This song is sort of a snapshot of the nightlife in my old neighborhood, on the poorer side of town, in Cambridge, MA--not far from the hallowed halls of Harvard. I used to live across the street from a hoppin' little reggae joint on the corner of Putnam and Western Aves. It was our local watering hole. The place would be packed on the weekends. Jamaican posses would come into town to go there, and crowds would spill out onto the street corner. To say that it was a lively scene would be quite an understatement!
In the summertime, when my apartment windows were open, you could hear the sound of the music. Mostly just bass and drums (very, very loud,) the sound of people partying outside into the wee hours, and not too infrequently, the scream of police sirens whenever things got out of hand. One really hot night in June, not being able to sleep for all the noise, I gave it up, got dressed, and walked across the street to have a drink, find romance, or just to hang out with any of my friends who might still be up. Turned out to be a pretty good night! A couple of drinks later, I stumbled back home and wrote this song. I think the title says it all!
Words and music by Willie T
there's lots of action down on western avenue
the band starts up the beat, they're right on cue
outside in the shadows there's a deal going down
easy money, lots of good stuff going 'round
reggae blasting through my window right across the street
restless natives on the corner
rhythm pounding in my head, i cannot sleep
might as well get dressed, go down and have a drink
all's not quiet at the western front
the band is blaring, rastas having fun
find a sloe-eyed dancer, and fill my head with rum
when the clock strikes two a.m., the night has just begun...
night has just begun
reggae playin' all night long
rastaman, he sing the song
gonna sing it all night long
night has just begun...
willie t. (vocals, acoustic and elec. guitars)
doctor x (vocals, percussion)
gary jenkins (bass, lead guitar, vocals)
danny feist (drums)
colleen macdonald (vocals)
andy mendelson (keyboards)