Saturday, August 05, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

"At midnight on August 5, 1962, Jamaica became a free independent nation within the British Commonwealth of Nations. A ceremony marking the event was held at the newly constructed National Stadium in Kingston, which was filled to its capacity of 35,000.

The chief persons taking part were Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret (representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, Sir Kenneth Blackburne, who had been nominated by the Queen on the recommendation of our then Premier to be Jamaica's first Governor-General, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Jamaica's first Prime Minister, and Mr. Norman Manley, Leader of the Opposition.

Prayers were offered by the Rt. Rev. Percival Gibson, Lord Bishop of Jamaica, His Lordship Bishop McEleney, Roman Catholic Bishop of Kingston, Bishop S. U. Hastings, Chairman of the Jamaica Christian Council,and Mr. Ernest H. DaSouza, Jr. as acting spiritual leader of the Jewish Community.

Hundreds of notable guests and visitors from many countries of the world attended, among them Mr. Lyndon Johnson, Vice-President of the United States of America, as the personal representative of President Kennedy. Precisely at midnight, the Union Jack- the British flag - was lowered and the Jamaican flag hoisted. The new National Anthem of Jamaica was sung by combined choirs. This was followed by a magnificent fireworks display at the Stadium.

In other parts of the Corporate Area, and in the country parishes, there were also displays of fireworks. There followed two Public Holidays which were given over to great rejoicing throughout the island. Kingston, the capital, and all other parish capitals were gaily decorated with flags and bunting, highly illuminated at nights. There were many civic and social events and there was public dancing in the streets. When the dust of the Independence celebrations had settled, Jamaica settled down to the business of establishing herself as one of the nations of the world."
Taken from The Geography And History Of Jamaica Number 7 as published by the Gleaner and appearing in its entirety online at Discover

I was going to upload a great mento track by Charlie Binger & His Quartet called "Jamaica Is The Place To Go" and follow it up with a couple ska tracks, a rocksteady tune and a bunch of other tunes from the roots and rub-a-dub era that all pay tribute to Jamaica. But being that I'm at work this afternoon actually working for a Jamaican co-worker and friend who is attending some local Independence Day festivities... it ain't happenin'.

So in honor of the holiday I'm going to share, for educational purposes only, the Early B song "History Of Jamaica" taken from the Sunday Dish album. It's a mini history lesson on the Answer riddim and if you've never heard it before I think you'll be impressed.

History Of Jamaica


((( -d(-_-)b- ))) said...

Big Up from Brazil!



HEARWAX said... you're talkin'

This is a great track thats passed me by til now - thanks for enlightenment (wonderful sleeve too!).

Reggaexx said...

Thanks for the comments... I've got or at least I know of another "History Of Jamaica" done by Peter Metro... I can't remember if it was a song he did at Reggae Sunsplash in the mid-80's which I have on VHS somewhere or if it was an actual track he recorded. I'll see if I can dig it up.

HEARWAX said...

Thought I would share this track on a similar theme.
It's a bit of a mystery, because I found it on a old unmarked tape and don't know the artist or the title (although I suspect it is "Who Discovered Jamaica").
Maybe someone can identify it?

Reggaexx said...

Hearwax - you've got me stumped with that one! Great song though! I even posted the link on the Blood & Fire discussion board, most of the guys that post on B&F have unbelievable knowledge and obviously massive collections of reggae and so far even they seem stumped... so far. Guesses thus far include Clint Eastwood and even Tappa Zukie, which I could have sworn I heard the artist refer to himself in the song as "Papa Zukie." I'll let you know if anyone nails it down definitively. Thanks for sharing - now you've given me something to search for!

Ital Doctor said...

Hey this track has been reissued on a really excellent CD called The Lion Roars on roots records. So if you like it this might be one to pick up...

Reggaexx said...

Ital Doctor, thanks for the links! Looks like some great stuff on the Roots Records label - definitely going to check them out!