The following is the raw transcript of the phone interview I did with Donald "Tesfa Gabriel" Manning of the Abyssinians on my radio program in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 29,1997. It was nothing less than an honor to learn about this mysterious and crucial group from its founder. May the work of Donald Manning live long. Satta amassa ganna.

Those are the sounds of the Abyssinians -- "Peculiar Number" in version. Mr. Manning, can you hear me?

Yes sir.

Alright. I've got you here. We're live on '400 Years.' It's an honor to have you on the program today. I really appreciate you taking the time to join us and talk about your musical career. I wonder if you can start off . . . I always like to get a little bit of history, and the Abyssinians certainly have a crucial history in reggae music, but if you could indulge the listeners with the story of how the group got together and how you got to record "Satta Massa Ganna" originally.

Okay, first of all I'm gonna give thanks and praise to God first. We say it in Amharic. 'Dina' mean good 'Igzhabier' mean God and 'Yi Mas Gan' [means] 'He may be praised.' 'Ulagizzae' mean continually.

Give Thanks.

Yes, have to give thanks and praise to my bigger brother Carlton -- Carlton and The Shoes. Him sing "Love Me Forever," and him learn to play the guitar and him teach me to play the guitar. I teach Bernard [Collins] to play the guitar.

And Carlton was at Studio One for Mr. Dodd . . .

Yea, him used to work for Mr. Dodd. And when Ernest Ranglin leave the studio, he was there playing lead, rhythm and him play bass also. Coming from a long wey, "Love Me Forever" in 1968. We did "Satta Massa Ganna" in 1969.

Now at the time, the industry was controlled by Duke Reid and Coxson Dodd, so how did an independent group come in and get a chance to make a record break so popular. How did that all work?

Well, a lotta of the musician them from Coxson Dodd used to come round my house where I live because Carlton used to play there. A lot of them, when them finished working in the afternoon or sometime in the morning them come and look for Carlton, and the whole of them just go by Coxson. Cause where I was living was about ten to fifteen minute walk from my house to Coxson Dodd Studio. So Carlton get some of the musician them together. Leroy Sibbles, him play the bass.

From the Heptones . . .

Yes, and um Richard Ace, he play the keyboard and I think it was . . . I can't remember all of those musicians.

Do you remember who played drums in that session?

I think it was Fil. A brother who called Fil [Fil Calendar was the session drummer at Studio One after Bunny Williams -- ed]. And I don't remember all of them, but at the time it was two track [tape] we do those recording on, and we pay the musician them to play the session, because Coxson wasn't there at the time when we did the session. It cause a lickle problem when them get pay and Coxson come in and catch us with the musician. We have to pay Coxson, so all of those things, Carlton was responsible for getting those musicians together.

So you had to almost sneak the studio time.

Yea, but Coxson did catch us and we had to pay him, I think it was 94 pounds or something like that. And we did that session.

So when did Coxson find out that the record had been recorded at his studio?

Same day that we did it. Because we did not pay the musician immediately after we done the session. We was there fussin and going on a bit with some kind of thing. We don't know if it's because the song was so good. Coxson come in and see we and find out that's what we was doing, and we get the tape, pay for the session or come out. Anyway, I from in the 50s was at Knutsford Park -- a racehorse stable. That is where we have New Kingston now. And there was a racetrack up there and a man name Mortimer Planner. He used to tell us about Rastafari.

Right, Mortimer Planner. This was the same Rastafari elder who met King Selassie when he came to Jamaica.

Yes, that was the same mon. And a next man name Ras Dizz. And I used to be around Morty Planner, be at his house and down by the Dungle where Johnny Nash, Bob Marley, Rita Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh . . .

This is in Trench Town?

Yes. Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, and I can just name a lotta those musician that used to come to Morty Planner house. We get the inspiration from Carlton, cause Carlton Manning my bigger brother, him used to teach my smaller brother Linford and them used to sing together as Carlton and The Shoes. Well, I was at Knutsford Park, working, looking after the horses. Before I meet Bernard Collins I was at the track at Kaymanas Park and a man bring Bernard Collins to the track. I was playing the guitar, because he could not play the guitar. When I came to Baker Street where my brother live, I was living there, but Bernard come to my house. From there we started some rehearsal and when we about to do the song. We used to [go] round Planner house and we used to learn Amharic -- the Ethiopian language, and we used to learn it there from a professor from Ethiopia name Professor Efiam Isaac. He came there and bring tapes with English and Amharic, and that's how I get to know the Amharic, because he used to teach at Morty Planner house and down at Dungle, a place we record at Dungle down by Spanish Town Road behind one of those markets and we just keep in touch. When we get what Planner taught us. Whenever we have anything, we must share it with everyone as a bredren. You understand?


So, by coming to my house at Baker Street and Bernard follow me there. We start, I start play the guitar and when we was about I used to sing a song name "The good Lord send me from Zion."

Right, we played that song earlier on the show today actually.

That was the same rhythm I was playing, but we wasn't singing a song. And I tell Bernard to sing, but before that, my brother Carlton him sing a song name "Love Me Forever" and the back of that song was a song named "Happy Land" and the first two lines of that song was the same two line that we sing from "Satta Amassa Ganna." 'There is a land far far away, where there's no night, there's only day, and if you live in righteousness, we will reach that land far far away.' But when me and Bernard was doing the song now. We didn't know that he was infringing on my brother rights and we sing the first two lines, 'There is a land far far away, where there's no night, there's only day. Look into the book of life and you will see that there's a land far, far away.' And my brother come to me and tell me that we not supposed to do that, because performing rights say we are infringing on his rights, but because me and Linford are his brother, we can go on with that. And him let us slide with it, so we make "Satta Massa Ganna" with the same first lyrics. Me and Bernard write down those lyrics and most of those lyrics (all the part) that said the 'King of Kings,' most of the African part, it come from me cause I was doing the African history at the time. Bernard never know anything about Rastafari at the time. But I put my input in there and we did "Satta."

So 'satta massa ganna' in Amharic means 'give thanks.'

Give Thanks. And when we did that, we used to teach Amharic in my house we were living. When we sing "Satta Amassa Ganna," I was giving thanks to God, but you can't give thanks to God and say 'Satta Amassa Ganna.' So when I go back and read the Amharic books and I realize that, I go back and I say, "You think a so?" Version "Satta" now, I say, 'You think a so? It no so. Tena Yi Stillin. Dina Igzhabhier Y Mas Gan. Satta Amassa Ganna.' When I say 'Dina' mean 'good,' 'Igzhabier' mean 'God,' 'Yi Mas Gan,' [means] 'he may be praise,' so I correct the mistake that I made by singing 'Satta Massa Ganna.' You understand?

I see. What is 'Tena Yi Stillin?'

'Tena Yi Stillin' mean 'greetings.' It mean 'good morning.' It mean 'good bye.' It mean 'good afternoon.' It mean 'health, may He give for thee.' You see what it mean?

Seen. seen.

All of those things.

And then once again, 'Yi Mas Gan,' which is another song . . .

'Yi Mas Gan' mean 'He may be praised.'

Okay. That's a lot of important [information] to understanding the Abyssinians early songs for sure. Could you go and tell me about . . there's one of the most beautiful songs that ever came from Studio One called "Declaration of Rights."

Well at the same time, my brother Carlton, most of those lyrics was written by Carlton, "Declaration of Rights," you understand?

Right, but he didn't sing on the track though?

No, no, no, no. I didn't either on the first "Declaration of Rights." You want me to tell you why?

Why's that?

Because Carlton's song was number one on the radio station for three weeks and him did not get money from Coxson at the time.

So you were protesting.

Yes, and me and Bernard used to sing that song. Yes, but it's Carlton song. And Carlton stop Bernard from coming to our house because him say because we take the first song which is "Satta Amassa Ganna." The second one him say, we're going to take it again, which is "Declaration of Rights" and Bernard, I think with Leroy Sibbles and the next man [George Henry --ed]. Those are first ones, you understand?


But that was my inspiration, me and Carlton still, cause I used to sing that song with Bernard before it record, but because I was protesting him Coxson, Bernard went behind my back and did it with someone else. But we didn't ever make any trouble because he's an Abyssinians also, but that was the only song I did not sing [with] Bernard as the Abyssinians, but we record it over more than once.

Right, there was the session that I want you to talk about later on. I think that was produced by Clive Hunt.

Yea, yea. That was the album that we did after and we sing "Declaration of Rights" on it.

Now that collection. It's come out on Heartbeat in the United States.

Yea, I give it to Heartbeat to release.

Was it all of those tracks that Clive Hunt produced an album in Jamaica originally, or did they hold off on release for a while?

That was a pirate album. We did all of those songs on the album and the man that we did that album for, him name was Pat Cooper. And at the same time there was politics going on and Pat Cooper was running against Edward Seaga and him could not beat Seaga because he (Seaga) is a Syrian, and he have a lot of money to run more than Pat Cooper as a black man. So Pat Cooper take off.

He was running against him for the nomination of the JLP?

Pat Cooper was on the PNP side and Edward Seaga was on the JLP side and Pat Cooper took off for London and the tape go in different different direction. Geoffrey Chung get a part of the tape now anyway and Clive Hunt get a part of the tape and them start pirate the album. Them take it to England and them take it to America and we never get nothing from it. We get a lickle money when we go in the studio and record it, but we never get no more money. We don't see nothing from that album, until when we go to England in 1978, we . . . Pat Cooper was living in London. Him leave Jamaica from that time in 1975, and I never see him from that time.

So how did you recover the tapes of your album?

Well, when we went to London, a man give me a mix-down of the tape. He give Bernard one also. I have the mix-down here right now. I have it on two inch tape. I have eight songs them. I can make a dub album from some of the songs.

Do you have a plan to make a dub, because not much Abyssinians is ever heard in dub.

I want to give it to Heartbeat or one of those record company in America right now.

That would be beautiful.

And I have the mix-down, and I have it on DAT cassette. I have the album on DAT cassette. I give it to Heartbeat and them release it.

Tell me about the album, a group of tracks that you did, maybe for Virgin that became the Arise album.

Yea, well after we did that one (Forward To Zion), we was doing some more recording. I was working at Jamaica Daily News . . . .

You were working at the newspaper?

Yea, I always do that. I always work at the newspaper. . .

In what capacity?

I was a wholesaler. Wholesale and retail. I go around and sell the paper them. Because I had a van and I go around and sell the paper for the people them sell it back. And I had a lot of bwai selling Star including Steelie, you know Steelie?

Of Steelie and Cleevie?

Yea, that bwai used to sell star for me and Everton and one name Justin that is Gad's son. Gad from the Twelve Tribes. And some more bwai. And one of them is going to the University of the West Indies. They are big men now anyway. And that album, we do it independently for ourselves. We pay the musician them. And we just compile the tracks together so. And the Virgin album, I had. . . you see me and my brother Linford had six tracks and Bernard have four.

That has never been released in the United States though has it? Isn't that just in England or did Virgin put that out here?

Well I see a copy of it here. I figure that it release here also.

They import it here off of the French label (Blue Moon), but I don't know if it was released here.

Well, maybe I might have to try to do it here.

Well, it's certainly got another set of classic stuff, and it was also very well produced and well recorded.

Yea. Well you see, me get a lot of inspiration from Carlton, because most of the harmony that we sing, Carlton teach us, because me and Bernard was singing together and Carlton told me that because I was playing the guitar, Bernard will sing (more) leads than I do . . . so I must sing the harmony. Well, I wait till Carlton go to work, and I ask my smaller brother Linford to help me sing the harmony, and from it we did "Satta Massa Ganna." Him stop sing with Carlton, and him say him would rather sing with the Abyssinians, because we was singing about God. More than just sing 'Love Me' business. But we get a lot of inspiration from Carlton and the second album, what we did. Carlton even help we, show we what we did wrong.

So Carlton's been very, very, very important to the Abyssinians, and he is now, since Linford is no longer with the group, as the Abyssinians are in 1997, one of the three, right?


So it comes full circle.

Because we went to Ocho Rios and the Rockers TV last year in November. The last Sunday in November and after that, but Bernard never sing on that.

Tell me who sang on that.

Me and a next man name Teddy Brown, because I used to have a band in Jamaica. I have my son them play the music. Two of them left to Africa, last Sunday with Chaka Demus and Pliers. And two of them coming up here at the end of this month with Black Uhuru. Them play with Black Uhuru also.

With Black Uhuru as Don Carlos and Garth Dennis?

Yea. The one who play the drums, he is my son. Him play with Bunny Wailer and all kind of different different people.

I didn't know that you had that kind of musical offspring.

I have kids that play the guitar, three of them play the drum. I had a drumset from about 1979.

So on the new album 1995 + Tax, your son plays some drums on that.

My son play most of the drums on that. And I have my son keyboard and the next can play bass. I have a new album that I just start doing now. I went to Jamaica in March and I lay three tracks. I have a daughter can sing very well too. I plan to make a CD with her.

Beautiful, that's great.

We just family. We just try to keep the music alive you understand?

Yes. I'll give you the opportunity here to promote your 1995 + Tax a little bit. This is the CD that you released by yourself with some tracks from the last of the original Abyssinians and then some tracks of your own.

Yes, because seven of those tracks, me and Bernard and my brother sing seven of those tracks. If you look on the CD, you can see it -- Collins and Manning. And the rest of them, a girl help me sing on one track. Me and her sing back the harmony. Me sing the lead, and me and her sing back the harmony. And Pablo Black help me sing on one song name "Hold The Man," but the rest of them, I alone did them. I sing the lead and the harmony.

One of the tracks I'm going to play after we get done talking is "Come Along," and perhaps "Do Good" and "In A Kalda." Between when this album came out and other work, there are some singles that came out maybe during the early 90s to mid 80s. I'm not sure. They were off the Clinch label. Is that Bernard Collins' label. Or how does that. . .

Well that label is owned by me Donald Manning, Bernard Collins and Linford Manning, but Bernard him have that label, because once upon a time when I was living in Jones Town, Baker Street, Kingston 12, my house burned down but none of my books with my African culture and my records did not burn up, so I gave Bernard the tape to clean up some of those things, because the smoke was on them so you have to go and clean them up. But he never bring them back to me. Him have them all now. But when you check it, we have to just pass those things, because we dealing with God and we don't want to . . .

Yea, you can't let material things come between the Abyssinians.


But some singles I have in front of me, "African Princess," "The Last Days" and also then the rerelease of the album that was released on the Alligator label, Forward To Zion came out on Clinch more recently.

Yea, well you see all those thing. Me and my brother and Bernard take our money do those songs and Bernard selling them now, and I don't get no money from them. Nothing. I don't want to take him to court. And I don't want to fight him. I want him on consciousness to really get back in touch with him, because there is a lotta things gwan and is really not easy and to know that two Rastaman gonna . . . Let me tell you this, when I start to Rastafari, Bernard and my little brother, they . . .

. . . you're speaking of Linford . . .

Yes, and Bernard, when I know that Bernard was dreadlocks is when we went to London in 1978 -- him just start to dreadlocks him hair. I have some picture I can show you.

You were locksing from the sixties?

I locks from 1966, I locks my hair. And 1978, I see Bernard was putting on some locks. We're not talking about hair and beard, we're talking about heart, cause not everymon have dreadlocks is a Rastamon.

Right. Of course.

That lunatic on the road have on dreadlocks. You can't tell a mon say he is not a Rasta. You have to go close to him and ask him questions to know what he is really dealing with. You understand?


So we don't make those things too trouble, because is not mon gonna pay us?, God is the payer of everyone. Whether you want to acknowledge Him, say Him is God or is a man or whoever He is. We know that there is a God and he is the paymaster for everyone. Isn't it true?


I love Bernard still and sometimes I ask to do things, but he want to do it of his own in a different way as I say the same song that "African Princess," me and my brother and Bernard did ten songs, "African Princess" and two more and Bernard, when we come from London 1990, we went to Europe, went to Germany and Belgium, all over the place, England, all over. And when we came back, my brother say him don't want to sing anymore reggae, because . . . I don't want to go into that part why him say that, because most of the group them that get together don't stay together because, when we start sing about God, we was talking about God, but when money come in existence now, some mon want to take it all and leave the rest of the world in bondage and oppression like what my brother Carlton see. Carlton make a song like that. He was singing about God, he wasn't singing about money, but money come into play now, so I just say Bernard release the album again, Forward, what we give to Alligator, and him don't give me no money from it. Him don't even tell me about the album and show it to me. But I'm gonna stop it. I don't ready to stop it as yet. Ya understand?

Yea. Yea.

I have my record in here that I take my money do it, and I have the master tape in my house, I not talking about the mix-down, I talking bout the master -- the twenty-four track. I have in my house of some of those songs in there what Bernard releasing and him don't consult me and him don't give me no money and him don't say nothing to me. Him just get it off the mix-down tape. You understand what I talking about?

Sure, yea.

Make it into a DAT cassette them. Him get it off a mix-down tape and him just carry to the record company, and because he's Abyssinian, he release it with them. There goes it, I don't get no money, I don't see it -- nothing. So Bernard owe me some money and I go to Jamaica and I see him last month and him don't say nothing at all to me about that. The most him did from 1995, he went to France and him see it in a book and him show me the book with 1995 in there, my last thing that I put out. And him show me the Alpha Blondy, "Shedroch, Meshak and Abendigo" on a CD. Him give me the CD. I have the CD here. But back to "African Princess." We did ten songs. Three of them was for Bernard. Four for me and three from lickle breddah. That's ten. When we came back here -- I live in the States from 1984. Bernard goes to Jamaica with his three song and him go and release them in England, in Europe in other words, on forty-five or whatever them want to release it on. Him never tell me nothing. And I decide I can't release the seven song. I have to put some more on there, and that's the way 1995 + Tax come. Because seven of those songs what is on there with the three what Bernard have, we take it to Palmer(?), we take it to other places and try to get a deal with it in Europe, but we did not. And we never have much time. In fact my brother just give me the rest of them and say, just do what I can do with it. And I do what I can do and so 1995 come. Cause I was working in the racehorse stable in Jamaica from in the sixties. And when I came up here, 1984, I went to Kalda track and work. After I come back from Europe 1990, 1991 I go in Kalda track and work. I work in there for four years. And I make the song, "In A Kalda," in Kalda racetrack. And I make the song, "Holy Man" in Kalda racetrack. And I make about three more song in there what I don't release, record as yet. So, when I around the horses I get a lot of inspiration, cause they're my inspiration start, praising God and singing song.

Interesting. . .

Yea, there's a lot of inspiration me have around the horses. I don't put my trust in the horse you know . . . because the horse is a vain thing for surety. 'And some trust in chariot and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Almighty God. They are brought down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright. Save Lord, let the King hear us when we call.' That what the Psalm say. So we cyaan put our trust in the horses. (from Psalm 20).

So when I look at a picture of the Abyssinians. I should have asked you this, Donald, which . . . are you in the red, the gold . . .

Yes! yes. I always in the red. And you see those pictures that you see with the Abyssinians, is me bring it to light. I used to do some artwork. I used to draw from an artist that from Ethiopia name Feywaker(?). I have some book that I used to do some artist work from it. And I see some costume in there, and we design the costumes, and I say we can make it like that and we agree. And I see Bernard try get two more man with him and call them the New Abyssinians. And them try to wear the same thing that we used. You understand me?


And I wan give you a joke. After we leave England 1990. 1989 me and Bernard and my brother go to Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica and 1992 I was back there. Bernard have two more man was singing, and I didn't want to sing with the third mon that I would be the fourth mon. Bernard tell me if I don't want to sing with that man, him don't want to sing with me. So I have to sing with that man. One of the man him trust me and tell me that is long time him working for this. I ask him what. And him say to sing as an Abyssinian. And dem want the two . . .

(tape break)

. . . and leave my son that play the bass for Chaka Demus and Pliers, say daddy 'if you don't make that bwai sing dem gonna hurt you in the end'. . . and Bernard and him friend dem wanted to fight me. Dem take the name, them go around and them do what them want to do. You can only have three Abyssinians. You cyan have Bernard with two more man, because I give the group name Abyssinians. I give the song name "Satta Amassa Ganna," because Bernard did not know what the meaning of "Satta Amassa Ganna" mean. If you listen to "Satta Amassa Ganna" right now when Bernard sing it, when we did it 'La Amline' . . .

What does that mean?

'La Ahamlak' mean 'to God,' but Bernard could not speak the Amharic, so him sing it and say 'la ahamline,' on the song, so it go out we sing it, but when we do "Satta Amassa Ganna," it go out as "Far Far Away" by The Abyssinians and me and Bongo Lez and Bongo Herman. I play the bass drum, Bongo Herman play the repeater, and Bongo Lez play the Funde and that is a complete Rastaman chant. So all the credit that a man go out there and him try to get. It belongs to God, but the inspiration come through me. You understand?


You hear what I'm saying?

Seen, seen seen.

So when I went to Jamaica and the man tell me that if I don't know how long him working for this, it would hurt me. You understand me?


And when I check it out, the man who told me that, him have on dreadlocks on him head too. So when you check it, as I tell you before, is not every man you see have dreadlocks on him head is a Rastaman. Him not saying Rasta from him heart, because him never form the Abyssinians, him never record none of those songs that me and Bernard and my lickle brother sing. Bernard never give the group name Abyssinians, Bernard never give the song name "Satta Amassa Ganna," because him know say the song went out as "Far Far Away" by The Abyssinians. And when me and Bongo Lez and Bongo Herman version the song in 1971 -- between 70 and 71 and put out the song as "Satta Amassa Ganna," that time it start to sell. When we version it and put "Mabrak," the one we say, 'you think a so? A no so.' That when we start make money from the song. So these thing when you check it out and check the history, most of the group in Jamaica, them end up that way. You start doing something and when you have one cake and you brake it for everyone. One spliff and every mon smoke it. One pipe and every mon draw the pipe. And when money start come now. A mon a kill you out just because him want to take your share. So I live in America. I don't say I would not sing with Bernard again, but right now Carlton is singing with me and I have someone else. I don't say I won't sing with Bernard, but him must come to the level of what we dealing with. I don't want to deal with the false business, because you have a new Abyssinians. My lickle brother live about two block from where I am living now. I have all those things that me and him used to do and what Carlton teach us and if you going to have a new Abyssinian what happen to the old one. You follow what I talking about?

Yea, of course. I mean the Abyssinians is you three.

Donald Manning, Linford Manning, and Bernard Collins. If Linford Manning not singing, Carlton Manning replace Linford Manning, because him a bigger breddah, and him used to teach us long time. The harmony that we sing, we get some of it from Carlton, so is nothing hard. I did a show down here on the Bob Marley Festival and me and my bigger brother Carlton sing it and I'm telling you mon, it was very good. We went to S.O.B. in New York (Sounds Of Brazil -- New York City), the tenth of December and it sold out from eleven o'clock. And people want more. Them could not get enough. I'm not putting Bernard down. What I'm saying, all we got to do is work together. What I'm telling you is not a lie, because God is our judge and witness and I'm not swearing. The same thing that you say him put out there, the Forward [album]. Him take it to Europe at Musicdisc and him put it out on vinyl and them putting it out now on CD. And him never give me a cent from that and is me and my lickle brother money as well as his. So you see how the music business gwan. And you see a lot of those artist wey ya hear in Jamaica that ya hear say a mon shot him round the corner and him die and all those things. Some of those things happening. A mon want to take what him have so them a kill him for it. You believe me?

Yea, well. . .

It really sound sad but . .

It is sad . . .

It is true . . . but the Abyssinians must go on still. Because I am the original as you see it on the CD. I am the original. I teach them the Amharic. I can send picture to you and show you . . .

I know that to be true, that's why I called you and that's why I wanted to speak to you, because I could feel that. For sure. But Donald I have one more question for you . . .the show is almost over here, but I have time to play one more song and it may be one of the most beautiful reggae songs ever, and that's called "African Race." And I wonder if you could tell me a little about that song before we go.

Yea, I went to the movie theater in Jamaica name Tropical. And them was showing a movie name . . . um. . . anyway them was bringing slave from Africa and the movie make I cry. And when I see what them do to the slave them. When them was rowing the boat, the man beat the drum for them to pull the oar. And when them was rowing the boat, and when them gwan to the bottom of the ship and bring the slaves them on top, and when them could not row the boat anymore. Them throw them overboard and some of them die. Some of them jump overboard and a lot of different wicked, evil things happen. That's why I make that song, 'we are the slave descendent from the African race and we are proud, it's no disgrace. Our forefathers were taken away, taken away, taken away. They were bound in ships and shackled all the way, like baggage and brought to the West.' You understand?

Yes. And you say, 'we're proud, it's no disgrace,' which is the most important . . .

Yes. We are proud, it's no disgrace. Because we are African and the Bible say an Ethiopian cyan change him skin nor the leopard change his spots. So we have to [be] African because we are. And we love everybody you know. We love black, white, Indian, Chiney. We love everyone. You understand?


Because love is the answer to the world. You agree with me?

Seen seen.

You have to love everyone, believe me. When we go out and do shows, we have more white people following the shows more than black people. So we can't fight against no one. And not because of the shows. From if you listen to most of the lyrics that we do, even on 1995, you can see we talking for everyone, we not talking about ? Even a song name "Peculiar Number." If you check that song it can show you that.

Yea, I just played it right before we came on.

A part of Psalms 90, 'there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.' I have some lyrics now man what I gonna put out now. You see when I do it.

I just want to say to you, Donald Manning, maximum respect, because your music is among the most important that there has been in reggae music, and we respect it on this show so much, and 'satta massa ganna. Tenas yi stillin' (which I mispronounce).

Tena yi stillin, you say, 'TENA! Yi stillin!'

Tena yi stillin. . .

Say it all the while. It mean 'health may He give for thee.' It mean good morning. It mean good bye. It mean how are you? You see what that one word mean, it's magic. You understand?


Tena Yi stillin

Tena Yi Stillin.

Yea, 'Dina igzhabier yi mas gan -- it mean 'good God He may be praised.' All right?

All right.

I will give thanks and praise to all the people out there that tune in to your radio station. May God bless us all. May God bless Us all. And I give thanks for you. May God bless you that you can keep up the works that you are doing. That you can really talk to other people who . . . whether them have the culture, yes or no, them can know that you are doing good work, because you are doing good work.

That's what we try to do.

Yes, my brother.

Give thanks.

Yea, everytime.

We'll talk to you soon.

One love, send me that cassette you know.

Yea, soon.


For a playlist from 400 Years, March 29, 1997, click here


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Clinch Records Catalog

Abyssinians Discography

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First ever article on The Abyssinians