Tuesday, December 26, 2006

James Brown checks out on Christmas Day

Say it loud, Mr Brown.
(A kwansaba for James Brown)

A great tree whose leaves scented hearts

has fallen; it fell on Christmas day.

The great spirit works fresh new grooves,

ageless words gifted life with rapid feet

cheered by the welcome party; Ray Charles,

Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, chanting,

"Say it loud, you're black and great."

- Nnorom Azuonye

Dartford, December 26th 2006

Talented biographers could write a thousand volumes on James Brown, and they couldn't even begin to write anything that would justify a life like his. At 73, he was not too young to die, of course, yet I felt shock and sorrow at his passing. It certainly was not what I expected or wanted to hear as news on Christmas day. The wonderful thing about a life like Mr Brown's is that for as long as it is still possible on earth to play recorded music, sex machines from all over the world will still feel good, many shall still declare it a man's world at Ying Yang debates and every time verbal or clay brick is thrown at a black man and he gets tempted to peel his skin and become a white man, Mr Brown will still roar in his ear, 'Say it loud, I am black and proud.'

Say it loud (I'm black and proud)

Now we demand a chance to do things for ourself

We're tired of beatin' our head against the wall

And workin' for someone else

We're people, we're just like the birds and the bees

We'd rather die on our feet

Than be livin' on our knees

Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud

James Brown
James Brown (1933-2006) will be greatly missed.

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