After sitting through too much Bob Marley at the Starbucks, I was delighted to hear a reggae song that doesn’t suck:
Toots and the Maytal’s “Sweet and Dandy.”
Believe me, you’ve heard it:
So while looking for the YouTube of it, I stumbled on an “explanation” of the song, which includes this footnote (!):
Eh-eh! is an exclamation which Fred Cassidy in Jamaica Talk, calls an “expression of surprise, but without concern.” Cassidy believes it has African origins, and this seems quite likely as it is part of an elaborate system of paralinguistic forms (i.e., fixed sounds which are not quite words but have conventional uses and meanings) that Jamaicans use to express emotion, moral positioning and evaluation in everyday interaction.