Yesterday I went looking for CDs at the public library. In most public libraries, the approach to the collection seems based on what is inexpensive, more so than what would be good for the collection. This means that you might or not be able to find, say, some Duke Ellington. But you can probably find The Nylons.
I checked out STRICTLY THE BEST 19 which is a reggae collection, similar to those NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC collections I see in stores and on TV. There's some good stuff and some peculiar stuff...I'm particularly fond of "Big Man, Little Youth" by Red Rat and Goofy. The whole song is two guys going back and forth about how a woman really prefers him, one because he is a big muscle guy, the other because he's skinny and cute.
However, the strangest is "Bush Wacked" by Josey Wales. The songs on here are all copyright 1997 so it's safe to think that it isn't about W. The song is a country and western song. It's not a bad fake-country song either. Growing up in East Tennessee I remember learning that hillbilly recordings by The Carter Family were played on radio stations whose signals reached Jamaica, therefore 1920s country music had an influence on Jamaican music.
I don't know enough about music to vouch for that. "Bush Wacked", however, is not influenced by country, it is country. Or at least it is country as much as Jimmy Buffet truly is calypso or whatever.
Every once in a while David Byrne or Paul Simon or Sting or (fill in your own list here) record something influenced by a non-North American culture. These don't get fully absorbed into the culture, they are novelty songs even if some of them are especially thoughtful novelty songs.
Somehow it hadn't occurred to me that this could happen in reverse. "Bush Wacked" is every bit as good a country song as Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" is a good reggae song.
As a white, American, guy I tend to forget that my culture isn't the main dish of the world. Sometimes my main dish is someone else's condiment.