Herbs were one of the early pioneers of the reggae movement in Aotearoa. I remember listening to their songs as a child, and people have released cover versions of their songs over the years, including two separate covers by Hollie Smith of Sensitive to a smile with the Aotearoa Reggae All Stars releasing their recent version to highlight the issue of child abuse. Herbs originally released this song in 1987 dedicating it to the people of Ruatoria. The music video won Best Music Video at the New Zealand Music Awards.
There comes a time in everyone's life
No room for mistrust, no room for hate
Open up your heart, don't look away
Quality in life, that's hard to find
The words evoke a sense of responsibility in the human race, for all of us to take action and look out for each other. Being true to each other and creating opportunities for quality in life, tells me that life is meant to be treasured, savoured and lived to its fullest - searching for the highest quality of life through trusting relationships by making meaningful connections.
These are the feelings from our hearts
There's no trade for love or affection
Love for me and love for you
Love can't be bought or sold, you can't trade in it, You can't negotiate it and try to fit it into some time of plan that works because you want it to work. It comes with a compromise between you and someone else. It can come as part of something reciprocal - or unrequited. What love can look like for me may be different to what love looks like for you. The bottom line is that the feelings are genuine (whoever they're aimed at) and they can develop or disappear.
So make a stand and hold your ground
And maybe this world will turn around
Peace love and harmony
With anything or anybody worth fighting for, making a position known to show where you stand can be a tension-filled course of action. It requires courage, stamina, resilience, all-round stickability really. Holding your ground may prove to be tough, especially if you are holding it on your own (and there are others who should be helping you but choose to leave it to you, to hold, yet again. It's almost like - oh there you are - I didn't see you there in the corner, oh are you holding your ground again? Wow, isn't that what you did last time?). No change then.
So what can reverse this state of cynicism and bleak outlook?
The hope that the next generation don't stuff it up - at least, the hope is that they won't make the same mistakes we made - but learn from it.
Beautiful children have come into my life
Beautiful people, oh young and bright
Beautiful children, longing for life,
Worldly people, take away the night.