top of page
No Woman, No Cry
Song

No Woman, No Cry

Bob Marley
Album:
Live

Song Meaning and Background of No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley


"No Woman, No Cry" is a reggae song by Bob Marley and the Wailers. The song was recorded in 1974 and released on the studio album Natty Dread.


The live recording of this song from the 1975 album Live! was released as a single and is the best-known version;


The “government yard in Trench Town” refers to the Jamaican public-housing project where Marley lived in the Fifties.


He gave a songwriting credit to his childhood friend Vincent “Tata” Ford to help keep Ford’s Kingston soup kitchen running.


Bob Marley is widely believed to have written the song (the lyrics are highly personal and mention Georgie making cornmeal porridge, Marley's favourite dish), or at least the melody, songwriting credit was 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.


The original studio version of the song used a drum machine. Jean Roussel provided the arrangement and Hammond organ parts for this recording.


The title and main refrain, "No Woman, No Cry", means "Woman, don't cry".


The lyric is sometimes misunderstood outside Jamaica to mean "if there is no woman, there is no reason to cry".

The song reached number 25 in the UK in 1975.


Lyrics of No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley


No woman, no cry

No woman, no cry

No woman, no cry

No woman, no cry

 

'Cause, 'cause, 'cause I remember when we used to sit

In the government yard in Trenchtown

Oba, observing the hypocrites, yeah

Mingle with the good people we meet, yeah

Good friends we have had, oh good friends we've lost along the way, yeah

In this bright future you can't forget your past

So dry your tears I say, yeah

 

No woman, no cry

No woman, no cry, eh, yeah

Little darling don't shed no tears

No woman, no cry

 

Eh, said, said, said I remember when we used to sit

In the government yard in Trenchtown, yeah

And then Georgie would make the fire light, I say

A log wood burning through the night

Then we would cook corn meal porridge, I say

Of which I'll share with you, yeah

My feet is my only carriage

And so I've got to push on through

But while I'm gone

 

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

Everything's gonna be alright

So no woman, no cry

No woman, no cry, I say

Oh little, oh little darling, don't shed no tears

No woman, no cry, eh

 

No woman, no woman, no woman, no cry

No woman, no cry

One more time I've got to say

Oh little, little darling, please don't shed no tears

No woman, no cry


Release Date

1975

Songwriter/s

Vincent Ford, Bob Marley (uncredited)

Producer/s

Bob Marley and the Wailers, Steve Smith, Chris Blackwell

Label/s

Island

Other Songs

bottom of page