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What does Tillillie mean? I am of course referencing the Kitchener tune "Old Lady Walk a Mile and A Half".


Any help would be appreciated. I did an arrangement of the tune for my steel band and I want to be able to tell the audience about origin of Tillillie.



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It could mean small Lillie from "petit lillie." 

I thought it was "tay lay lay" rather than tillillie.  The interpretation I know is that the old lady stopped in her tracks and did a kind of dance where she would sway from side to side as she went down to the ground and then back up. 

Actually its "tay lay lay" which is an old time slang expression comparable to "she ran out of gas".

Thank you.  When the dance was choreographed to this piece by Cyril St. Louis, the old lady always carried a load on her head.  So the "running out of gas" fits perfectly.

Well...I think "Te le le" or "Tay Lay Lay" means that she was very tired.

Afterall, she walked a mile and a half, uphill, downhill from Arima and

went to Arouca. Plus she was an old lady. Right?


Then my Grandmother told me the lyric is "en she telele" and it means - in her best dress, as the Tay Lay Lay was a material used to make dresses.....so Im not sure which is the correct one. hahahaha


Also, it is said that to tune/melody of Old Lady Walk A Mile And Half is very old. (from since around 1912)

There is also a toss up about who actually wrote the lyrics to the already existing tune: The Roaring Lion or Kitchener.

WOW!!!  You brought back clear memories of "tay lay lay" sometimes used as a reference by the women in my family to a woman who is over dressed or dressed in her "Sunday best".  So "In she Tay Lay Lay" would fit.

I love how this all pulls together.  2 heads are indeed better than one.  LOL

Thats Kaiso right? Play on words...ent? lol
Another of the great Lord Kitchener's contributions is is liberal use of these Trini colloquial expressions.Words like "dingolay".  "ramajay", "tay lay lay" etc.

In she Ti lay lay.

She was in her good dress. When a woman dressed up in her Sunday best (with full adornments) it was referred to as ti lay lay meaning all she had. cf today's bling.

A music lecturer once said that Tay lay lay was a rather cheap fabric that was popular with women who could not afford silk or satin. He also said that the original folk song said ïn she tay lay lay

My 90 year old Aunt a Retired Seamstress told me that Tay Lay Lay ( Te Le Le) was a Dress fabric. I have also heard that the wording of this Calypso was " Ole Lady Walk ah mile and ah Half in she Tay Lay Lay"and not " And she Tay Lay Lay". Now in 1937 Lord Executor in his Calypso "Three Friends Advice" sang " De Coat on my back was a Tay Lay Lay rag". In 1946, The Duke of Iron in his calypso" Don't Stop The Carnival" he sang " 6 o'clock in de morning yer break away and 12 at night yer Tay Lay Lay". So it seams there may be more than one meaning. Sprangalang and his brother Dennis did interviews with some of the older singers like Roaring Lion and Kitch so it would be nice to hear their views. All these calypsos are on YouTube so you can check them out.


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