Love Me (The Way I Am) – Lucky Dube
About 6 years before he was killed, Lucky Dube recorded an album called ‘Soul Taker’ of which music website Allmusic.com says, ‘Fans know what to expect; as for those looking for an introduction to Dube’s distinctive brand of Afro-reggae, this is as good a place to start as any’. The review picks out various songs from the ablum in making its points, but fails to mention what I think is the best track.
‘Love Me (The Way I Am)’, is a gently lilting reggae love song that has Dube’s emotion-filled vocals telling the story of a child who may be the offspring of a woman who has been forced into prostitution by abject poverty. The child asks ‘who’s child am I gonna be tonight’ and then later ‘who’s bins am I going to eat out tonight’ yet all the child wants is his/or her mother’s love. It is heartbreaking stuff and could end up being a a too depressing song if it was not for the instrumentation which offers comfort. The looping guitar riff and lullaby quality of the rhythm serves to ease the pain a little as it almost caresses one with its beauty.
It’s not about shying away from the clearly distressing situation described by the song, but its about trying to offer solace in a bleak world. This is reggae at its beautiful best. Melancholic, hard-hitting, soothing, harrowing all in one. Love it, the way it is.
Where to find it:
Soul Taker – Lucky Dube, 2001, WEA, 0927-41599-2