tribute to Malcolm Marshall was written by Dave Martins of the Tradewinds.

Each time a hero falls the hills cry out

Let sudden grief come down but not for long

The cutting sense of loss means that we've gained

His passage helped us rise up straight and strong

Bajan prince of Wisden, prancing like a sail

That’s the memory that should prevail

When a hero falls.

 

We stood upon his shoulders more than once

Coming out of chasms deep and dark

Calypso at Lord’s and Kensington

Raising pandemonium at Queen’s Park

High above the sobbing and far beyond the wail

That’s the memory that should prevail

When a hero falls.

 

We crouched around the radios late at night

In wooden houses sprinkled on the Main

We heard him put Australia to the wall

Driving sleep away from every brain

Running up in Sydney and making white men pale

That’s the memory that should prevail

When a hero falls.

 

He made us proud to claim him as our own

Hoisting our gaze up from the ground

He brought us jubilation running wild

San Fernando, Gros Islet, Bridgetown

Leaping square at Bourda and shaking all the earth

Hold the memory for all its worth

When a hero falls.

 

Within the ashes spread out on the ground

The gold he struck stands columns high and wide

Grey ashes will be scattered by the wind

The gold will remain anchored to the rock

Outstretched hand defining the perils on the trail

That’s the memory that should prevail

When a hero falls.

 

The joy in him, the walk, the little sway,

The tilted head, the bashful little grin

A warrior bold enveloped in the fray

And all West Indians running in with him

Raise your trumpet Mac Fingall, blow it long and loud

Remind us all how proud he made us proud

When a hero falls.

 

  • This article was published November 15, 1999.