In Praise of Haitian Mothers: 12 Haitian Music Ballads to Show Love and Appreciation for Mom

Moms are great beings. But does it seem like Haitian moms are in a category all by themselves? Or does it just seem that way to those of us who were blessed with Haitian moms?

Don’t wait for a special day to show manman how much you appreciate her.

If your mom is no longer in your life, sit back and ponder on all the great moments, and the wonderful memories. If you are among those who never knew her at all, think of the day the two of you will be reunited. In the meantime, kouraj! Kenbe fèm.

Do you not have a exemplary relationship with your mother? Take the steps to make it right. Are you convinced that she is the one who’s in the wrong? She’s done you too many wrongs and just the mere thought of having a conversation with her creates a huge lump in your throat? Swallow your pride and reach out. Talk things over. Easier said than done, perhaps? But try. Better to make things smooth now, then wishing you had done so.

Do you have a great mom? Of course you do; they all tend to be, don’t they—in their own way. Appreciate her today! To-dayyyyyy.

I love my mommy. I had this recent epiphany that there’s so much more I can do show her I love her, and lighten her load in life. Let’s all do our best to show our moms that we cherish them and love them. They’re the ones who give us all the best that they have. They’ll bloodlet their bodies if that will bring us comfort and put a smile on our faces. Let’s do what we can to appreciate them, whatever our means are. Let’s start today! Don’t wait for a special day. And don’t do it for just a “special” day and neglect the other days! In the words of Stevie Wonder, “You don’t need a reason, if it’s coming from the heart.” Do it. Do it, do it, do it.

What better way to show our appreciation than to come up with a song playlist with some of the most touching lyrics about that special lady! There are some songs I’ve discovered recently; heck, there are some songs I came across while doing research for this post, and hopefully they’ll grow on me. Check them out, and be sure to mention your own favorites too—if they didn’t figure on this list (and even if they did).

1. Artist: Christopher “Freedom” Laroche
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: The album: 1804 Revolution. Listening to the album, there’s a bunch of militant, pro-Haiti songs, and out of nowhere comes this song “Manman” that practically belies its track predecessors’ rawness on the album. But it isn’t out of place. It’s the song that every child should dedicate to their moms. The gospel-like vibes laced with a bit of hip-hop and Haitian roots music and the lyrics that demonstrates vulnerability, and makes it clear, that every man, no matter how virile have the ability to melt into the most malleable creature, but only for mom.
Lyrics Highlight: “Se gras a ou mwen pa p janm sispann lite/Solèy leve/Mwen di Bondye mèsi ou ekziste…Tout pèn efase lè ou vini bòm kote m/Pa gen anyen mwen pap fè pou ou”. Thanks to you, I’ll never stop fighting/The minute the sunrise/I thank God that you’re in my life/All my pain goes away the minute you’re near me/There’s nothing I won’t do for you.

2. Artist/Band : Emeline Michel
Song: “Moso Manman”
The Rundown: Released on an album entitle Cordes et Ames, this song has a world-folksy aura to it. The conga-heavy
intro…the sweet lyrics.
Lyrics Highlight: “Lèm gade kote m soti/Mwen konnen se pa sèlman mirak lanati…Lè ou posede yon moso manman oh!. Vinn
danse manmwen mwen/Kadanse manman mwen/Mwen pa ka peye ou sa mwen dwe ou. Ou pa janm granmoun kou manman ou….Mèsi manman mwen/Mèsi manman mwen.” When I see how far I’ve come/I know it isn’t just do to some natural miracle/Man, when you have your mom by your side–Oh! Let’s dance to my mother/Let’s sway to my mother/I’ll never be able to pay you what I owe you/You’ll never be as grown as your mother/Thank you mommy/Thank you.

3. Artist/Band: Shoogar Combo
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: According to the RetroMusic YouTube channel, this song was originally released in 1984 with Adrien Dupuy on guitar, Gerthro Arnaud on bass and Emmanuel Nerette on electric guitar. For some reason, the trumpets and bass line have a retro-1970s feel. The point that this song makes is practically how important it is for us to show appreciation for our moms, while they’re still around us. And um, that’s a rather interesting name for a band. Shoogar! I like that!
Lyrics Highlight: “Sa se pi gwo lapènn wi/Lé manmou ou te la/Ou pa te konn valè li. Ou ale/Mwen pa rekonpanse’w sa fè mwen lapènn.” It’s the worst pain ever/When your mother was there/You didn’t recognize her value/Mama you’re gone/I can’t pay you back and how that hurts.

4. Artist/Band: Scorpio
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: Scorpio is a Haitian konpa band that was based in Haiti. No indication as to when this song was released. From the sounds of it, placing it at the 1970s-1980s era.
Lyrics Highlight: “Manman se yon ero ki pap janm fini rekonpanse/Doulè manman pa dous o” A mom is a particular kind of hero who will never get enough medals. A mother’s pain is far from sweet.

5. Artist/Band: Krezi
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: This is a son’s post-mortem tribute to a mom who is no longer around, and thinking back to the great memories, and his drawing on those sweet memories to muster the strength to deal with life’s challenges. This song was released in the mid-2000s, with singer Stanley Georges singing lead. This song most likely will make your eyes well up with tears, even if your mother is in your life.
Lyrics Highlight: Manman se pi gran kadò yon ti moun ka posede. Lajan pa ase pou m ta achte yon manman. Ki yes ou kite pou ranplase w? Se tout kote mwen pase male avèk foto ou. Tout sa ou te fè se te pou mwen. Ou pa dòmi tout tan mwen pa rantre. Manman m’sonje’w. Manman m sonje’w. M’sonje’w.” A mom is the ultimate gift a child can possess. Money can’t procure a mother/Mom, who did you leave behind to replace you? Everywhere I go, I take your photo with me. Everything you did, you did for me/You never slept until you’re reassured yourself that I was in the house. Mommy, I miss you. I truly miss you.

6. Artist/Band: Zenglen
Song: “Pou manman”
The Rundown: “Pou manman” is another touching tribute to Haitian mothers, and like the Scorpio song mentioned above, emphasizes throughout its lyrics the hardworking personality of the Haitian mother; her selflessness. The song also makes a point of encouraging everyone to think beyond the moment, to know that mom will not always be around. The song makes particular mention of the Haitian moms who left Haiti to go overseas, and whose load never got any lighter, even when they’ve made the transition from living in a developing country to a developed one.
Lyrics Highlight: “Li tale Miyami pou lale chaje lavi/Depi li rive se redi lap redi/Manman se yon djòb san konje/Manman pa gen jou ferye. Panse a lamò pandan ke gen lavi.” She went to Miami in search of a better life/From that time on, she’s never stopped struggling. Being a mom is a job without a day off/Moms don’t know nothing about having a holiday off/Think about death, while there’s still life.

7. Artist/Band : Herold Christophe
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: Emmanuel V contends that this song was released in 1986, a year of historical milestones for Haiti.
Lyrics Highlight: “Si jodi a map viv/Se gras a ou manman/Jodi a si kèm kontan se gras a ou manman/Bouch mwen pap janm sispann di ou ke mwen renmen ou.” If today I’m alive/It’s thanks to you my mom/Today, if I’m alive, I have you to thank. My mouth will never stop expressing my love for you.

8. Artist/Band: Gerard Dupervil
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: Gerard Dupervil is considered to be one of the most influential lead vocalists in the history of Haitian music. This song, once again, explores the irreplaceable quality of one’s mother.
Lyrics Highlight: “Map pale se kè map kenbe”. When talking about you, you have no idea how hard it is.

9. Artist/Band: Accolade de New York
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: A mother’s life is a hard life, and those who don’t realize it, woe to them. Preach it, preach it.
Lyrics Highlight: “Gen pitit ki pa janm panse a doulè sa-a/Pou manman yo/Jan sa-a di/o/Bon tan se ou/Move tan se ou. Afeksyon manman pa gen yon lòt konsa.” Some kids never take the time to ponder on a mother’s pains. A mother’s pain, now that’s hard. Good times, it’s her. Bad times, it’s her. A mother’s love—there’s nothing out there like it.

10. Artist/Band: DP Express
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: This song goes out to all the ungrateful, mean children, whose mothers worked hard to get them a better and more comfortable life, and upon the acquisition of that said comfortable life. It’s extremely different from all the manman songs I came across. The structure of the song is basically the monologue of a mother to her ungrateful child. She chides him for turning his back on her, after she struggled to make a man out of him. Now living in Haiti’s plush suburbs, this ingra only comes to see her as an afterthought.
Lyrics Highlight: “Woy, doulè manman pa janm fini/Pa janm bliye se lik ba wou lavi/Sosyete pa ba ou anyen/Ou te mèt fè sa ou vle, se nan pye li pou ou kouri.” Lookee here, a mother’s pain never ends. Don’t you forget that she’s the one who gave you life/Being among good society won’t bring you anything worthwhile. Act however you want/you’ll come running back at her feet.

11. Artist/Band: Toto Necessite
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: Toto Necessite? Is that his pet name? No matter. Toto shuts down the house with this one. He starts off by praising the virtues of mom, and goes on to lecture about the necessity (no pun intended, really) of keeping the family together and shedding silly pretenses about one’s origins.
Lyrics Highlights: “Nou pasa fini pou sa li te deja vini/Moso manman pi bèl pase yon chato/Moso manman pi bèl pase fòtin. Yon nonm ki neglije manman-n/Li pa ta renmen wè byen.” We’ll never thank her for everything she’s already done. A mother is more beautiful than a mansion/A mom is more beautiful than a big fortune. A man who neglects his mother/Must not want to see good happen in his life.

12. Artist/Band: Tropicana
Song: “Manman”
The Rundown: Manman deserves a nice little ballad, for the sleepless nights, the terrible days when everyone feared a better tomorrow would not come.
Lyrics Highlight: “Maman, je t’aime/Je t’adore”. Enough said.

Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by kreyolicious

Other Posts

We Will Miss You

In loving memory of our dear friend. We are heartbroken and will miss her dearly. She was a shining light in our lives, with a kind and loving spirit that brought joy to all who knew her. Her passion was an inspiration to us all. We take comfort in knowing that her memory will live on through the website, which was a true testament to her talents and dedication. Rest in peace, dear. You will always be remembered and loved.