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No Woman, No Cry

"No Woman, No Cry"
Single by Bob Marley & the Wailers
from the album Live!
Released 1975
Recorded 1975
Genre Reggae
Length 7:12
Label Island
Writer(s) Credited to Vincent Ford
Bob Marley & the Wailers singles chronology
"So Jah Seh"
"No Woman, No Cry"
"Jah Live"

"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.


  • Writing credit 1
  • Charts and certifications 2
    • Peak positions 2.1
    • Certifications 2.2
  • Lyrics 3
  • The Fugees version 4
    • Tracklisting 4.1
  • Other cover versions 5
  • Samples and parodies 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Writing credit

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 the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen.[4]

Charts and certifications

Peak positions

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


Region Certification
Italy (FIMI)[5] Gold
United Kingdom (BPI)[6] 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.[7]

The Fugees version

"No Woman, No Cry"
Single by Fugees
from the album The Score
Released 1996
Format CD single
Recorded 1995
Genre Hip hop, reggae fusion
Label Ruffhouse Records
Producer(s) Salaam Remi
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Fugees singles chronology
"Ready or Not"
"No Woman, No Cry"
"Rumble in the Jungle"

"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.


  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 by such artists as Nina Simone, Katherine Jenkins, Gym Class Heroes, Londonbeat, Joe Dassin (known as "Si Tu Penses À Moi"), Sublime, Murder 1 (featuring Kid Rock, on their 1999 album American Junkie, with changed lyrics), Blues Traveler (with Ziggy Marley), Cas Haley, O.A.R., Devon Allmans Honeytribe, Joan Baez, Xavier Rudd, Jimmy Buffett, Boney M., Jonathan Butler, Gilberto Gil (in Portuguese as "Não chores mais", which was one of the hymns to the political activists returned from exile upon the amnesty law passed in 1979; Daniela Mercury recorded this version at Balé Mulato – Ao Vivo), The Fugees, 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, Hedley, Twenty One Pilots, Jimmy Cliff, Pauline Black, Peter Rowan, John Mayer, Colbie Caillat, Bill Bourne, Matisyahu, Matt Maher, Graham Parker,[8] Edwin McCain, Keller Williams, Eterna Inocencia, Linkin Park, as a duet by Faith Hill with Tim McGraw, Sean Kingston,[9] Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, 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 covered the song at many of their live performances. German metal band JBO parodied the song in East Franconian dialect as "Ka Alde, ka G'schrei", and 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.[10] 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.[11] 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." Lithuanian pop group ŽAS also covered the song. 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). It was also covered by The Collective Sound in Bournemouth, England in 2011. Nigerian recording artist Wizkid performed a cover of the song at Koga Studios for BBC's Destination Africa.[12] 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 vouch for stopping woman abuse.

Samples and parodies

  • Fergie used interpolations of the song in her song "Mary Jane Shoes" from the album The Dutchess.
  • In the 2004 videogame 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.
  • A 2013 a-cappella satirical video parody "No Woman, No Drive" is about Saudi Arabia banning women from driving. It has since become viral on YouTube, with over 11,000,000 hits.[13]


  1. ^ No Woman No Cry 'songwriter' dies, BBC (2009-01-01)
  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. ^ No Woman, No Cry : Rolling Stone
  5. ^ "Italian single certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry" (in Italian).   Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Bob Marley & The Wailers in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  6. ^ "British single certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry".   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
  7. ^ Dawes, Kwame. Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius. London: Sanctuary, 2002. ISBN 1-86074-433-8. Pg. 119
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Today Show, July 2007
  10. ^ Linkin Park at Tel Aviv 11-15-10
  11. ^ BBC - Hereford and Worcester Music, Clubs and Gigs - Mick Jones
  12. ^ Nelson, Trevor. "Wizkid – Joy / No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley Cover) in the 1Xtra Live Lounge (Lagos, Nigeria)".  
  13. ^

External links

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