I knew nothing about Jacob Miller before deciding to feature his jovial “Wish You A Merry Christmas” as today’s Roots Song of Christmas.
I was introduced to the track through the 2010 Putumayo set, World Christmas Party. My original review of the album can be found here and I would highly recommend it to all who are looking for something a bit different for your holiday social events.
While preparing this piece, I read his story courtesy of Wikipedia and shortly after started clicking on the many and varied videos accessible via YouTube and such. I liked what I heard, and was more than a little surprised to begin comprehending the reach of an artist I had barely heard of- this music thing will keep ya humble, I’ll tell you; I’m constantly learning something I should have known.
I wasn’t raised on reggae,and for more years than I care to admit, my only reggae album was the vinyl (and then compact disc) of Bob Marley’s Legend, the white man’s essential reggae collection. Over the past twenty years, I’ve built up a small collection of sizzling Jamaician-infused music, from various Trojan and Putumayo compilations, to Marley expanded sets and other essentials such as Richie Spice, Tosh, Cliff, UB40, and bootleg mix discs bought on the streets of Montego Bay. Mostly this has occured because reggae is one of the few musics outside of 70s rock and pop that my spouse and I can agree on.
I tell you that to ensure that you realize I’m not an expert on the music at all, but I do like the sounds and “Wish You A Merry Christmas” is a light, joyful sound bouyed by the Jamaican sounds and ‘irie’ message. Maybe not the coolest reggae you’ll hear, but absolutely infectious.
I wanted my non-roots Christmas song of the day to be from the same Putumayo set, Charles Brown’s “Christmas Comes But Once a Year.” But I can’t find a clip of it online so I’ll go with Amos Milburn’s version, which is still pert darn cool, despite the silliness of the antics in this video.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald