Jamaican Top 40 over 40 years: Gleaner

Few recent songs in Ja Top 40 - Marley holds three of top five

'I remember when we used to sit
Inna tenement yard in Trench Town'

THESE WORDS have been dubbed the favourite of Jamaicans as No Woman No Cry took the number one position in the Jamaica top 40 song contest. The contest was staged by the Jamaica 40 Secretariat, and is a part of the Jamaica 40 Independence celebrations.

Two other Bob Marley and the Wailers songs made their way into the top five positions. Redemption Song holds the number three position and is followed by One Love in position number four. Of the five Bob Marley and the Wailers songs in the competition, only two landed outside of the top ten. Trench Town Rock claimed position 17 and Jammin position 34. The Wailers' Simmer Down made it to number 14.

Jimmy Cliff's Many Rivers to Cross claimed the number two spot. Jimmy Cliff was the only other person to have multiple songs in the top 10. Along with Many Rivers to Cross, The Harder They Come made its way into the top ten, landing at position 6. Cliff's third entry into the competition, Sitting in Limbo, landed outside of the Top 40 count.

Cherry Oh Baby, one of the most successful festival songs, rounds off the top five. Two other festival tunes made their way onto the top 40 list. The first song ever to win the festival competition, Bam Bam by Toots and the Maytals earns itself the 25th position. The only other festival songs to make it to the top 40 is Ba Ba Boom by the Jamaicans, which comes in at number 37.

The other songs in the top ten are Night Nurse (Gregory Isaacs) at number seven, followed by Shaggy and Rik Rok's It Wasn't Me. Lovindeer's Wild Gilbert takes position nine and Ernie Smith rounds off the top 10 with Duppy or a Gunman. Smith reappears further down in the competition with Life is Just for Living at 16.

Beres Hammond makes his first appearance at number 11 with She Loves Me Now. He too has two songs appearing on the list. What One Dance Can Do earned Hammond his second spot on the list at position 27. Dennis Brown, who follows Hammond at position 12, with Here I Come, also has two songs on the list. Revolution squeezed its way onto the list at 36.

Toots and the Maytals reappear at position 13 with 54-46 That's My Number.

The only other song from the 1990s to make it to the top 20, Luciano's It's Me Again Jah, takes number 15. Marcia Griffiths then 'boogie woogies' her way to number 18. She is the only solo female to make it to the list. Electric Boogie earned her this honour. A clamour for unity follows as Junior Reid slides into position 19 with One Blood. Romance rounds off the first 20 songs as Alton Ellis comes in with Girl I've Got A Date at number 2.

Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, armed with a cry against 'passa passa', lays claim to position 21 with their hit Carry Go Bring Come. However, Delroy Wilson, who originally held position 22 for Dancing Mood, found that hit booted out of the competion as it was belatedly found out that the song is a cover. Its removal allowed all songs which followed to slip down a notch. Wilson's Better Must Come, however, made its way to the 24th position.

I Man Born Ya, holding position 22, is the first Pluto Shervington tune to make its way onto the list. The fabulous ode to the wonders of the goat earns Shervington his second post on the list since Ram Goat Liver takes up position 26. Bob Andy makes his only appearance on the list at position 23 with I've Got to Go Back Home.

Ken Boothe 'choo-chooed' into position 28 with The Train is Coming. He was followed by Sizzla with Black Woman and Child at 29. The Mighty Diamonds then make their appearance with Pass the Kutchie at number 30. The duo that lit up the early 1990s, and one of the few acts from this period to make it onto the list, Chaka Demus and Pliers, follow with Murder She Wrote.

Position 32 is held by 007 Shanty Town by Desmond Decker and the Aces. Jacob Miller then claims the 33th spot with Tenament Yard. Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires come in at position 35 with Jamaican Ska. The eternal ragamuffin chant, Greetings by Half Pint, then takes up number 38. Freddie McKay then takes the penultimate spot with Picture Hanging on the Wall. The final spot, number 40 is held by Shabba Ranks and Krystal with Twice My Age.

Posted: Fri - February 14, 2003 at 11:01 AM