Two things that have concerned me about the Battles I have chosen for Battle of the Bands: one, I’ve had several situations where one contestant runs away with the battle, as with last week’s “The Loco-Motion” battle (I really thought that more than one of you would prefer Kylie Minogue’s version of the song over Grand Funk. Shows what I know); and two, I always seem to be getting at least one comment saying that I “stole” their idea. My solution was to look for something fairly obscure. Problem was, I had no ideas.
Fortunately, my brother Kip (a big reggae fan) was able to recommend something that I had never heard, and it’s likely more than a few of you are unfamiliar with.
“The Rivers of Babylon,” according to Wikipedia (which has replaced the World Book Encyclopedia as the go-to resource for things like this), is a rastafarian song written by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the reggae group The Melodians in 1970. Based on Psalms 137 and 19, the melody sounds a bit like “How Dry I Am.” Babylon, in the Rastafarian faith, is used “for any governmental system which is either oppressive or unjust.” Here is the original by The Melodians, which is not one of today’s contestants.
Now, here are your choices for today’s battle:
CONTESTANT #1: Sinead O’Connor
Sinead O’Connor did her version of the song on her 2007 album Theology.
CONTESTANT #2: Jorma Kaukonen
Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen also recorded his version in 2007, on his album Stars in my Crown.
Now, it’s time to vote…
Which version of “The Rivers of Babylon” did you prefer? Sinead O’Connor’s spare version, just her voice and guitar? Or Jorma Kaukonen’s Hot Tuna-like rendition? Whichever the case, please vote in the comments below, and tell me why you chose that version.
Then, visit some (or all) of the other Battles taking place today:
Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Women: We Shall Overcome
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Since it seemed that almost everyone voted by the end of the week the last time, I’ll be announcing the winner of this battle on Monday, September 21, the next-to-last day of summer. It’s been beautiful here, by the way… Fall seems to have arrived a week or so early in the South.
Vote early, vote often!