island

The RAS Family – We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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RAS Recordings Presents: A Reggae Christmas
RAS Recordings Presents: A Reggae Christmas

I came into ska & reggae about the same time I came into the punk scene: the early 80s (the two were indistinguishable at times). The RAS Records Christmas album came out in 1984 and found its way into my hands –and the annals of our family’s Holiday traditions– the same year.

The album is precisely what you think it’s going to be: the biggest-name artists from the RAS Records catalogue, corralled into recording their own version of a Christmas classic, plus participating in a group sing, which brings us to this recording.

The RAS Family’s version of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas‘ features some of the best-renowned performers in the reggae world, yet fails to achieve escape velocity as a piece of music. As an item of humor however it is well worth the short slice of your life it’ll take to hear the inimitable Eek-A-Mouse utter the following line, a line that has been emblazoned on my brain since Christmas 1984:

Hi. This is Eek-A-Mouse, and I’m six feet six tall above your Christmas tree. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. ‘Bye!

Desmond Baker & The Clarendonians – Rude Boy Gone A Jail

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Skank!

“You say that you never go to jail/because you’re so rude that you can not fail.”

Marcia Griffiths – Dreamland

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Oh my goodness, these harmonies…this riddim… A perfectly recreated ‘dreamland.’

There’s a land that I, have heard about,
So far across, the sea..
There’s a land that I, have heard about,
So far across, the sea..

To have, you on.. my dreamland,
Would be like, heaven to me..
To have you on.. my dreamland,
Would be like heaven to me..

We’ll live, together, on that dreamland,
And we’ll have, so much fun.
We’ll live together, on that dreamland,
And we’ll have so, much fun.

We’ll get our breakfast, from the trees.
We’ll get our honey, from the bees.
We’ll take a ride on the waterfalls.
We’ll count the stars, in the sky.

And surely, we’ll never die.
And surely, we’ll never die.
And surely, we’ll never die.

Oh, what a time, that will be,
Oh just, you wait, wait, wait and see.
And surely, we’ll never die.
And surely, we’ll never die.

Lone Ranger – The Answer

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What’s happening in my house right now. High volume a given.

“Said as the baldhead run out the natty dreadlocks run in”

Larry & Alvin – Press Along Nyah

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Another old favorite: a bright, sinuous skank with a totally singable, deftly harmonized hook. Great horns too.

Supreme Records – SU 10033 – Jamaica Music – Written by Larry Marshall

John Holt – Ali Baba

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Was reminded of this skank on the morning on the bus. I would include this among my list of songs that’d make a good bluegrass number.

Nobody Canna Cross It

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Yes this is old, but yes this is funny. It makes my kids laugh and laugh…