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  • Writer's pictureGirlWellTravelled

A Christmas Playlist of Caribbean Rhythms

Photo by Wix

As the holiday lights twinkle and the scent of cinnamon and pine fills the air, let me take you on a musical journey that brings the vibrant spirit of the West Indies to your Christmas celebration.

Wrapping presents, baking cookies, or simply cosying up by the fire make this Christmas playlist your go-to.

Sway Into The Season

Reggae rhythms? Yes. Soca beats? Yes. Some catchy calypsoes and tropical steel drums, this Caribbean Christmas playlist promises to infuse your festive moments with rhythm, and a touch of Caribbean flair. Maybe even a sway of your hips or two.

1 - We Wish You A Merry Christmas

by Jacob Miller and Ray I (Jamaica)

Jacob Miller and Ray I's rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" carries joyful and upbeat vibes. A lively performance infusing a sense of celebration and festivity into this classic Christmas song. The reggae influence in Jacob Miller's style adds an energetic twist to the traditional holiday tune, creating an atmosphere of merriment and cheer.

Have your bottle of Red Stripe ready.

2 - Feliz Navidad

by Joseph Fonseca (Puerto Rico)

Kick off your West Indian Christmas celebration with the Latin-infused beats of Joseph Fonseca's "Feliz Navidad." Let the lively rhythms set the stage for a festive and joyous atmosphere.

3 - Christmas Soca Medley

by Byron Lee and The Dragonaires (Jamaica)

Byron Lee and The Dragonaires' does a soca mash up of some well known Christmas songs and carols. Would you like to hear classics such as 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing or Deck the Halls or Come All Ye Faithful' infused with a lively soca flavour? Have a listen to this Soca Medley and let the upbeat rhythms and percussions transport you to a tropical Christmas paradise.

4 - Reggae Christmas

by Bryan Adams featuring Jimmy Cliff (Canada and Jamaica)

Get ready to groove to the beats of "Reggae Christmas" as two legendary musicians, Bryan Adams and Jimmy Cliff, come together to create a sensational fusion of reggae and rock music. This feel-good anthem will surely get you singing along and feeling the holiday spirit like never before. That's a Reggae Christmas for you.

'A Merry Christmas and a reggae new year,

A Merry Christmas and a reggae new year to you.'

5 - Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord

by Boney M. (Jamaica, Montserrat and Aruba)

You may know this one already but if you don't, feel free to add some serious groove to your holiday celebrations with Boney M.'s electrifying rendition of "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord"! But my favourite part of this tune comes two minutes and thirty seconds in. This classic Christmas carol gets a contagious disco reggae beat. At three minutes, nineteen seconds in you're bound to push the dials up and give your lungs a blow out.

This will have you swaying, glass of Ponche Kuba in hand and singing along in no time.

6 - Drink Ah Rum

by Lord Kitchener (Trinidad)

This one is a personal favourite. I should say, growing up on my little Caribbean island, bars and pubs stayed open until midnight on Christmas eve. It helps that the weather is warm, so everyone is out partying. Most don't get home until after midnight. But whatever time you got home rest assured you'd be back up for Christmas morning church service at 5 am.

But no matter what else happens on Christmas morning, be it during the mass cooking or whatever else - you'd hear this tune at least once. Someone holding onto a brandy or a glass of Ponche Kuba (our version of Ponche Crema) and having a jig.

'Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum

Is Christmas morning!

Mama, drink if you drinking!

Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum.'

7 - Jamaican Drummer Boy

by Shaggy (Jamaica)

Spice up your holiday season with a Jamaican twist! Add Caribbean vibes to your Christmas playlist with this electrifying "Jamaican Drummer Boy" by the legendary Shaggy. His reggae rendition of this classic tune is transportation to Jamaica's island paradise and an infusion to your festivities with a modern and upbeat flavour.

8 - Calypso Noel

Alston (Becket) Cyrus (St Vincent)

Feel the lively, rhythmic and tropical vibes of calypso music! This tune is the ultimate Caribbean classic and is synonymous with the region's Christmas. I've listened to it since I was little and still hold the same energy today. You won't resist tapping your feet and moving to this beat! Here's Calypso Noel!

9 - Santa Looking For A Wife

By Brindley Benjamin (Trinidad & Tobago)

It's the tempo on this one. And with the simplicity of the lyrics, you'll be stirring a pot or wrapping some gifts and humming the tune long after the song ends. You might even forget about whatever you were doing and start dancing along! Okay, here is where I turn up the volume and start the party!

'Santa's looking for a wife, santa's looking for a wife..'

Now I am just happy Santa still hasn't found a wife. This way, we can all keep playing Santa Looking for a Wife and singing along. I sure will not be applying. Haha

10 - Pong Ain't Getting Naffin

by Pong (Barbados)

There's nothing like a Christmas where you're not on anyone's 'nice list'. It is emotionally challenging, evokes a sense of loneliness, rejection, disconnect.

So this song is the clubhouse where all those feeling rejected and lonely meet up and be okay with the fact that they 'ain't getting anything for Christmas'. Even those on

'the very nice list' will want to join this clubhouse.

Okay, here is where I get the Ponche Kuba out again. By the way, in the club, the jam, the fete, the drive home this can get wild!

11 - Auld Lang Syne

by Banks Soundtech Steel Orchestra (Barbados)

Now this is not the Christmas tune but I can almost bet that once you've played it, you'll be playing it until New Year's Eve. The steel drums bring a unique and lively energy to this traditional New Year's Eve song. A sound often characterized by a joyful and tropical vibe, creating a sense of unity and celebration. The steel drums infuse the familiar tune of Auld Lang Syne with a lively and rhythmic quality, making it felicitous for festive occasions and gatherings.

The overall feel, one of joy and camaraderie. A very tropical twist.

Has these Vibrant Tunes of the Caribbean Ignited Your Festive Spirit?

This playlist is a celebration of the vibrant and diverse culture of the Caribbean during Christmas time. And also, my Christmas treat to you as you've been very nice this year. Whether you're spending time with your loved ones, decorating the tree, or enjoying a festive meal, these tunes will add some serious Caribbean flair to your celebrations. Let the pulsing reggae beats add some spice to your holiday season, transport you to a tropical paradise and get you in the holiday spirit like never before!

So, have you heard any of these tunes before? If yes, then you know what I'm talking about! And if not, then stay and discover some amazing new music that will make your December unforgettable.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with joy, love, and unforgettable moments! And, of course, a "Reggae New Year!

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