Smile Jamaica pays tribute to all the Fathers. In Reggae, of course, His Imperial Majesty – Haile Selassie I is the universal father
A little story about my father, also named Robert. 2019 was the year everything went sideways. On Jan. 3 he fell while walking the dog and was admitted to the emergency room in Sun City West, AZ.
We found out he has a condition called NPH. It’s a build up of excess spinal fluid on the brain. Its untreated effects include lack of co-ordination in walking, mental impairment and incontinence. It is treated by installing a shunt in the skull that absorbs the excess fluid harmlessly into the stomach lining.
But before he could have that procedure he had: shingles which led to meningitis, two small strokes and a whole litany of deleterious side effects. He has been in hospital or a rehab facility more nights than he has spent at home.
Talking to him was like he was fading out and not there. So this Father’s Day show was livicated to him and the memories of our family and wondering why nothing seems to be working for him.
When I talked to him on Father’s Day, it was the first time in months we carried on an actual conversation. The first sense of optimism and now I don’t dread calling him.
So I always lead off with this song by Charlie Ace called Father and Dreadlocks: (37 sec.)
Father and Dread Locks – Charlie Ace (lyrics transcribed by Bobbylon)
- Hail Daddy-man!
- Wha’ppen when him come for the Holidays
- Yes-I! Whap’n rate up a draw of herb fi I place y’know!
- Son – who dat? No Parson’s son turn Rastaman!
- Yes-I! Man sight the fullness y’know?
- Parson send him one son fi (to) college for the study of religious knowledge
- Some day the boy decides to come home for Holiday
- But when he enter him home something strange happen
- He wasn’t wearing slicker suit
- He wasn’t wearing big heel boots
- He was wearing dungarees and sandals
- And when he moved his tam from his head
- Parson frightened til him was drop down dead
- When him natty dreadlocks drop to the ground
- So, his Dad looked at him and said:
- My son, my son what comes over you? What happened?
- You pass your GCE and sit upon University. What happened?
- I work morning, noon and night to get you there. What happened?
- He said, Daddy you don’t understand like I do
- But Jah has called upon I
- I have sight of the Promised Land
- Daddy, I know the way you feel but one day you will understand
- My son, what is the plan for the future?
- He said: Daddy, I plan to use my education to defend human rights, equality and justice throughout the Universe
- This time the Mother is in the kitchen cooking the best dressed chicken
- So she run when she realize her one son was home to greet her one son
- When she sight Natty Dreadlocks she nearly drop down dead
- She said: My son, my son. What are we going to tell the people of the neighborhood?
- He said: Mom, tell them that the power of Jah is moving on-ya!
So that song has special significance Father’s Day 2019. The power of Jah is movin’ on ya! Foward ever, backwards never Papa Bob!
<The Power of Jah is movin’ on-ya!; 51 sec.>
Smile Jamaica Ark-ives: June 15, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 64 sec.
- The African Brothers – Lead Us Father; Want Some Freedom (Easy Star) ’74 3 hours of Father’s Day
- Roots Radics – Time Capsule (RAS) ’82 Barrington Levy dubs
- Charlie Ace – Father and Dreadlocks; 7″ (Studio One) JA
- Dennis Brown – Created by the Father; Best of: The Niney Years (Heartbeat) ’79
- Black Roots – The Father; In Session (Makasound) ’83 UK
- Sylvan White – Mammy & Daddy; 7″ (Corner Stone Church of Music Congress) JA
- Capital Letters – Daddy Was No Murderer; Headline News (Greensleeves) ’79 UK
- Sister Carol – Mi Love the Father; Lyrically Potent (Heartbeat) ’96
- Jah T – Grandfather Land; The Sound Doctor (Pressure Sounds) ’72 Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n
- Prince Alla – In My Father’s House; Sweet Sensations (Corner Stone) ’84
- Freddy McKay – Father Will Cut You Off; 7″ (Money Disc) ’83 JA
- Ian Sweetness – Almighty Father; All I Have Is Love (Easy Star) 2001
- Dennis Bovell – Oh Mama, Oh Papa; LKJ Presents (LKJ) ’93 UK dubmaster
- Cedric ‘Im Brooks & the Light of Saba – Song For My Father; Light of Saba (Honest Jon’s) ’76 nyah horns instrumental
- Big Youth – Mammy Hot, Daddy Cool; Reggae Phenomenon (Trojan) ’77
- White Mice – Love Mom and Dad; White Mice (Intelitec Muzk) ’88 youth
- Alton Ellis – Papa; 7″ (Clintones) ’75
- Impact All-Stars – Easy Come Dub; Dubwise & Otherwise 2 (Blood Fire) Dub compilation of the hour
- Desmond Dekker – Honor Your Mother and Father; Israelites (Trojan) ’62
- Errol Dunkley – Created by the Father; Darling Ooh (Attack) ’72
- Queen Majeeda – Oh Daddy; Conscious (Heartbeat) ’93 dub poet
- Fire Facts – Father Forgive Them; Remand Centre (Sky High) ’94
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital
- Israel Vibration – Universal Father; Why You So Craven (Arrival) ’81 JA
<Israel Vibration; 30 sec.>
- Don Carlos – Ababa John I (Father Majesty); Spread Out
- Michigan and Smiley – Sugar Daddy; Sugar Daddy (RAS) ’83 DC
- Ras Michael – Don’t Sell Daddy No Whiskey; Love Thy Neighbour (Live & Learn) ’79 DC nyahbinghi
- Jackie Mittoo – Dad Is Home; Macka Fat (Studio One) ’71 JA cover of Shep & the Limeliters Daddy’s Home
- Linton Kwesi Johnson – Reggae fi Dada; acapella live (LKJ) ’94 live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London – UK dub poet
<Dub poem to father; 43 sec.>
- Big Youth – Papa Was a Rolling Stone; Reggae Phenomenon (Trojan) ’77 Temptations cover
- Gregory Isaacs – Created by the Father; Cool Ruler (Virgin) ’78
- Barry Brown – Thank You Mama and Papa; Barry (Vista Sounds) ’83 UK vinyl
- Merger – Father’s Children; Prisoner of Your Love (Takoma) ’84 Los Angeles vinyl
- 4th Street Orchestra – The Grunwick Affair; Yuh Learn (EMI) ’77 dub album of the hour
- Derrick Morgan – Don’t Call Me Daddy; The Legend of Derrick Morgan (Imperial) ’80 Can. vinyl
- Johnny Clarke – Don’t Call I Daddy; Don’t Trouble Trouble (Attack) ’75 – cover of Derrick Morgan
<Don’t Call Me Daddy; 48 sec.>
- The Maytals – Daddy; Sensational Ska (Jamaican Gold) ’65
- Ky-Mani Marley – Dear Dad; 12″ (Shang) ’99
- Winston Reedy – Message to Father; Dim the Lights (Inner Light) ’85 UK
- African Head Charge – Healing Father; Songs of Praise (ON U Sound) ’91 UK
- Robert Marley – Scandal Ska (Island) ’62 – Bob’s first dub
- Bob Marley/Bill Laswell – Burnin’ & Lootin’; Dreams of Freedom (Axiom) ’97
- Peter Tosh – Legalize It; While Relaxing (bootleg) March 14, 1979 – Live at the Bayou, Washington DC