Music Friday – Israelites

Music Friday – Israelites

“Get up in the morning slaving for bread, sir, so that every mout’ can be fed” edition:

As usual, I get an idea about something; this starts a train of thought and I just go where it takes me.  Here’s where the train leaves the station:  the “Get up in the morning…” line is from a song called “The Israelites” by a fellow named Desmond Dekker.  I remember hearing this song on the radio when I was young, when “the radio” was where I heard my music.  I heard it again the other day (when I was less young) on the radio – the satellite radio – and it got me thinking.

“Got you thinking about what?” you ask?  Yeah, yeah I’m getting there.  But first let me finish the background on the song since this is a Music Friday post.

In the late 1960s after British music invaded America, reggae music invaded Britain. In 1968 the Jamaican group  Desmond Dekker and the Aces released “The Israelites” which topped the British charts the following year. As near as I can tell it’s a simple song about living poor in the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica.

Though what we hear about is a poor man dressed in rags whose wife and kids have left him, we also hear about ourselves.  Sure, we don’t all get up in the morning  literally slaving for bread, but we do have our motivations to work whatever time of day (or night) it happens. I wrote earlier about Concupiscence  which could be broadly defined as the force to action exerted on us by our passions.  It seems obvious that everyone has their motivations above and beyond the necessities to maintain life: wealth, notoriety, attention from a certain someone etc. etc. etc. These motivations are there pushing us to act.  Somewhere in the human DNA is a gene shaped like a little cardboard sign that reads “Will work for (something I want but don’t have)”.  Is this humankind’s greatest blessing, or a fatal defect?  As usual the answer seems to be: both.

So many mout’s to be fed.  I’d better set my alarm an hour early.