Jamaica Festival Song, Looking Forward

Jamaica Festival song 2015

Jamaica has a rich history, in various areas including sports, arts, culture, food etc. Surely not the least of these, is music. Jamaicans have thrived and are known to be some of the most easy going and happiest people in the world; simply, because they can ‘bill’ a vibe from listening to music.

Jamaica, as an independent nation, passed the fifty year mark and the Jamaica festival song competition is just around the corner. The Jamaica Festival Music competition will certainly be in full swing and contestants will vie to present the best and most appropriate lyrics and melody.

Throughout the years, there have been great selections and one of the most renowned and popular is Roy Rayon ‘Jamaica 25’ song. As you can surely note, Roy Rayon has won this competition, no less than four times over the last three decades. Jamaica Festival Songs and winners produced from 1966 to 2015 include:

1. 1966 – The Maytals with “Bam Bam”
2. 1967 – The Jamaicans with “Ba Ba Boom”
3. 1968 – Desmond Dekker & The Aces with “Music Like Dirt”
4. 1969 – The Maytals with “Sweet and Dandy”
5. 1970 – Hopeton Lewis with “Boom Shaka Laka”
6. 1971 – Eric Donaldson with “Cherry Oh Baby”
7. 1972 – Toots & the Maytals with “Pomps and Pride”
8. 1973 – Morvin Brooks with “Jump In The Line”
9. 1974 – Tinga Stewart with “Play de Music”
10. 1975 – Roman Stewart with “Hooray Festival”
11. 1976 – Freddie McKay with “Dance This Ya Festival”
12. 1977 – Eric Donaldson with “Sweet Jamaica”
13. 1978 – Eric Donaldson with “Land of my Birth”
14. 1979 – The Astronauts with “Born Jamaican”
15. 1980 – Stanley & The Turbines with “Come Sing With Me”
16. 1981 – Tinga Stewart with “Nuh Wey Nuh Betta Dan Yard”
17. 1982 – The Astronauts with “Mek Wi Jam”
18. 1983 – Ras Karbi with “Jamaica I’ll Never Leave You”
19. 1984 – Eric Donaldson with “Proud to be Jamaican”
20. 1985 – Roy Rayon with “Love Fever”
21. 1986 – Stanley & The Turbines with “Dem a fe Squirm”
22. 1987 – Roy Rayon with “Give Thanks and Praise”
23. 1988 – Singer Jay with “Jamaica Land We Love”
24. 1989 – Michael Forbes with “Stop and Go”
25. 1990 – Robbie Forbes with “Island Festival”
26. 1991 – Roy Rayon with “Come Rock”
27. 1992 – Heather Grant with “Mek wi Put Things Right”
28. 1993 – Eric Donaldson with “Big It Up”
29. 1994 – Stanley & The Astronauts with “Dem a Pollute”
30. 1995 – Eric Donaldson with “Join de Line”
31. 1996 – Zac Henrry & Donald White with “Meck We Go Spree”
32. 1997 – Eric Donaldson with “Peace and Love”
33. 1998 – Neville Martin with “Jamaica Whoa”
34. 1999 – Cheryl Clarke with “Born Inna JA”
35. 2000 – Stanley Beckford with “Fi Wi Island A Boom”
36. 2001 – Roy Richards with “Lift Up Jamaica”
37. 2002 – Devon Black with “Progress”
38. 2003 – Stefan Penincilin with “Jamaican Tour Guide”
39. 2004 – Stefan Penincilin with “Ole Time Jamaica”
40. 2005 – Khalil N Pure with “Poverty”
41. 2006 – Omar Reid with “Remember the Days”
42. 2007 – Neville ‘Gunty’ Winters with “Woman A Di Beauty”
43. 2008 – Roy Rayon with “Rise and Shine”
44. 2009 – Winston Hussey with “Take Back Jamaica”
45. 2010 – Kharuso with “My Jamaica”
46. 2011 – Everton David Pessoa with “Oh if We”
47. 2012 – Abbygaye “Abby” Dallas with “Real Born Jamaican”
48. 2014 – Rushane Sanderson with “I Love JA”
49. 2015 – Lee-Roy Johnson “Ancient Priest” with “Celebration”

As usual, all Jamaicans will want commensurate Jamaica’s independence, which is a momentous occasion.

Did you remember the controversy,  with Jamaica 50? There was a lot of dissension about the so called ‘Official Jamaica 50 song – On a Mission’; which was produced by Orville Richard Burrell aka ‘Shaggy’. That song showcased the various reggae and dancehall artistes. However, many were claiming that this auto-tuned production was certainly not suitable.

But, let’s stir the pot a little more. Do you remember that Michael Bennett produced ‘Find A Flag’ and that was said to have been the official Jamaica 50 song by the JLP government, which was ousted in the December 2011 general elections. They are now back in governance, in 2016.

At the end of the day, Jamaicans simply want a song that is Jamaican in its entirety. The lyrics, melody, beat; everything must scream, Jamaica.

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