Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



Scene from the film The Harder They Come, starring Jimmy Cliff. Another YouTube version of this video includes subtitles, but I think they’re kind of distracting from the music.

Eh-eh! Ettie in the room a cry
Mama say she must wipe her eye
Papa say she no fi foolish
Like she neva been to school at all

It is no wonder
Is a perfect ponder
While they were dancin’ in dat ballroom last night

Eh-eh! Johnson in the room a fret
Uncle say he must hold up him head
Auntie say he no fi foolish like
Is not time for his weddin’ day

It is no wonder
Is a perfect ponder
While they were dancin’ in dat ballroom las’ night

One pound ten for de weddin’ cake
Twenty bottle of cola wine
All the people them dress up in white
Fi go eat off Johnson weddin’ cake

It is no wonder
Is a perfect ponder
While they were dancin’ in dat ballroom las’ night

But they were sweet an’ dandy, sweet an’ dandy,
Sweet an’ dandy, sweet an’ dandy
They were sweet an’ dan-deh… sweet an’ dan-deh….

[“This classic tune is a small masterpiece of Jamaican – or indeed any popular – songwriting. With great economy, precision and affectionate humor, Toots portrays a couple on the verge of their wedding ceremony, having last-minute nerves and being both soothed and urged on by their older relatives, while the guests wait to celebrate.” – Peter L. Patrick]

April 21st, 2009.

5 Responses to “SWEET AND DANDY (1972)”

  1. Sean Says:

    I think it is more a song about a shotgun wedding, bit like Springsteen’s The River…

  2. Eoin Says:

    Could be an arranged marraige, Sean. But that Peter Patrick guy grew up in Jamaica and is a professor of sociolinguistics (specialising in Jamaican creole). He says he sang this song at his own wedding so… a song about a shotgun wedding would be an odd choice, no?

  3. El Kid Says:

    The producers facial expression at the very, very end is classic. It’s like “did you just fart in my fucking studio?”

  4. Sean Says:

    Far be it from me to go against a professor in sociolinguistics (sounds impressive, I’m probably more a professor in talking bollox) but the lyrics still suggest to me a shotgun wedding. In particular, the words that Johnson’s aunt and uncle use don’t seem to be all that uplifting.

    As for odd songs played at a wedding, I had Something Happens ‘Kills the Roses’ at one point…

  5. Eoin Says:

    At her wedding back in the day, my ex-girlfriend’s granny sang a song about a young girl forced to marry an drunken older man against her wishes, when she loved someone else. Bet that was an awkward reception.

    For what it’s worth, yer man’s full analysis of the song here:

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