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The Day is So Long and the Wages So Small

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In the summer of 1958 Samuel Charters and Ann Danberg travelled to Andros, an 'island on the wrong side of the wind' in the Bahamas. They were drawn to this remote location by a song, so rich and startling in its resonance that they followed it to its source.

In The Day is So Long and the Wages So Small Charters recalls the unique experience of this incredible summer. Living within the small yet vital community descended from a handful of Bahamian slaves, Charters and Danberg discovered the pleasures and the harsh realities of island life.

They also found that the historical fusion of disparate cultures on Andros, from Africa and Europe, had resulted in a rich, distinctive musical confluence that stubbornly resisted the influx of modern styles. The invaluable recordings they made that summer introduced the world to the guitar music of Joseph Spence, the ballads and 'rhyming' songs of John Roberts and Frederick McQueen, and a wealth of traditional Bahamian music.

Published: Feb 21, 2003

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
A Different Kind of Music Samuel Charters
Chapter 2
An Island the Wrong Side of the Wind Samuel Charters
Chapter 3
The Problem with Fishing Boats Samuel Charters
Chapter 4
An Island House Samuel Charters
Chapter 5
Night Voices Samuel Charters
Chapter 6
Opinions about Sharks Samuel Charters
Chapter 7
Spence Samuel Charters
Chapter 8
Sharks Again Samuel Charters
Chapter 9
Gal, you Want to go Back to Scambo Samuel Charters
Chapter 10
A Walk on the Beach Samuel Charters
Chapter 11
The Pleasures of Sailing Samuel Charters
Chapter 12
The Day is So Long and the Wages So Small Samuel Charters
Chapter 13
McQueen Samuel Charters
Chapter 14
Last Long Summer Days Samuel Charters
Appendix Samuel Charters


A richly textured collection of memories and observations ... terrific.
Straight No Chaser

Just about the best 'what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation' report ever written.
(starred review)