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April 18, 2011
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Eventually, English language was, by necessity, standardized as what is now known as Britain was consolidated under the power of a single kingdom.
The Holy Bible as we know it today is just a consolidation of numerous texts, many of which were not included in the final consolidated version of the Bible. Powerful Christian leaders decided which books would be included in the standardized Bible and which would be left out.
Perhaps the influence of globalization will eventually accelerate the process of linguistic standardization of Jamaican patois, but I doubt it because it is largely a spoken language with limited opportunity for outside influence due to the location being an island and the difficulty non-Jamaicans experience in understanding the language.
Jamaican patois is a distinctive language or dialect - just as English is - which uses words from many other languages including English and French and has its own form of grammar. It is far more flexible and creatively oriented than many other languages. There are numerous variations of Jamaican patois and local accents, just as there are local accents and dialects in England.
The history of English is similar. It started out as dozens of disparate dialects, which were each used to be able to distinguish outsiders from locals and communicate in a spoken "code" unintelligible to the King's tax collectors.
Originally the song was titled "No Woman, Nuh Cry" or "Woman, Nuh Cry" (if I recall correctly) and it means "Woman, don't cry", but the title was Anglicized for the convenience of non-Jamaicans as the popularity of Bob Marley's music exploded outside Jamaica. The most plausible explanation for the song's meaning (in my opinion) is that Jamaica (in Rastafari belief, woman is the god of life) shouldn't cry while he (Bob Marley) is gone (on tour?) or is going to be gone (when he dies - he had predicted his early demise around this time).
The references to Trench Town are to provide some context and describe the life of desperate poverty and suffering in Kingston's best known slum.
"Everyt'ing's gonna be a'right"
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