In memory of Byron Jones Snr, Aaron Johaire and all the friends and family we have lost.

Donna Hope in her book, Inna di Dancehall, cited statistics from the 1997 World Bank report on Jamaica which stated that violence exacerbated poverty and that urban poverty could lead to increased violence.  I do not see the reason they singled out urban poverty because as a general sense, poverty is a major contributor to violence, regardless of society.  What seemed to have been underplayed, in my opinion, was the vice versa relationship that exists between poverty and violence.   Though the year was 1997, there was not any major difference in this relationship then and now.  This report mentioned urban poverty and Hope went further to mention poor urban communities, which, to me, seems redundant but let us work with it.

In the poor urban areas of Jamaica, there is a system and an understanding between citizens that survival is an ideal that many have entrusted to One; the area leader.  The area leader is that individual in the community who citizens look to address issues, financial or otherwise, who is often labeled as a Don.  These area leaders have been foundations of musical tributes, their names can be heard in musical tributes from many dancehall artistes.  This phenomenon stemmed from the mere issue of respect that artistes have for these individuals.  Many artistes are from poor urban communities and they are well aware of what these leaders have done for them and their communities.   With these tributes come beautifully composed music.

Candle In The Wind

By Taz

CHORUS

Life is like, candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

Cause life is like, candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

VERSE 1

Likkle Brenda just reach 14

Succumb to peer pressure now she start roll mean

She been up wid many man ina di scheme

She no janitor but she seems to hit the block clean

Madda warn all a dat was in vain

Pass around the table Brenda had to play di game

She in the fast lane making a fast gain

Now the sad story she became

CHORUS

Candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

Cause life is like, candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

VERSE 2

Remember Jimmy before him get hot

Was a good yute before him get hitch pan di block

Madda warn watch di friends dat yu keep

Peer pressure mek Jimmy start shell dung the street

Now likkle Jimmy had dreams like wow

Run through hi school wid subjects

Badmind tek a toll from dem season Jimmy spliff likkle Jimmy get cold

CHORUS

Candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

Cause life is like, candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

BRIDGE

A live my life like there’s no more tomorrow, no more tomorrow

Ok, cause life will be filled with sweet and sour, sweet and sour

Yeah, trying to be the best man I can be, man I can be

Until these eyes close I know I gotta play my role

CHORUS

Life is like, candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

Cause life is like, candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

Candle in di wind

So many a mi friend dem get ruined

Madda plea and bawl, some neva listen

Till di cycle of life tek a spin

Life is like

 

 (Song ends)

Fallen Soldiers

By Demarco

INTRO

Yeah. Woaohhhh

This is for my soldiers

Real real soldiers, yeah

CHORUS

This is for my fallen soldiers, we miss you

Although yu gone we with you

Gone pan di battle field

Life is so real

This is for my fallen soldiers, we miss you

Although yu gone we with you

Gone pan di battle field

Life is so real

VERSE 1

As a likkle yute use to heng out pan di corner

Me and di whole a mi friend dem a bun some marijuana

Although nuff a wi neva grow up wd no father

Still we haffi try wi best fi mek it cross di border

But some bwoy chu dem big like Hulk Hogan

Come a chat tell dem wi no listen slogan

Wi prefer dead before wi tek programme

Wi no grow worng no wi no grow wrong

CHORUS

This is for my fallen soldiers, we miss you

Although yu gone we with you

Gone pan di battle field

Life is so real

This is for my fallen soldiers, we miss you

Although yu gone we with you

Gone pan di battle field

Life is so real

VERSE 2

A nuff a dem no like we

Dem know dem wrong and still a tek it fight we

Kill off mi friend and think mi tek it lightly

A di whole a unu bwoy mi a pree

Hey, wi no waah no more funeral

No more burial, stop behaving like wild animals

Get more spiritual, get more biblical

Or go tek a wash off over di mineral

Yu save your soul yu save yourself

Why you rest in peace

So tell Jah Jah wi need some help

Fi trample di beast

CHORUS

This is for my fallen soldiers, we miss you

Although yu gone we with you

Gone pan di battle field

Life is so real

This is for my fallen soldiers, we miss you

Although yu gone we with you

Gone pan di battle field

Life is so real, yeah

 

(instrumental until song ends)

These dedications have transitioned to what exists today; dedications to friends and family members who have died, mostly by violent circumstances. Many of these songs sit or have been atop many major charts, locally and internationally.  This is the case because many individuals can relate to the content or they can really feel the pain generated through the lyrics and the melodies.

Recently, I got word that a classmate, and close friend, had died from complications developed from lung cancer.  The news sent me into a real deep state of depression base not only on the fact that he was a good friend but that society had lost a very brilliant mind and an individual capable of creating smiles and laughter.   It is often a sad moment when people close to you or people you knew die.  Case in point, Bounty Killer is the dancehall artiste known to have had a close relationship with his mother and is always talking about Miss Ivy.  When Mama Ivy died a few months ago, there was a looming sadness across the music industry and that transferred to fans and patrons alike.  However, this loss seemed to have been transformed into energy to produce music.

I have always told myself that those who are instrumental and are really valued in society are those who die early in life; especially when their wisdom and expertise is needed the most but God knows best.  There is a school of thought that says, when one individual dies several are able to live, do you subscribe?

While you think it through, please enjoy some of these quality songs that have been created through times of bereavement.

Sleep With Angels

By Spragga Benz

INTRO

Blessed ino

Well there is always the sad reminder less we forget

That in the midst of life there is death

And no colour race or creed that no respect, yu understand

So fi all a my family and friends

As to all your family and friends who pass off and gone before we

I send this one out from the heart ino

Yeah, blessed

CHORUS

You just sleep with angels

May your spirit rest in peace, rest in eternal piece

And I hope that one day we all can meet and reason pan glory street

But sleep with angels

May your every dream come through

I mean it honest I do

Until my little heart stop beat

There will always be place for you, that’s true

VERSE 1

Kyaahn believe but mi haffi accept di fact

Seh dat yu gone away and not coming back

Oh why must life be like that

Why death commit such a terrible act

But then again, what ever the reasons or cause

We kyaahn too question the works a di Lord

Cause although the judgement might look so hard

Eternal life might be the reward so my friend

CHORUS

May your spirit rest in peace, rest in eternal piece

And I hope that one day we all can meet and reason pan glory street

But sleep with angels

May your every dream come through

I mean it honest I do

Until my little heart stop beat

There will always be place for you, that’s true

VERSE 2

Well dem seh, the Lord giveth and taketh away

Nobody pan earth neva come yah fi stay

Just like cigarette ina di ashtray

Yu live all yu life and den yu die one day

And life is a gift to both rich and poor

Death is the only thing that is sure

Everyman must go through the black door

So all a mi friends who gone through before I sing

CHORUS

You just sleep with angels

May your spirit rest in peace, rest in eternal piece

And I hope that one day we all can meet and reason pan glory street

But sleep with angels

May your every dream come through

I mean it honest I do

Until my little heart stop beat

There will always be place for you, that’s true

VERSE 3

And now the memories of the days gone by

Flash through ma brain like the clear blue sky

Some make me happy some make me waah cry

Oh why yu had to die

Leaving a big empty space that’s so hard to fill

But we haffi accept a di almighty will

So mi naah wath no face mi a carry on still

So we must meet again so my friend until dem

CHORUS

You just sleep with angels

May your spirit rest in peace, rest in eternal piece

And I hope that one day we all can meet and reason pan glory street

But sleep with angels

May your every dream come through

I mean it honest I do

Until my little heart stop beat

There will always be place for you

Outro

Yeah ino, Mama Espy Grant ino, Daddy Eddie

Opel, Shaggy Lion, man like Montie

Armagidion Steppa, Speshy Corn

Unu pass but unu a hear mi, unu memory live on

Man like Malcom X, Martin Luther, Bob Marley, Marcus Mossiah

Yeah ino, mi born come see di world and wi a go dead lef it

So just sleep with angel till we meet again zeen,

Blessed

 

 (Song end)

Lose A Friend

By I Octane

INTRO

Yo, Jah know star
More time you a tek fi granted the time
Weh you spend with your friends
Now dem gone

VERSE 1

Used to split yuh world inna two half
When I screw you make me laugh
When mi tell you seh mi kyaahn

You tell mi seh mi smart
Iit break mi heart fi see you pass on

CHORUS

When the preacher pray ova you body that day
So mi know mi lose a friend
It hurt mi to mi heart life won’t be the same
So mi know mi lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, yeah
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend

VERSE 2

I got to shout it out to my icon (icon)
Although you pass and gone you are my don (don)
Inna mi times of tribulation
You I could rely on, yeah
I a tell you seh my heart it broke from di day
Mi friend leggo off this road
Who a go help I row across this boat
No silver line inna mi life
A just di darkest cloud

CHORUS

When the preacher pray ova you body that day
So mi know mi lose a friend
It hurt mi to mi heart life won’t be the same
So mi know mi lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, yeah
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend

 

VERSE 3

Yeah wish I could a see you one more time, yeah
So we could a makes one more lime but
Mi vex and upset
When people try fi tell mi seh you just your time
No the murderers dem neva choose no heart fi bear di pain
Dem kill you and swear seh dem game
Yo it touch mi every time mi hear mi daughta call yuh name
Inna Zion you a reign so we haffi meet again
On glory streets again and tings we use to do pan earth
we  dwiit again.
All yuh face mi seet again memories repeat again
Mi know you body gone
But you soul will neva end neva end, no

CHORUS

When the preacher pray ova you body that day
So mi know mi lose a friend
It hurt mi to mi heart life won’t be the same
So mi know mi lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, yeah
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend

Eh, so mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend, yeah
So mi know mi lose a friend, lose a friend
So mi know mi lose a friend

 (instrumental until song ends)

Rest In Peace

By Taz

INTRO

Reaching out to the lost ones, decease

All who gone leave high hopes and dreams

Goals never to be accomplished, Taz live on fi unu

Lighters, moment of silence, for all the thugs who dies violent

21 gun salute

CHORUS

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

VERSE 1

Too much blood a shed and man a dead

Tired a di infrared print pan forehead

Too much copper and lead unu a see red

Tired a di infrared print pan forehead

Mi look back and mi think pan mi thugs dem weh gone

Ray Ten, Zion Train and Sandacon

Guss never live fi see him likkle new born

Still a just life so we haffi carry on

CHORUS

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

VERSE 2

Floss a bakkle a Guinness and poor some champagne pan di grung

For all those thugs on the lane who lost dem life and we do feel the pain

All we have a just memories things kyaahn be the same

Tired fi hear di click click click click boom

Another mother bawl nine night and tomb

How it a go go yu put di fire to di fume

Thugs drop dem just drop a innocent yute

CHORUS

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

Rest in Peace my foes and peeps

To the streets we take these wreaths

Too much guns and evil deeds

Too much thugs and evil seeds

Lighters, for all the thugs wh died violent

 

 (Song ends)

Have You Ever Lost A Friend

By Jah Vinci

INTRO

(Jam 2 Production)

Ouuuuttt Clear, yeah

Jam 2 Records

Yeeeaaaah a Jah Vinci

VERSE 1

( Jah Vinci yu see mi daddy)

Have you ever lost someone

Is like you cant carry on, yeah

Jah hold my hand, keep me strong

Have you ever lost a friend and wish you would see them again

In my heart there’s a pain, pain cause

VERSE 2

Mi remember everything yu tell mi

And every battle weh wi fight when yu use to defend mi

Wi neva have no badmind or no envy

To mi a you alone know what a true friend be

Yu neva tell mi seh yu wudda gone

Yu neva seh mi wuddn have a answer when yu daughter call

When mi sidung an a write yu seh mi song sick

Yu never tell mi seh yu naah go deh deh when di song hit

CHORUS

Since you have gone

Holding these burdens is like I can’t carry on

And all this pain

Pain in my heart

Holding these burdens that we did have

VERSE 3

Memba when wi young mi neva war, no wi never cuss

Yu tell mi hold on to mi faith kaa mi haffi buss

Looking at my friend lie down in this dust

Jah know that its ruff

Mi know it seem ruff but mi haffi hold the faith

Hold the faith fi all the friend dem weh mi rate

If mi fi poor liquor fi all a mi friend dem weh pass

Mi cudda haffi dash weh a crate

But right now a turf

CHORUS

Since you have gone

Holding these burdens is like I can’t carry on

And all this pain

Pain in my heart

Holding these burdens that the wicked has brought to this day

Since you have gone

Holding these burdens is like I can’t carry on

And all this pain

Pain in my heart

Holding these burdens that the wicked has brought to this day

Ooohhhoohooo, Jam 2 Records

Oooouuut Cleaar

Oohh nana na naaaa na

Paaiiiiiinnnn

 (instrumental until song ends)

So Much I want To Say

By Vybz Kartel ft. Wayne Marshall

INTRO

Yow waah gwaan mi dupes

Mi deh yah ino

Mi a tell yu seh these few years seems like eternity

CHORUS

I wish that I could make you turn around

Turn around and see me cry

There’s so much I want to say to you

So many reasons why

You are the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now

VERSE 1

Many many years later

Many sleepless nights many tears later

What is the purpose a life mi sidung and ask di creator

Ask di creator, when you take a love one, is it for a purpose weh greater

No man is a island like Jamaica

Death is the real heart breaker

Memba when the two of us was just a teenager, yeah

And a raid cane field and a run from ranger

Mek a escape tru di river

We always seh wi wuda be di longest liva

Travel through out live Gulliver

Own two bank like a river

But the life giver ultimately be di life taker

Another endeavor so we separate forever and ever

Different mother and father but wi did close like bredda

Yu teach mi how fi go hustle dat chedda

Yu teach me how fi go buss dat uzi

Get dat pussy plus get header

Bwoy days done so mi change like di weather

Strap dung ina di benz seat like leather

If yu a no mi dads mi no waahn see another

Cause di whole a dem a feather

But still, dem bwoy weh mek yu blood spill

Dem neva know seh man so skill

Dem dead ina di war weh cause so much mill

So di feds dem a pree mi

Plus every soldier weh deh a camp wah see mi

But mi no scared, believe me

Mi just mek three wish pan di genie

CHORUS

I wish that I could make you turn around

Turn around and see me cry

There’s so much I want to say to you

So many reasons why

You are the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now

VERSE 2

Every year, flowers a di grave,

Pack a cigarette, high grade weh mi save

New wreath put up, grass get shave

Bawling again mi no know  (how)fi behave

Moet haffi throw pan di grung anytime mi a rave

Cause sake a you mi life save

Mi look into life through Versace shades

Listen wid yu ears and give praise many many days

Weh day, mi si yu daughter

Shi a go a school, mi a go a Edge Water

See har a read Shakespeare seh  shi wah be a author

Mi seh shi ought to

Ask har if she miss yu

She seh everyday, she seh me

Mi seh wid braata

Mi couldn’t help but tun weh mi face, mi yaiy start swell wid pare yaiy water

CHORUS

I wish that I could make you turn around

Turn around and see me cry

There’s so much I want to say to you

So many reasons why

You are the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now

Until my little heart stop beat

There will always be place for you, that’s true

I wish that I could make you turn around

 

 (Song ends)

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