Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

No Woman No Cry

The meaning of “No Woman No Cry” is now controversial in Japan. “No Woman No Cry” is a title of a song written by Bob Marley, a famous Jamaican Reggae artist. I’ve thought that the meaning is “There is no woman who does not cry”. However, someone says the meaning is “Women! Do not cry !”. I’d like to know the explanation by English native speakers. Thank you.

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I always thought it meant that he had 'no woman' but he wasn't going to cry about it anymore. I'll listen to it again and think about it.

db_girl Jun-17-2004

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What you need, sumi, is an explanation by a native Jamaican speaker. While the language is English, it is sort of not English. It's been changed so much that most of the grammar rules of standard English no longer apply. Since I speak only standard English, I'm not able to explain the meaning for you (though with a little research I could probably find out).

speedwell2 Jun-17-2004

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Here are the full lyrics:

Judging from the context, I'd say the phrase means something like "No, woman, don't cry." But I agree with speedwell that it's a regional usage that may not be clear to a speaker of US or UK English.

Adam_Rice Jun-17-2004

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Hmmm... I had always thought that he was saying that without a woman you'll have no tears, or, in other words women = pain and suffering...

But then maybe i should re-listen to the song.

-- MDT

MDT Jun-17-2004

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I too always thought of it in the sense MDT mentioned below. Once I was asking a guy if he had a girlfriend and he sang: " No woman, no cry!"
However Speedwell is right, you gotta ask a native Jamaican. Just don't kill the buzz!

P.S. I just saw this today: "Big up all yardman philosophers!" See? Having a look at some Ragga lyrics will help you give up being curious on Jamanglish!

goossun Jun-18-2004

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It means that if you don't have a woman, or you're not involved with people emotionally, you won't cry. Its a song about love, of course.

Xian Jun-20-2004

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it means:
No woman, don't cry

women in the trench town ghetto had a hard life, this is a song of comfort and tribute to the people of that community

here's the meaning of it according to

"No Woman No Cry," a deeply personal reminiscence of Bob's impoverished life in Trench Town. The songwriting credit was given to V. Ford, more commonly known among his brethren as Tartar. Had it not been for Tartar's kitchen, Bob would literally have starved on occasion. And there really was a "Georgie" who would keep the fire light as the boys played until the early hours of the morning.

Rita Marley (wife) autobiography is named:
No woman no cry: my life with bob marley

princess-r Jun-23-2004

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what db girl said.

He's saying that if you don't have a woman, you shouldn't cry about it.

P_Ray Jun-23-2004

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First off, Jamacians speak such a hackneyed, distorted version of english, that the bulk of americans cannot even understand what they're saying.

Second, I'd guess that from "Little darling, don't shed no tears/No woman no cry". is that he's telling a woman not to cry.

Bubba1 Jun-23-2004

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According to someone who has a recording of his Santa Cruz concert — he intros this song as: No Woman, Don't Cry.

princess-r Jun-24-2004

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There is nothing hackneyed about the Jamaican dialect of English (is it possible for a language or dialect to be hackneyed? I can't imagine what that would mean), and it is no more "distorted" than any American dialect, for there is no "true" English for either of them to be distorted from. Jamaican English is simply its own version of the English language.

Jun-Dai Jun-24-2004

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Let's call that second no ", don't".

Bobisfat Jun-30-2004

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princess-r was correct. It is evident by reading, or paying attention to the lyrics, that he is telling the women not to cry.
"no woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
Oh, my little darlin'
please don't shed no tears
No woman, no cry, yeah"

Alex1 Jun-30-2004

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Bob meant "please don't cry, we're moving forward." That's it. To the Japanese: get a culture!

David_Wells Jul-02-2004

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Hello Sumi,
Well, if you take a look at this listen to this:

You can listen to the music here:

When they say the following:
"With me Baby"

The correct English would be "With my baby"
But as it's how people would speak in Jamaica.

Now back to the original question:

If you look at the way when people say
"No man!" Or "No way man!" The adding of man
at the end of sentences originates from Jamaica - I think - I might be wrong or I might be correct. OK man?

A pun there! Couldn't resist!
So to a woman - "No woman, no cry" - This can be translated to be the following:

"No lady, please don't cry"
I think it's a fair translation...Would anyone else disagree or agree?

Sumi, I'm not Japanese nor am I Jamaican. I have Jamaican friends, and I was started to listen to Jamaican music when I was young.

See you around!

rouninurashima Jul-04-2004

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I have o agree with (most) everyone. It means "No, woman..Don't cry" Not: Don't cry if you don't have a woman. Also, the correct term is "pidgeon" English, or "Patois" not Hackney. Hackney is the dialect used for Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady" That is a far cry from the dialect used in Jamaica. And yes, they are both real Engilsh dialects. It's pretty silly to say that there is no "real" English to derive a dialect from. "Real" English is the Queen's Engilsh of course! What the hell else would it be? (BTW; I'm American)

elenas=1 Aug-02-2004

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Elena: It's spelled "pidgin." And a "hackney" is a taxicab.

I think you are thinking of "Cockney," which is traditionally thought of as the dialect spoken by those born within the sound of Bow bells. It was the dialect spoken by the character Eliza from "My Fair Lady," before she learned to speak like a woman of the upper class.

speedwell2 Aug-02-2004

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"pidgin" refers to a mixing of languages. when a "pidgin" language has members that speak said language as their first lang. then it becomes a creol(sp? i'm terrible at spelling). yes, it is "Cockney," "hackney"is being used as a derogatory description of Jamacian english

LING_101_duh Aug-13-2004

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i got a snake, man!!

Bob3 Aug-13-2006

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I do think he's saying that woman are strong people, they tend to solve their problems more than just sitting and making them a burden.

Keisha Mar-21-2007

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I do think that it means

"hey woman, please don't cry", something softer, a kind of advice.....

and i also think that Jamaican is a mix of languages so it's been very distorted, and that's why it's very difficult to understand the meaning of it.

fyonyta Mar-21-2007

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I'm Jamaican. It means "No. Woman, don't cry." As in please don't cry.

jamaykanqueen89 Mar-29-2007

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yes the meaning of the song is, No Woman would cry.. its political so dont take the title literally

cheena Jun-21-2007

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youre_all_sad Jun-27-2007

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No, woman, no cry.
A rendering of this title in Jamaican patois would be "No, woman, nuh cry". The "nuh", which makes a shorter vowel sound for "no", is the equal to the contraction "don't".

So the title would become "No, woman, don't cry".
And (I think) Marley said these words to help the women in the Trenchtown ghetto to keep looking at the future and do not cry for what has passed.
(referring to the words "Everything's gonna be all right!")

little_jasmin_07 Jul-01-2007

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It's like the saying "Know Jesus, Know Peace, No Jesus, No peace"
"No woman, no cry" is saying that if you don't have a lover, you won't end up heartbroken and crying.

Laura2 Jul-02-2007

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Princess R's explanation above is the correct one. You need to read the lyrics, and understand his life. Imagine that he is talking to a woman who is crying, and he is saying no woman, you don't have to cry... One Love

Princess_R_is_Right Jul-11-2007

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Princess R is right. The woman gave you all a quote from which clearly explains the songs yet some people still want to continue with their own opinion. If you want to understand someone's music or song you need to understand them and especially with this , what Bob was going for his whole life. Bob was an excellent social commentator and spokesman for the struggle of the people, here in this song he speaks of Trench Town(so named because it was built over a ditch that drained the sewage of old Kingston) in Jamaica, a very impoverished area and out of that struggle and poverty comes this song.
What people need to understand about dialects especially in the caribbean is that you can't try to understand words said as if they were a regular english sentence because it would make no sense. E.g De man had clothes like bush doesnt mean his clothes look like bush but that "The man had alot of clothes. So you see regular english words used but having meaning to a group of people and absolutely none to others. I hope this helps increase your appreciation for our differences in language and that it peaks your curiosity to find out more. It has been said that english is one of the hardest languages to learn since it hardly follows any rules like the other languages and dialects like Caribbean ones make it a little more difficult especially when they are composite of mixture between languages like Spanish/French and English.

BTW I am a Bajan or Barbadian from BARBADOS an island in the Caribbean not too far from Jamaica. BARBADOS is also Rihanna's home country. You should visit sometime Sumi.

JayRoc Jul-14-2007

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Man! This song is like a hymn. I seems to communicate a deep spiritual message that however I'm feeling it seems to just make me think of God!

Adam_Rees Aug-10-2007

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David Wells | Jul-2-04 3:01AM

Bob meant "please don't cry, we're moving forward." That's it. To the Japanese: get a culture!

That's an amazingly ignorant comment. Japanese people have long standing traditions that you couldn't understand. Maybe their traditions aren't as blatant as drinking beer till you lose your job, like most "white men" traditions go Mr. "Wells". (kinda sucks when people make ignorant comments, doesn't it?)

The fact that a japanese person, from japan is communicating to you in english to learn about a third party culture, has been overlooked in this situation. You may think you know your own culture so well, but that kind of ethnocentric thinking leads to inbred ways of life that turn even good people into an ignorant mess.

Do like the smart ones do. Learn from everyone, take the best and make it your own. Don't forget where you came from and know where you're going and go even if you don't have clue. Life was not meant to be lived in comfort zones.

Alex_Kim Aug-14-2007

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I think someone already said this, but it's a political and song of strength for his people, and in particular the women living in the impoverished conditions in the trench towns of Jamaica. To give them strength and to literally tell them not to cry. I've also heard that the "Woman" referred to in "No Woman, no cry" may also be a reference to the queen of England and a protest to Englands control of Jamaica.

What I know for sure is this is one of the greatest songs ever written.

Alex_Kim Aug-14-2007

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just wanted to say that it's my favorite sing ever!

lol1 Aug-20-2007

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ungrammatical :-(

David5 Aug-22-2007

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anonymous4 Sep-11-2007

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yes it means, don't cry. Jah Bless!

k1 Sep-13-2007

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The song tells the story of him in his early years. Trenchtown is a government housing project in Jamaica. As you may know, Bob grew up in one of these developments as a child. Firelight refers to this. At night, in the center of the development, a huge fire was lit every night for a number of reasons. One was to keep warm since the buildings had no heating and to cook the community food such as "cornmeal porridge." He is speaking to someone and telling that person, a girl, to look to the future and not to cry because of the circumstances. It is also said that Bob predicted his illness which he would get later in life when he says "My feet is my only carriage, so i'll have to push on through." Bob got cancer which started in his big right toe years later. He refuse surgery because he wasn't sure how it would effects his dancing on stage. So he would have to push on through. He is saying in his apsents not to cry. It should also be mentioned that at the end of the performance, he would always cry which means the song was personal to him.

Bill1 Sep-23-2007

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the song is about a jamaican who has no legs and because of that he can't relate sexually with women. nevertheless he's a happy man. no woman....but he don't cries

hpcm Sep-24-2007

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there are two meanings for this song theres the jamican 1 and the english 1

the jamican meaning :
"No Woman,No Cry" is a reference to Englands prior control of Jamaica. "Woman" is a reference to the Queen of England. They used to protest in Trench Town all night long against England. A purely political song.

the english version:
is taken from one of bobs friends that was dying in hospital the mans wife was cry by his bed side and the dying man held her face in her hand and said.."no woman! cry!.." bob was toucjed by this and wrote the song in memory of his friend.

make up your own mind which one who want to believe...i no which one i believe but either way its a beautiful song that holds alot of meaning for alot of people ....but it definatly aint about a man with no legs lol

rastafari forever,forever rasta!

rastafari_forever Sep-28-2007

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Alexa Kim... much love to ya, thanks for standing up to ignorant assholes.
JayRoc- your quote is wonderful and well thought out, as well as accurate.
And Princess... I appreciate all the accurate and informational pieces on your part as well...well done!
Rastafari forever- Thank you as well, your information was also very accurate!!

All these people know their Bob Marley music, or at least did some research. I am a Bob Marley fan, along with many other reggae artists for 15 years now, lived in the Carribean, and study the rastafarian culture. Bob Marley was not telling a woman not to cry, and he was DEFINITELY not saying that Women = pain and suffering and without them you will not cry...come on! As Rastafari forever said, believe what you want, I know what is true and this song is beautiful and full of meaning. It's political... and tells a story of Jamaica and the hardships the people suffered but they had to be strong. Do some research... you'll find out for yourself.

Rasta_Gial Nov-24-2007

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Georgie was a good friend of Marley's that was killed during the Kingston riots. He is singing to the man's wife or sister...

Marley_fan Dec-04-2007

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Seems if one writes out the lyrics it becomes obvious.

I love this song :).

Tom1 Dec-04-2007

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Certainly that title means that without a woman there'll be no tears, if you read the lyrics from that song you'll find that it means what i've just said

Fran1 Jan-10-2008

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i once heard that the song, "No Woman No Cry" was dedicated to bob's wife. a friend told me that bob made this song because he wanted to tell his wife that he didn't have another woman, thus, it's like saying, "i don't have a woman, don't cry".
but then, this is only hearsay. and the others had already done their research at, so, i think that's the one we should rely on.

min Jan-21-2008

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In Jamaica, some native speakers use the word "nuh" -some distortion of English - to replace the contraction "don't".

lAlA1 Jan-21-2008

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well a lot of people think it means if you have or if there were no women , you dont have to shed tears. but then why would the next sentence be , oh little sister , Dont shead no tear , thats gotto be about a woman, i going for no woman , dont cry :)

serge Jan-24-2008

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it makes more sense if you shake your head and look down while you say it

Jon2 Jan-29-2008

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When I see:

"no woman..." meaning "no, woman..." meaning you're saying no to a woman and actually calling her "woman" like some sort of title or nickname

and compare it to:

"no woman..." meaning "you don't have a woman..."

it reminds me of a comedy country song from long ago called "My Girl Bill". The entire song sounds like it's about a girl named Bill, but then at the very end, the last line is "...she's MY girl, BILL", and it's clear that the singer is telling this to his male friend, Bill, not singing ABOUT a girl named Bill. The entire song can be understood either way, which, I guess, is what makes it funny.

anonymous4 Jan-29-2008

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He definitely means woman, don't cry

Matthew1 Feb-01-2008

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A more accurate rendering of the title in Jamaican patois would be "No, woman, nuh cry". Nuh, which makes a shorter vowel sound for no, is the equivalent of the contraction don't.

jerry.gervacio Feb-06-2008

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Hello everyone!!

I just managed to read about it but I firmly believe that the song "no woman no cry" was sung for the commom people of Trench Town. He dedicated this song to them for the good times they spent despite the state of misery and to remind them how nice everything was, which has changed with the changing time.

The lyrics are extremely simple and quotes a lot about Bob Marley's observation of life in general. It is definitely Bob Marley's reminiscence of the life he led with the common people. But it is awesome if the lyrics are well understood.


fanaticnamita Feb-24-2008

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Its amazing how this particular song is being debated about. This song has got nothing to do with a woman or crying, if you check out the legend album, there is songs that already songs to cover that topic. By 'woman' bob is talking about any any suffering community in third world countries all over the world. More specifically, I think Robert is referring to Africa, the motherland....Everything is realy gonna be alright!!!!!!!

dan1 Feb-25-2008

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"rastafari forever" is right in today's school of modern thought about reggae... sociopolitical currents are what made reggae the voice of the ghetto, and Bob Marley was singing for recently independent Jamaica, the symbol of woman refers to the Queen...move forward and dont dwell on the past colonial and white- man dominated times... fit it in with the African- Caribbean diasporic movement and there you have it, a synopsis on how reggae does much to promote an Afro- Caribbean agenda, rather than the now popular Afro- Hispanic agenda. Hope that helps in Japan!

Dimitri Feb-26-2008

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that was lovely randy, you truly are a poet

Dimitri Feb-28-2008

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i am a jamaican girl origionally from st. katherine jamaica, a peris near kingston and i just wanted to put that in jamaica, bob marley is a musical genius and his music is pure and wonderful. listen to his lyrics and i guarentee you will realize what he is talking about..1 luv as we say

kgizmo1 Mar-09-2008

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No,no,no. What are you all talking about. Any true Bob Marley fan would know that "No Woman,No Cry" is a reference to Englands prior control of Jamaica. "Woman" is a reference to the Queen of England. They used to protest in Trench Town all night long against England. A purely political song. Peter Tosh was also very influential in this fight.

mkiyabru Mar-18-2008

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I feel the song is very simplistic its statement but very deep in meaning.
The phrase "no woman no cry'' means if you do not have a woman, life for a man has no responsibilities- NO CRY- he can be a player basically immature. However who wants to spend his life without a true mate and all the responsibility that comes with it- hence there will be some tears. How ever some of the tears will be tears and cries of joy.
Think about it -this is a very deep song

bobgibson Mar-26-2008

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It means No woman, DONT cry. Can read as shallow or deep into that as you want ( in terms of the political stuff)

Anyone who says its about a man not having a woman has TOTALLY missed the mark.

Robert_Nesta Mar-28-2008

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Bob Gibson has a nice version of it for instance, but it has nothing at all to do with what Marley was saying, real Marley fans would know that.

Nesta_again Mar-28-2008

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Then again, Bob Gibson also said "simplistic" when he obviously meant "simple".

anonymous4 Mar-31-2008

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Kerri-Anne....I think we all agree with you when you say he was a musical genius. He has touched so many of us with his music.

Mac_McIntire Apr-20-2008

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I can't believe how many people have drastically different interpretations, and are so adamant that they are right. I believe that there is one meaning, and I would agree with Mr. Gibson. If you have no woman to love, you may have many things, but your heart is empty. There is a fullness in being a man, but without the love and emotion, even crying inherent in relation, what do you really have? Beautiful words that every man should be in contact with. Man's struggle. No woman, no cry.

newfam Apr-27-2008

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Newfam, I haven't really scrutinized the lyrics enough to have a strong opinion, but it would seem that most here disagree with you and Mr. Gibson. In any case, you shouldn't be surprised at all that there are so many drastically different interpretations. It is the very nature, perhaps even the definition of poetry that it resonates with many people on many different levels, even beyond the intent and expectations of the poet.

anonymous4 Apr-28-2008

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If the phrase meant "if you don't have a woman you won't cry", then the next line -- "No, little sister, don't shed no tears" -- would make no sense at all. "No, woman, don't cry" must be the correct interpretation.

MP1 May-17-2008

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I agree with Mathew:
"he definetly means; woman, dont cry."

i think its all about what the song means to you. this is what it means to me. it could in fact be the political points stated, but its not what i think of when i hear it.
But it most definetly does NOT mean " if you dont have a woman you wont cry."

Laurrrra May-22-2008

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As a Jamaican and a former student of Linguistics, I can guarantee that his lyrics does not mean "if you do not have a woman, do not cry," and that this excerpt from the song over which we are debating is not a pidgin, a dialect, hackney or whatever else that was said here. Jamaican Creole is a language in development, and like English and other "bona fide" languages if given the opportunity to develop naturally, will become a full fledged language. As for the lyrics being debated, it translates in English as no woman should experience sorrow, pain. My personal interpretation of the song is that it was an ode to the strength and character of women. In my opinion, he might have written this song to his wife Rita because he knew that he would die soon and he wanted her to be strong and carry on. However as others have said, he might have been alludding to other issues on a wider spectrum

mellee Jun-02-2008

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i dont know if this question is still wanted to be answered but i agree with mellee. bob marley had cancer that started in his foot , which eventually led to his death. he says in the song "my feet is my only carriage, so i've got to push on through. But while im gone..." so he's probably just telling his wife and/or other women to not cry over his death. and the rest of the song is just him recounting his good memories of the past before he dies. its very clear if you know about the cancerous foot part.

yithechinaman Jun-08-2008

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I belive that this song (No women no cry )been played by Boony Am team.I belive that the meaning of this song is (Requesting his women ,not to cry).(No ,Women Dont cry )

azernaji Jun-09-2008

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Get a clue! No Woman, No Cry is patwah for no woman don't
cry, he's telling her not to shed a tear...the lyrics speak for
itself. For all those "other" Americans who can understand
"partridge in a pear tree", Bob Marley is the same difference.
He was a poet, a Jamaican Poet, but a notable one-
nevertheless. Some people even feel that he was a
prophet, sort of like John Lennon.

a_liststar Jun-10-2008

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no woman dont cry, the woman in his song has seen the oppression, poverty, and trials he has. he is comforting her. they share the same past.

anonymous4 Jun-30-2008

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ye... No nowan no cry....
i'm the fan of marley, and i've been thinking of this lyric for ten years. but like sumi, i've not known it yet...

one day in the night, i tried to hear it well to know what the true meaning of the song is.. Not better than before, i got the zero result... then i got the insight... Why i must spend a lot of my energy just to know the true meaning of this liryc.... this liryc's like poets,isn't it?????? So, you can use your own interpretation to translate the song is... don't u????????? I think it hangs on your own creatifity... Ok???

nice to give u comment... if u want, give me back a comment....

nazro_nbe Jul-02-2008

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the message of the song is life is hard if your not a woman dont cry and get on with it.

be_a_man Jul-13-2008

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The meaning of the song is simple.

"No womman, please don't (no) cry"

It's a song about after he's gone he doesnt wasnt people esspecially women to cry over him because as it say it the song "everything is gonna be alright"

That's my personal belief of the song. Your's my differ.

Swan Jul-17-2008

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Woman meant World. As in the sum of folks.
It has nothing to do with a woman. As in a unit.
Since everyone comes from one. It zeroes down to woman.
Now that is a take I have had for 15yrs.
Interestingly vast variations on the significance.

alphabets99 Jul-27-2008

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This song can be seen in many ways....I'm positive that it did not mean if you have no one you will not cry. Listening to the lyrics will give you that much. I agree with Rasta Gial, it's about the struggles of Jamaica. He says "in this bright future you can not froget the past" which i think he i s saying that Jamaica will have a good future but it's past will always shape it. Also anyone who keeps sayin ghtat it's about having no one, will make you not cry should see
I fyou truly love bob marley and his music you will do research berfore opening your mouth.
I understand you have your opinions but that's not what sumi was asking she wanted a reliable answer, with some researhable background.

Sumi go to and see for yourslef.
I have a friend that is fighting with me now, he says bob marley's music is pointless, I lost total respect to him as a singer.....he doesn't have to like the music but the message of untiting the world threw music and other thingks bob marley stood for should make him want to at least understand the words....lets se if i can change his mind!!! ;-)

joey1 Aug-04-2008

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he means: no my dear, please no tears! Buts its cool that is sort of also implies that if you don't have a woman you don't have to put up with their insane poo :)

ewan_777_ Aug-22-2008

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i cant be botherd to read all your comments but the real meaning of ''no woman no cry is very different''!! first of jamaicans speak jamaican bt in a recent times (as with alot of the world) they have half adopted english. the meaning of no woman no cry is that as jamaicans and esp rasta's hate babylon, and the white british, this song was written against the queen of england when jamaica were under british power.... no woman (the queen) no cry! so when they arnt ruled by the british queen they are happy!! this is the true meaning!! jah live

jon.nesta.ludlow Aug-27-2008

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I got a snake, man!

Bob3 Sep-08-2008

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I read that the way it's supposed to be pronounced is No woman...nuh cry.
It's a poor translation.
Nuh meaning "Dont"...
It means No woman, don't cry.

Ray2 Sep-10-2008

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I think he is talking about a woman and tells her not to cry when he wont be around

Sat Oct-06-2008

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My family is Jamaican it definately means no woman nuh (don't) cry, because the song is about nostalgia about lost loved ones, and there is even a lyric in the song that says dry your tears...
but when i was really little i thought it meant that too until my dad explained it lol

shearlp Oct-08-2008

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He means he has his penis in a womens dirty mouth (Trenchtown) and she is crying. He tells her stop crying and let him cum in her mouth and swollow cause it will taste like cornmeal parridge. He goes on to say he doesn't have a car (carraige) and his feet are infected so he uses a wheelchair to get around. People won't help him get around but want his money so he observes those hypocrites. Georges is real a porn actress that he befriended and taught him all he knew about singing. As she taught him she would light a fire so he could stay warm as they practiced late into the night.
That is the true version just any True Rausta Mon!

Jumbulia Oct-12-2008

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Louis_de_Broglie Oct-14-2008

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i hope sumi has got the answer. although i'm an indian, still i'd like to post. considering dear bob's other songs, his genre and his (assumed) thoughts he has most obviousy sung for the women. he has identified with them, their sufferings and have supported and consoled them by telling them not to cry.
please refrain from misunderstanding him

sanchari Oct-21-2008

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jumbulia. your thought is indeed dirty and filthy!!
this quite reveals how nasty a person you are!!!!

i condemn people like you!!!

sanchari Oct-21-2008

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oh no!! Jumbulia! You've been condemned!!!!!

Louis_de_Broglie Oct-21-2008

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the lyrics obviously mean : without a woman you don't suffer, you don't cry. and that woman should be the queen of england

me1 Nov-14-2008

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Different songs mean different things to different people. Sometimes what you get from a song can depend on what you are going through at the time, then you listen to it again and it could mean something completely different. It depends on the person, their background and what they are going through and have been through.

I believe that "No Woman No Cry" means "No Woman, Dont Cry". But I do believe the Woman is a symbol for a struggle (and I am NOT saying that without a woman there is no reason to cry). To me he speaks of hard times in Trenchtown, where he grew up and lived. I think he was giving the people hope that the struggle they were facing would eventually be over so they wouldnt have to continue to suffer or "cry".

"My feet is my only carriage, So Ive got to push on through." I dont think he was forecasting his death. I think he was referring to life and how your determination is the only thing that you have that when things look impossible, will get you from one point to another. So despite what you are going through you have to keep pushing through circumstances to make it to a better place. My feet is my only carriage means my determination is all I have to take me to the next level. But when you finally do decide to go forward and push through, its like leaving a comfort zone, so you are literally gone from a place in your life. But know that when you do leave your comfort zone, everything is going to be alright. The future is great, so you look to the future for hope that things will get better, but dont forget your past, which was the struggle that made you who you are.

It is no doubt that the song is about a struggle. But like I said if you have never struggled growing up, then you probably will think it refers to a woman and him telling her not to cry. But for me, it represents hope that despite your struggle you can make it. And when you do make it, help the people make it also, which would explain "Then we would cook cornmeal porridge, Of which Ill share with you". His friend owned a soup kitchen that helped keep alot of people alive back then, so this reference could be a tribute to his friend, but a reference to helping people, even when what you have isnt much.

Smith1 Dec-07-2008

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Correction. Marley was born in St. Ann Parish, not Trenchtown

Smith1 Dec-07-2008

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The correct meaning of the song "No Woman No Cry"
If you do not have a girlfriend/signifigant other, you will not cry over the pain and suffering she may cause you to have. As in when you break up, when you fight, etc. Bob is saying that if you do not have a relationship, you will not have a bad relationship. It's actually quite a pessimistic song, but it's very good in the same regard.
=] Hope this helps you out!!!

Lori_Danko Dec-18-2008

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I don't think Jamaican, US or UK English is relevant in this case, I'm convinced the song is not about a woman in the sense of having or not having one. The lyrics are clear, the song is about hardship in Trenchtown, Bob is reminiscing about his life in the area. The fact that he composed the song and put Vincent Ford's name so he could have a reliable source of income (from royalties) to run the soup kitchen is telling.

He says "in this great future you can't forget your past", which to me means he is giving us a glimpse on his'. I think the woman is Trenchtown itself, and/or women of the area who cried over not being able to provide for their children, "Woman, little sister, dont shed no tears", he can't refer to his woman as little sister, little darling.

The song is about his love for Trenchtown, not love for a woman. After all he had a string of women, I don't think he would cry over not having one. He married Rita at 21 and died at 36. I don't think the man knew how it felt to not have a woman, he was too involved in his music and too busy making 13 children with different women to cry over one.

"My feet is my only carriage,
So Ive got to push on through"

He had to work and move on / out of Trenchtown,

"But while Im gone, I mean:
Everythings gonna be all right!"

Bob is gone, leaving Trenchtown to benefit from this well preserved, great and timeless song. I hope the proceeds from royalties are put to good use to wipe the tears of Trenchtown, this was Bob's wish. He has given his greatest to his birthplace.

Its a sad but comforting song. Bob Live...!

Cheers from South Africa

Zu Dec-25-2008

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Bubba - Jamaicans speak hackneyed English, what about Americans?

Speedwell - The English themselves do not speak your Queen's English, they speak distorted English and do not apply the grammer, thanks to globalisation, cellphone text and email language the coloniser and slave master's pride is throttled, the scrapping of the pound will be the last straw, the British Empire is finally buried and the English are pining for it. These people have rubbished Africa for her minerals and they, and Americans are financing wars on the continent. Britain needs South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe (yes Zimbabwe, the English know how rich Zimbabwe is), Kenya and Tanzania, in that order, more than we need them. After all you have nothing except empty pride, very little education, potato and coal. Your days on this continent are numbered, your first world status which you earned at the expense of our continent will diminish as soon as Africans start to trade more amongst themselves. That is going to happen.

Your arms dealing queen is paying visits to third world countries to open doors for British arms manufacturers, leaving a trail of civil wars, how do you explain that. Britain needs to make wars to survive. The son of Margaret Thatcher and Simon Mann (a British citizen) were charged for plotting a coup in Equitorial Guinea, the days of the English on this continent are numbered. Mann is doing 34 years and dying in jail in E. Guinea, good for him. What is Britain doing about their citizens who are plotting civil wars in poor countries around the world.

Cheers to Jamaica from South Africa.

Zu Dec-25-2008

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Its 'grammar' mate... as for the rest of your misguided politics... give it a rest

Canuck Jan-01-2009

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the song is about hardship... but the line "no woman no cry" more broadly implies that to whoever is experiencing hard times, man or woman, don't cry, don't fret, keep your head up and stay positive... because "everything is gonna be alright"

inYour Jan-05-2009

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Try this explanation, Sumi.

tadpoles Jan-06-2009

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geez.... you people almost sound funny. we dont speak "hackneyed" or whatever else you called it..... we have a dialect called Patois (pronounced PAT-WAH)
as for the Bob Marley song....

a woman that is depressed about alot of things.... no woman, no cry

there's a chorus in the song that goes
Everything's gonna be all right!
Everything's gonna be all right!
Everything's gonna be all right!
Everything's gonna be all right! etc

so all he is saying that all she is worrying,
she must not cry because everything will be ok

JAMAICAN Feb-05-2009

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No woman, no cry means if you don't have a woman you won't suffer all the problems a relationship brings. For some reason men think women are complicated! :) So if you don't have a woman, maybe you are coasting along feeling ok, but maybe you miss some of the great highs, too. But that's just my opinion. There is a great visualization of this here:

Lada Feb-05-2009

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Anyone who takes 5 minutes to read the lyrics would understand that the meaning is "No, woman, don't cry." Whether the "woman" relates to his lady, women in general, or the queen is open for debate, but it's painfully obvious that the song has NOTHING to do with the notion that if you don't have a woman, you'll have nothing to cry about.

If only Bob Marley had put a comma before the direct address in the title, nobody would be confused ...

AMR1 Feb-09-2009

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If you have ever been to Jamaica, you would know that Jamaicans sing all the time. They could be asking for a bowl of cereal and they would sing it to you. Maybe the soup kitchen dude did write it. Maybe he was cutting some sugar cane for the soup and created a song. Next time you visit Jamaica be sure to leave the resort and actually talk to the locals, they are amazing people. We look at the shack they live in and feel pity. Talk to the kids on the way to school in thier uniforms, they are happy. A westerner would cry about what they do not have, but these people are thankfull for everything. We want to turn the entire world into a first world country, but no one asked the ?third? worlders if this is what they want. Perhaps people want to be left alone and respected for who they are not petry-dished into what we think they should be.
One Love People

wolfesburg Feb-20-2009

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"is taken from one of bobs friends that was dying in hospital the mans wife was cry by his bed side and the dying man held her face in her hand and said.."no woman! cry!.." bob was toucjed by this and wrote the song in memory of his friend."

This is the most common explanation of the song, but it leaves out that what Bob is actuall saying is "No Woman, Nuh Cry". In the Jamaican language "Nuh" means "Don't". So he was telling his woman not to cry over his impending death.

Caribban_Character Mar-11-2009

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why did he not write the lyric ,No woman nuh cry in the first line then make it easy to the listener by writing the next line as No woman don't cry.......compromise, no need to sell out

raggamuffs Mar-11-2009

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