Story Of A Song: Scofield Reference Bible Informs Garnet Silk Songs

Image result for Garnet Silk In concertBridgett Anderson can easily reel off a number of songs by reggae singer Garnet Silk that have direct quotes from or are heavily influenced by the Bible. Among them are Christ in His Kingly Character, Mystic Chant (which, among other Bible extracts, quotes Psalm 68) The Rod (part of which says “music is the rod and we are Moses”) and Zion in a Vision.

Handling Silk’s career under her Firstborn Management outfit, Anderson saw his creative process first-hand. The Bible was critical to it, but Silk did not utilise the King James Version, renowned for its powerful language. Instead, he kept a Scofield Reference Bible close at hand, and Anderson was instrumental in this preference.

“Yes, he read the Bible,” Anderson told The Sunday Gleaner, explaining that in the earlier stages of his career, Silk would read the Bible every day. In the latter part, he became a Sabbath keeper, so he observed that day more than ever. Anderson, as a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (TTI), had a preference for the Scofield Reference Bible, which was recommended to TTI members by the Rastafari organisation’s founder and leader, Vernon Carrington – the Prophet Gad. Although Silk was not a member of the TTI, he found the Scofield Reference Bible very useful and carried one around with him.

“When we did a show in London, he took his Bible to the show, and some TTI members saw it and thought he was a member,” Anderson said. However, she points out that Silk, as a first-born child, referred to himself as a Reuben, which is the tradition within the TTI.

Image result for Garnet Silk In concertSilk died in December 1994, about two weeks before the most celebrated day on the Christian calendar, which acknowledges the birth of Jesus Christ. Anderson says that he did not see a conflict between Christianity and Rastafari. “He always wanted to know if calling on the name of His Majesty (Haile Selassie) was adverse Christianity because he was a Christian souljah.” However, ‘His Majesty’ was a Christian King, so he was able to understand the divinity of His Majesty,” Anderson said.

Zion in Vision, which is a verbal description of a reunion of the faithful beyond the realm of the physical:

I saw Zion in a vision

Jah was there to meet everyone

Stretching forth his right hand

It’s like a family reunion.

This song was especially meaningful to Silk, Anderson said. He would literally get ‘into the spirit’ when performing it. Anderson recalled a show in New Jersey where Silk embraced someone while singing Zion in a Vision and almost overwhelmed the person with the power of his grasp. “He did not know he was doing that,” Anderson said.

Source: Story of a song: Scofield Referene Bible informs Garnet Silk songs | Entertainment | Jamaica Gleaner

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