Monday, 10 January 2000
Rivers of Babylon – The Melodians (1970)
Psalm 137 and a little bit of psalm 19; third up on The Harder They Come soundtrack. It barely features in the film but had been a smash hit two years previously, despite the government trying to ban this Rastafarian (therefore pro-ganja) anthem.
You can’t ban the bible, producer Leslie Kong argued, and that was that. Psalm 137 was sacred to the Rasta movement…Hebrew scripture refashioned as black spiritual with supplications to Haile Selassi (“Oh Far-I…”). Written and exquisitely performed by Kingston’s premier rocksteady vocal trio.