For my sins, Boney M’s “Brown Girl In The Ring” reminds me of Sunday afternoons with Aunt Betty (who was, if I can decypher familial definitions properly, actually my great aunt – My mother’s aunt, that’s right, right?) when I was a little kid. We would spend Sunday afternoons there, my grandmother, my sisters and myself, while my parents had something resembling a break, and in between being bored and being fed with cupcakes and weak tea, all of the kids would have have to perform in some way (“Singing for Your Supper”, as it was called back then). I’m fairly sure that I never sang this song, but I couldn’t tell you did – just that it was sung, more than once, with enthusiastic handclaps and singing along from the adults in the room who were more than likely far more aware of all the racial weirdness contained in the lyrics than the three under-ten-year-olds who couldn’t wait to go home.
(Boney M, in general, were a fascinating band; Milli Vanilli years before the real thing, named for a Dutch TV detective and with one genuinely great song in their ouvre: “Rasputin”.)