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Lyric of the Week: WHAT MEK’ DIS NIGHT


Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh hear me now! (Ah seh yeah!) Listen what I seh! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh what mek-a dis night, so diff-a-rent, from all other night. On all other night I&I eat Jah bread With de yeast and de leavening like all natty dread But tonight special night I&I confused Rasta Me lookin' for Jah bread all me find is de matzah What mek-a dis night, so diff-a-rent, from all other night. Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh hear me now! (Ah seh yeah!) Listen what I seh! (Ah seh yeah!) On all other night me havin' all kind of herb Me plantin', me eatin', me smokin'-a de herb But tonight me have a bite, me gettin' red in de face Because Jah herb me have tonight, has got bitter taste What mek-a dis night, so diff-a-rent, from all other night. Ah seh yeah! I (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh hear me now! (Ah seh yeah!) Listen what I seh! (Ah seh yeah!) On all other night me takin' de food From de plate into de mouth by directest route But tonight Jah special food take detour on de trip Karpas and maror get de dip Dip it to me one time! (Ah!) Dip it to me two time! (Ah! Ah!) Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh hear me now! (Ah seh yeah!) Listen what I seh! (Ah seh yeah!) On all other night me eat like I please Me sittin', me leanin', whatever I please But tonight me have right to be treat like a king Reclinin' like royalty, me lay back and lean What mek-a dis night, so diff-a-rent, from all other night. Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh yeah! (Ah seh yeah!) Ah seh hear me now! (Ah seh yeah!) Listen what I seh! (Ah seh yeah!) So all praise to Jah who split-a de sea Who lead us to freedom from de land of slavery Who lead I&I from darkness to light So me brothers and me sisters can celebrate dis night What mek-a dis night, so diff-a-rent, from all other night.

©2006 The Hesh Inc./Reality Shock Music, Inc.

The "Last Seder"

This is my reggae version of the "Four Questions," a central part of the Passover Seder meal. In the course of the relationship that included my second marriage, my ex-wife's extended family members had a custom of asking these questions in every conceivable language, including made-up languages. One year, just as the Questions were done and the Seder was about to continue, one cousin bellowed "YO!" and launched into a rap version of the Questions that became the biggest hit of the family Seders.

A few years later, after I had been playing with Asbury Park–based reggae band The Midnight Ravers, I stitched together components of several songs in the band's repertoire, wrote these lyrics to go with them, and premiered this song at the next family Seder. This, too, became a hit. One year, when we all went away to a hotel in the Catskills, we did our usual Four Questions with the multiple languages and culminating with the rap and the reggae songs, and this caught the attention of most of the other hotel guests in the dining room, particularly the younger ones, who gravitated to our table throughout the evening and asked us for a reprise when the Seder was over.

This went on for a few years, until I moved to Los Angeles. Shortly before moving, I recorded the song at Retromedia Sound in Red Bank, New Jersey, with my longtime musical partner Izzy Kieffer on drums and vocals, former Polyester bandmate and session veteran Steve Lopresto on bass and vocals, and none other than former Midnight Raver, Tim Boyce, on guitars. Shortly after arriving in LA, I handed a copy of the recording to a friend who was a music manager, not expecting anything big but asking him just to give it a listen. After several weeks of not hearing from him, he told me that the song was to be part of the soundtrack to a movie comedy, When Do We Eat, which he described as a Jewish My Big Fat Greek Wedding taking place at a Seder. The song appears at the end of the movie, just as the credits begin to roll—talk about placement!—and let me tell you, there are few things as exhilarating as a songwriter than to attend a gala Hollywood premiere and hearing your song coming over the theater's sound system.

So here it is, at it appears on the When Do We Eat soundtrack album.

Many thanks to Stuart Wax for making it happen.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach—have a happy and kosher Passover!

#originallyrics #Judaism #holidays #Passover #Pesach #reggae

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