“I need a big-heel boot and a bell-foot pants fi go dance this yah festival” is how much I am looking forward to a happy Festival, Emancipation, 50th anniversary, or Jubilee. In fact, I am hopeful that I may even get a chance to celebrate with Jamaicans all over the island and those not lucky enough to go to the big shows.
There are three million of us here that wish to, and ought to celebrate in person, live and direct, not by television or radio, but in love and harmony with our friends and neighbours. I need to see a few street dances where we can go with happy lyrics and where we can take our children and grandchildren.
So many Jamaicans do not know what I am talking about, as the only street dance they know are the “skin-out” street spectacles.
“Uncle Benjy inna him yard sit down pon a stone; wife and pickney gone abroad, lef’ him all alone”. Well, I need to burn my fingers and eat roast corn happily as we sing and dance and drop some legs for this occasion.
I also hope that our athletes will do themselves and all of us proud in London, and that there will be warm weather there for all our diaspora to celebrate without the fog.
“One pound ten for the wedding cake, twenty bottle a kola wine, all the people dem dress up inna white fi go eat off Johnson wedding cake” reminds me to say congratulations to all those persons who will get married in this festive season, and all those celebrating anniversaries. This was always a happy time for planning weddings with the hope that overseas family members would be here for the festival and the nuptials.
“So come along brothers, come along sisters, U-N-I-T-Y is unity” is the spirit that needs to infect all of us as we anticipate having a good time, not forgetting the need to share with the less fortunate in our communities. This is a time to bring back caring and love to the shut-ins, the elderly, the people in our hospitals, children in places of safety, and even for those in prison. We must look for a brighter tomorrow.
Whether it is Sweet Jamaica, Land Of My Birth, Born Jamaican, my personal feeling is “Jamaica, I’ll never leave you again”, for “when you check it out lawd, no weh nuh better dan yard”, and I really hope that the IMF will begin to understand that even poor nations need to have some pride.
We have to “tek back Jamaica” from the wrongdoers, and “Remembering the days” when we really earned our “Pomps and Pride”, even when times may seem so hard.
I will be the first to admit that over the past 50 years it really has been “Stop and Go” for most of us faced with the challenge of making a living, but it is high time to “Let we put things right”. Please, fellow citizens, let this be a time for us to “Tek back Jamaica” and “Rise and shine” as we chart a new way forward that will really be marked by some measurable progress.
So even as we “Play the music”, “Music like dirt” and “Jump in the line”, the nation needs to set new goals that will make us feel good every day as we move together to achieve, and as the US Marines would say with “no one left behind”.
It may be some time before we can “Let we go spree” and we will have to “Join the line” in order to get the help we need in these worrisome international times.
We need to be the “Jamaica tour guide” to “Ole time Jamaica”, a place where peace reigned in communities and people loved children and didn’t abuse or kidnap them. Kindness will be a virtue that we all need to inculcate towards the little ones that represent our future producers and leaders.
“Give thanks and praises” we are still alive, and we are able to bask in the sunshine, feel the cool breezes, and see the green hills, and even the occasional rainbow (no pot of gold, maybe just a Cash Pot).
Thank God for the writers, singers and musicians who have given us the words over the past years of Festival. The songs that make us laugh, dance, and remember the friends of old who we grew up with who are here with us and those we see no longer.
It is good to be alive, and each day see the little things that show us that no matter how gloomy it may seem, there is always a little light that continues to give us hope. Jamaica needs that little light to shine through the dark clouds, and reveal a little of the silver lining that may seem so elusive.
“Guide us with Thy mighty hand; Jamaica land we love”.