From Donaldson with passion: This is the Land of my Birth

Donaldson

By Semore Badejo

Eric Donaldson (born 11 June 1947 in Bog Walk, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter. He originated in Saint Catherine, Jamaica.

Born in Kent Village, about 2 miles from Bog Walk, Donaldson first recorded for Studio One in 1964, although producer Clement Dodd declined to release the material. In the mid-1960s he formed The West Indians with Leslie Burke and Hector Brooks, and they had a hit with the J.J. Johnson-produced “Right On Time” in 1968, going on to record with Lee “Scratch” Perry and subsequently changing their name to the Kilowatts, but without further success.

Donaldson then pursued a solo career, and submitted “Cherry Oh Baby” to the 1971 Jamaican Festival Song Competition, going on to win the competition and giving him a big Jamaican hit single. Donaldson has won the competition six times, in 1971, 1977, 1978, 1984, 1993 and 1997. “Cherry Oh Baby” has been covered by both The Rolling Stones (on their 1976 album, Black and Blue) and UB40 (on their 1983 album, Labour of Love). The riddim has remained extremely popular – over thirty cover versions have been recorded, including an update by Donaldson himself. Two of his festival winners (“Sweet Jamaica” (1977) and “Land of My Birth” (1978)) were written by Winston Wallace. In an online poll held in 2013 by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, “Land of My Birth” was voted the most popular winner in the contest’s history.

Please read the lyrics and wish we can substitute that name “Jamaica” with “Nigeria”. Will we still feel the same?

Happy new year, my country!

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, aah, aah, aah
This is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth.I say this is jamaica, my jamaica, the land of my birth.

I will never leave her shores, I will never run away.I will always believe in the black, the green, the gold I say. All nations greater of all the trials, we must face the test of time, that our people they are strong and we going to get along.For some people say we poor, but the progress you make my friend is not always how rich you are.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth. I say this is jamaica, my jamaica, the land of my birth.

Let us stop for a while, and count our blessings one by one.We should never be disloyal, but stand up and keep strong.
My jamaica is a beautiful island, she is the crown of the caribbean sea and our people they are free, no oppression here to see.
With the prettiest women there be. and the hills, and the plains and the rivers and the valleys always make on the beach.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth. I say this is jamaica, my jamaica, the land of my birth.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, aah, aah, aah
Ms tourist, mr. tourist, leave your land and come. Tarry here for a while, and I will bathe in the warm warm sun. We will share a lot with you. our people they are true, they will want to be with you. They will love, they will help, they will give, if you wish my friend you can live.You will be a happier one in the land of the rising sun.

I say this is the land of my birth; I say this is the land of my birth. I say this is jamaica, my jamaica, the land of my birth.