Boney M’s ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’

Boney M has been a popular Disco group during the late 70s and mid 80s. They extensively toured in Europe and even Russia. Apart from their live concerts, they appeared in TV shows as well. As a teenager in early 90s I knew none of this in India – during my teenage years TV was still a cloistered national medium and the satellite TV revolution had not arrived yet on the scene.

Boney M never quite toured India though attempts were made to organize a concert. So I got to listen to them only through the most popular channel – audio cassettes.

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The magic of Calypso is in free flow when you listen to Boney M – these people simply love their songs and dance. The gals n guy from Jamaica, Aruba and even the original composer based in Germany sure knew how to appeal to the young generation that was going bonkers with disco music.

It is so very easy now to re-live your memories – You Tube is flooded with tributes and popular selections of all that was great about Boney M. The ageing generation spares no occasion to relive their youth. The videos too look so very good – Bobby Farrell is a live wire when it comes to the actual performance. They have such lovely, colourful costumes. They visit such lovely locales and perform to such vast audiences. It is indeed a treat to revisit it all now.

My top 5 Boney M numbers include –

  • Brown Girl In The RingThe song has such a lovely and catchy tune to it. It sounds of fun and celebration. And it is typical of the Caribbean culture. The song is sung when kids form rings and play the game. And a child takes turns to come to the centre of the ring and is asked to ‘show me your motion’ i.e. enact the favourite song. He / she even gets a chance to select a partner from the group. Guess we can understand why it is simple and popular, it just represents the teenage spirit in all of us.
  • Rasputin Again a catchy number that is high on energy and pitch. The most interesting thing is to watch the online rendition – Bobby Farrell goes bonkers enacting the story. It has got the jive if we were to say that.
  • No Woman No Cry – This is classic and vintage Bob Marley. The intonation is so purrfect and the sentiments so cool. It is inspirational music for sure.
  • Daddy CoolIt has a catchy beat and the story line is kinda cute as well. We all know about little girls and their fascination for her Daddy who is the ‘bestest’ man in their lives.
  • Hooray hooray, it’s a holi holiday –  Pure party time – so exams are over, vacations are here. Even we don’t have any elaborate celebrations plans and don’t plan to fly to anywhere. We can at least listen to the song and enjoy.

Over the years the mystique of Boney M has been unraveled – one just has to look up the group on the internet to know so much about their lives and times. It has been complicated as happens to be with most things in life.

But those are not our memories – as a teenager having a simple audio cassette to listen on an ordinary stereo tape recorder, all that does not matter at all. Instead one remembers of farewell parties post passing High School – organized at a friend’s home with ordinary snacks and some fizzy soft-drinks. And then one floats into a land of dreams and melody listening to the strains of ‘Brown Girl In The Ring Tra La La …’

Credit: Peter Bischoff Courtesy: Getty Images
Credit: Peter Bischoff
Courtesy: Getty Images

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