Joe Higgs, There's a Reward - Where ????

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Postby canikickit » Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:10 pm

Maybe I'm completely wrong, but my guess is that the acoustic version of the song as seen on Roots, Rock, Reggae was never released. It was just an interview for the film and then he sang a song for them.

Same way the "Play On, Mr Music" song at the Black Ark wasn't released, nor was the Jimmy Cliff performances or the U-Roy, and so on.
"I am the complete pioneer of everything"

Ken Khouri
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Postby Ital Dokta » Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:16 am

I Am the Song My Enemy Sings, is this a Joe Higgs composition or is it a cover or reworking of an earlier song? It is a very odd and intriguing title though the other lyrics are classic JA sufferers style....
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Postby jb welda » Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:39 am

try to follow along, charlie.

one love
jah bill
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Postby JV » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:14 am

Ital Dokta wrote:I Am the Song My Enemy Sings, is this a Joe Higgs composition or is it a cover or reworking of an earlier song? It is a very odd and intriguing title though the other lyrics are classic JA sufferers style....


It's a reworking of a ska tune recorded for Coxsone.

Come On Home, otoh, is a Horace Silver tune from 1959 (lyrics by Jon Hendricks - 1961, but somewhat modified by Higgs).
Check out both the original versions on Horace Silver's Finger Poppin' and the vocal version on Lambert, Hendricks, Ross' album Flying High.
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Postby Ital Dokta » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:29 am

It's a reworking of a ska tune recorded for Coxsone


I'm familiar with the Studio One ska version and the later cut on Life of Contradiction, I was just wondering if the title or lyrics were adapted from an earlier soul tune or whatever. The title is just so unlike the typical reggae or Jamaican songwriting style. But maybe its a phrase from the Bible or something, I don't know. Brilliant song nonetheless.
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Postby Jackie Pablo » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:43 pm

Going against the grain, the entire 'Life Of Contradiction' LP was not typical of what was happening in JA at the time with the Bunny Lee flying cymbols sound all the rage. The LP may not have been that popular then, but over time it has gained an almost cult like status.
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Postby reggaepostman » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:54 pm

When I heard Joe sing that song on Roots rock Reggae I thought "thats one of the best examples of a true reggaesong " Many years later Juha revealed it's a cover!!!
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Postby Maarty » Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:23 pm

These A Reward
Joe Higgs
(With guitar chords)

C D G
Everyday my heart is sore
Seems that I’m so poor


C C D
But I shall not give up so easily
C D G
There’s a reward for me
There’s a reward for me


C D G
Though I’m burden down with shame
There’s no warmth for me to claim


But I shall not give up so easily
There’s a reward for me
There’s a reward for me


C D G
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
B E
You know no one cares for me, I’ve never known sympathy
C D G
Sometimes I look to the world with a smile
A D
Can you hear what I say


Everyday my heart is sore
Seems that I’m so poor


But I shall not give up so easily, no no no no.....
Because there’s a reward for me
There’s a reward for me


Bridge


Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
You know no one cares for me, I’ve never known sympathy
Sometimes I look to the world with a smile
Can you hear what I say
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joe Higgs was one of the few Jamaican's to compose in this style, using folk style chord arrangements and in a traditional song format, i.e verse, chorus, verse, bridge etc, as opposed to the two chord shuffle of most Jamaican songs of the time.

Now I've said that. I'm sure everyone will come up with tons of other examples. Still Joe Higgs was a legendery song-smith.
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Postby Anonymous » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:44 pm

It is an amazing Lp, just got it given to me as a cdr , i havn't found a copy yet, but will buy it when i do. Fabulous sound and arrangments, one or two near misses, but his vocal phrasing carries it off so well. just one of THE most underated singers from JA ever!
I fell in love with his voice for two reasons, one - the There's a Reward on the Documentary and two - Burning Fire on the Rupie's Scorchers comp. Since then it's been a mission to find more and more. For such a great singer he recorded remarkably little it seems.
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Postby Maarty » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:50 pm

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Postby Anonymous » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:13 pm

Just thought this one was worth revisitng, have been 'courtesy of some baffers' been listening to both 'Unity Is Power' and 'Life Of Contradiction', The Esoldun 'Life Of Contradiction' has the most awful sound quality, but is still quite listenable, however in comparison 'Unity Is Power' is a much bigger and better album, the quality of the songs on it far outweigh 'Life Of Contradiction'.
for anyome out there not already listening to Higgs, then you really ought to check him out, can't praise his songs highly enough. he has quite a strange approach to writing/lyrics etc, sort of out of focus ethereal but very beautiful...
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