Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ska Tunes for Our Times



The Trojans
"Brother, Can You Spare a Pound?"
From The Trojan's Skalatitude album (released in 1992 on Gaz's Rockin' Records).

This is a cover of the Depression-era hit, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," with lyrics by Yip Harburg and music by Jay Gorney.

It's a melancholy tune to begin with, but it's all the more sorrowful with Gaz's melodica in the mix.

5 comments:

ReadJunk said...

Not ska, but Toots & The Maytals song "Time Tough" is a fitting one.

Steve from Moon said...

For more in the same vein, check out The Selecter's cover of Lee Perry's "What a Confusion" with Dave Barker on vocals (from their very underrated "Cruel Britannia" album, which came out in 1999).

I'll post its lyrics later tonight...

Steve from Moon said...

Lyrics for "What a Confusion":

"What a confusion on this land
Man will soon start eating man

While the grass is growing
The horses are starving
Cost of living rising
While poverty flowing
And now that Jah book has been opened
From A to Z
Brothers killing brothers just for a piece of bread
just for a cent, he'll 'move your head

What a confusion on this land
Man will soon start eating man

This is the hand of Jah writing on the wall
United we stand, but divided we fall
Now let this be a lesson for one and all

What a confusion on this land
Man will soon start eating man

The fat is laughing, while the meager is crying
Believe it or not brothers, I'm not lying

What a confusion on this land
Man will soon start eating man"

Despite the depressingly gruesome lyrics, it's actually a beautiful, soulful song. And Scratch conveys Rasta Babylon Revelation Time Dread like no one else...(you can hear samples of several versions of this tune on iTunes by Bob Marley and Dave Barker--just not the Selecter version, which is worth tracking down).

Jeremy Toaster said...

You need to mention that that Trojan song was also a video on the Moon Ska Reel To Real video! And it was on the greatest hits Trojan Warriors : For Your Protection The Best Of The Trojans Moon Ska!

Steve from Moon said...

Jeremy:

Yes, but of course! Gaz rocks!

Steve from Moon