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Ministry of Pre-Revolutionary History Presents:
Sega Party Songs - 31 May 1969
(go direct to the bottom of the page to hear the songs)

Diego Garcia Plantation

The Plantation as seen from the M/V Mauritius, November 16, 1968

A few months ago, I was putting better quality photos from Kirby Crawford on the First Americans page, and I read again of an audio recording he had made of a Sega Party while he was on DG in 68 - 69.  So I wrote and ask if I could get a copy.

Sega?  What's Sega?  Well, its a sort of interchangeable word.  For one, it refers to a Dance, basically at night around a campfire, and is in that sense a tribal-type event.  Sega Dances are known by various and similar names on the Southeast Coast of Africa, and in the various island groups in the Western Indian Ocean.  Sega also refers to the strong white-lightening liquor made of fermented coconut juice, which the workers secretly brewed. Of course this would have been against the law, and certainly would have been the subject of investigation by the BIOT Police, had there been any BIOT Police in those days!  Since their reincarnation in the 1970's, the BIOT Police have dutifully gone after moonshiners (they certainly were when I was there in 1988).  Probably still are - don't want to cut into the profits at the Club!

What's a Sega Party?   It appears to have been the equivalent of the toga party in Animal House, with the partiers providing the entertainment, the Sega liquor, and dancing the Sega Dance late into the night.  Here's how Captain Thompson described a Sega Party he secretly witnessed from the surrounding jungle in 1942, after bribing his way to the area with some bottles of whiskey:

As if automatons awakened, the scene gradually stirred into life, the toys moved stiffly in the shadows. . . The drums grew louder, quicker, the beat deepening to a wild urgency . . . slowly the rhythm and movement increased; the dancers bodies glistened and shone in the heat . . .couples paired and danced together . . . They danced, drumming now a drug, the blood of the living moment, burrowing into muscle and brain, throbbing in the body like an iron pulse, alive, dynamic."

The clearly African and tribal roots of the Sega Party were often judged too intense, especially sexually, by the European overlords, and these parties were supposedly outlawed by the Plantation Managers and governors from time to time.  Today, they would say they were "prejudical to good order and discipline"!  The party basically consided of drum beating, singing, drinking lots of Sega, and "The Dance", which was held around a fire on a beach or in a clearing.  An observer in the 1930s reported the drinking and singing went on for hours and became "increasingly frenzied and reportedly often ended in fornication" [quoted by Richard Edis, Peak of Limuria, page 60].

The Ilois were very attached to the dance.  Small wonder.  There were no concert halls, singles bars, or even penny arcades in the Chagos in those days!  Besides being a cultural affair, it certainly was the most fun to be had, especially if there was fornication involved... kind of the way keggers are for stateside college students.  According to Edis, "an attempt by a manager in the Salomons to ban Sega in 1937 led to an insurrection"!  Lead by future-Senator Blutarski no doubt.

During Kirby's year (68 - 69) on the island, he says "they popped up here and there on Saturday nights." One Saturday night Kirby and the boys were invited to one, along with Reginald Payete, the plantation manager, and by all reports, it was wild.  The music consisted of fantastic singing by a woman with an intoxicating voice, and the band consisted of men beating on four 55-gallon drums with rocks.  The songs themselves were stories in the "Creole" French of the Seychelles and Mauritius, and were about daily life, folk lore and many other things.  And Kirby managed to record about 45 minutes of the singing!

In 2006, Pat Mayot, a linguistics expert in the Seychelles, listened to the tape and said, "It was a very exciting moment inserting it into my cassette player and pressing the 'play' button! Talk of a 'blast from the past'. . . At least one of the women who speaks has got an accent which sounds more Mauritian than Seychellois, whereas another sounds more Seychellois. . . Reginald Payet (who I've been told by one person passed away two years ago - but I'll check again to be sure) sounds either 'tipsy' or tense. . .  I say that because in his 'speech' he refers (very obliquely) to male junior staff who had been behaving in a manner that he judged insubordinate. His own Creole contains a lot of French - I'm not sure whether he spoke like that all the time or whether he felt he had to 'sound right' because he was being recorded. . . In one of the songs the female singer praises Reginald Payet as a good man and implies that it is wrong that some people misbehave towards him. All this gives some idea of the 'dynamics' of the place!"

Most importantly, Mr. Mayot states:

"I don't know if any other similar recording from the Chagos exists - your material is probably unique!"


Here's Kirby's short narrative regarding this unique historic and cultural recording:

"On Saturday evening, May 31 in 1969, we learned that there was to be a 'Sega' party over at the plantation at East Point. We had been told that at one time these party’s had been prohibited on the island because they tended to get out of hand with excessive drinking and other activities.

"My thought was that this would be something interesting to see and perhaps an interesting activity to record. So Gus Jones and I carried my Akai reel-to-reel tape recorder over to the plantation and set up two stereo microphones in front of one of the huts just north of the jetty near the edge of the lagoon.

"A good number of the plantation workers had assembled and they were in a festive mood. In the early evening the music and  the drinking of  local home-brew spirits started out slowly but as the sun was setting, the music got louder and the drinking got heavier.

"The only musical instruments were 55 gallon drums beaten with rocks. At one point the plantation manager, Reginald Payette stepped before one the microphones and made a short speech in the French/Creole language.

"The party went on throughout the night and in the early hours of the next morning some interesting romantic activities were reported to have been seen."  hmmmmm... maybe Edis was right...

The PPDRDG Ministry of Propaganda asked Kirby, "Did you ever think when you were there how simply taking pictures and recordings of things that interested you at the time would turn out to be priceless historically?"

He answered, "When I was taking pictures on Diego, I really didn't have a sense of any future historic value as far as recording the local culture etc.  Most of my photos were taken to be sent back to our office in Washington so the bosses could have show & tell material concerning our satellite tracking operations.  In retrospect, I wish I would have taken a lot more photos of the people and activities on the island.  However, when I decided to record a sega party, I did have a sense that this was an opportunity to record something very unique that would some day disappear. Little was I to know that it would dissappear so soon."


On October 15, 1971, the MV NORDVAER got underway from Diego Garcia, carrying the last of the plantation workers and their families to exile (or evacuation, depending on how you look at it), ending 178 years of
contracted labor,
continuous civilian habitation,
and Sega Parties.

It is Therefore with the Greatest Pride that the PPDRDG Presents:
The Sega Party Audiotape
(please forgive the fact that these are in mono, rather than stereo)

"Woman's Song #1 (The Opening Song)" (13mb)
"Woman's Song #2" (11mb)
"Woman's Song #3" (6 mb)
"Man & Woman's Duet #1" (14mb)
"Man & Woman's Duet #2" (10mb)
"The Wild Song" (10mb) (about 2 hours into the party)
"The Manager's Speech" (3mb) (thanking the partiers)
"The Man's Song" (1mb) (finale - when everyone is wasted!)

To download these songs, right click on the link,
select "save target as" and save them to your
hard drive or other device...


My ISP has given me more room, and so I've posted the ENTIRE recording, uncut and unedited for you purists!

Sega Party Part 1 (this is 29 minutes long &12mb)
Sega Party Part 2 (this is 28 minutes long & 11mb)

Sega Party Part 3 (this is 58 minutes long & 24mb)

The world really can't thank Kirby Crawford enough for
saving this unique collection and offering it to all!!

Visit the Rest of The PPDRDG by Returning to the Site Map and Picking Another Page!

Want to use something from this site?  See the TERMS OF USE.
This, and everything else I write and every photo I produce is copyrighted by Ted A. Morris, Jr.
The songs linked on this page are copyrighted by Kirby Crawford

P.S.  Here is a better rendition of some of the Sega songs.


Pa plorer, pa sagrin marmail, na pa sagrin le roi George VI finn envoy so zom vey nu.
Mo le cozer, mo le cozer mo pa kapav, mo le cozer mo per tensyon mo gagn enn mari pa larguer
Lundi bo-matin mo tan lisyen kriye, ki li kriye, guet avion la ape fer letur Rafael
Pa plorer, pa sagrin zenfans, na pa sagrin le roi George 6 finn envoy so zom vey nu.

La lahe le le, lehe lehe le le ela la la la la la la…

Lundi bo-matin mo tan lisyen kriye, ki li kriye, guet avion la ape fer letur Rafael
Pa plorer, pa sagrin zenfans, na pa sagrin le roi George 6 fine envoy so zom vey nu.

(Male voice singing: ‘ki li pe roder, ki li pe roder avion la? Li ape fer letur Rafael.’)

Ki li pe roder, ki li pe roder avion la, ki li pe roder, le roi George 6 finn avoy so zom vey nu.
Lundi bo-matin mo tan lisyen kriye, ki li kriye, guet avion la ape fer letur Rafael
Mo le cozer, mo le cozer mo pa kapav, mo le cozer mo per tensyon mo gagn enn mari pa larguer
Mo ti le cozer, mo ti le cozer azordi, mo ti le cozer mo per tensyon mo gagn enn mari pa larguer.

Ti le le le la la la, ti le le le la la la

Don mwa la main, don mwa la main charli oh, don mwa la main charli o pas laisse amene la mort lor Diego.

(Male voice: ‘Don mwa la mort Charli, pa laisse nu mort dan Diego’)


Don’t cry, don’t be sad little ones, don’t be sad King George VI has sent his men to look after us.
I’d like to talk, I’d like to talk but I can’t, I’d like to talk but I fear in case I get into trouble.
Monday morning I heard the dogs barking, what are they barking for, look at the planes flying over Raphael.
Don’t cry, don’t be sad children, don’t be sad, King George VI has sent his men to look after us.

La lahe le le, lehe lehe le le ela la la la la la la…

Monday morning I heard the dogs barking, what are they barking for, look at the planes flying over Raphael.
(male voice: ‘what is it looking for, what is it looking for this plane, it is flying over Raphael’)
What it’s looking, what it’s looking for  that plane, King George VI has sent his men to look after us.
Monday morning I heard the dogs barking, what are they barking for, look at the planes flying over Raphael.

I’d like to talk, I’d like to talk but I can’t, I’d like to talk but I fear in case I get into trouble.
I’d like to talk, I’d like to talk today, I’d like to talk but I fear in case I get into trouble.

Ti le le le la la la, ti le le le la la la

Give me a hand, give me a hand oh Charlie, give me a hand  Charlie, don’t let death come on Diego.
(male voice: ‘Kill me Charlie, don’t let us die on Diego.’)


On the tape recorded by Kirby is the following speech by the local manager of the copra workers.  His jovial exhortation that all at the gathering should enjoy themselves is punctated by a verbal  attack on a group present whom, he suggests, have attempted to question his authority. The speech is incoherent in parts, probably as a result of the quantity of alcohol imbibed by the speaker!


Nu pa vinn la zis pou tap tanbur, pu ceci pu cela. Alor nu tu nu’ne vinn la pu amizer, pu fer ninport ki sen’la amizer, pa vre, ki foder dimoun pu fer kamarad amizer, saken a son tur, n’est-ce pas ? Nu pa bizin dimoun pu vini pu di sa li ceci sa li cela. Alor nu byen kontan zot inn vini, sirtu sa ban gogo*, sa ban gogo* ki zot krwar ki zot kapav bat l’administrateur, mo byen kontan mwa, sa ban boug ki di sa. Mo tuzur silencieux mwa, mo tuzur doucement. Nu byen kontan ki manyer zot’inn fer tanto,   Ki tu kitsoz ki zot partu pardonner, pu zot ein… Mersi bucu ein… Don nu ban zoli sanson… si ena enkor enn ti pe… si ena bwar… selma li a zoli pu nu ein.


We are not here only to beat the drum, for this and that… Well, we are all gathered here to enjoy ourselves and to make sure everybody here has fun, are we not? We need people to have fun, one and all, do we not? We do not need people to come to say this and that. Well, we are very happy you have come, especially those bastards, those bastards who believe they can beat up the administrator. I am happy, I am, that these men say this. I am always quiet, I am always slow. We are happy the way you have behaved this evening. That you have forgiven all. Thank you. Give us some beautiful sega songs…we have drinks… well, it is very good for us, isn’t it?!!

SEGA SONG:  “Missié Payet”

The following song about the administrator, Mr Payet, is particularly interesting because it indicates how the workers on Diego Garcia made up their own lyrics to describe incidents in their lives, and their feelings about them. A literal transcription is given below, followed by an English translation.  The song appears to praise Payet’s intervention in sorting out domestic disputes among the workers as well as relating to an incident which seems to involve a fishing trip to one of the shoals that may have been dangerous [not all of the words can be clearly interpreted]. This song, describing as it does, the daily tribulations of the labourers on Chagos, provides an insight into the mindset of the workers, although it must be borne in mind that the song was sung in the presence of the administrator,  presumably as a tribute to him, and may not be an entirely accurate reflection of attitudes towards him. If any residents of Diego Garcia who listen to Kirby’s recording can help to identify ‘M Greller’ and ‘beautiful Adele’, or have any anecdotes of their own, we hope they will add their comments below.


Missié Payet li enn bon regisser, manyer ki nu’a pe fer, mo krwar nu pu fer li move.
Missié Payet pran pesser posson lor banc, la manyer nu pe aler mw’asirer nu pu perdi nu la vi.
U le kozer, mo le kozer,  kot mo la caz mo ti le kozer mo pena rezon pu mwa kozer.
Si mwa kozer mwa pe travail kot mo burzoi, mwa pe travail kot mo burzoi, l’inn met la pe kot mo la caz.

Missié Payet li’enn bon regisser, la manyer ki nu pe fer nu mem ki pu fer li move.
Mo byen fupamal, letan mo kot sega mo pa kone ki pe passer kot mo la caz, mwa inosan pa kon nanye.
Ou le kozer, mwa galoup kot mo regisser, mo regisser vinn met la pe, vinn guetter kot mo la caz.
Zozo mo mari y’a inpe gro leker, nou met kuraz kot nu la caz, nu pa le sa gogoterie.
Mo byen fupamal zot araze zot p’araze mw’asi mo parey kuma zot. Di tou din tou di.

Ti le lehe le lehe, le lehe le lehe le le lehe.

Don mwa la me mo’nn pare, don mwa la me, la manyer ki nu pe fer nu sire nu pu perdi nu la vi.
Rod mari, mari mwa pe rod li, mo pe rod mari li pa ti la, mari dan la caz missié Grellé.
Repone mo la vwa, repone mo la vwa, Adele repone mo la vwa, Adele ma belle ti pu la vi.

Ti le lehe, le lehe, ti le lehe le lehe le le lehe… [2nd female voice]: la la la la la la lala.

Nu’ena enn bon regisser nu pa kone amene, anu chombo li de de la me,  si nu perdi nu perdi.
Li enn bon regisser, li enn bon regisser, nu mem ki pu fer li move.


Mr. Payet he is a good manager, the way we are doing things I believe we will make him angry.
Mr. Payet takes fishermen fishing on the bank, the way we are behaving I can assure you we all going to lose our lives.
You want to talk, I want to talk, by my home I wanted to talk but I have no reason to talk.
And if I talk, I am working at my boss’s, I am working at my boss’s, who has brought peace to my home.

Mr Payet he’s a good manager, the manner in which we’re behaving we’re going to make him angry.
I don’t really care, while I am singing sega I don’t know what’s going on at my place, I’m innocent I know nothing.
You want to talk, I ran to my manager, my manager came to bring peace, come to see by my place.
Zozo my husband who’s a little jealous, nevertheless we take courage at home, for we don’t want any bullshit.
I don’t really care whether you’re angry or not, I’m also just like you, what has to be said has been said.

Ti le lehe le lehe, le lehe le lehe le le lehe.

Give me a hand I’m ready, give me a hand, the manner in which we’re behaving we surely will lose our lives.
Looking for my husband, I’m looking for my husband, I’m looking for my husband he wasn’t here, husband is in the house of Mr. Greller.
Answer my call, answer my call, Adele answer my call, beautiful Adele it was for life.

Ti le lehe, le lehe, le lehe le lehe le le lehe [2nd female voice]: la la la la la la la lala.

We have a good manager we don’t know how to keep him, hold him with both hands, if we lose we’ll lose.
He’s a good manager, he’s a good manager, and we are the ones who will turn him into a bad manager.

FRENCH SONG:  “Auprès de Toi”

The labourers working on Diego Garcia in 1969 would all have understood the French-based creole language spoken – with some variations of vocabulary and pronounciation on the islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and Réunion, and imported from there to the Chagos archipelago. Many of them would also have been familiar with the French language and would have heard French songs playing on the radio in the Mascarenes and Seychelles islands. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that one of the songs recorded by Kirby Crawford and sung by the islanders is not in the creole tongue, but in French.


Auprès de toi,
Alice ma bien aimée
Me consoler
Tu me consoleras
Eh bien j’ai fait
Pour ta fête en famille
Moi j’ai su faire
Moi j’avais ni père ni mère
Moi j’ai su faire
Moi j’ai ni père ni mère
Auprès de toi
Tu me consoleras


By your side
My beloved Alice
To console me
You will console me
Well I did
For your family party
I knew what to do
I had neither father nor mother
I knew what to do
I have neither father nor mother
By your side
You will console me