Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Jamaican Music

Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Jamaican Music

by Sw. Anand Prahlad, Sw Anand Prahlad
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1578063205

ISBN-13: 9781578063208

Pub. Date: 02/19/2001

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, the Itals, the Ethiopians-they all dropped dazzling proverbs into their best known reggae tunes.

"What come bad in the morning, can't come good in the evening."

"They love to give you a basket to carry water."

"The harder the battle be, ago sweeter the victory."

In Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Jamaican Music

Overview

Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, the Itals, the Ethiopians-they all dropped dazzling proverbs into their best known reggae tunes.

"What come bad in the morning, can't come good in the evening."

"They love to give you a basket to carry water."

"The harder the battle be, ago sweeter the victory."

In Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Jamaican Music Swami Anand Prahlad looks at the contexts and origins of these proverbs, using them as a cultural sheet music toward understanding the history of Jamaican culture, Rastafari religion, and the music that is that culture's worldwide voice.

Prahlad's fieldwork in Jamaica is extensive. For him, the study of Jamaican sayings and music is not only an academic endeavor. It is also a personal and poetic exploration. Prahlad says, "I am writing not only as a folklorist but also as a member of the international reggae community, a group of people around the globe who look to this music for its joy, wisdom, and strength."

His unique, groundbreaking study argues that contemporary reggae artists are self-styled Rastafari priests for an international community of listeners and devotees. These "warrior/priests" serve as educators, healers, prophets, advisers, and social critics. Their proverbs become sources of strength and inspiration for members of the reggae community.

Several chapters in Reggae Wisdom offer important insights into Rastafari ideology, the history of reggae, the life and folk culture of Jamaican communities, and the recording scene that gave rise to roots reggae. One chapter, based on the author's fieldwork in Jamaica, considers the use of proverbs by ordinary individuals in Jamaican society. Other chapters focus on proverbs used by musical artists such as Bob Marley. Chapters also explore the contexts of album cover art, promotional materials, concert venues, and performance styles and conventions.

As Prahlad says, "What better way to enter this rich and powerful, eclectic world of sound and sense than through the magical world of proverbs?"

Swami Anand Prahlad is an associate professor of English and anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the author of African American Proverbs in Context (University Press of Mississippi).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578063208
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
02/19/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
302
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introductionxvii
The Original Man: Culture and Ideology; A Contextual Frame1
Jah Message to Preach: Personas and Rhetorical Aesthetics32
No Cup No Mash: Proverbs in Jamaican Society70
New Brooms Sweep Clean: Proverbs and the Rhetorical Strategies of Address in Reggae Discourse112
Still Water Run Deep: Proverbs of the Itals139
Fire, Corn and Pots: Proverbs of Bob (Robert Nesta) Marley, O.M.170
Appendix 1Partial Discography207
Appendix 2List of Major Proverb Users214
Appendix 3Interview with Keith Porter217
Appendix 4List of Proverbs by the Itals and Bob Marley, Album and Song226
Appendix 5Proverb Index234
Notes275
References279
Index291

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