Kamilah Taylor
The cold front that has gripped the US is making me antsy about not spending Christmas (or Crismus as it is in patois) in Jamaica. No sorrel, no Jamaican Christmas cake, no Christmas dinner cooked by my mom and my aunt, no beach, no warmth, and no family. Hence the inspiration for this post.

Toni Braxton's Christmas in Jamaica I choose just for Shaggy's little interludes in the song about jerk chicken and ackee and saltfish. I suspect if you either aren't Jamaican or haven't spent Christmas in Jamaica, the song may not be so special. The song itself has an ordinary R&B vibe to it.

I almost just chose Fab 5's entire Christmas in the Sun album but decided to stick with just two songs. The titular song, Christmas in the Sun, surprisingly has some inspiring moments in it, especially with the state of emergency/Dudus calamity that we endured this year. "Have you ever ever stopped to realise that our home is tropical island paradise? We have our problems but we can solve them, but we have no problems with snow and ice." "No roasted chestnuts on an open fire, but roast caawn and breadfruit and turkey for Crismus dinner." "Down in Jamaica, it's hot sunny weather, and people are warm and friendly all the time. Now it's the Crismus season and the fun cyaan done, so have a joyful irie Crismus in the sun." Oh how I wish I were.



Welcome home to Jamaica is even more fun. My sister and I would play this on the car on the way to the airport, or when we got to Jamaica we'd play it as soon as we got to our Aunt's house (no mp3 players in those days...in fact I didn't even have my own CD player). You can understand why once you listen to the song. "Merry Crismus to all visiting Jamaicans. Me glad unu come outta di freeza to enjoy warm Jamaica. Welcome back to Jamaica one more time and again. Welcome to Jamaica ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Jamaica bwoyfrien' and gyalfrien'. Welcome to Jamaica all di pickney dem." "Come mek wi have some cake and sorrel. Den wi open di gif and di barrel." "Welcome home, Jamaicans, welcome home, it's Christmas." "All who fly in from 'Merica, a haati welcome...Jamaicans any which part yuh come from, a hearty welcome." "All who come in from...Washington, New york, Atlanta..." [This line especially pleased us.] "Me glad you run lef di freezah to a Irie warm Jamaican wintah." Again, oh how I wish I were.

Youtube videos of songs mentioned in this post:





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