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?