Goodwill to all Mannings

Mannings - Christmas is a Rich Man's Dream

Hearing Dubversion’s dancehall xmas tune reminded me that I should have brought this little beauty along. An obscure gem from the mid 80s – “dour” fails to do it justice.

A little research on the all-new retina-destroying Blood & Fire board shows that very few people know anything about this – with hardcore soundmen like Russ D and The Rootsman being the only ones so far able to help me with my quest*. Apparently Metrosound was the label of Peter Metro and they did a few tunes, including an album by the bizarrely named “Sword of Jah Mouth”.

This is one of those tunes which would be better if it didn’t have “Christmas” in the title so you could play it all year round (because obviously Slade wishing it was xmas “everyday” is hellish, though I suppose it would guarantee them gargantuan royalties).

Tough rootical business with minor chordage fitting firmly into the Shaka vibe.

“Christmas is a Rich Man’s Treat
While it is a Poor Man’s Dream […]”

“Christmas is a comfort to the Rich Man
But no food on the table in the ghetto […]”

“Christmas is a promise that never come”

It’s about as far from Christmas cheer as you can get really. I mean you’re allowed a bit of thinking about the poor in your festive tunes, but not this little lot:

“Children pulling bottles from rubbish heaps”

“[…] Bellies Slit”

“Slave ships”

Fair made me lose interest in my mince pies!

* (i.e. “Look at me! I’ve got a record which is really rare! That means I’m either as cool as the people I mention above, or I’m just a buffoon who struck it really lucky one day in a 2nd hand furniture shop!”)


  1. Peter M
    scuse the self-prom. but here summat that might be up yr alley

    ex Unity Sounds Mikey Murka on my late 80s dancehall revival rhythm:
    2004/12/21 @ 11:27 pm

    John Eden
    Nice one Peter – will look forward to checking that one!
    2004/12/23 @ 01:28 pm

    siebe ( / )
    That is a rare record indeed I guess. Don’t know much about Peter Metro’s record label, but his Metro Media Sound System was pretty famous back then. Hosting singers like Cocoa Tea, Josie wales, Charlie Chaplin & lining up with Killimanjaro, Socialist Roots, Black Harmony… but I never came accross a record.
    2004/12/23 @ 07:47 pm

    just visiting earth!
    John wrote —
    ///the bizarrely named “Sword of Jah Mouth”///

    John, this is not as odd as it may sound — In “fire and Brimstone/hellfire” Xtian iconography as opposed to the contemplative art tradition, GOD is sometimes depicted on a huge throne, with sometimes, a sword shown to be emerging from his mouth, ready to wreak vengeance on the evil doers…it’s a common image, often in mosaic form…Not such a common image in Catholicism as the other Xtain faiths I believe….it’s straight out of the Old testament view of “an ANGRY GOD” as opposed to the “gentle and meek as a lamb” Jesus/God is a man of the New Testament.

    It is great metaphor for a dub tune though isn’t it?!!

    Happy Xmas, and love your site!
    2004/12/25 @ 11:32 am

  2. Sword of Jah Mouth ? Yes, it is found in British Victorian Church imagery, and if you are ever in Oxford,check out the images of God in Keble College Church, which indeed, has a large image covering a vast wall, which brings to mind that symbolism.

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