No Woman, No Cry

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"No Woman, No Cry"
NoWomanNoCry.jpg
Single by Bob Marley and the Wailers
from the album Live!
B-side"Kinky Reggae"
Released1975
Recorded1975
GenreReggae
Length7:07
LabelIsland
Songwriter(s)Vincent Ford
Bob Marley (uncredited)
Producer(s)Bob Marley and the Wailers, Steve Smith, Chris Blackwell
Bob Marley and the Wailers singles chronology
"So Jah Seh"
(1974)
"No Woman, No Cry"
(1975)
"Jah Live"
(1976)

"No Woman, No Cry" is a reggae song by Bob Marley and the Wailers. The song first became known in 1974 from the studio album Natty Dread. This studio version used a drum machine. 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 17, 1975 as part of his Natty Dread Tour.

The live version of the song ranked No. 37 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Writing credit[edit]

Though Bob Marley may have written the song,[1][2] or at least the melody,[3] 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 his efforts would continue.[4]

1974 studio recording[edit]

On Natty Dread, Jean Roussel provided the arrangement and Hammond organ parts for this recording.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 22
Dutch Top 40 23
New Zealand Singles Chart 30
Chart (1981) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 8

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
Italy (FIMI)[5] Gold
United Kingdom (BPI)[6] Gold

Lyrics[edit]

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".

Fugees version[edit]

"No Woman, No Cry"
Fugees-No-Woman-No-Cry-96290.jpg
Single by Fugees
from the album The Score
Released15 November 1996
FormatCD single
Recorded1995
GenreReggae
LabelRuffhouse Records
Producer(s)Salaam Remi
Fugees singles chronology
"Ready or Not"
(1996)
"No Woman, No Cry"
(1996)
"Rumble in the Jungle"
(1997)
Audio sample
Music video
"No Woman, No Cry" on YouTube

"No Woman, No Cry" was covered by American hip hop group the Fugees in 1995. It was released in November 1996 as the fourth single from their second studio album, The Score. The song was produced by Salaam Remi. The Fugees' version of the track features Wyclef Jean on lead vocals and changes the lyric "in a government yard in Trenchtown" to "in a government yard in Brooklyn". 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.

The Fugees' cover was successful worldwide, peaking atop the New Zealand Singles Chart for two weeks and becoming a top-ten hit in Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom. It did not chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 due to not receiving a physical release in the US, which at the time was a requirement for songs to appear on the Hot 100. It instead charted on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, peaking at number 38.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD1

  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

UK CD2

  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

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1996–1997) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[7] 20
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 40
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 31
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 11
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 6
France (SNEP)[12] 12
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 33
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 1
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[18] 7
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 14
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 2
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[22] 1
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[23] 38

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24][25] 74

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[26] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Silver 200,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by numerous other artists including:

Art Ensemble Of Chicago (instrumental version)

With other lyrics/in other languages[edit]

Parodies and sampling[edit]

  • Naughty by Nature sampled Boney M's version of the song for their hit single "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."
  • 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.[38]
  • In Season 2 Episode 10 of the HBO television show Succession, Greg Hirsch references the song during a court battle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Entertainment | No Woman No Cry 'songwriter' dies". BBC News. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  2. ^ "In pictures: The legacy of Bob Marley". BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  3. ^ Humphries, Patrick (2003). "No Woman No Cry". BBC Radio 2. BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  4. ^ "Bob Marley, 'No Woman, No Cry' | 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  5. ^ "Italian single certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved August 29, 2014. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "No Woman No Cry" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  6. ^ "British single certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 22, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type No Woman No Cry in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Fugees: No Woman, No Cry" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry" (in French). Les classement single.
  13. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – No Woman No Cry". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 49, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry". Singles Top 100.
  20. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Fugees – No Woman, No Cry". Swiss Singles Chart.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  22. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ "Fugees Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Najlepsze single na UK Top 40-1996 wg sprzedaży" (in Polish). Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1996". Music Week. 18 January 1997. p. 25.
  26. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – The Fugees – No Woman No Cry". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Fugees – No Woman No Cry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 November 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type No Woman No Cry in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  28. ^ "Graham Parker - No Woman, No Cry". YouTube. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  29. ^ "Linkin Park- The Messenger (with 'No Woman No Cry')- Tel Aviv, Israel". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  30. ^ The Today Show, July 2007
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Ziynet Sali'den Bob Marley Şarkısı!" (in Turkish). Kral Müzik. 6 February 2019. Archived from the original on 11 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Joe Dassin - Si tu pense a moi". YouTube. 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  34. ^ "Joe Dassin - Si Tu Penses A Moi / Sorry (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  35. ^ "Daniela Mercury". Daniela Mercury. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  36. ^ "Hereford & Worcester". BBC News. 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  37. ^ "Murder 1 (2) - American Junkie (CD, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  38. ^ "No Woman, No Drive". YouTube. 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2016-10-09.

External links[edit]