Caribbean, Countries, Culture

Rainy Days and Songdays – Jamaica sings Burns

Robert Burns’s greatest creations Tam O’ Shanter and Soutar Johnny sit with their tankards in the Burns Monument Gardens.

Alongside them is a carved tabletop map of the world with mini-Burns statues depicting where the poet is celebrated.

On this his birthday it is worth considering that Burns is lauded by as vastly opposing cultures as America and in Russia.

Because he was an everyman, ‘a man’s a man for a’ that’ and all that.

Ode to the Caribbean

But also in the old countries of Empire.

My guys and Burns’ guys in Alloway

Burns, proud Scot though he was, had set his sights on the Caribbean.

And he had agreed to a position as a bookkeeper in Port Antonio in Jamaica.

You see Burns’s wild lifestyle was beginning to catch up with him.

A new start

A hard drinker, he was facing penury while he was impregnating women all over Scotland.

Robert Burns

Although there was one, Highland Mary, whom he wished to take to the Indies.

O sweet grows the lime and the orange, and the apple on the pine, but a’ the charms o’ the Indies, Can never equal thine – Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary

Only for his poetry to take off at home which made him change his mind.

And continue juggling his women.

All of which took its toll, of course, and he died, still beset by money worries, at just 36.

My bonnie lassie

Now if only there had been a digital work abroad scheme for Burns like we have today in the Caribbean.

Scots have left their mark all across the West Indies.

Scots in the Indies

The region of Scotland in Barbados being testament.

Glasgow Bar with owner Karl in Tobago

While any excuse to namecheck Glasgow Bar in Tobago.

Now for the day that’s in it, and your regular feature, Rainy Days and Songdays here’s a site with Burns in Jamaican patwa.

And check out this collaboration between Scots producer Kieran C Murray and Jamaican singer Brinathe 2015 Jamaica Sings Robert Burns.

Oh ye Jamaicans by name, lend an ear, lend an ear!

SLAINTÉ

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Music

Rainy Days and Songdays – Ho-ho-Ne-Yo

Excuse me. And I might drink a little more than I should tonight…. Cause we might not get tomorrow – Give Me Everything ~ Pitbull ft Ne-Yo

He didn’t give me everything although I guess a beardie middle-aged Scot wasn’t who he had in mind, but Ne-Yo did give me his sweat towel.

When the hip-hop star performed for the delegates at the American Travel Fair (IPW) in Washington DC.

No swear: Ne-Yo

And I jumped out of the mosh pit (actually by the stage and round dinner tabes) to grab the towel he threw out.

It now has pride of place on my bookshelf in my office.

Dancing with Ne-Yo

I brushed shoulders again with Shaffer Chimere Smith (for it is he) again in the Recording Grammy Museum Mississippi in Cleveland.

When a virtual Ne-Yo ran me through an interactive dance lesson.

The Museum is a must-do on tour trail when you can also get a lesson from John Lee Hooker and a chance to record your own cover of Boom Boom.

Grammy, we love you: In Mississippi

And have it transferred to your phone… and watch out X Factor I’m coming for the Christmas No. 1.

Christmas in the Windies

Ne-Yo’s latest offering is as a featured star with DING DONG (no me neither) on the Shaggy track Holiday in Jamaica.

Shaggy dips his toe in the Caribbean to explore how they celebrate Christmas.

And in the absence of chimneys Santa has been known to throw the pressies down from the mango trees!

Shagalicious: In Jamaica. www.clashmusic.com

It’s off Jamaican Shaggy’s Christmas in the Islands album, a 16-track collection with new tracks, something there’s just too little of at Christmas.

Including Catch Myself Some Rays, although there is a reggae version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas..

Which brings me back to Mississippi snd a gospel singer’s rendition in Jackson three years ago this week.

Christmas in Mississippi

And aren’t we all intertwined just like Christmas ribbon anyway?

Soca stars

Now if you like Shaggy’s reggae Christmas then you’ll adore the irreverent Parang Soca stars sound of Tobago

where I was this time last year.

Now back to the beach… a sodden North Berwick in grey oul’ Scotland!

America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, UK

Sir Sean’s iconic sets (or should that be shets?)

Resht in peash, Shir Sean. And I hope Shaint Peter understandsh your acshent.

Living in Portobello, Edinburgh’s beach suburb for ten years I never heard anybody spik like Sir Sean.

But maybe thatsh moviesh!

Preparing for the role: In Portobello. www.twitter.com

First Porty of call

Portobello: And Porty is as good a place as any to talk about Sir Sean’s sets.

Because it was here in his hometown, and as a lifeguard at Porty’s outdoor swimming pool that he had his first stage.

The pool is now a five-a-side football complex, and we have both moved on.

Visitors to Edinburgh rarely go any further out of the city than Leith where the Royal Yacht Britannia is kept.

But they should. Porty is bohemian while still being grounded “, and if you can’t get to those beaches Bond did you can walk in Sean’s sandsteps here.

Bahama Mamma

Bahamas: And it’s fitting that Sir Sean saw out his days in the Bahamas.

He clearly enjoyed the island lifestyle as much as Ian Fleming who penned the spy which would propel Connery to fame just down the road in Jamaica.

We’ve all, of course, been reminiscing about who until today was the second Greatest Living Scot (it’s Billy Connolly now).

And my old pal, Rebecca Lee, who I sent out to the Bahamas reminds me of how she stayed at the hotel where he still played the tables.

And was beloved by the locals which is as it should be.

The daddy of them all: Indy’s Dad in Jordan. www.pinterest.com

Jordan and crusaders

Jordan: Sir Sean was always unmistakably Scottish… all Jocks look like movie stars after all.

And share his dry wit.

Sir Sean upstaged Harrison Ford in the Last Crusade, the climax of which is staged at The Treasury in Jordan.

Hardly surprising that proud nationalist Sir Sean should star in an Indy film!

For hire: With Kevin Costner

Untouchable in Chicago

Chicago: And the film for which he won his Oscar as Best Supporting Actor above the wooden acting of Kevin Costner.

You can truly believe Sir Sean as a gritty Chicago cop.

So we’ll pass over that he’s meant to be Irish.

Whodunit: In Orient Express. www.imdb.com

Murder on the Orient Express

Istanbul: The Albert Finney version of course where Sir Sean plays Colonel Arbuthnot.

And Istanbul is the terminus for the Orient-Express, although we all know that Poirot and his fellow passengers were on their way back to London.

And an example of how less is more… with Sir Sean, the upstanding stiff military man rather than than the dashing, reckless Bond.

Anyone for Venice? James and Tatiana. www.pinterest.com

From Russia (really Istanbul and Venice) With Love

Istanbul and Venice: And this being released in the mid-60s and in the middle of a real Cold War the filming was done in the West.

There are some iconic scene in this my favourite Bond.

I love Commie kicker Hleb’s kickathon with Bond and who can forget Bond and Tatiana sailing under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

There’s definitely something about James… or should that be something about Murty!

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Ireland

Rainy Days and Songdays – the Cucumba rap

Cucumbers are my kind of vegetables. They’re not in the league of mushrooms I grant you, but who is?

But they are easy to prepare… and if you want to go to a lot of bother you can even slice them before eating.

What rhymes with Cucumba?

Which we’ve been doing for our new house guests Poo and Pee, our lockdown gifts to ourselves, our guinea pigs.

Easy to make for the kids

All of which prompted Daddy’s Little Girl to point me in the direction of this Jamaican rapper and his contribution to the panoply of music.

I give you Macka B and Cucumba https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dRGlon_ezvU.

I should by now already have visited Jamaica.

Life’s rollercoasters

Jamaica my day

Only I had double-booked by sending a colleague to Orlando to satisfy his rollercoaster addiction and who can blame him? See www.vistorlando.com and Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital, See off Voldemort, then for a beer at Moe’s and Why I love The Donald.

So Jamaica had to be put on hold while I did the TV column that week… something by the remarkably unfunny Amy Huberman I remember.

The good folk from Jamaica promised they would have me back… cannot wait https://www.visitjamaica.com.

Irie!

To add it to my Caribbean scrapbook http://www.visitbarbados.org, Let’s rumba in Barbados, My kiss with Rihanna and http://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/

The last dance

Our friends in the Travel Trade have been showing remarkable resilience and bonhomie as they wrestle with the worst thing ever to have hit our industry.

And few more than our friends at Travel Biz http://travelbiz.ie who have been putting on a Friday night Zoom disco over the last couple of months.

It was bittersweet then to take to the dance floor (my study) on Friday for the last time.

But it does mean that TravelBiz and all our other Trade professionals and holiday providers who are the most important people of all are ready for the off.

Here’s a little more of the fun.

MEET YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR