Jamaica Festival Song History: The Second decade 1971 to 1980

Toots and the Maytals

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe

The second decade of the Jamaica Festival Song competition kicked off with a bang and continued to spew out hit after hit. Even, today, Jamaicans are still rocking to the mellow tunes of Jamaica Festival Song winners from 1971 to 1980.

  1. 1971 – Eric Donaldson with “Cherry Oh Baby”
  2. 1972 – Toots & the Maytals with “Pomps and Pride”
  3. 1973 – Morvin Brooks with “Jump In The Line
  4. 1974 – Tinga Stewart with “Play de Music”
  5. 1975 – Roman Stewart with “Hooray Festival”
  6. 1976 – Freddie McKay with “Dance This Ya Festival”
  7. 1977 – Eric Donaldson with “Sweet Jamaica”
  8. 1978 – Eric Donaldson with “Land of my Birth”
  9. 1979 – The Astronauts with “Born Jamaican”
  10. 1980 – Stanley & The Turbines with “Come Sing With Me”

Some of the most memorable and frequently played on today’s Jamaican radio airwaves include 1971 – Eric Donaldson with “Cherry Oh Baby”, Tinga Stewart with “Play de Music”, Eric Donaldson with “Land of my Birth”. Eric Donaldson was certainly successful in the competition and ruled with three wins.

Truly these lyrics were not only universal but they still ring true to our Jamaican cultural experience, today.

1971 – Eric Donaldson with “Cherry Oh Baby”

Eric Donaldson – Cherry Oh Baby


Lyrics from:
http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/hardertheycome/cherryohbaby.htm

Cherry oh, Cherry oh, baby,
Don`t you know I`m in need of thee?
If you don`t believe it`s true,
What have you left me to do?
So long I,ve been waiting,
For you to come right in.
And now that we are together,
Please make my joy run over.
(Chorus)
Oh oh ee oh oh ee oh,
Oh oh ee oh ee oh ee oh.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Yah.
Oh, yeah.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.
Cherry, oh, Cherry, oh, baby,
Don`t you know I`m in love with you?
If you don`t believe I do,
Then why don`t you try me?
I`m never gonna let you down,
Never make you wear no frown.
If you say you love me madly,
Then I will receive you gladly.
(Chorus)
Cherry, oh, Cherry, oh, baby,
Don`t you know I`m in love with you?
If you don`t believe I do,
Then why don`t you try me?
I`m never gonna let you down,
Never make you wear no frown.
If you say you love me madly,
Then why do you treat me badly.
(Chorus)

1972 – Toots & the Maytals with “Pomps and Pride”
Lyrics from:

Everybody just
Cryin out (cry out)
Calm down (calm down)
Have your pomps and pride
Calm down (calm down) (x2) Have your pomps and pride

Everybody just
Cryin out (cry out)
Calm down (calm down)
Have your pomps and pride
Is it an opulin, Iceland, calm down
have your pomps and pride
For today, today, today is a happy day
for tonight tonight, can be another night
do re mi fah so la te do
Everybody’s just crying crying
sighing sighing
dying to see the light
and when they see it, they see it’s not bright
can this be right?
Everybody just
calm down (calm down)(x2)
Have your pomps and pride
Is it an opulin, Iceland, calm down (have no idea what he says here)??
Calm down
Have your pomps and pride

1973 – Morvin Brooks with “Jump In The Line”
Lyrics from:
not found

1974 – Tinga Stewart with “Play de Music”
Lyrics from:
not found

1975 – Roman Stewart with “Hooray Festival”
Lyrics from:
not found

1976 – Freddie McKay with “Dance This Ya Festival”
Lyrics from:
not found

1977 – Eric Donaldson with “Sweet Jamaica”
Lyrics from:
http://www.wowlyrics.com/e/eric-donaldson_songs/17846_lyrics_2211562.php

Sweet Jamaica is now on the move.
Help me with my song and let the people dem come sing along.
Tek up yu cutlass, yu shovel and yu hoe.
Tek up yu boots dem, people let us go.
Call out the youth man, rallo let us show.
Sweet Jamaica we really want to grow.

If dem a dreadlock, run dem mek them come.
If dem a screwface, run dem mek them come.
If dem a baldhead, run dem mek them come.

Run dem, run dem, run dem mek them come.

Rain a fall but the dut be tough.
Pull up yu sleeve man nuh tell mi bout no hard luck.
Come on Fatty just leave Daddy,
Let the man come dig grung with me.
Today we sow, tomorrow we reap.
Then every ting will be sweet sweet sweet.
Corn and yam, banana too.
And our livestock won’t be few.

If dem a dreadlock, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a baldhead, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a screwface, run dem mek dem come.
Run dem, run dem, run dem mek dem come.

Run Miss Millie don’t act silly,
Go call yu son, the one name Willie.
We want to work a little faster.
We gonna dance all about little later.
Stripes and all, and high boots too.
Don’t worry Granny I’ve got one for you.
Grandpa Joseph steam run come,
Here is you high boots go on have some fun.
This ya hard time cant last long.
Dance be merry, the work is done.

If dem a dreadlock, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a baldhead, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a screwface, run dem mek dem come.
Run dem, run dem, run dem mek dem come.

If dem a dreadlock, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a baldhead, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a screwface, run dem mek dem come.
Run dem, run dem, run dem mek dem come.

If dem a dreadlock, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a baldhead, run dem mek dem come.
If dem a screwface, run dem mek dem come.
Run dem, run dem, run dem mek dem come.

1978 – Eric Donaldson with “Land of my Birth”
Lyrics from:
http://www.wowlyrics.com/e/eric-donaldson_songs/17846_lyrics_2211557.php

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Aah, Aah, Aah
This is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth.
I say this is Jamaica, my Jamaica, the land of my birth.

I will never leave her shores, I will never run away.
I will always believe in the black, the green, the gold I say.
All nations greater for their trials, we must face the test of time,
And our people they are strong and we going to get along.
Though some people say we are poor, but the progress you make my friend is not always how rich you are.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth.
I say this is Jamaica, my Jamaica, the land of my birth.

Let us stop for a minute, count our blessings one by one.
We should never be disloyal, but stand up and keep strong.
My Jamaica is a beautiful island, she is the pearl of the Caribbean Seas and our people they are free, no oppression there to see.
With the prettiest women there be. And the hills, and the plains and the rivers and the valleys always beckon to me.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth.
I say this is Jamaica, my Jamaica, the land of my birth.
Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Aah, Aah, Aah

Miss Tourist, Mr. Tourist, leave your land and come.
Tarry here for a while, and have a bath in the warm warm sun.
We will share our land with you. Our people they are true, they will want to be with you.
They will love, they will help, they will give, if you wish my friend you can live.
You will be a happier one in the land of the rising sun.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth.
I say this is Jamaica, my Jamaica, the land of my birth.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth.
I say this is Jamaica, my Jamaica, the land of my birth..

The Astronauts

1979 – The Astronauts with “Born Jamaican”


Lyrics from:
not found

1980 – Stanley & The Turbines with “Come Sing With Me”
Lyrics from:
not found

Stanley & The Turbines

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