Dec. 30, 2002 While the music from "Caribbean Colors of the Rainbow" is aimed at children, your toes will tap and you'll sing along no matter what your age. "Caribbean Colors of the Rainbow" is a new CD, song book and coloring book package from St. Croix residents Dee Skylan and Rachel Woodruff.
The CD's catchy tunes draw on traditional folk music, bluegrass, country, reggae, blues and calypso, but the topics reflect Caribbean themes and animals ranging from donkeys to barracudas to roosters.
Each song on the CD has the words included in the coloring book, which also includes a discussion on the song's topic. For example, the first song, "Mocko Jumbie Jump Up," explains that a mocko jumbie is a stilt or stick dancer, a traditional folk character originally brought to the Caribbean from West Africa.
"Look up jump up, Who is dancing down the road," Skylan and Woodruff sing.
The coloring page includes a drawing of a mocko jumbie surrounded by children and a cat.
A song about a trip in a taxi van called "Junie's Taxi Van" shows Skylan's understanding of West Indian language and culture.
"Let's go ride in Junie's Taxi Van, we can meet he by the taxi stand," writes Skylan.
The package also includes a song titled "Colors of the Rainbow," a reflection on the island's diverse population.
"We are different colors of the rainbow, but we are one and we must learn to hold onto these colors of the rainbow. Good things will come to you and me," the song goes.
Skylan had the idea for the package, but had no trouble convincing Woodruff to get involved.
Skylan said the project started with the CD and evolved into the coloring book. Skylan said she saw the need for some humorous children's music that reflected life in the Caribbean.
Both Skylan and Woodruff are musicians that work full time at other careers. Skylan is a dive boat captain and Scuba guide; she works at the Scuba Shack in Frederiksted. Woodruff cuts hair at her Gallow's Bay barbershop.
Skylan's been on St. Croix since 1975, initially teaching school.
Woodruff arrived in 1963 aboard her family's sailboat. She now runs her own recording studio called Edge of the Sea, where the duo recorded "Caribbean Colors of the Rainbow."
Skylan and Woodruff are backed by local musicians Danny Drayer on guitar, Tom Eimer on piano, Peter de Jardins on bass and guitar, Jaime Caovo on percussion, and Chris Simons on harmonica.
The package costs $19.95 plus $5 shipping and handling, with discounts available for multiple purchases. The CD alone is $15, and the coloring book alone is $8. The CD and book can be ordered from Woodruff at Box 705, Christiansted, VI 00820 or by calling 773-3815.
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