It’s Good Friday which means the country and maybe the world will pretend to be holy or good for a few hours. I can’t pretend to be good, but what I’m doing right now is gonna make me feel good for a couple of hours; maybe even longer.
So growing up in the old country (rural Manchester, Jamaica) you didn’t do much on Good Friday. When I was younger, I’d wake up early so that I could watch the crucifixion movies before my siblings got up and started playing music to annoy me and before my parents went into the kitchen to make breakfast (if they did). If we were all going to church then breakfast would not be made by both my parents. There’d be bun and cheese and you’d better help yourself.
This week I’ve been listening to old gospel songs that I recall hearing on the radio on Sunday mornings while getting ready for church and watching on the television Sunday evenings while my sister did my hair for school in some hairstyle I cried my eyes out begging her to change when I was growing up. Beggers can’t be choosers and my mom didn’t have time to do my hair in the mornings so it was either hideous hairstyles as can be seen in exhibit A
have no hair at all please see exhibit B
back to the music.
What I love the most about music is just how universally it has the power to create the perfect aesthetics if used correctly. On Good Friday, most radio stations that aren’t gospel would play gospel music for a few hours in the morning and then return to their regular programming by mid-day. They had the worst selections and it annoyed the good out of me.
My family would make our way to church, churches often had baptisms on Good Friday. I think I was baptised on a Good Friday afternoon (I’m a backslider) or maybe not. During the service, we were very reflective and solemn then we’d go home and watch more Jesus movies as I liked to call them and eat bun and cheese and hope my mom made dinner. I disliked that part of Easter, not much cooking was done as parents used bun and cheese as an excuse. This tradition lives on, I’m away from my parents and I definitely will not be cooking today.
I’ve got an assortment of Easter buns (no dry bun in my pantry by the way) and enough cheese to make the buns extra nice because they don’t need it.
I shall also be watching some Jesus movies; I might attempt to watch The Passion of the Christ all by myself and I’ll watch Prince of Egypt or a really good Bible Story animation after. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend church, it’s been a very long time actually. But as I write this I’m listening to Come on In the Room by The Georgia Mass Choir and before that, I was playing Tremaine Hawkins songs.
Now, if you know gospel music you’ll understand what I’m talking about. But if you don’t know gospel music like I do, let me help you.
Bishop Walter Hawkins and Lady Tremaine Hawkins sang The Potters House. you probably heard this song on the radio a lot and had no idea who sang it. But if you did then you know good gospel music.
If you are Jamaican and not new to gospel music you would have grown up listening to Love 101 and will agree with me that they used to be the plug in their time. You might recall that they often played this group called Change especially during the summer and on the weekends. Change sang some great reggae gospel songs like “ Take The Lord in Your Life” and “Jesus is Lord“. If you can appreciate a really good baseline you can thank me later as long as you use really good earphones. They have other great songs and I am on the hunt to find their album.
Good gospel music is dying out, and it’s getting to me. What’s happening now is a waste of decibels to me and I wish some of these people would stop. I won’t call any names because trust me they know themselves.
Another dying tradition is good Easter Bun.
Now, this is a mess! This bun tells me that I better have a lot of cheese to help me to eat it and lemonade to help wash it down. For without these other elements this sorry attempt to recreate a time honoured tradition shall surely stop in the throat of the individual who decides to eat this and pretend that it actually tastes good. I don’t know what this is but it’s not worthy to be called an Easter bun must be a summer bun cause only when people well hungry inna the hot sun them swallow dem smt yah.
Translation of the last two lines:
This is in no shape or form an Easter Bun because this is the type of product people consume during hot summer days when they are too tired and annoyed to prepare a decent meal.
Escovitch fish is another tradition that’s dying out. Not everyone can escovitch fish, and not everyone can eat or pronounce escovitch. I’ve never tried to make it and I need adult supervision to eat it. As the tradition of Lent was to give up certain things, like red meat and alcohol among other things, fish became the protein of choice because based on the movies we watch that was all Jesus ate. Or am I the only one who got that from the movies?
It’s time for my next Jesus movie and I am definitely not gonna be confused today.
There are other traditions but people ruin them and I don’t want to talk about them anymore.