Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Story of the song | A big deal over fast food

Published:Sunday | June 5, 2016 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke
Christopher Martin
Mr Lexx
Frankie Paul
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Christopher Martin's song Big Deal, done over as a KFC advertisement, has undergone not only an adjustment in lyrics, but also a transformation in character, for the original was a statement of self-affirmation and not feeling inferior to another human being. As a jingle for the fast-food company, it has suffered the ignominious fate that popular songs that are used for advertising campaigns tend to it has lost any deeper meaning and become part of the push to consume for a sense of self-worth.

Martin did not mention KFC in the original, the Big Deal being KFC's entry point as it is the name of one of their meals. Neither does Lexus name a particular eatery in Cook, his humorously angry song demanding that his lady hit the pots, pans, and stove. He deejays:

"Gal yu betta can cook

Yu tink yu deh ya fi yu pretty look

Yu waan live a restaurant an come man bank book"

There is one popular frozen treat that makes the song, though, Lexus juxtapositioning it with 'tinnas':

"Have some gal way pass dem teen

Big hotty hotty but live pon sardine

Cyaa even cook some cowfoot an bean

But dem ready fi de Devon House ice cream"

He does make a meal reference, which brings a specific fast-food establishment to mind:

"You likkle slapper

All yu a sing bout a combo an whopper

Big Sunday morning box food no look proper"

The whopper is a Burger King staple and Elephant Man identifies the place in Gal Fight Ova We, another fast food place making the same verse for a lady whose appetite is evidently expansive. He deejays:

"Mi do a show over Constant Spring

Come off a di stage mi see a pretty browning

Get the phone number, know mi haffi win

Den mi tek har to the uptown Burger King

Dung a Mandela Park after bird wi a fling...

Said time mi hear she say she waan jerk chicken

Popeye's never lock..."

In Alicia, Frankie Paul sings about a specific girl (whose address is in the introduction) with a craving for "French fry and hamburger". Dismissing her a "hungry belly", Frankie Paul sings "Every day she wake up she gone dung a Wendy".

The Jamaica fast food places get their mention in the country's popular music, in some instances used as landmarks and meeting spots. Sister Charmaine, reflecting on life and relationships in the ghetto, deejays that she meets a man up at Tastee (the Cross Roads outlet comes readily to mind). And as he celebrates Half-Way Tree as a great place for meeting women from all walks of life, Anthony Cruz uses a bank and Jamaican fast food establishments as well as an overseas one as landmarks:

"Just go to Half-Way Tree

Out a NCB right side a de

clock

Out a Half-Way Tree

Roun a Mother's whe de

Portmore bus dem come stop

Out a Half-Way Tree

Girls whe brown, girls whe

black

Girls whe slim, girls whe fat

Out a Half-Way Tree

Right a Burger King or dung

a Tastee"