No Woman, No Cry
|"No, Woman, No Cry"|
|Single by Bob Marley & the Wailers|
|from the album Live!|
|Writer(s)||Credited to Vincent Ford|
|Bob Marley & the Wailers singles chronology|
"No Woman, No Cry" is a reggae song by Bob Marley & the Wailers. The song first became known in 1974 through the studio album Natty Dread. The live version from the 1975 album Live! was released as a single and is the best known version — it was included on the greatest hits compilation Legend and was recorded at the Lyceum Theatre in London on July 19, 1975 as part of his Natty Dread Tour.
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 also recorded. This was the last time all three original Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Neville "Bunny" Livingston - also known as Bunny Wailer) recorded together in a studio. These versions remain unreleased.
The live version of the song ranked No. 37 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Though Bob Marley may have written the song, or at least the melody, songwriter credits were given to Vincent Ford, a friend of Marley's who ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica where Marley grew up. The royalty payments received by Ford ensured the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen.
Charts and certifications
|UK Singles Chart||22|
|Dutch Top 40||23|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||30|
|UK Singles Chart||8|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver|
The title and main refrain, "No Woman, No Cry" is rendered "No, woman, nuh cry" in Jamaican Patois. The "nuh" is pronounced with a short schwa vowel (a "mumbled" vowel, often represented as "uh" in spelling) and represents a clitic ("weakened") form of "no". It is the equivalent to the contraction "don't". The song is about growing up in the ghetto and persuading a woman that things will get better, entreating her not to cry.
The Fugees version
|"No Woman, No Cry"|
|Single by Fugees|
|from the album The Score|
|Genre||Hip hop, reggae fusion|
|Fugees singles chronology|
"No Woman, No Cry" is the fourth single from the Fugees' second studio album, The Score. The song was produced by Salaam Remi. The Fugees' version of the track features Wyclef Jean on lead vocals. An official remix of the track, featuring Stephen Marley, was included on the group's third release, Bootleg Versions. Wyclef Jean recorded a solo version of the track for his Greatest Hits compilation in 2003.
- UK CD1
- "No Woman, No Cry" (LP version) - 4:03
- "No Woman, No Cry" (Remix) - 3:55
- "No Woman, No Cry" (Remix instrumental) - 3:55
- "Killing Me Softly" (Live) - 4:25
- UK CD2
- "Don't Cry, Dry Your Eyes" - 5:03
- "Don't Cry, Dry Your Eyes" (Instrumental) - 5:03
- "No Woman, No Cry" (LP version) - 4:03
- "A Change Is Gonna Come" (Live) - 6:04
Other cover versions
The song has been covered by numerous other artists including:
- Nina Simone
- Katherine Jenkins
- Gym Class Heroes
- Blues Traveler (with Ziggy Marley),
- Cas Haley, O.A.R.
- Devon Allman's Honeytribe
- Joan Baez
- Xavier Rudd
- Jimmy Buffett
- Boney M.
- Jonathan Butler
- James "The King" Brown
- Tim Barry
- No Use for a Name
- Whoopi Goldberg and the Reggae Rodents
- Hikaru Utada
- The String Cheese Incident
- NOFX (live), with El Hefe playing and singing alone
- Tila Tequila
- Pearl Jam
- Andrés Calamaro
- Hugh Masekela
- Twenty One Pilots
- Jimmy Cliff
- Chaif, a Russian rock band, covered the song at many of their live performances
- Pauline Black
- Peter Rowan
- Show of Hands
- John Mayer
- Colbie Caillat
- Bill Bourne
- Matt Maher
- Graham Parker
- Edwin McCain
- Keller Williams
- Eterna Inocencia
- Linkin Park - covered the song and played part of it during their 2010-2011 A Thousand Suns tour. It can be heard at the beginning of "The Messenger" in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- as a duet by Faith Hill with Tim McGraw
- Sean Kingston 
- Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
- Lithuanian pop group ŽAS
- the Arabic singer Ali Bahar.
- Hed PE - The "G-punk" band began covering the song after 2002 at many of their live shows.
- 5nizza - the Ukrainian reggae band covered the song at many live performances
- The Collective Sound in Bournemouth, England (2011)
- Wizkid - the Nigerian recording artist performed a cover of the song at Koga Studios for BBC's Destination Africa.
Art Ensemble Of Chicago (instrumental version)
With other lyrics/in other languages
- in 1978 Joe Dassin recorded "Si Tu Penses À Moi" (If you think of me), a version of No Woman No Cry totally rewritten with French lyrics by Claude Lemesle and Pierre Delanoë.
- Gilberto Gil sung a version of the song in Portuguese with new lyrics as Não chores mais, as a hymn to the political activists returned from exile upon the passing of the Brazilian amnesty law of 1979
- Daniela Mercury, sang the Gilberto Gil version on Balé Mulato – Ao Vivo
- German metal band JBO parodied the song in East Franconian dialect as "Ka Alde, ka G'schrei"
- The ska punk band Spunge 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.
- Murder 1 featuring Kid Rock has a version of the song with changed lyrics on their 1999 album "American Junkie"
Partial use, parodies and sampling
- The pop rap band Sweetbox used a part of the song for the chorus of their song "Everything's Gonna Be Alright".
- Naughty by Nature sampled Boney M's version of the song for their hit single "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."
- The song "City of Love" by Yes includes "No woman, no cry" as part of the lyrics.
- American pianist Louis Durra, recorded an instrumental trio version on "Tangled Up in Blue EP" and "Arrogant Doormats" (2011).
- The Christian music rapper Redimi2 recorded a single "No woman, don't cry" which part of the chorus is "Everything is gonna be alright ", the songs is a call for stopping woman abuse.
- Fergie used interpolations of the song in her song "Mary Jane Shoes" from the album The Dutchess.
- In the 2004 video game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, precinct detective Dick Gumshoe sings a parody of the song titled "No Motive, No Crime", much to the annoyance of the title character.
- In 2013, an a-cappella satirical video parody "No Woman, No Drive" about Saudi Arabia banning women from driving, went viral on YouTube with over 11,000,000 hits.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7806778.stm No Woman No Cry 'songwriter' dies, BBC (2009-01-01)
- "In pictures: The legacy of Bob Marley". BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Humphries, Patrick (2003). "No Woman No Cry". BBC Radio 2. BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- No Woman, No Cry : Rolling Stone
- "Italian single certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved August 29, 2014. Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Bob Marley & The Wailers in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
- "British single certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 29, 2014. Enter No Woman No Cry in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
- Dawes, Kwame. Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius. London: Sanctuary, 2002. ISBN 1-86074-433-8. Pg. 119
- Graham Parker version
- Linkin Park at Tel Aviv 11-15-10
- The Today Show, July 2007
- Nelson, Trevor. "Wizkid – Joy / No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley Cover) in the 1Xtra Live Lounge (Lagos, Nigeria)". BBC Radio 1Xtra. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Joe Dassin verson
- Writer credits
- Mercury's website
- BBC - Hereford and Worcester Music, Clubs and Gigs - Mick Jones
- Discogs Murder 1