Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lyrics!: Jah Mason

Much like Capleton and a handful of others, I don’t think that Jah Mason is someone who gets the full credit for his lyrical ability. So many fans probably know the Manchester born former resident of Capleton’s David House more for the fiery Roots chanter that he certainly is, but should you get past the flare and the dynamics, what you have is someone who is extremely gifted with the pen. This is evident not only in the various hits that he’s scored throughout his career (and if you ever really noticed, a great deal of his hits are very lyrical tunes), but also through the level of consistency that he’s managed to achieve and maintain (his last album notwithstanding, of course) - being one of the most durable of names in a very crowded field and at least partially due to his ability to, sometimes wildly, place together beautifully dexterous linguistic streams. It is such flows that we take a look at today - Here we have ten at least moderately random lyrical brooks from arguably one of the most underrated wordsmiths in Reggae history, Jah Mason.

"Hey ghetto youth have dem education
Hey babylon you betta hold yah meditation
Divide an rule: Dat ah segregation
Rumours of war
Nation 'gainst nation
Selassie I dem praise and no tell mi bout Satan
Livin in dis world, dem seh look up to di pagan
Old anti-christ wid dem same old slogun"
-'Can’t Wait'

"Tell Elizabeth free wi
She nah free none
Dem rather free di coke
An free up di opium"
-'As Much As Mi Get'

"Yuh system fi clean up
Too much things mi si lean up
Together we will be, if we ever team up
Clean up
Too much things mi si lean up
Nah mek it boil over and steam up

Gather di puzzle pieces
Every cornah, every crevice and-
Each and every creases
Be careful
Watch out fi di papas and di beasts
Mother harlot, father harlot, auntie, uncle and di nieces
Fight against cleanliness, you end up lak feces
Be precise
Hey, in whatever you teaches
No contradict yourself or you will end inna mystery
Living like some unsolved mystery"
-'Team Up'

"I mek di trod deh inna di day
She mek di trod deh inna di night
And she know seh she was wrong
And she know dat I was right
What happen to royalness?
No more you nah act polite
Well mi si seh dat you ready fi put up a fight
From di other day mi si seh you acting hype
Well you friend dem you go follow -
And you follow di wrong type!"
-'Princess Gone'

"Stay in my heart like the sun that shine and the wind that blows
We’ll never part, special place in my heart for you girl and you know!

Some gone fi good
Well dem gone forever
Yow keep it real, mi nah go end up lak no beggar
I been so smart and you been so clever
Yow, loose love, well I coulda neva
Well Rastafari, well love mi go treasure

Love stay wid us, everyday wid us
And wi coulda neva be apart
Never stray from us, or stay from us
Love always inna our heart"
-'Stay In My Heart'

"I'm delighted to do thy work, oh Jah
Well dem caan stop mi, no time, no sah
Salvation mi need
Mi no waan no sponsah
Tell dem, love is di way, also di answah
Gimme di oldtime tradition, mi no waan no sponsah
Bangarang dem ah pick and a powdah and pampah
Yow, its too late, dem gwan get anchah
We a unconquerable, weh dem caan conquah!"
-'Black King' w/Lutan Fyah

"Mi dun si dem move!
Mi dun si dem flex!
Mi get fi ovastand seh nuff ah flex lak Rex!
Mi dun si dem move!
Mi dun si dem flex!
What kind a move dem ahgo mek next!

Mi tell dem live clean and dem gone live dutty
Selassie I commandment?
Dem run go bruk it
Dem heart, it no clean
Dem mind, it smutty
Watch how dem ah move lak a dogs and puppy
Caan escape!
No care how dem lucky
Watch how dem ah flex lak Jason & Chucky!
Well you no si seh dem a walkin duppy!
Dutty livity!
Mi ah beg unuh fi lef it!"
-'Si Dem Move'

"Tru mi divineness, well dem know seh dat mi skillful
Mi show dem love, mi bun dem grudge -
Mi do it willful
Well I a lion, some a behave like a pitbull
Mi ah ask dem why mankind so neglectful
Mi ah ask dem why mankind so rejectful
From you’s a suspect, well mi si you suspectful
Jah give I blessin and HIM give I inna handful
Always be right, mi tell dem neva be wrongful
Whether you inna turban, or your kangol
Dis a one ya name Rasta neva gamble
Ah di truth a mi go si seh some ah ramble"

"Tell di government, vote fi demself
Go tell clerk a court, go a court fi demself
Who gwan judge di judge, him ah sentence himself
So tell di lawyer, seh fi lawyer himself
Barrister, dem ah run risk wid demself
Police man, tell dem go arrest demself
Yow, cah mi si seh dem possess demself
Seh dem ah stop crime, but stop demself"
-'Keep Your Joy'

"Tru mi tun to di east and behold di Trinity
Emmanuel, Marcus and His Majesty
Mi neva close mi eye
Neva go down pon mi knee
And alla praise to di Man who irate you and . . .
Di Man who irate di sky -
Di land and di sea
Who irate di flowers and even di tree
Di Man who irate di fishes and birds and di bee
Ah Emperor Selassie I, come set us free"
-'Workin So Hard' w/Jah Cure

1 comment:

  1. surely jah mason should be getting the respect and honour he deserves
    in Zimbabwe, "my princess gone" is still and always be a club anthem