Posts from 17th June 2003

17
Jun 03

DR. RING-DING – “Bombs Over Baghdad”

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DR. RING-DING – “Bombs Over Baghdad”
This starts out in typical dancehall-of-the-apocalypse mode, with the Dr. intoning some of the Ten Commandments, no less (“thou shalt not steal”, “thou shalt not kill”, “thou shalt not take the lords name in vain”, “thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbors”). Nothing particularly new then, until the song kicks in and you realize that he’s, um, talking to the leader of the most powerful nation in the “free” world. Tom (who tipped me off to this one indirectly) noted in his 2002 roundup that – post 9/11 – Jamaica was far enough away from America yet inextricably entwined enough to enjoy our war fervor as a kind of cowboys-and-indians/gangsters-and-cops played out on a global scale. But “Bombs Over Baghdad” : “Masters of War” :: Elephant Man’s “The Bombing” : “War Pigs”.

Plenty men dead when de American come fi make peace
Watch the peacemaker come
Peace an illusion we follow in Middle East
Like father like son

Bombs over Baghdad again dey make peace in dat style

The music is equally overdriven, bass rumbling in the belly of Jonah’s whale and tumbling jungle (but not Jungle) drums. But it could be Abba or Carcass or Puddle of Mudd and the up-middle-finger of the words would still hit like bat-to-sternum:

Me love to watch movies, love watch tv
Flicks from de wild west really fascinate me
So me put on me telly, CNN, NBC
…cowboys and indians me see
On the 20th of March 2003
Americans visit nother country
…Everything must be free
Especially the gas
To fill up them GNC

By the end, he avers “them never plan negotiate with Iraq” before the last verse launches into an almost incomprehensible, spittle-flecked rant, exhausting himself and yourself. “Bombs Over Baghdad” does what all great “political” pop does: it synthesizes all the impotent rage the listener feels about a situation into an anthemic, easily digestible chunk of sloganeering. It just helps that this particular chunk is so fucking right on, delivered with impeccable timing and a killer chorus. And if it doesn’t end up on Hot97 and the next DJ/Rupture mix, I’ll be very disappointed.