RIP – Who seh Sammy dead?


To Sammy that is. Yeah don’t be too surprised.  It wasn’t the first time that I heard it in song. I mean this is just a tune we sing half heartedly, no deep thought, no care that Sammy has departed into the valley of the shadow; a  lot of dancing and happiness. But how did he really die? I think the song is a bit hypothetical and vague when stating his mode of death. So shall we dissect its lyrical content?  Ok, reader, please, stop, control your enthusiasm we are going to examine it now, no need to beg.

Ok first off, Sammy planted his corn in a gully. It bore until it killed poor Sammy. First of all, how can a tree bearing in large quantities kill a man? Was Sammy standing under the tree when ripe fruits fell on him?  Did the fruits knock him unconscious? Well sorry, the song did not say that, so that’s ruled out.  I’m still confused, what‘s the logics behind the above mentioned lyrics?

Then the song went on to say that Sammy was not killed because he stole. But it was “grudgeful   badmind” people that killed him. What??? I thought it was “gully corn” that killed him.  Wow, I love being taken to Jericho and back. If you can explain this please do.

Then it went on to say, “a who seh Sammy dead?”   He’s not? I thought an angry mob of grudgeful Jamaicans took his life. Now they state that he’s alive.  I’m still confused.

So as usual my “jumpy” sister is here to save the day. Mark you, Jhenelle always has the answers.

According to Jhenelle,   the song could have been metaphorically constructed. Sammy could have been the victim of grugefulness. The abundance of the corn could be linked to wealth and his wealth killed him indirectly. This is because his riches caused others to become envious of him and kill him. But he’s not really dead because the whole song is a metaphor- hence “a who she Sammy dead?”  Obviously this song is a lyrical parable.

Great explanation sibling, but I would like to hear another side of the song, if there’s any. What do you think?

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Whitney Watts