I’ve been singing “There’s A Brown Girl In The Ring” to Sugar Plum Z every since she was born. This is one of the songs I remember singing and dancing to as a child in our caribbean community of Brooklyn and on our annual visits to Jamaica. This is also the song that inspired her nickname Sugar Plum Z. I can still see myself shaking my hips and laughing when it was my turn to be in the center of the ring. Reminiscing on some of my favorite childhood past times, made me want to know more about the song and get the full lyrics. We would repeat the first part of the song but I always knew there was more. As a part of our educational journey about our culture, this song is very important to me. Here is a printable of the lyrics
Here is a video so you can catch the rhythm.
In my research, I stumbled upon an amazing website curated by the the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has been on my list to visit for years. Hopefully we can make the trip as a family next summer. We will need a few days to cover it all for sure. The Smithsonian Folkways site, not only features songs from most Caribbean countries, it also highlights important moments in history and provides resources for lessons on our heritage. This is a great site to reference not just for families of Caribbean background, but for everyone around the world to learn more about the beauty of the Caribbean islands beyond the beaches and resorts. The Folkways website features more than just the Caribbean. You can find information, music and historical facts from countries all around the world.
I played the samples of the Folkways Children’s Jamaican Games and Songs album for my mom. She was so excited and sang along to every song. Needless to say, Sugar Plum Z will be getting this album for her birthday. Her grandma was that excited! Honestly, I am too. I am determined to teach her about Jamaica and Nevis which is where her paternal grandfather comes from.
What were your favorite childhood songs?
Tiffani G. from MyMommyVentsJanuary 21, 2015 at 7:11 AM
I remember this song! My mother and aunts remembered it from their days growing up in Trinidad, and would sing it to me. My mom would also sing the chorus of Sparrow’s “Mr. Walker”(that’s my maiden name) and leave out the rest of the lyrics…
M JJanuary 23, 2015 at 9:34 PM
I know “Mr. Walker” yes mon. So many good memories. I have to sift through music now to find things my daughter can listen to. I usually end up going really old school. She loves her reggae and soca. LOL
Vashti (veepeejay.com)January 21, 2015 at 9:49 PM
This brings back such great memories MJ! Hip shaking and all. Now I’ll be singing it all night lol
M JJanuary 23, 2015 at 9:32 PM
Yes! One of my childhood favs. Zoe loves it too.
Christine St.VilJanuary 21, 2015 at 10:38 PM
Ok so how bout I’ve heard this song but didn’t realize what they were saying LOL. This is too cute and thanks for sharing the tips on the Smithsonian Folkways, can’t wait to share with the kids 🙂
M JJanuary 23, 2015 at 9:32 PM
It was one of my childhood favorites. Brings back so many great memories.
GinaBJanuary 24, 2015 at 3:21 PM
MJ, oh my goodness you just took me way back! When I first started reading your post I had no recollection of the song however by time I read the printable I was singing it to myself. I haven’t thought about this song in yeeeaaarrrrrssssss! This song dug up some memories of growing up in Bermuda. Thank you!
M JJanuary 24, 2015 at 4:36 PM
Hey Gina, Thanks for stopping by. LOL, this song is one of my childhood favorites. You should definitely play it and dance with your baby girl. The memories will be awesome.