Forget chestnuts on an open fire or dashing through the snow on a sleigh as chestnuts and sleighs are not readily available at any supermarket and therefore are not a part of our Jamaican Christmas reality.
So while you know these Christmas carols, we generally do not relate as well to them, as we do to our local artistes who sing about sorrel, mongrel dogs and Santa who got lost in a mango tree.
Our songs are festive and flavourful and reflect aspects of our culture and how we normally learn to have a good time. Our music and lyrics speak to the fact that with or without lots of money, we know how to build a vibe, party and ‘full joy’ ourselves because the yuletide season gets us in a good mood.
‘Santa Claus do you ever come to the ghetto’ by Carlene Davis. If you ever want to start a debate, let this song be in your rotation.
‘Irie Christmas’ by Yellowman’. Our version of ‘Merry Christmas’ complete with breadfruit, starlight and dogs nipping at our toes. Nice cyaa done!
‘Christmas JA’ – Neville Willoughby. The late broadcaster was multi-talented. This song was a staple on the radio in the cool, crispy December mornings.
‘Joyful Irie Christmas in the Sun – The Stage Crew’. You cannot listen to this song and not start rocking or stamping your feet as it is a catchy tune that makes us do our happy dance.
‘Santa ketch up eena Mango Tree’- Palemina and Faith D’Aguilar. This is little like a folk tale and song all rolled into one.
‘Sing De Chorus’ – Noel Dexter. There is no carol service where this is not a part of the medley of hand-clapping, foot-stomping merriment because it is praise and worship Christmas style.
‘Let the Christmas catch you in a good Mood’ – Joe Gibbs Allstars. A throwback to our skanking era when men were men and girls were young ladies who used to dance together instead of going out and posing at opposite sides of the room.
‘All For Jesus’ – Ernie Smith. If you are feeling down, this song will uplift you.
‘Christmas Jamaican Style’ – Unique Vision. If you cannot sing you will certainly whistle this tune all day.
‘The Meaning of Christmas’ – Boris Gardner. Slow and reflective, every letter of the word ‘Christmas’ is spelt out and attributed to some element of the nativity story or Christmas as we know it. Simply ingenious.
BUZZ fam did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments!