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Lead Singer of the Signal Band
Lead Singer of the Signal Band

-VERSE 1-

Sometimes I wish

That I could make a difference

But, it's just a wish

So I need fairy god parents

Like Timmy-Timmy-Timmy Turner

I need me a Cosmo and Wanda

Never will I be Michael Jackson

But love is a drug

And we need it to heal the world

Make it a better place

For every woman, every man

Every boy, every girl

Every color, every race

We taking this message of Bouyon Love

Out to the world

Maybe I'm just too young

Or love disappeared before I was born

I miss my granny

cause surely she would tell me...

-CHORUS-

In your life a lot of people go come through

[give them love]

And see if you as somebody they could turn to [give them love]

Forget if they rich or they poor just give them

[LOVE]

Ani ba yo LOVE

Ani ba yo LOVE

So many people round the world you may not know [give them love]

What their story is their body might not show

[give them love]

White or Black or Hispanic you should give them [LOVE]

Ani ba yo LOVE

Ani ba yo LOVE

-REFRAIN-

Ani x10

Ba Yo x10

Loooooooove!

-VERSE 2-

Granny would say your blessings will quadruple

Cause, the bible says that good will chant down evil

Like Halle-Halle-hallelujah

Praises to the Lion of Judah

Never will I become a pastor but I will still believe that is the word of the Lord

Can I please get an Amen?

We spreading this love here to all enemies

and all friends

All those who choose to pretend

We still not the ones to cast de judgement in the end

So we go give them love

And leave all the rest to the man up above

You don't have to be holy

Just give love to everybody

-CHORUS-

When people have no reason but they hate you

[give them love]

Their goal is to turn the people against you

[give them love]

Whether friend or family you should give them [LOVE]

Ani ba yo LOVE

Ani ba yo LOVE

So much people have no reason but they grudge you

[give them love]

And they doing anything just to block you

[give them love]

Could be your boss, your co-worker you should give them

[LOVE]

Ani ba yo LOVE

Ani ba yo LOVE

-REFRAIN-

Ani x10

Ba Yo x10

Loooooooove!

Well, I am not in the habit of quoting an entire song in my articles. However, this one is special as it ranks, in my opinion, as one the top five Bouyon songs ever produced and arguably the best in the last two decades or so. Furthermore, the above composition by Sheldon" Shelly-de professor" Alfred of the Signal Band, has been the most sought after local song by D-Jays, at party and festivities, by advertisers, by organizations and even in church. People have mentioned its lyrical content and appropriateness of message. It's no wonder why it has propelled the Signal Band to a place of prestige at the WCMF this reunion year.

The question I ask is it by accident or is there a formula for a good composition? The answer is : while there have been beats, rhythm, tempo and colorful melodies which have catapulted themselves to the top of charts, the rule of thumb still dominates from the Bob Marley, Beatles, Elton John era to the present day John Legend and the high-riding Jamaican star-in-the-making Cronixx or our own Nasio Fontaine. At the pinnacle stands lyrical content and melody.

Recently one of Dominica's most knowledgeable music historians, DJ and commentator, Wadix, hit the nail on its head when he finally called for a slowing down of our tempo making the music more palatable to all feet, at all times and all seasons as opposed to the carnival-block-o-rama like atmosphere emanating from boom boxes year in, year out.

Let's take a closer look at the composition. Notice I did not say track or song because to my mind there is a real difference between a composition and a song. A song can be anything music is put to, whereas composition relates to the construction of lyrics which relates a sequence of events, promotes an idea or storyline.

A composition has structure, a theme and its subsequent development. "Ani Ba yo Love" begins with a thought, a wish for the world to be a better place. Appropriately reference is made to Michael Jackson- "Heal the World" as well as allusions is made to fairy God parents and magic "like Timmy, Timmy" and "Wanda" suggesting that the task will not be an easy one and even Divine intervention may be necessary.

Sheldon develops the story line presenting some of the recommendations or magic potions given by his Granny and when to administer the four letter medication "when people have no reason and they hate you"- Ani ba yo love.

He references enemies, bosses, co- workers, grudgers, friends, haters, pretenders, family, those who cast judgement as persons who this love potion should be given too.

The writer is brilliant when he uses the "Hallelujah" and "Lion of Judah" a clear call to Christians, Rastas and pastors with the "Amen" response by the believers to rubber stamp his "Love" recommendation to the entire world.

Apart from the fact that the imagery is powerful the international references made and the universal theme re the coming together of black and white, young and old, rich and poor cannot go unnoticed across a broad spectrum –internationally.

The music is commendable although it could take a bridge to move away from the monotone particularly as the composition is pretty wordy. The AA, BB rhyme scheme is not consistent, which makes it not very easy to learn. Moreover words such as Hispanic and quadruple are those not normally found in lyrics but more akin to speeches Well maybe it is as in Bob Marley's use of Haile Selassie's speech which he converted to lyrics in "War". Still, the refrain and melody compensates, as it is infectious…Ani …ani loooooove.

The Farmer Nappy's and Marshall Montano's have slowed down to a more groovy type of sound and it is obvious more time is being or spent on compositions; they're all careful of what they are doing with their lyrics and melodic renditions; they're "taking it slow".

Unfortunately some of us still think it's a movie and would do well to take a leaf from Signal's book, as a signal, pointing the way to future compositions.