In front, Christmas music on the radio and in the stores – I’m not big on that. Okay, some of the songs – O Holy Night, I’ll be Home for Christmas – I appreciate as good music, strong ideas, well developed, but when we get into the North American material with songs drawn from that culture, with all the wintry images, I gone out.

I lived in Toronto for 22 years and I never got into  the Christmas music in that culture.  Jingle Bells and Dashing Through the Snow, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, O Christmas Tree – those were aspects of Christmas that didn’t connect with me.   I had come to manhood in West Demerara, I had never seen a chestnut until I moved to Toronto and saw the sidewalk vendors during Christmas; I didn’t know what a one-horse open sleigh was.

The topics in most Christmas songs, I found banal, and the songs themselves had a tinsely flavour running through them minus the pulsating drum track and heavy bass prominent in Caribbean music.

Mind you, I saw the popularity of the form, and as a musician I tried my hand at it, but there was very little there capturing me. It was a music largely for a North American culture; I kept looking around and listening for Caribbean music reflecting our Christmas and didn’t find much.  ….