Stanley and the Turbines recorded my favourite festival song of all time. Yes, festival song. Back in the day, long before politics intervened and we actually came together frolicking in the streets watching parades of floats; screamed running from johnkoonoo and attended street dances on Independence Day, there was such a thing.
I don't even know if the competition is still being held or what it is now being called, but my favourite festival song is still I'm Dreaming of a New Jamaica, at least I think that is what it's called, because with Stanley's dentured sweet lisp and impish nature he may very well have said "dreaming of a nude Jamaica". Either way, the song would still be a hit.
I am usually not in favour of long introductions to a song. As a very impatient listener, once a song comes on I just want to get straight into it, but Stanley makes me eager to listen to the ad lib at the beginning of this song. I dare say it is what makes the song. Moving from the narrative to the infectious beat of the rhythm is sheer genius! Hats off to the musical composer and arranger for such brilliance.
Apart from it being chosen most often to be the song that kids at heart dance traditional moves to at Independence time around the maypole, I just can't get over Stanley and the lyrics. The part of the song that grabs me the most and had me in stitches and confused simultaneously, for days was "mi nuh know".
My friends have come to expect the uproarious laughter followed by the tearful, loud exclamation "Why doesn't Stanley know?" whenever that song is played. He wrote and sang the song, how come he never knew?
I don't think I will ever understand what Stanley meant, he took that secret to his grave, but the song will forever live on in my heart.
The Olympics is upon us and once again we see a flicker of what could be, as encouraged by Stanley's lyrics. 'Mek we show the world we're walking hand in hand".
Jamaicans home and abroad have temporarily put our differences aside and unite around the black, gold and green. Merchandise bearing the Jamaican colours is flying off the shelves and adorning bodies, automobiles, homes and just about everything. My heart warms with pride as a Jamaican. Even the people who just last month at our local Olympic trials had negative things to say about Bolt and Asafa have somehow come to their senses and are rallying around the flag.
The petty squabble about the Jamaica 50 song that had our dinner and pub conversations on overdrive, seems to have taken a back seat to flag waving and Olympic fever.
Speaking of Jamaica 50, I love and respect Minister Hanna as a beautiful Jamaican with a good vocabulary , but I would really be impressed had she in her inexperience called on Minister Grange's wealth of knowledge in this arena and presented a united front to the world if only for the celebration of our 50 years of Independence. It would truly have been phenomenal. Whether their egos would permit this to happen is another story especially with the cancellation of Sister Babsy's many rooms and flight to witness the Olympics first hand, and not via CVM TV's feeble feed out of London, is another story.
But alas, like Stanley, I can only dream of a new or nude Jamaica, a land of peace and love. Folks, cheer for, love and take care of Jamaica land of wood and water, it is our only home no matter how far we roam. All who believe in love come and sing this song with me. And guess what.....mi still nuh know like Stanley why we can't just live as one. Have a great holiday weekend. Follow me on Twitter @ElvaJamaica and email me firstname.lastname@example.org