The Real Paul Jones

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Desmond Dekker dies

Paul, · Categories: General

Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
So that every mouth can be fed.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

In the local library last month, I picked up a Specials CD. I own the first two Specials collections on LP as well as a bunch of other Two Tone bands, but since CDs have come out I listen to LPs less and less. Tucker, our 13 year old, really started getting into the Specials and Madness once he took the library’s CD and vanished into his room with it.

My wife and my kids, they are packed up and leave me.
Darling, she said, I was yours to be seen.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

Next I pulled some first generation ska CDs in particular the Skatalites which are mostly instrumental. From there I went into my Desmond Dekker and the Aces LP.


Shirt them a-tear up, trousers are gone.
I don’t want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.


Desmond Dekker
didn’t end up like Bonnie and Clyde or even like his friend Bob Marley. He had several rough rides but was struck down by a heart attack this week.

After a storm there must be a calm.
They catch me in the farm. You sound the alarm.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

Even here at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, I can hear “Doesn’t Make It Alright” coming down the hall as Tucker is turning his friends on the the music that Dekker took to the UK and that the UK took back to the USA.

Poor me, the Israelite.
I wonder who I’m working for.
Poor me, Israelite,
I look a-down and out, sir.

Here’s hoping I can get my LPs digitized soon, Tucker’s generation doesn’t have the patience for the LP format. They need to carry their music and be able to play it on any device anywhere any time.

I think that if what I’ve seen and heard here after introducing Tucker to ska is that Dekker just missed a fourth ska invasion.

(“Israelites” by Desmond Dekker and Leslie Kong)

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