A few years ago a national poll conducted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) determined that Eric Donaldson’s This is the Land Of My Birth was the all-time favourite festival song since the competition’s inception in 1966. Many people have their favourites and over the years several outstanding artistes have emerged due to this national platform, going on to become household names in their own right.
So what makes a tune worthy of being called a festival song? For some it’s the patriotic lyrics, others say it is the feeling of nostalgia it may evoke while many feel it is the good old mento flavour and vibe that makes you want to get up and dance. One thing we all can agree on, a good festival song should make your heart swell with so much pride that you feel like that organ will burst out of your chest.
Check out the songs that made the cut and let us know in the comments if you agree.
1. Pomp and Pride by Toots and the Maytals (1972)
2. Give Thanks and Praises by Roy Rayon (1987)
3. Cherry Oh Baby by Eric Donaldson (1971)
4. Born Jamaican by the Astronauts (1979)
5. Sweet and Dandy by Toots and the Maytals (1969)
6. Play The Music by Tinga Stewart (1974)
7. Come Sing with Me by Stanley and The Turbines (1980)
8. Intensified/ Music Like Dirt by Desmond Dekker (1968)
9. Nuh Wey Nuh Better than Yard by Tinga Stewart (1981)
10. Mek We Put Things Right Heather Grant (1992)
11. Fi We Island a Boom by Stanley Beckford (2000)
12. Jamaica I’ll Never Leave You Again by Ras Karbi (1983)
13 Proud to be Jamaican by Eric Donaldson (1984)
14. Mek We Jam by the Astronauts (1982)
15. This is the Land of My Birth by Eric Donaldson (1978)