Jamaican Christmas Music - by Rosemarie Gordon-Cole
Christmas is not Christmas without the sound of music filling the air; telling of those experiences and sharing stories, or just to add a little laughter. As with every culture we Jamaicans put own spin on some of the good old Christmas classics and also add a few of our own.
Space will not allow me to list all the re-recordings, but I simply cannot move on without making mention of the 1989 album Blue Mountain’s Christmas Party, which features the likes of;
Dean Fraser ( yes Dean doing “Deck the Hall”)
Coco Tea and Gregory Isaac among others,
... doing cover versions of songs like; Silver Bells, Ding Dong and White Christmas to name a few. This is really worth a listen!
In addition to the re-recordings are the classics with a Jamaican spin, like Barrington Levy and Trinity singing to the tune of Jingle Bells (One horse open sleigh)
“Riding through King Street on a CB400
I fly my natty dread moving down the line
I saw some bald heads who loved my natty dread
Oh what fun it is to ride on a CB400
I’m gonna flash my dread flash my dread
Flash my natty dread”
Or Yellowman’s version of the Christmas Song.
“Breadfruits roasting in an open fire
Mongrels nipping at your toes
Dancehall songs being sung by a choir
And we dress up in we bashment clothes”
Or Lovindeer’s “Black Bird In A Pear Tree” done to the tune of “Twelve Days Of Christmas”. If you know anything about Lovindeer you know you will be in stitches throughout this entire song as he is simply hilarious.
And the laughter continues with originals like:
“Santa Ketch Ina Mango Tree
Mango tree, Mango tree
Santa ketch up ina mango tree
Pa-too bawl out, what a Christmas tree”
by Faith D’aquilar
Or Mutabaruka’s “Postpone Christmas”
Even the dancehall industry has contributed to the Christmas music collection, one that comes to mind is “Rub A Dub Xmas” and features; Frankie Paul, Triston Palmer And Little John.
Whatever your taste in music is as a Jamaican I am positive you will be able to find something you like as the collection is endless.