Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Story of the Song | Garnet Silk writes 'Like a Mother to Me' for manager - Song recorded after returning from only UK trip

Published:Sunday | May 14, 2017 | 5:00 AMMel Cooke
Garnet Silk

Garnet Silk recorded Like a Mother to Me, at producer Robert 'Bobby Digital' Dixon's St Andrew studio after he returned from his sole trip to the UK. It was an eventful journey, as after doing shows in London, Birmingham and Luton, Silk was held up at gunpoint ahead of a planned show in Brixton, which would have been the day before he took a flight back to Jamaica.

His then manager, Bridgette Anderson, was on that trip, along with Anthony Rochester, in addition to performers and management from Courtney Cole's Ocho Rios-based Roof International label. Before leaving Jamaica, Silk told Anderson that he was writing a song for her, and despite the unpleasant ending to the UK stint, lived up to - and sang - his words when they returned to Jamaica.

Anderson said the liner notes for, Give I Strength, the VP Records album on which Like A Mother to Me, appears, say that it was written for his manager.

"He started to write it when we were going to the UK," Anderson told The Sunday Gleaner. She remembers that the concert in Luton was the only one she saw Silk do a deejay set, his original deejay name being Bimbo.

"He started writing it in Jamaica," Anderson said, sharing the lyrics with her. The lyrics Silk shared with listeners summed up the qualities he admired in Anderson and included three women figures that he saw in Anderson. He sang:

"God bless a friend like you

Helping others to love this way too

She's like a mother to me

Like a sister to me

Like a wife to me

Lady you are

Near or far

One of God's greatest gifts ...

How could I ever resist

Calling her mother

Like her there is no other ...

Woman to be admired."

"He always said to me that he would never be able to pay me for what I did for him," Anderson said. There is value other than money, though, as Silk told Anderson, "The respect you are going to get in the business for working with me will always stand up." Anderson said this is just what has happened.

Anderson met Silk at a Lee's Unlimited event in St Thomas, shortly after seeing Silk perform at a staging of Eastern Consciousness in Portland. Tony Rebel introduced her to Antho-ny Rochester, who in turn introduced her to Silk. Having worked with Judy Mowatt at the time was a strong point on her rÈsumÈ. Rochester was there when Like a Mother to Me was being recorded.

"The song bought tears to my eyes. It really explained the relationship we shared. I was humbled that he would sing it and say he wanted it on his album," Anderson said. She never asked Silk about the line that she is "like a wife to me" in a purely platonic relationship, but believes he was singing about "the qualities I personified."

She never saw Silk perform the song and the album it is on, Give I Strength (VP Records) which has a release year of 2003 on cduniverse.com, nearly a decade after Silk's death in 1994.

"Garnet said he would not go to England again. When he did Sting, he said he would never do it again," Anderson said. Like his commitment to her to do the song, the lyrics he wrote and his insistence that it be included on his album, Silk was true to his words.

The YouTube link to

Like a Mother to me is www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyfh0GK3ybU