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Recording both the good and bad

Al Gilkes

Recording both the good and bad

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One station has already banned a calypso, presumably because it went too far by going all the way up in Paris. But social commentary is about recording both the good and bad of the day and others will suffer the same fate.
So what do you think about the lyrics below, which so accurately capture the biggest problem facing local lawmen today, namely the proliferation of guns and the associated spike in gun-related crimes, including murder? Check it:
Ah selling guns nowadays
That’s what really pays
. . . Selling guns nowadays
That’s what really pays
Nearly every young man is a gunslinger
With he razor and steel knuckle on he finger
Don’t mind who dress in suit and tie
All o’ them looking fuh gun to buy.
’Cause we young and strong/We en fraid a soul in town
Who think they bad/To meet them we more than glad
We got we gun/And partner we en making fun
If yuh smart, clear the way/But if yuh think yuh bad, make yuh play.
If you ketch gun fever
Yuh two hand does start to shiver
This time yuh ready to attack
Like Audie Murphy in To Hell And Back
And if you see a man en afraid to get kill
Is to give him a one-way ticket to Boot Hill
Get a couple of your friends
Swear away you did it in self-defence.
Chorus . . .
If you don’t believe me
Wait and you will see
They coming down by the crates
From quite in the States
Ah have me contacts where they come from
Ah have me contacts in the customs
Uh got more contacts than I can tell
Now uh want to contact a place to sell.
Chorus . . .
Save yuh cash save yuh cash
Ah selling razor, ah selling cutlass
Sledgehammer, hatchet, even saw
Any kind of weapon that good for war
Ah done get me licence ever since
Now ah only waiting for violence
Come to me and buy don’t be afraid
Ah selling from cannon to razor blade.
Chorus . . .
That was from 1959, yes 1959, and it was Mighty Sparrow’s Gunslingers.
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email [email protected]