Battle of the Bands

The World is Black, the World is White #BOTB

Good morning, kittens & dawgs! The weekend will be here soon and that being said, it will be a long holiday weekend for many in the good ole USA. If you’re one such lucky person, like DH, then you will have Martin Luther King, Jr. day off from work.

Ever since man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, hatred is a seed that soon became encoded in our DNA. The Bible retells of the first murder. One brother killing the other because he was jealous. So, the spiral of discontent for others tinkled down the line to form new forms of hatred, one having contempt for the color of a person’s skin.

Racism is something I can’t my wrap my brain. Unfortunately, liberals put a huge importance on skin color and keep racial friction alive in our society even today. We are all equal in God’s eye – black, white, yellow, brown. It doesn’t matter, we are all precious in His sight and Dr. King knew this as well when he voiced his famous speech.

I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream… ~Martin Luther King, Jr 1963

David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson penned “Black and White” in 1954 inspired by the US Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that outlawed racial segregation in public schools.

Interestingly, the original lyrics opened with this verse, in reference to the court: “Their robes were black, Their heads were white, The schoolhouse doors were closed so tight, Nine judges all set down their names, To end the years and years of shame.”

According to one source, Pete Seeger was the original artist to record this song in 1956. Personally, I just couldn’t get into it at all and I’d say this is why none us are familiar with Mr. Seeger’s version. If you’re like me, then you grew up listening to Black & White by Three Dog Night.

To make #BOTB more challenging I’m pitting two lesser known artists to me between The Maytones and Gregory Isaacs.

Contender #1 (recorded 1971)


Contender #2 (recorded 1980)

Let’s come together despite the skin we wear and build a better tomorrow where our children and grand-children can honestly say, racism is a thing of the past.

Visit STMcCP to get the 411 on how Battle of the Bands works, but those who know what to do then it’s time to play along with the other members!

You can count along with me or check back in a week to see who wins  Isaacs or The Maytones. Oh yes, one more thing….I’m reaching out for prayers. Please remember DH (Robin) when you talk to the man above because his job will end on January 30th. Electrical Engineering positions are scarce in Knoxville, but we heard of a local company that may be hiring and he plans to reach out to them. Ask God to open another door, preferably in town, when this one closes. Thanks so much. Until we meet again, have bandtastic day!

I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • XmasDolly

    Hey Girlfriend: I love reggae. You want me to stay and listen play reggae!!! hehehe Lovely pickins is what I say! Thanks for sharing my friend. YOU’RE ROCKIN’ THE HOUSE FOR SURE!

  • Birgit

    I am not a reggae person and both versions irritated me:) Having said that I would go with the Isaacs version because it sounded a tiny bit less typical reggae. I know sad of me but I preferred the sound better

  • dolorah

    Tough choice; both are very well done. I wish the original lyrics would have remained in the song. Somehow I doubt there will ever be an end to racism. Just one more thing for terrorists to fight in their ridiculous arsenal against any differences. Such a sad thing.

    I enjoyed both versions, as I said they were well matched. But I think I liked Maytones just slightly better.

  • Stephen T. McCarthy

    CATHY ~
    Pete Seeger was a communist, and Martin Luther King was a plagiarist (amongst other negative things), but…

    …well, never mind. I’ll keep it focused on the music.

    I actually like Reggae quite a bit but… ONLY in small doses. I could never listen to a Reggae album all the way through, but toss a few Reggae songs into an otherwise non-Reggae album and I’m likely to enjoy them. (The album ‘EL RAYO-X’ by string-instrument wizard David Lindley is a great example.)

    Both of these versions were pretty good but I definitely preferred the more upbeat version by The Maytones.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Stephen, The dirty truth about Martin Luthern King, Jr committed plagiarism in his world renowned speech, I Have a Dream, did surprise me. His fight for civil rights was noble and it opened the way for the future of blacks in our country. We need to be united as a people, not divided by race. I’d like to say it surprises me that Seeger was a communist, but the truth is nothing like that shocks me anymore. I read an article inThe Atlantic where he sorta apologizes for being stupid in his belief on Stalin, but still his politics was rather left winged and in my book that makes a person a communist whether or not they call themselves one. Reggae is nice for a change, but like you I couldn’t listen to an album with nothing but reggae. Thanks for voting and for the education.

  • dcrelief

    Hi Cathy,
    I’m a new member of “BOTB”. Today is my second battle and I hope you’ll stop over.
    dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands’ @

    Three Dog Night really did a number on that song. Talk about a change up from Seeger’s original. Thanks for posting those links.

    I’m not a Reggae fan, though there are a couple of songs I enjoy from other artists. To me, in places, Issacs seems a bit ‘pitchy’ and off key. Also I like the lighter version offered by “The Maytones.”

    My vote goes to “The Maytones.” Thank you.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Three Dog Night is my favorite, but I knew better to pit them against anyone else as the voting would totally go that direction, I’m sure. But…as it turns out the votes are leaning heavily to one side anyhow. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kim @ This Belle Rocks

    Oh, I love Reggae! I prefer Isaacs’ version ever so slightly, though I suppose my preference could change simply with mood (today’s just a laid-back day). My vote? Isaacs.

    Best of luck to your hubby in the job search! Will definitely keep you in our prayers.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      I haven’t decided on who’ll get my vote yet. It’s interesting to see The Maytones take the lead, and although I like reggae, I may be leaning more toward The Maytones. We’ll see. Thanks for the prayers, Kim!

  • Far Away Eyes

    I have to agree with Arlee and Chris; I like the peppier version by the Maytones better.

    Appropriate post for the day.

    I hope things work out in the job department. Said a prayer for you and yours.

  • Chris Fries

    I’m with Arlee — I associate this song with Three Dog Night and thought it was theirs. But I really like the reggae interpretations of the song. The Issacs version has better production and up-front bass, but I actually enjoyed the softer Maytones version more. So I’ll go with the Maytones.

    And sending you and DH prayers — from another electrical engineer. I hope a job works out soon and that it ends up being a great one!

  • Arlee Bird

    Very informative post and one with relevancy. I had no idea about the history of this song. I just figured it was a 3 Dog Night song. Glad you didn’t use the Seeger version since I’m not a fan of Seeger unless it’s Bob and his name is spelled different.

    I think the Isaacs vesion drags a bit and I much prefer the early bounce of the Maytones–catchier and easier to listen to. It’s a simplicity that draws more attention to the message.

    Tossing It Out

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