Sensitive to a smile

"Beautiful children have come into my life; Beautiful people, oh young and bright." Dilworth Karaka, Charlie Tumahai, Todd Casella, 'Sensitive to a Smile.' B&W portrait of young boy with cropped spiky hair.Image: Su Leslie, 2002

“Beautiful children have come into my life; Beautiful people, oh young and bright …” ‘Sensitive to a Smile.’ Image: Su Leslie, 2002

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Herbs is a NZ reggae band that formed in 1979 and is still performing — albeit with a much changed line-up.

Sensitive to a Smile was released in 1987, and I remember it mainly, in a fairly abstract way, as a political song. It wasn’t until the boy-child was born in 1998 that the political became personal.

There comes a time in everyone’s life
No room for mistrust, no room for hate
Open up your heart, don’t look away

When I found myself responsible for that tiny bundle, grown from the love between his father and myself, I realised how invested I had become in wanting a better world, not only for my child, but for all mothers’ children.

"Quality in life that’s hard to find, Like a child with an open mind" Dilworth Karaka, Charlie Tumahai, Todd Casella, 'Sensitive to a Smile.' Portrait of smiling toddler. Image: Su Leslie, 1999

“Quality in life that’s hard to find, Like a child with an open mind …” Dilworth Karaka, Charlie Tumahai, Todd Casella, ‘Sensitive to a Smile.’ Image: Su Leslie, 1999

"... Love for them is love for all ..." Dilworth Karaka, Charlie Tumahai, Todd Casella, 'Sensitive to a Smile.' B&W portrait of young boy. Image: Su Leslie, 2005

“… Love for them is love for all …” Dilworth Karaka, Charlie Tumahai, Todd Casella, ‘Sensitive to a Smile.’ Image: Su Leslie, 2005

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13 thoughts on “Sensitive to a smile

  1. That first photo of you boy!! I hope you have a big copy framed somewhere. It’s a great shot. I’m really enjoying all of your music posts. So far, every song has been new to me. Thank you for sharing part of your world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Su, I love Herbs!! And this song in particular is a touchstone to those years raising my kids, here in Aotearoa. They’re men now but, exasperating though it might be for them sometimes, always my babies! Lovely photos of your son. Happy Mother’s Day !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jill. I’m rediscovering how much musical talent there is in Aotearoa. Herbs is definitely one of my favourite bands. Happy Mother’s Day to you also. 🙂

      Like

  3. I had to stop this video midway to write this comment. I’ve been watching you post NZ music and I said to myself: I’ll catch up with you in bulk, and now I’m doing it. Watching this video, the people, the customs, I feel like watching a parallel reality. You are on the opposite side of the globe from me. The furthest one can be. 🙂 That said, I love watching these people. So serene. Such love in their eyes. It reminds me of the time it was and never will be again. Keep it up, please, at least you. ❤

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