As with many older roots reggae songs, it can be hard to pin down a song’s exact origin.
“African Child”, sometimes spelt “An African Child” or “African Children”, exists in two versions. The first, released in 1979 on King Of My Town, is fine. But the version below is sheer brilliance.
It appears to have been released in 1997 on the Three Coins In The Fountain compilation, and on Jack Ruby Presents The Black Foundation in 2000.
My favourite parts of the song are the backing vocals: ‘Oooh ooh ooh!’, and, naturally, the solid, tight bassline.
It’s deep, thoughtful roots music of the best kind.