10 Classic Jamaican Christmas Songs
by Kay Grant | Associate Writer
Sigh...a Jamaican Christmas, there is nothing like it. From delicious sorrel, fruit cake and the other goodies we enjoy, to the many traditional activities like going to church and spending time with family, there is nothing like Christmas in the islands. What ‘sweetens the pot’
for us island folks though, is our local Christmas tunes, those festive little ditties that get us to drink a little extra rum punch and have us ‘skanking’ all season long.
Jamaican Christmas songs are top tier, it's a fact. Whenever one comes on in the season, the party is on. Here are 10 of our favourite Jamaica Christmas songs (in no particular order).
- Mek the Christmas Ketch Yu in A Good Mood (Make Christmas catch you in a good mood) By the Joe Gibb All Stars – This is a Christmas party mainstay in Jamaica, there is no way you can sit when this comes on.
- Santa Claus, do you ever come to the Ghetto? By Carlene Davis – This is a song that puts a thought-provoking spin to the season whenever it comes on, because while so many of us enjoy the merriment of the holidays, a vast amount of people cannot afford to enjoy it as much. This song reminds us of that struggle and keeps up grateful. Reggae artiste, Chronixx, recently did a remake of this song, which is just as poignant and meaningful as the original.
- Christmas Jamaican Style By Unique Vision – Ahh yes, one of our absolute favourite songs that reminds us how lucky we are to enjoy the festive season in an island paradise. This song tells us about our Christmas traditions and the reasons why they make us feel so good. Trust us, there is nothing like a Jamaican Christmas.
- Christmas in the Sun By The Stage Crew – Yet another song that highlights our island privilege. The Stage Crew knows this to be true.
- Santa Ketch Up in A Mango Tree (Santa got stuck in a mango tree) By Faith D’Aguilar – Imagine a sleigh full of goodies and the ‘jolly one’ going about their business and bam! They get caught in a tree (with one of the tastiest fruits). This local favourite speaks to the imagination of Jamaicans, particularly at Christmas time.
- Christmas come only once a year By Beenie Man – It’s dancing time whenever you hear this song, just like any typical Beenie Man song. It tells you the festive season is a time to let loose and have fun, and that’s just what we do at Christmas time!
- Sing De Chorus By Noel Dexter – This song is a go-to for school choirs when performing at their annual Carol services across the island. No, seriously, like every school choir sings this song, every single year, that’s how popular and iconic it is.
- All for Jesus By Ernie Smith – The smooth sounds of Ernie Smith will never go out of style and this song is the perfect tune to remind us about the true meaning of the season. It is a calm departure from the songs about just enjoying yourself during Christmas time, it reminds us to be grateful that God sent his son to save everyone.
- Breadfruit Roasting on an open fire By Yellowman – Ah yes, the classic Jamaican spin on the classic ‘Merry Christmas to You’ tune. This song tells us about all the traditional things done at Christmas time in Jamaica and how warm and fuzzy they make us feel inside.
- Give Love on Christmas Day By Carlene Davis – Although the original version of this song was sung by the iconic Jackson 5 group, Carlene gave it a great island ‘polish’, changing the beat to a reggae one, and making us feel the need to give of ourselves all season long.
This Christmas, just like last Christmas, may be different, but at least we still have friends, family, and these amazing Jamaican Christmas songs to take us through. There are so many other Jamaican Christmas songs that keep us company, but what are some of your favourites?
I also recommend you read Timeless Jamaican Christmas Music Do You Remember These Gems?
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