Track of the Day: 'A It Mek'

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Desmond Dekker encore! ... Dekker and the Aces recorded "A It Mek" in Jamaica in 1968, with the brass track added in the U.K. for the song's re-release in 1969, when the single ended up going to No. 7 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Before the end of 1970, it had sold more than a million copies worldwide. The title of the song is Jamaican patois for "That's Why" or "That's the Reason," though apparently the meaning is closer to "That's What You Get" (consequence being a recurring theme in ska and rocksteady). Can't say I've ever really figured out what the rest of the (mainly English) lyrics mean—the commenters on this blog have a good go—but always loved the connotation and color they bring to one of global popular music's great melodies.

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J.J. Gould is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. More

He has written for The Washington MonthlyThe American ProspectThe Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. Gould was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy, co-published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the National Endowment for Democracy, and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

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