Sunday, November 12, 2006

Song of the Week: Untold Stories - Buju Banton

"Untold Stories", from Buju Banton's great album 'Til Shiloh, has been compared to Bob Marley's beautiful Redemption Song. Bizarrely enough, Sinead O'Connor recorded a cover of "Untold Stories." Her song lacks the raw powerful vocals of the original, but it's an interesting tribute nonetheless. Forget Shaggy or Sean Paul's pop albums, Banton's 'Til Shiloh is the greatest dancehall album of all time. In fact, in 1999 'Til Shiloh was selected by Rolling Stone as one of the top 100 best albums of the decade. Banton's gravelly voice gives this song, about the struggle of the poor, a soulful raw quality that always strikes a chord with me. As surely as Dylan's voice was "a voice that came from you and me" (Don Mclean, American Pie), Banton's voice speaks for many of the developing world's struggling poor.


While I'm living
Thanks I'll be giving
To the Most High, you know

I am living while I'm living to the father I will pray
Only him know how we get through every day
With all the hike in the price, arm and leg we haffi (have to) pay while our leaders play
All I see is people a -rip and a-rob and a - grab (ripping and robbing and grabbing)

Thief never love to see a thief with a long bag, (thieves never like to see thieves with more than them)
No love for the people who ah suffah real bad (the people who are suffering badly)
Another toll to the poor, may God help my soul
What is to stop the youths from get out of control?
Filled up with educations, yet no on no payroll (yet not on any payroll)
The clothes on mi back have countless eye-holes

Chorus x2

I say who can afford to run will run (leave Jamaica)
But what about those who can't... they will have to stay
Opportunity a scarce, scarce, commodity
In these times I say... when mama spend her last to send you to class...
Never you ever play (when mama spends her last bit of money to send you to class, you don't ever play)
It's a competitive world for low budget people
Spending a dime while earning a nickel
With no regard for who it may tickle
My cup is full to the brim

Could go on and on the full has never been told
Through this life keep getting me down
Don't give up now
Got survive someway some how

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