Music

Country Rewind: Charley Pride's Preview of Tropical-Flavored Country, 'You're My Jamaica'

Before the longevity of Kenny Chesney and the cross-generational appeal of Jimmy Buffett made country songs about island getaways the norm, Charley Pride scored his 22nd No. 1 hit with 1979's "You're My Jamaica."

It's a tender song about a man so in love with his significant other that he doesn't need an expensive vacation package to feel like he's got the world by the tail.

Mike Moran's arrangement and the song's rhythms capture the tropical feel that made Buffett a star in the '70's, despite the fact that Pride cut the song in London, England and not at some Gulf Coast hideaway. It's also a very Nashville record, with B-side "Let Me Have a Chance to Love You (One More Time)" reflecting Pride's longstanding honky-tonk allegiance and featuring backup vocals by The Jordanaires.

The July 1979 single was an early example of the late, great Kent Robbins' songwriting. The Kentucky native worked in-house for Pride's Pi-Gem Music, resulting in future Pride hits "When I Stop Leavin' (I'll Be Gone)" and "I Don't Think She's in Love Anymore." Robbins went on to write or co-write numerous country hits, including Trace Adkins' "Every Light in the House," John Anderson's "Straight Tequila Night," The Judds' "Love is Alive" and George Strait's "Write This Down."

Read More: Dona Mason, Rissi Palmer and an Inexcusable 20-Year Cap on the Country Charts

Robbins died at age 50 in a Dec. 27, 1997 automobile accident near Clanton, Alabama.

Pride's song appeared as the title track of a 1979 RCA Victor release, an album also featuring the No. 2 hit "Missin' You." Pride re-recorded it with Neal McCoy for McCoy's 2005 album That's Life.

"You're My Jamaica" doesn't exactly get mentioned in the same breath as "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'," "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone," "Roll on Mississippi" or "Heartbreak Mountain," but it proves that Pride's familiar baritone voice suited styles beyond traditional country music.

"You're My Jamaica" Lyrics

Every day I read ads in the paper
Saying come to the islands
Bikinied ladies sweet rum drinks, yeah
They'll keep you smiling

But I've got calypso music on the record at home
And when it comes to the warmth and sunshine
Well, I got my ownYou're my Jamaica
You're where I want to be
You're my island when I am being
Tossed on a stormy sea

My heavenly haven
Where I can spend eternity
You're my Jamaica
Your paradise to me

White sunny sand palm trees and tans
It's sounds so inviting
(Sounds so inviting)
Limbo dancing and star light romancing

It's all so exciting
But I got my flowery shirt
And rum punch in my hand
And my own exotic lover in my native land

You're my Jamaica
You're where I want to be
You're my island when I am being
Tossed on a stormy sea

My heavenly haven
Where I can spend eternity
You're my Jamaica
You're paradise to me

Now Watch: Tanya Tucker's Country Music Hits Through the Years

recommended for you

Country Rewind: Charley Pride's Preview of Tropical-Flavored Country, 'You're My Jamaica'