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Living in serious times

Mavis Beckles

Living in serious times

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I AM NOT TOO SURE ’bout the name o’ the Jamaican artist who sings the song wid the lyrics dat say: “These are some serious times; all I can see is violence and crime.” I think itis Gyptian, but I gine tell ya, these times real serious in trute, ya know?
Look, dat song is now considered a very old song; dah song ain’t come out last month, last week or even a couple days ago. Dat come out evah long-time sense, way before all o’ this blatant boldfaced lot o’ criminal activity start happening ’bout here; but it tells you ’bout evah single thing dat is happening now, today.
It reminds me of the calypso dat John King had some years back; I think it was called How Many More. I ain’t know all o’ dem words suh good; neither can I put dem together in the correct sequence, but I know the meaning and seriousness o’ the song.I also know dat like the one I talked ’bout before, it is more relevant today than it was years ago when it first come out.
The song does talk ’bout the mothers who continue tuh shed tears fuh duh sons who get shoot down and the blood dat does be flowing in the streets like water. The song ask, “Why all the pain and sorrow?” And then it goes on tuh say, “It seems like nobody cares, so how many more must carry this load, how many more must die, how many more . . . .”
It ain’t dat nuhbody ain’t care, ya know? It is dat a lot o’ young people, boys especially, have chosen tuh take this path and duh ain’t nutten nuhbody could do ’bout it – duh headstrong and hard-ears as hell. Dem is the ones who doan care. Duh ain’t care ’bout duhselves. It is as if dem think dat duh got another life put down like in the cowboy and crook pictures. It is asif dem believe dat a life of crime gine be rosy and smooth. Dem seeit as a way of life,a lifestyle, dem ain’t understand yet dat crime ain’t normal.
And wha’ ’bout the one Cat Attack by Observer? Some o’ the lyrics does go something like this: “Raping and robbing, shooting and killing and expect tuhbe granted bail; we have the society tuh protect; bring the cat-o-nine, ring the cat-o-nine, fling the cat-o-nine in duh tail.” I might not have every single word in the right place but this is the gist o’ the song. Again, this song ain’t come out yesterday, but looka wha’ happening nowadays: the same things and worse.
Ya know, ya does hate tuh sound like the angel of doom and gloom but if ya mind ya’ self, wid all the lot o’ lawlessness, wickedness, ignorance, violence and criminal activity dat gine on, some mornings when ya wake up and hear the cocks crowing, insteado’ stretching and saying, “Thank you, God, fuh another day pon this beautiful earth,” when ya think ’bout some o’ the things ya might have tuh face during the day, ya would pull the sheet back ovah ya head, shut ya eyes tight, tight, tight and try tuh guh ’long back tuh sleep in order tuh block out what might or could happen.
But despite what might be happening,we have tuh stay focused. We have tuh – regardless o’ what anybody might say ’bout prayer – keep praying fuh this nation.
This is all we have; this is what God give tuh us. We have tuh pray and believe in our young people. All o’ dem ain’t bad – far from it. Duh got way more good ones than bad ones.We got tuh believe and know dat it ain’t only a physical thing but a spiritual one.
We have tuh hold on tuh what is true, good and right; otherwise, looking at what is going on all around us evah single day, we will certainly lose heart and give up, and the criminal-minded will run this country.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.

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