Thu | Jul 19, 2018

Story of the Song | ‘She Boom’ has ‘Girlie Girlie’ connection

Published:Sunday | February 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Mallory Williams
The cover of Mallory Williams' 1986 album 'She Boom'.
Sophia George (right) and her daughter Patrice in May 1989.
Sophia George
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In his 1986 song She Boom, Mallory Williams sings about a woman called 'Poochie Lou', whose dancing sets the Rae Town Sunday night oldies session alight, so much so that "dem tun off de soun' fi she sekkle down/Coulden sekkle down she come fi mash up de town". However, in the writing of She Boom, there was a woman whose name is not mentioned in the song. And his connection to that woman, Sophia George, came about because of her hit, Girlie Girlie.

The late Tony Laing directed the video for She Boom, centred around the Capricorn Inn, during a Sunday night session when as Williams sings, "Klassique in town, good vibes jus' a flow". After Williams did the song Reggae Gone Grammy, he had looked up Laing. The musical connection was from another generation as their fathers had played in the same band.

Williams told The Sunday Gleaner that he played keyboards on Girlie Girlie and was in the band that went with George to perform in England, as well as Holland, Spain, and other European countries. George's manager was satisfied with her performances, Williams relating how after the shows, he would happily say "she boom it again". "And that is where I got the phrase from. When I came back to Jamaica, all of it came together. I wrote the song in about 15 minutes, about a week or two after returning," Williams told The Sunday Gleaner.

He wrote about a woman living life to the fullest ("She don't care just what she do, when she do, who she do, how she do") and willing to show her dancing prowess ("A boom she boom, la la la la la, what a girl can cool and deadly/A boom she boom, la la la la la, jus' love how she water pumpie/A boom she boom, la la la la la, jus' love how she winey winey"). Her party spot of choice was Rae Town:

"See har in de dance, dung a Rae Town

Every man jus a gather go round

She wheel an tun, yu woulda tumble dung

Mercy me, dem haffi give har de crown

Dem give har de crown Sunday night a Rae Town

Give har de crown den dem tun off di soun'

Tun off de soun' fe she sekkle down

Coulden sekkle down she go fi mash up de town"

 

DIDN'T PLAN TO SING

 

In choosing Rae Town as the location for the scenario he sang about as well as the video, Williams said: "It was the most popular place at the time. I used to go there on a Sunday night." Of course, he saw people dancing there and She Boom fit well, being in the space, helping the song to come together. He did not plan to sing She Boom himself intending to pitch it to Sophia George. Before doing so, he sang it to a friend, who told Williams, it is "your song".

So it was off to Aquarius Studio in Half-Way Tree for a day session, where Dr Paul of Riddim Kings played bass guitar, Sly Dunbar was on drums, Dwight Pinkney played guitar, and Williams played keyboard. He never told Sophia George about her unwitting connection to She Boom as he did not work with her team again and she migrated.

And, Williams said, there were many ladies who claimed to be Poochie Lou.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com