There’s a Brown Girl in the Ring


(Jamaican folk song)

1. There’s a brown girl* in the ring, Tra-la-la-la-la.
There’s a brown girl in the ring, Tra-la-la-la-la-la,
Brown girl in the ring, Tra-la-la-la-la,
And she/he looks like the sugar in a plum, plum, plum.
(Option: “For she likes sugar, and I like plums!”)

2. Now show us your motion…

3. Now let’s skip across the ocean…

*Substitute “student” or a student’s name

See also


or purchase here or here (printables only)

  • Song with chords, Adapted version, Lesson ideas for Rhythm (Steady Beat) (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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2 thoughts on “There’s a Brown Girl in the Ring”

  1. Although the Boney M version tends to be the one many people have heard, this recording by Jamaican folk historian Louise Bennett-Coverley offers words which make more sense and are more suitable for kids today. Instead of “she looks like a sugar in a plum”, the words are “for she likes sugar, and I like plums”. These lyrics are printed in the Mango Spice anthology of songs from the Caribbean. Additionally Miss Lou sings a verse for a “brown boy in the ring”.

    Her recordings, and those by the Jamaican Folk Singers under the direction of Dr. Olive Lewin, are good sources to consult for Jamaican folk songs.

    1. Thank so much for this. I am grateful that I found Miss Lou’s original version which indeed makes sense and provides complete context for this lovely song

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