Music is powerful. It speaks to our souls, sometimes even controls it. And it’s not just listening to it, it’s accepting this beautiful and wonderful force to teach you. To entertain you. To make you. Music can get you out of bed in the morning (for us grumpy kind), make you dance embarrassingly to a random crowd or move muscles you had no idea existed. It can take you to imaginary worlds, explore the future, be content with the present or take a peek at the past. The “what ifs?” are never too far, neither are the “Darn! Hadn’t seen it that way!”.
If your still wondering what’s going on, after doing a WordPress writing 101 challenge about songs that ‘move’ me, I decided to change my approach of a series I had already started. (See my piece here and the challenge here).
Welcome to My Top Three!
1. Ken Boothe – Everything I Own.
One of the pioneers of loversrock and best vocalists in his hay days, Ken Boothe released this cover version in 1974. It was originally done in 1972 by rock band Bread written by David Gates in honor of his father.
I always like the fact that reggae artist make renditions. It means that they listen and get inspirations from other genres.
It’s a beautiful song. And even more so because it’s dedicated to a father. You rarely hear it. It hits closer home. “You sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, kept me warm. You gave my life to me, set me free, set me free”, just says it all.
2. Everton Blender – Lift Up Your Head
Everton Dennis Williams, born in Clarendon, Jamaica, is an award-winning reggae singer and producer, known for his smooth, crooning, tenor vocals, up-tempo arrangements, and spiritually uplifting themes, successfully bridging the gap between roots reggae and dance hall.
He released Lift Up Your head in 1994 and it was a hit in the UK and the Caribbean. It’s a socially conscious song that talks of social ills while giving hope that “We know that we’ll win the fight.”
“Can’t vote because of the color of my skin, Wont cheat because I want to win. Nah see the crown and still not know the King, Nah see blessing and still not know blessing”, [paraphrased] is to me one of the most powerful statements I have ever heard in any song.
3. Queen Ifrica – Times Like These
Ventrice Morgan a.k.a Fyah Muma a.k.a Queen Ifrica is one of the best female reggae artist around. You have to understand that she is not only my best female artist, (Sorry Etana), she is one of my best ever, even when you include male artistes. She comes through on every song.
Jamaica is strikingly similar to Kenya. I think that is why I identify with reggae music so much. And the song above describes a country in need of heroes and heroines. Queen Ifrica recollects how these dire times, she wishes some of the great (Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey) were around because “We know that you tried your best, but we’ll do the rest”.
One of the most socially conscious songs delivered by one of my best artistes. Fantastic song! Find the lyrics here