No Problem, Mon, Every ting is Irie!
My purchase of the vinyl record Rastaman Vibrations in 1976 got me started. The rest all fell into place, as I picked up guitar, and listened to the Bob Marley lyrics. Sure, I remember the “ska” tunes of Desmond Dekker’s The Israelites, and the My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small. Each had the lilting sway of the island beat and the swagger of Reggae roots. But, Jimmy Cliff, the Marley Clan, and those Jamaican pioneers of the 70’s showed that one did not have to be a Rastafarian to feel the vibe.
The tribute to artist Bob Marley for the 2013 55th Grammy Awards Ceremony and the emergence of a slew of media advertisements featuring artist Jimmy Cliff at the 2013 Super Bowl Championship for Volkswagen is an image of respect to two of the Jamaican culture’s strongest emotions. Harmony and independence are summed up in the Jamaican Nation’s independence motto: Out of Many One People.
Professor Dr. Carolyn Joy Cooper, literary scholar of the Department of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica has worked for the preservation or as she says: ” of the vernacular – that the genuine Jamaicans embraces so wholeheartedly. The class structure is of such that some considers others to be illiterate if they embark on the illumination of the common language of the locals.” Patois is the distinctive Jamaican language or as ‘Patwa’ being the preferred language of youth.
I began to learn Patwa twenty plus years ago on the beach from Jamaicans. Back-a-Yard, the gathering place of family life, board games, BBQ and Redstripe is the proper place for complete Patwa education. The commitment in the preservation of the Jamaican Creole dialect needs to be supported as true Jamaican Tongue.
IM NEVA NAA BADDA MI, FI WHA GWAAN BACK A YARD IM A JAH KNOW. ZEEN? That’s the attitude:” Mind your business and your neighbor’s issues are between he and his maker.” “Do you understand?”
In that VW Commercial the blonde Tow-Haired Fellow from Minnesota pulls the Beetle into the Managers parking spot after a too long lunch hour and says: EVERY TING CRIS ( “groovy”), BOSS MON? That is: “Go with the flow, Volks.”
How can you not love this Language. Want to learn more? Take a couple of mile stroll along the seven mile sugar sand beach of Negril, Jamaica one day. For now , ” Respec’, Brudder Mon!”