Reggaeklassieker du jour: The Melodians – Rivers of Babylon

Helaas vooral bekend geworden in de gruwelijke coverversie van het 15e-rangs discobandje Boney M. Het origineel van The Melodians is wonderschoon. De song bevat stukken uit Psalm 19 en Psalm 137. Beide psalmen zijn klaagzangen van Joden die in ballingschap in Babylon met weemoed terugdenken aan hun land. Rastafari’s identificeren zich, als nazaten van slaven, traditioneel sterk met deze teksten. Zion=Afrika, Babylon=Amerika en de rivier is de Atlantische Oceaan.

By the rivers of Babylon
Where we sat down
And there we wept
When we remembered Zion

But the wicked carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing King Alpha song
In a strange land?
‘Cause the wicked carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing King Alpha song
In a strange land?

Sing it out loud!
Sing a song of freedom sister!
Sing a song of freedom brother!

We gotta sing and shout it!
We gotta jump and shout it!
Shout the song of freedom now

So let the words of our mouth
And the meditation of our heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Far I
So let the words of our mouth
And the meditation of our heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Far I

Sing it again!
We’ve got to sing it together!
We’ve got to shout it together!

By the rivers of Babylon
Where we sat down
And there we wept
When we remembered Zion