Original lyrics to Vybz Kartel and Spice’s Ramping Shop
Well, yuh haffi ram it hard
Di cocky nuh fi lie
Damage it fi spite
Not becah mi pussy tight
Suppose mi put it pon di lef
Gyal yuh tek it pan di right
Censored for radio revised lyrics to Ramping Shop
Well yu ha fi rev it hard
Drive it full speed and crash it if you like
Da gear stick ya feel rough
Put di car inna di garage
Drive in front way or back it up
Til di headlight show.
Some listeners will claim that these lyrics are ‘cleaner’ than the original since Kartel and Spice are pretending to be talking about driving rather than sex. The lyrics are ‘suggestive’ rather than sexually explicit. But even without knowing the original lyrics, it is quite clear what the version is supposed to suggest. The gear stick is obviously meant to be a penis. The garage is the vagina in which the car is parked.
(From the Jamaican Gleaner March 29th 2009 “Daggerin’ With Cleaner Lyrics”)
I’ve been trying to keep up with the censorship issues in Jamaica and trying to pay less attention to the Pon De Floor video internet controversy. The Broadcasting Commissions ban states “There shall not be transmitted through radio or television or cable services, any recording, live song or music video which promotes the act of ‘daggering’, or which makes reference to, or is otherwise suggestive of ‘daggering’.” Now, throwing tables at women is not something I support, but free speech and sexual dancing between consenting adults is. Notice I said consenting, and that first part is sort of complicated when I hear Man to man, gyal to gayl dats wrong in the Ramping Shop intro, but hey I chose to listen. How these cleaner lyrics about “cars and garages” will stop people from bending over I have no idea, and I think Horace Andy said it best: “I don’t think it’s right to play those kind of lyrics on the radio, cause if you beep it out, the kids still know. My daughter is four years old, and she knows every word of Rampin Shop.”
Interestingly enough, the Gleaner article points out the Latin origin of the word vagina which means sheath or scabbard, a housing for a knife or DAGGER. What surprises me is that most vulgarity in Jamaican culture that I’m aware of is more rooted in physical repugnance (like “bloodclot”) rather than Germanic words like “fuck” which are a lot closer in relationship to “dagger” for they both involve some kind of striking (or thrusting).
To be continued…