Musical Musings

Baldheads

(TW: The song contains some ableist words)


“Crazy Baldheads” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, was released in 1976 on the Album, “Rastaman Vibration”, it was written by Rita Marley and Vincent Ford. Its one of my favourite songs ever written. The lyrics speak directly to some of the pinnacles of the Black liberation struggle, the issues of: our (mis)education, and the ways in which modern society benefits from the fruits of slave labour. 
While it is a lament, it is also more fiercely a protest. Bob Marley and Rasta culture has been so shamelessly appropriated by white teenagers rebelling against their parents, that a lot of the message of Rasta belief have gone missing. This song for me represents one of the hidden gems of the birth of the Rasta culture/faith/movement. It was, it is, inherently about freedom for Black people, freedom for our souls, our bodies, our minds. For me the baldheads (some one who is not a Rasta; a white racist person) that Marley sings about are not just physically being chased away, they are being chased away from our minds “we build your schools, Brainwash education to make us the fools”, furthermore they are chased away from our spirits: “Hate is your reward for our love, Telling us of your God Above.” 
This song along with “Concrete Jungle” and “Redemption Song”, were the reggae anthems I would listen to on my walk up to campus, everyday. It made the coloniality of  UCT almost bearable, it was almost as if  I was inoculating myself. Today, for some reason I thought about it again, my soul it seems is in some need of inoculation. 
I hope you will listen to it too and experience it as I have!
Lyrics
Them crazy, them crazy –
We gonna chase those crazy
Baldheads out of town;
Chase those crazy baldheads
Out of our town.
I’n’I build a cabin;
I’n’I plant the corn;
Didn’t my people before me
Slave for this country?
Now you look me with that scorn,
Then you eat up all my corn.
We gonna chase those crazy –
Chase them crazy –
Chase those crazy baldheads out of town!
[Scat singing]
Build your penitentiary, we build your schools,
Brainwash education to make us the fools.
Hate is your reward for our love,
Telling us of your God above.
We gonna chase those crazy –
Chase those crazy bunkheads –
Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown!
[Instrumental break]
We gonna chase those crazy –
Chase those crazy bunkheads –
Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown!
Here comes the conman
Coming with his con plan.
We won’t take no bribe;
We’ve got (to) stay alive.
We gonna chase those crazy –
Chase those crazy baldheads –
Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown.