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Home » blog » Polemic: Ska and Reggae from Slovakia
Reggae/Ska

Polemic: Ska and Reggae from Slovakia

I cross post The Daily Music Break at Daily Kos, a political/cultural site. In December, I did a post on the influential ska/reggae band The Skatalites. A comment there pointed to a Slovkian band called Polemic. The usual sources of information — Wikipedia and AllMusic — have next to nothing. I finally found a MyPage listing and the band’s website. Neither of those were fonts of enlightenment.

In any case, they do a terrific version of Jimmy Cliff’s You Can Get it if You Really Want, below. But if you only have time to check out one video, please choose the one above, entitled Svetlá Mesta. My universal knowledge of language — actually, Google Translate — reveals that it indeed is Slovak and means “city lights.” It’s a great song — though I don’t understand a word of it. Please check it out. The video (and presumably the words) actually tells the story of an old man being picked up by a couple of beautiful young girls.

The band identifies themselves as in the reggae/ska category. Svetlá Mesta has a Latin feel to it. I almost felt like I was listening to something from The Buena Vista Social Club, especially after the first minute or so.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.