Parlez-Nous A Boire

One of my favorite songs in the world is “Parlez-Nous A Boire,” or “Let’s talk about drinking.” The title alone, which is also the first line in the song, is enough to get it on my list, but the next line is “and not about marriage.” A great old good-natured pessimistic Cajun song, lyrically speaking, and with all the whinnying fiddles, driving beat, and archaic harmonies to boot. The kind of song old enough to have no author, but rather seems to have accreted into reality long ago in a community and place that now seems very far away. My favorite version is Sweet Crude’s version here. They take this great up tempo folk song and turn it into a weirdly haunting barnburner.

Protoje – Blood Money

Protoje is one of my favorite working artists these days: he gets everything right about reggae in such a spectacular modern sound, with an incredible lyrical talent and a wide open heart. This is his  hard hitting new single, “Blood Money,” and I love it. The song was written in response to the political situation in  Jamaica, but wisdom is universal and Protoje has always had plenty of that, so there’s some powerful solidarity in here with people struggling for justice in any nation. Check it out.