Thursday, April 22, 2021

What Are The Lyrics For The Jamaican Maroon Songs "Granny Nanny Train ah Come (Walk in Deh)" And "Granny Nanny Come On"?

SaintAnthonyOne, Sep 16, 2016

"Granny Nanny Train ah Come, Walk in Deh". Step in and jump to the pulsating indigenous Maroons' Drumbeats. The Moore Town Maroons Granny Nanny Cultural Group."
This Maroon performance group sing this song while they do their traditional dance around a circle. Two drummers are seated inside the circle. Some audience members dance along with The Moore Town Maroons Granny Nanny Cultural Group.

Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post showcases a 2016 YouTube video of Jamaica's Moore Town Maroons Granny Nanny Cultural Group performing the song "Granny Nanny Train Ah Come (Walk In Deh)" (also found as "Maroon Train Ah Come (Walk In Deh)."

This post also showcases a sound file of another Jamaican Maroon song "Granny Nanny Come Oh" and provides some information about Queen Nanny who is also known as "Granny Nanny". 

I've searched online, but haven't found any words for these Jamaican Maroon call & response songs.

Please add to the folkloric record by sharing these songs' lyrics and by sharing any information you may have about when these songs were first sung and whether they are  religious songs or social resistence/protest songs or both. Also, are the composer/s of these songs known?   

The content of this post is presented for cultural, historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the Maroon cultural groups for helping to keep alive the music legacy of the Jamaican Maroons.Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.
Click for a YouTube video entitled "

Also, click the tags given below for more information about Jamaica's Maroons and about Jamaica's Queen Nanny (Granny Nanny).


The Granny Nanny Cultural Group- Topic, January 6, 2017

"Queen Nanny, Granny Nanny or Nanny or Nanny of the Maroons (c. 1686 – c. 1755), was an 18th-century leader of the Jamaican Maroons. She led a community of formerly enslaved Africans called the Windward Maroons.[1] In the early 18th century, under the leadership of Nanny, the Windward Maroons fought a guerrilla war over many years against British authorities in the Colony of Jamaica in what became known as the First Maroon War.

Much of what is known about her comes from oral history, as little textual evidence exists. According to Maroon legend, Queen Nanny was born in what is today Ghana of the Akans people.[2] According to the oral tradition and at least one documentary source, she was never enslaved.[2] ...

During the years of warfare, the British suffered significant losses in their encounters with the Windward Maroons of eastern Jamaica. Maroons attributed their success against the British to the successful use of supernatural powers by Nanny, but historians argue that the Maroon mastery of guerrilla warfare played a significant role in their success. Having failed to defeat them on the battle field, the British sued for peace, signing a treaty with them on 20 April 1740.[2] The treaty stopped the hostilities, provided for state sanctioned freedom for the Maroons, and granted 500 acres of land to Nanny and her followers. The village built on the land grant still stands and today is called Moore Town. It is also known as the New Nanny Town. Modern members of the Moore Town celebrate 20 April 1740 as a holiday.

In 1975, the government of Jamaica declared Nanny as their only female national hero celebrating her success as a leader, military tactician and strategist.[3] Her image is also on the Jamaican $500 note which is called a Nanny in Jamaican slang.


According to Maroon oral history, Nanny's success in defending her people against overwhelming British forces was often attributed to her mysterious supernatural powers. According to legend, Nanny had magical powers, and could catch bullets and then redirect them back at the people who shot at her.[1]


Some claim that Queen Nanny lived to be an old woman, dying of natural causes in the 1760s. The exact date of her death remains a mystery. Part of the confusion is that "Nanny" is an honorific title*, and many high-ranking women were called that in Maroon Town. However, the Maroons are adamant that there was only one "Queen Nanny."[24]


According to Maroon oral history, Nanny's remains are buried at "Bump Grave" in Moore Town.[25]


Nanny is celebrated in Jamaica and abroad:

The government of Jamaica declared Queen Nanny a National Hero in 1975. Colonel C.L.G. Harris of Moore Town, then a Senator in Jamaica's upper house, was the driving force behind the move to recognise Nanny as a National Heroine.[25]

Her portrait is featured on the $500 Jamaican dollar bill, which is colloquially referred to as a "Nanny".[26]

Nanny is celebrated every October on Jamaican National Heroes Day.[27]

Nanny's Monument is located in Moore Town, Portland, Jamaica.[28]

Nannyville Gardens, a residential community located in Kingston, Jamaica, was founded in 1977 and named after her.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University in the United States uses Nanny's portrait in its logo. The Center sponsors research and conferences on slavery in the Americas."
*The word "Nanny" originated from the Akan word "Nana".
[in] "the Twi language of the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast, Nana is a gender-neutral title representing the highest office in society. It is also a term used to denote Grandmother, Grandfather, Elderess, Elder, venerable Ancestress and venerable Ancestor."

Click,venerable%20Ancestress%20and%20venerable%20Ancestor.%22 for a 2014 pancocojams post entitled "What "Nana" Means In Akan Culture & The Use Of The Word In Jamaican Maroons & By African Americans".

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Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Here's an excerpt about the CD by January 20, 2017 by Paul H. Williams

    "The story of Moore Town, located in the Blue and John Crow Mountains of eastern Jamaica, is steeped in Maroon history and heritage.

    The Maroons in Jamaica resisted and escaped from slavery, an institution of plantation servitude perpetuated by European capitalists for over 300 years, to establish their own lifestyle among flora and fauna endemic to the region.

    In 2008, the intangible heritage of Moore Town, Portland, was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, originally proclaimed in 2003. And in 2015, The Blue and John Mountains National Park was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list as the first mixed (cultural and natural) site for the Caribbean subregion.

    Thus, the preservation of the narratives, songs, instruments, art and craft, and oral traditions of Moore Town is what the Maroons have been encouraged to do over the years, and recently, the Moore Town Granny Nanny Cultural Group, on the heels of a successful tour of the United States, released a double-CD of traditional Maroon music and oral traditions.

    Executive-produced by Harcourt Fuller, PhD, this debut album, titled Granny Nanny Come Oh: Jamaican Maroon Kromanti and Kumina Music and Other Oral Traditions is a collector's item and features 31 tracks of live studio recordings of traditional Jamaican Maroon and Bongo-Kumina songs, drumming and other types of music, oral history, an Anansi story, African language retentions, etc.


    The Granny Nanny Cultural Group is a traditional Maroon performing-arts ensemble, which consists of master musicians, drummers, storytellers, craftspeople, herbal healers, and spiritualists. The group was formed in the early 1990s by Maroon elders and youth to honour the legacy of their Akan priestess and warrior ancestor, Queen Nanny of the Windward Jamaican Maroons.

    Many of the songs on this album are about their struggles against slavery and colonialism and in praise of Granny Nanny, who is Jamaica's only national heroine."...

  2. I shared the link to this post on the first embedded video and two other YouTube videos about Jamaican culture. (The second video that is found in this post doesn't allow comments.)

    I also asked that people who known Jamaican Patois share the lyrics for these songs in the discussion thread for these videos or in this discussion thread.

    Based just on the online information about Granny Nanny and these songs, I think that "Granny Nanny Train Ah Come (Walk In Deh)" (also found as "Maroon Train Ah Come (Walk In Deh)" refers to the spirit of of Queen Nanny (Granny Nanny) as symbolic of the power of that historic person. As such, I think that the phrase "Granny Nanny train" and the phrase "Granny Nanny come" refers to the legacy of Queen Nanny and/or movement of resistance and the warrior nature of the Maroons.