Song of the Day #4,679: ‘Jamaica Say You Will’ – Jackson Browne

It is finally here! Call this Meet Me in Montauk’s version of “Infrastructure Week” during the Trump administration. Come one, come all, to my Jackson Browne deep dive!

Over the next three weeks, I’ll feature a song from each of Browne’s 14 studio albums, then finish off with my personal ranking of his discography.

Born 72 years ago in Germany (his father was in the military), Browne relocated to Los Angeles at three years old and went on to help define the musical sound of that region.

As a young man, Browne made a name for himself writing songs for other artists before releasing his self-titled 1972 debut at age 24.

Mistakenly referred to by many as “Saturate Before Using” due to a cover photo of a water bag etched with those words, Jackson Browne is a low-key, sleepy affair that manages to establish Browne’s style without feeling essential.

I count three standout songs among its 10 tracks, starting with opener ‘Jamaica Say You Will,’ a melancholy love ballad. Second track ‘A Child in These Hills’ is another winner, setting up the expectation that the album will maintain its quality throughout.

Apart from hit single ‘Doctor My Eyes,’ however, the album quickly loses steam. But like many debut efforts, it hints at greatness to come.

Jamaica was the lovely one, I played her well
As we lay in the tall grass where the shadows fell
Hiding from the children so they would not tell
We would stay there ’till her sister rang the evening bell

Jamaica, say you will
Help me find a way to fill these empty hours
Say you will come again tomorrow

The daughter of a captain on the rolling seas
She would stare across the water from the trees
Last time he was home he held her on his knees
And said the next time they would sail away just where they pleased

Jamaica, say you will
Help me find a way to fill these lifeless sails
And stay until my ships can find the sea

Jamaica was a sweet young one, I loved her true
She was a comfort and a mercy through and through
Hiding from this world together, next thing I knew
We had brought her things down to the bay
What could I do

Jamaica, say you will
Help me find a way to fill these sails
And we will sail until our waters have run dry

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,679: ‘Jamaica Say You Will’ – Jackson Browne

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Well, needless to say, having bemoaned Browne’s absence from your blog, I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks, particularly because, in truth, there are only a handful of his songs and albums I know very well.

    Take his debut album, for example – I certainly know “Doctor My Eyes,” which is a classic, but doubt I have heard the rest of the record. While perhaps not “essential,” it seems like something I would enjoy listening to.

  2. Amy says:

    14 albums?! Wow. I’ve seen him in concert, love a couple of his albums and adore a half dozen of his songs, but I had no idea there was quite so much of his music about which I was oblivious. Today’s SOTD is lovely, though it’s impressive that he had a hit with “Doctor” right out of the gate!

  3. Peg says:

    Wow he’s close to my age and I don’t think I know him at all. I will be following along as well!

  4. Rob says:

    Good day sir – just want to point out a typo … the self-titled first album album was released in 1972 … not 1975.

  5. Russ Paris says:

    I’d include mention of “Looking Into You,” which I think is a standout track. Also, Jackson had a way of including a very strong and powerful track as the ending track to each of his early albums. The debut album ends with “My Opening Farewell.” Original copies of this album came in a simulated burlap cover, first issues opened from the top. Later issues had the simulated burlap cover but opened from the side. Later pressings dropped the texturing. The inner sleeve was printed with an image of water… simulating the water in the burlap water bag!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.