No Woman, No Cry
"No Woman, No Cry" is a reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 song by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley & The Wailers were a Jamaican reggae, ska and rocksteady band formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963. Additional members were Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Cherry Smith and Aston and Carlton Barrett...

. The song first became known in 1974 through the studio album Natty Dread
Natty Dread
Natty Dread is a 1974 reggae album by Bob Marley & The Wailers. An important transition in Marley's discography, Natty Dread was the first album released as Bob Marley & the Wailers and the first recorded without former bandmates Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer...

. The live version from the 1975
1975 in music
-January–April:*January 2 - New York City U.S. District Court Judge Richard Owen rules that former Beatle John Lennon and his lawyers can have access to Department of Immigration files pertaining to his deportation case....

An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...

Live! (Bob Marley and the Wailers album)
Live! is a Bob Marley & The Wailers live album, released on 5 December 1975. Live! was recorded 18 July and 19 July 1975 at the Lyceum Theatre in London. The performance remains one of Marley's most famous...

is perhaps best known — it was this version which was released on the greatest hits compilation Legend. The original demo version of the song which is unreleased was a Gospel version. This version had only the piano riff as the main instrument and was recorded in London for Island Records in 1973 with Peter Tosh and some unknown female backing singers.

At the same time of this recording, the demo of the Island version of "Lively up Yourself" was recorded. This was the last time all three original Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Neville "Bunny" Livingstone) recorded together in a studio. This version too is unreleased.

Writing credit

Though Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 may have written the song, or may have written the melody, songwriter credits were given to "V. Ford". Vincent Ford
Vincent Ford
Vincent Ford , known as "Tata", was a Jamaican songwriter best known for receiving writing credit for "No Woman, No Cry", the reggae song made famous by Bob Marley & The Wailers, as well as three other Bob Marley songs...

 was a friend of Marley's who ran a soup kitchen
Soup kitchen
A soup kitchen, a bread line, or a meal center is a place where food is offered to the hungry for free or at a reasonably low price. Frequently located in lower-income neighborhoods, they are often staffed by volunteer organizations, such as church groups or community groups...

 in Trenchtown
Trench Town is a neighborhood located in the parish of St. Andrew which shares municipality with Kingston, the capital and largest city of Jamaica. In the 1960s Trench Town was known as the Hollywood of Jamaica. Today Trench Town boasts the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum, a visitor friendly...

, the ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

 of Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

 where Marley grew up. The royalty
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 cheques received by Ford ensured the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen. "No Woman, No Cry" (as recorded by Marley & the Wailers) was No. 37 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Chart performance

Chart (1975) Peak
UK Singles Chart 22
Dutch Top 40 23
New Zealand Singles Chart 30

Chart (1981) Peak
UK Singles Chart 8


The title and main refrain, "No Woman, No Cry", is entreating a woman not to cry. It would be rendered "No, woman, nuh cry" in Jamaican Patois. The "nuh", which makes a shorter vowel sound for "no", is the equivalent of the contraction "don't".

The Fugees version

"No Woman, No Cry" is the fourth single from the Fugees' second studio album, The Score
The Score (album)
The Score is the second and final studio album by the hip hop trio Fugees, released worldwide February 13, 1996 on Columbia Records. The album features a wide range of samples and instrumentation, with many aspects of alternative hip hop that would come to dominate the hip hop music scene in the...

. The song was produced by Salaam Remi
Salaam Remi
Salaam Remi Gibbs, better known as Salaam Remi, is a hip hop producer and keyboard player, known for his association with Nas, Amy Winehouse, and his reggae-tinged approach to production...

. The Fugees' version of the track features Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean is a Haitian musician, record producer, and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the United States with his family and has spent much of his life in the country...

 on lead vocals. An official remix of the track, featuring Stephen Marley (musician)
Stephen Marley (musician)
Stephen Robert Nesta "Raggamuffin" Marley is a Jamaican American musician and the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and his wife Rita Marley. He is a five-time Grammy award winner as an artist, producer, and member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers.-Life and career:Marley was born in Wilmington,...

, was included on the group's third release, Bootleg Versions. Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean is a Haitian musician, record producer, and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the United States with his family and has spent much of his life in the country...

 recorded a solo version of the track for his Greatest Hits compilation in 2003.


  1. "No Woman, No Cry" (LP Version) - 4:03
  2. "No Woman, No Cry" (Remix) - 3:55
  3. "No Woman, No Cry" (Remix Instrumental) - 3:55
  4. "Killing Me Softly" (Live) - 4:25

  1. "Don't Cry, Dry Your Eyes" - 5:03
  2. "Don't Cry, Dry Your Eyes" (Instrumental) - 5:03
  3. "No Woman, No Cry" (LP Version) - 4:03
  4. "A Change Is Gonna Come" (Live) - 6:04

Other cover versions

The song has since been covered
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

 by such artists as Nina Simone
Nina Simone
Eunice Kathleen Waymon , better known by her stage name Nina Simone , was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music...

, Gym Class Heroes
Gym Class Heroes
Gym Class Heroes is an American hip hop rock band from Geneva, New York. They have collaborated with Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump on numerous occasions, notably for providing backing vocals on the song "Cupid's Chokehold." Stump also produced the majority of their album The Quilt.The group formed...

, Londonbeat
Londonbeat was originally a UK and American R&B and Dance band who scored a number of pop and dance hits in the early 1990s.-History:Londonbeat's career started in the Netherlands where "There's a Beat Going On" reached the Top 10, and then "9 A.M " which subsequently became a modest success in the...

, Joe Dassin
Joe Dassin
Joseph Ira Dassin , more commonly known as Joe Dassin, was an American singer-songwriter best known for his French songs of the 1960s and 1970s.-Biography:...

 (known as "Si Tu Penses À Moi"), Murder One
Murder One
Murder one is another term for first-degree murder.Murder One may also refer to:*Murder One , a television series in the United States*Murder One , a book store in London...

 (often mistaken as a Sublime
Sublime (band)
Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band's line-up, unchanged until their breakup, consisted of Bradley Nowell , Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh . Michael "Miguel" Happoldt also contributed on a few Sublime songs, such as "New Thrash." Lou Dog, Nowell's...

 song), Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler is a rock band, formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. The band has been influenced by a variety of genres, including blues-rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock...

 (with Ziggy Marley
Ziggy Marley
David "Ziggy" Marley is a Jamaican musician and leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He is the oldest son of famed reggae musician Bob Marley...

), Cas Haley
Cas Haley
Cas Haley is an American singer/guitarist who was the runner-up on Season 2 of America's Got Talent.-Career:His self-titled album charted as the #8 Best selling reggae album of 2008 on the Billboard Charts....

, O.A.R.
O.A.R. is an American rock band composed of Marc Roberge , Chris Culos , Richard On , Benj Gershman , and Jerry DePizzo...

, Devon Allmans Honeytribe
Honeytribe is an American blues rock band formed in Saint Louis, Missouri. The founder and bandleader is Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, who is the lead guitarist, vocalist, and frontman. The other members are George Potsos on bass, and Justin Hanson on...

, Joan Baez
Joan Baez
Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

, Xavier Rudd
Xavier Rudd
Xavier Rudd is an Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He was born in 1978 and grew up in Torquay, Victoria. He attended St. Joseph's College, Geelong....

, Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett
James William "Jimmy" Buffett is a singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an "island escapism" lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett's musical hits include "Margaritaville" , and "Come Monday"...

, Boney M., Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music is often classified as R&B, jazz fusion or worship music.-Biography:...

, Gilberto Gil
Gilberto Gil
Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira , better known as Gilberto Gil or , is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and political commitment...

 (Daniela Mercury
Daniela Mercury
Daniela Mercury , is a Latin Grammy Award-winning Brazilian axé, samba-reggae and MPB singer, songwriter and record producer. Since her breakthrough, Mercury has become one of the best known Brazilian female singers, selling over 20 million albums worldwide...

 recorded this version at Balé Mulato - Ao Vivo
Balé Mulato - Ao Vivo
Balé Mulato – Ao Vivo is Daniela Mercury's fourth live album, released in Brazil in December 2006 through EMI. The tracks of this album were recorded on September 17, 2006 in Farol da Barra, Salvador, Bahia...

), The Fugees
The Fugees
Fugees were a Haitian American hip hop group who rose to fame in the mid-1990s. Their repertoire included elements of Hip hop, soul and Caribbean music, particularly reggae. The members of the group were rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer/producer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel...

,Tim Barry, No Use for a Name
No Use for a Name
No Use for a Name is a punk rock band from San Jose, California, United States formed in 1987 by Chris Dodge , Steve Papoutsis , Rory Koff and John Meyers...

, Hikaru Utada, The String Cheese Incident, NOFX
NOFX is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California .The band was formed in 1983 by vocalist/bassist Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin joined NOFX shortly after. In 1991 El Hefe joined to play lead guitar and trumpet, rounding out the current line-up...

 (live, with El Hefe playing and singing alone), Tila Tequila, Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder , Jeff Ament , Stone Gossard , and Mike McCready...

, Andrés Calamaro
Andrés Calamaro
Andrés Calamaro , is an Argentine musician, composer and Latin Grammy winner. His former band Los Rodríguez was a major success in Spain in the 1990s. He became one of the main icons of the Argentine rock in the last two decades and has sold over 1.3 million copies.-Abuelos de la Nada:Calamaro was...

, Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela
Hugh Ramopolo Masekela is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer.-Early life:Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child...

, Hedley
Hedley (band)
Hedley is a Canadian pop rock band comprising lead singer Jacob Hoggard, Tommy Mac on bass, Dave Rosin on lead guitar and Chris Crippin on drums. The current band retains the original name of Hoggard's pre-Canadian Idol group, although the membership has changed. The band originated in Abbotsford,...

, Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff, OM is a Jamaican musician, singer and actor. He is the only currently living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievement in the arts and sciences...

, Pauline Black
The Selecter
The Selecter are a 2 Tone ska revival band from Coventry, England, formed in mid 1979.Like many other bands in the ska revival movement, The Selecter featured a racially diverse line-up. Their lyrics featured themes connected to politics and marijuana, set to strong melodies and a danceable beat...

, Peter Rowan, John Mayer
John Mayer
John Clayton Mayer is an American pop rock and blues rock musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and music producer. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He moved to Atlanta in 1997, where he refined his...

, Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat
Colbie Marie Caillat is an American pop singer-songwriter and guitarist from Malibu, California. She debuted in 2007 with Coco, which included hit singles "Bubbly", "Realize", and "The Little Things". In 2008, she recorded a duet with Jason Mraz, "Lucky", which won a Grammy. Caillat released her...

, Bill Bourne
Bill Bourne
Bill Bourne is a Canadian musician and songwriter, who frequently collaborates with a variety of artists, including Alan MacLeod, Shannon Johnson, Lester Quitzau, Madagascar Slim, Aysha Wills, Eivør Pálsdóttir, Wyckham Porteous and Jasmine 'Jas' Ohlhauser.Raised in a musical family in rural...

, Matisyahu
Matthew Paul Miller , better known by his Hebrew name and stage name Matisyahu, is an American Hasidic Jewish reggae and alternative rock musician....

, Matt Maher
Matt Maher
Matthew "Matt" Guion Maher is a contemporary Christian music artist, songwriter, and worship leader originally from Newfoundland, Canada, who later relocated to Tempe, Arizona. He has written and produced five solo albums to date...

, Graham Parker
Graham Parker
Graham Parker is a British rock singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead singer of the popular British band Graham Parker & the Rumour.-Early career :...

, Edwin McCain
Edwin McCain
Edwin McCain is an American singer-songwriter and musician.-Career:While his albums are released under his name, he does have a permanent band, referred to as the Edwin McCain Band...

, Keller Williams
Keller Williams
Keller Williams is an American musician from Fredericksburg, Virginia, who began performing in the early 1990s. He is also known by the names K-Dub or just Keller, when performing. Williams' music combines elements of bluegrass, folk, alternative rock, reggae, electronica/dance, jazz, funk, and...

, Eterna Inocencia
Eterna Inocencia
Eterna Inocencia is an Argentine rock band with politically-motivated lyrics and opinions. Their origin dates to 1995, in the city of Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province. They come from the hardcore punk trend of the mid-1990s...

, Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

, as a duet by Faith Hill
Faith Hill
Faith Hill is an American country singer. She is known both for her commercial success and her marriage to fellow country star Tim McGraw. Hill has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and accumulated eight number-one singles and three number-one albums on the U.S...

 with Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw
Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw is an American country singer and actor. Many of McGraw's albums and singles have topped the country music charts with total album sales in excess of 40 million units in the US, making him the eighth best-selling artist, and the third best-selling country singer, in the...

 , Sean Kingston
Sean Kingston
Sean Kingston is a Jamaican-American singer. He pursued a music career and debuted in 2007 with the album Sean Kingston.-Early life:...

, and the Arabic singer Ali Bahar. The "G-punk" band Hed PE as of the year 2002, began covering the song at many of their live shows. The Ukrainian reggae band 5nizza and Russian rock band Chaif
Chaif is a Russian rock band formed in 1984 in Sverdlovsk , Russia, by Vladimir Shakhrin and Vladimir Begunov. Their name is derived from the word chai, meaning tea, and kaif , meaning pleasure. The band reached national fame in 1992 with songs such as Don't Hurry and 17...

 covered the song at many of their live performances. German metal band J.B.O.
J.B.O. is a heavy metal band from Erlangen, Germany. J.B.O. was founded in 1989 by Vito C. and Hannes "G.Laber" Holzmann and is known for parodies of rock and pop songs...

 parodied the song as "Ka Alde, ka G'schrei", and Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

 covered the song and played part of it during their 2010-2011 A Thousand Suns
A Thousand Suns
A Thousand Suns is the fourth studio album by American rock band Linkin Park. It was first released on September 14, 2010. The album was written by the band and co-produced by Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin, who previously worked together to produce Minutes to Midnight...

 tour. It can be heard at the beginning of The Messanger in Tel Aviv, Israel. The ska punk
Ska punk
Ska punk is a fusion music genre that combines ska and punk rock. It achieved its highest level of commercial success in the United States in the late 1990s. Ska-core is a subgenre of ska punk, blending ska with hardcore punk.The characteristics of ska punk vary, due to the fusion of contrasting...

 band Spunge
Spunge are a ska punk band from Tewkesbury, England...

 is the only band to ever have officially been given permission by the Marley family to change the lyrics, for their cover on the album Room For Abuse
Room for Abuse
Room for Abuse is the second full-length album by the Tewkesbury ska punk band Spunge. It was released on 9 October 2000 on Sucka-Punch Records, and recorded at DEP International Studios, Birmingham ....

. The pop rap band Sweetbox
Sweetbox is a Los Angeles based pop music project formed in 1995 by executive producer Heiko Schmidt and music producer Roberto "Geo" Rosan.Throughout the years Sweetbox has had several leading women including Kimberly Kearney, Dacia Bridges, Tina Harris, Jade Villalon and most recently and...

 used a part of the song for the chorus of their song "Everything's Gonna Be Alright". Naughty by Nature
Naughty by Nature
Naughty by Nature are a Grammy Award-winning American hip hop trio from East Orange, New Jersey that at the time of its formation in 1989 consisted of Treach, Vin Rock, and the DJ Kay Gee...

 sampled Boney M's version of the song for their hit single "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." Lithuanian pop group ŽAS
Zas is a municipality of Spain in the Province of A Coruña, in the autonomous community of Galicia.-ZAS Trademark:ZAS is the registered trademark of Zen Automotive Suppliers Pty Ltd, Australia. Registered trademark number 1308358.-External links:**...

 was also covered the song. The song "City of Love" by Yes
Yes (band)
Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets...

 includes "No woman, no cry" as a lyric. * American pianist Louis Durra
Louis Durra
Louis Durra is an American jazz pianist and composer living in Los Angeles. His biological father was saxophonist Trevor Koehler.-as leader:* The Best Of All Possible Worlds -- CD, 2011* Mad World EP -- CD, 2011...

, recorded an instrumental trio version on "Tangled Up In Blue EP" and "Arrogant Doormats" (2011). It was also covered by The Collective Sound in Bournemouth, England in 2011


Fergie used interpolations of the song in her song "Mary Jane Shoes" from the album The Dutchess
The Dutchess
The Dutchess is the debut and only studio album by American recording artist Fergie, who is a member of The Black Eyed Peas. The album was released on September 19, 2006. As of 2008, the album has sold more than six million copies worldwide...


See also

  • No Woman No Cry
    No Woman No Cry (painting)
    No Woman No Cry is a painting created by Chris Ofili in 1998. It was one of the works included in the exhibition which won him the Turner Prize that year . The Financial Times has described it as "[h]is masterpiece".The painting is in mixed media, including acrylic paint, oil paint, and polyester...

    - the 1998 painting by Chris Ofili
    Chris Ofili
    Chris Ofili is a Turner Prize winning British painter best known for artworks referencing aspects of his Nigerian heritage, particularly his incorporation of elephant dung. He was one of the Young British Artists, and is now based in Trinidad.-Early life:Ofilli was born in Manchester. He had a...

External links

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