Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 songs of Christmas: the Ethiopians – Ding Dong (Christmas Bell)

(Dec 20, 2012, Jamaicans celebrate a family Christmas, although they take decorations more seriously than most and have been known to paint entire houses. Similarly, Christmas cuisine involves an all-day feast: saltfish and bananas for breakfast, a dinner of curried goat and peas followed by a special fruit cake soaked in wine for months.

The island has a similarly rich festive musical back catalogue, but this 1968 single by ska/reggae pioneers the Ethiopians has a beautiful, innocent charm that is somehow typified by the record company misspelling their name on the label (maybe after too much fruit cake).

Appropriately, the song warns about overdoing it at Christmas "because there are many more to come" – a sentiment put into stark context by their better known single of the same year, Everything Crash, which documented political unrest and violent deaths.

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