Best Jamaican Folk Songs- The Golden Collection


I came home tired, decided I am going to take an early one. It was a rough day so I just needed to get some sleep.

I was just going to check my emails and then straight to bed, but then my 8 year old daughter came into the room, volunteering to sing a new folk song she learned earlier in the day.

Honestly, I'd preferred not to hear anything, but I obliged. I didn't want to disappoint her.

Well, one led to another and before you know it, not only was I singing along, I was taking the lead :-), singing classics such as 'Mango Time', 'Linstead Market' and 'Long Time Gal' - sweeeet stuff!

I realized how much I had missed singing these lovely tunes from my childhood in the country.

Of course, by now (you would guess) I forgot about sleeping (lol). So now I've decided to share these with you. I have all the lyrics. Come on get in the action - start singing!

Here now is my alphabetized collection some of the best Jamaican folk songs!!

    List A to D

  1. A Weh Yu Ben Deh
  2. Bad Mind People
  3. Before Me Married
  4. Brown Girl in the Ring
  5. De Ribba Ben Come Dung
  6. Dip an Fall Back
  7. Dis long time gal
    Click Here for the lyrics for list A - D

    List E to L

  8. Evening Time
  9. Goh dung ah manuel road
  10. Guava Root
  11. Linstead Market
  12. Liza -Waata come a mi y’eye
  13. Long Time Gal
    Click Here for the lyrics for list E - L

    List M to R

  14. Mango Time
  15. Mango Walk
  16. Mi Caffi
  17. Moon shine tonight
  18. Rio Grande
    Click Here for the lyrics for list M - R

    List S to Z

  19. Shine y'eye gyal
  20. When Goat Meat Done
  21. Win de Sweepstake
    Click Here for the lyrics for list S - Z

Oh how much we miss? Some schools do a fairly good job trying to keep this aspect of our culture alive, but you can't help thinking that much needs to be done, don't it?

So do you have a favourite Jamaican folk song?

What is it? Share it with is using the 'comment' link below please - the more the merrier ;-)

New! Secure Your Own Compilation!

I ran into a local book store recently and found what I consider to be a great compilation of these and more of the best Jamaican folk songs.

Even better, it includes the sheet music for those who wish to play it on Piano or as instrumental.

It is called MANGO TIME - FOLKS SONGS OF JAMAICA by Noel Dexter and Godfrey Taylor.

If you are overseas, no fuss, I also found it on Amazon, below is a photo of it, click it to check it's latest price.

Comments for Best Jamaican Folk Songs- The Golden Collection

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Aug 21, 2019
Folk songs
by: Donovan Longmore

These songs are classics. I really enjoyed the list.

Mar 27, 2018
Lyrics - artist
by: Anonymous

God Bless D Banana Tree, God Bless D Banana Tree, God Bless D Banana Tree, For It Feed D Whole Ah We.
Could anyone help me with the name of this song and the artists and where to find it please

Dec 25, 2016
Folk song: uniforms
by: Olive

There is a folk song: Uniform ( I think the title is)
Lyrics like: dem gyal wouldn't go for a man unless him a wear uniform.......
Anyone know this one and where I can find it?

Oct 17, 2016
Locate ths song (Please)
by: Carsten

The 'Merrymen' of Barbados made the song "Beautiful Barbados" a big hit, however, as a child growing up in the 40' to 50', I remember it as "Beautiful Jamaica"
Can you help to direct me to the Original Jamaican group/artists that sang it first

Oct 17, 2016
Locate ths song (Please)
by: Carsten

The 'Merrymen' of Barbados made the song "Beautiful Barbados" a big hit, however, as a child growing up in the 40' to 50', I remember it as "Beautiful Jamaica"
Can you help to direct me to the Original Jamaican group/artists that sang it first

May 26, 2016
Great Song! Great choregraphy!
by: Anonymous

What a joyful song and very informative about Jamaican culture, notably with regards the style and beautiful colours of the dancer's clothes. Thanks for sharing, Wellesley! ;)

Jan 04, 2016
Great Music
by: JackVSage

They all look like they are having fun. I do not have a specific favorite.

I just like the relaxed, fun-loving sound of Jamaican music. My first "taste" of Jamaica was in the late 80s at Mile Marker 81 in the Florida Keys. There is a Howard Johnson's there, with three beachside swimming pools and a fun-loving reggae band that plays all day long.

If you are ever in the Keys, make sure to stop there. :)

Wellesley's note:
Thanks Jack. Will do.

Nov 27, 2015
Folk songs
by: Jennifer

Thank you for sharing!
Are audio versions available for all of these songs.

Sep 29, 2015
Folk Song Video
by: Bunny

Good quality video, clear music. Thanks for sharing, enjoyed the presentation. Is there a cd/dvd available for purchase?

Wellesley's Note
Thanks Bunny. Here is a link to Amazon's store

Aug 05, 2015
by: Anonymous

Does any one know the lyrics for COCK A CROW; KEYMAN(peter gone I think it is.

Jul 09, 2015
Great. memories galore
by: danya

Thank you I just love love this

Jun 25, 2015
Just more to love about Jamaica!!!
by: Anonymous

I read everything I can about Jamaica, and I love the colorful songs and happy atmosphere there. Even when things aren't so great, there is an atmosphere of thankfulness and joy. Thank you so much for sharing "My-Island-Jamaica". I consider it my second home and hope to be there more than not....God Bless....

May 06, 2015
folk songs
by: arlington

wellesley can you send me the words of this song manteaba? i used to hear this song play on the radio some years back but now no more.thanks

Apr 29, 2015
Best Jamaican Folk Songs
by: camille Jones

These are what you call classic i love them took me back to memory lane.

I have two boys and I'm going to introduce them to these songs because they don't know soon i start singing i wish i was a child again . Sometimes i wish the old Jamaica could come back lol i know I'm not alone with this wish . Thank you Mr Gayle for reminding us about our roots and culture

Feb 19, 2015
Great songs.
by: Anonymous

I love my heritage. The songs are are so rich and full of our culture. I am never tired of these songs.

There are two songs I loved very much that I have not seen in the list.

1)Mi Mumma Mi Going A Town and..
2)It Was Twenty Days Ago A Woman Called Another Crow'.

I hope someone who knows them put them on the list as I would love to have the words.

Feb 12, 2015
Big smile
by: Anonymous

Thank you Wes. Absolutely delightful songs; beautiful memories. Two favorite of mine are, Fe Me Love Got Lion Heart and (It Was) Unda Di Coconut Tree.

Dec 21, 2014
Jamaica Boom
by: Allison

I love my culture. Simply amazing.

Dec 05, 2014
Smile :)
by: Phillygirl

What can I say? I love everything about this website and learning something new about Jamaica always brings a smile to my face!

Nov 22, 2014
by: sharon marshall

This is so awesome! I love my Jamaican culture and I always wanted some folk songs to listen to and sing along. This is great to show children to revive our dying Jamaican culture.

Many thanks!
Big up yuhself!

Sep 26, 2014
Folk Songs
by: Anonymous

Great Job Wellesley!!!! I Think its really inspiring; what you've been doing to promote the Jamaican culture and vybes. Ice Man and johnny song a folk song that was a bit annoying but funny... i think they wrote it, would love to get the lyrics.

Aug 01, 2014
Tune of songs
by: Marsha

Do you know the tune to all of the songs?

I particularly want the lyrics to "before me married..." record a voice clip and send it to me
407 970-3909...or anyone else who knows it. Thanks.

Jul 05, 2013
You did it again Wes!
by: Anonymous

Hi there wes, nuff big up to you and your wonderful family my friend. Bouy, you will be forever bless man. Thanks for the memories.

May 27, 2013
by: Norma

oh yes! I do remember as a kid my friends and i would sing and play the part using stones to represent cobally
River to the Bank Cobally(not sure of the patois spelling)lol!..take him put him down the river,,and so on..

May 25, 2013
sweet memories
by: Alecia

For my age (20's) I do know a few and my favourite is moonshine tonight, but some on your list I never knew existed.

Hearing them brought back those wonderful memories of my younger years when Jamaica was Jamaica and you could actually feel the love in the air and songs. We are losing our culture and I think it not fair to our younger generation.

May 24, 2013
You are Welcome
by: Wellesley

Glad you found them inspiring my friends.
Jaynia, the audio version of most of them are on Just search for the name there.

Did you notice that I embedded youtube videos on each of the four (4) pages too?

If you have not done, click on the links above.
They will say something like "Click Here for the lyrics for list A - D".

Thanks again for the feedback.

May 23, 2013
Sweet caan done!
by: Barbara Clarke-Reid

I remember these sweet songs I did a Jamaica Night programe at our Church in Summer of 2000 as a Fundraiser, it was a Blessing the children loved it.

They sang their hearts out.
But they learned a lot about our heritage. We often have Camp Outs and we have the children singing these songs on Nights we have Socials, it teaches so much about us as Jamaicans also the children learn they can have fun without "Drugs and Drama."

The schools do sing the songs in their Song Competitions and Fund Raising. I love them and keep tuning in to them as often as I can. Thanks for the presentation. They truly wake you up!! ah ah!!

May 23, 2013
Awesome memories!
by: Anonymous

Thanks for sharing! Are audio versions available for all of these songs?

May 23, 2013
Songs of our Grandparents
by: John Blenkiron

These folk songs and mentos bring me right back to the 50's and the Frats Quintet who popularised a number of them on RJR and through concert tours.

Who can forget, after hearing Emanuel Ground, the youth sitting on marl heaps by the roadside as they "bruk rock stone" for road construction with a large machine nut fastened to the end of a hardwood stick? Or, who could forget the ladies bearing heavily loaded bankras on their heads as they headed to the various parish markets.

The important bygone era of Jamican history is best remembered through the lyrics of these songs which later evolved into Ska and Calypso and Reggae.

May 23, 2013
Hey Wellesley!
by: Proversity Tours Jamaica

Great memories indeed. Much Love, Respect and appreciation for all that you do.

May 23, 2013
by: Miss Ja'can

Awesome memories for real! gwan do yu ting Wellesley! and many thanks for taking us Ja'cans down memory lane of the culture of Jamaica that we know and love so well....

May 23, 2013
Memories of yester-years
by: Stanley

Thanks for this wonderful spark to light up my Day! Your columns and delightful tidbits about Jamaica has become a staple in my household. Keep up the good work!

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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.  

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