Dancehall legend Sean Paul has released a video for his Live N Livin single “Guns of Navarone.”
The song features Ghanaian dancehall singer, Stonebwoy, Jamaican singer Jesse Royal, and Jamaican poet Mutabaruka. The track addresses the gun violence Jamaica has been grappling with, along with the struggles of people who reside in the nation’s ghettos. The video opens with a quote from Mutabaruka, “How can a people be so traumatized that them start to love them traumatic experiences? We are defining we self through the colonizers, still how can we be so blind.”
The video tells a story of the cycle of violence in Jamaica with a young man protecting his sister after their fathers’ death, and continually throughout the video. It is his protectiveness that lands him in prison after he murders a man for violating his sister. Some years earlier, the video shows him receiving a gun from an older man. He returns from prison in 2021 and seeks a job but lands one as a contract killer. He is contracted to kill a man who was dating his sister, as it turns out. He ends killing his sister, whom he loves so much.
Mutabaruka returns with the outro saying, “Yes, di hunter kill the lion and say him was hunting, is a game / But when the lion kill the hunter / You hear seh him is a beast and a savage / A man like Marcus Garvey come tell we.”
Sean Paul is not the first artiste to record a song with this title. The Skatalites in 1965 released a ska instrumental called “Guns of Navarone.” At the introduction of the instrumental, one member said:
“In the winter of nineteen sixty-four this movie came to Jamaica / The Skatalites took the music from the movie and put it into ska / And came up with this song, it’s called / BAP… BAP… BAP..BA..BAP… the Guns of Navarone.”
The music was adapted from the 1961 World War II production with the same title. The movie illustrated the story of a team of Greek soldiers fighting against German artillery units.