Remembering Peetah Morgan: 20 Essential Songs From Morgan Heritage

Reggae music lost a giant this week with the passing of Peter “Peetah” Morgan, the lead singer of the family Reggae band Morgan Heritage. His unique, instantly recognizable voice was one of the group’s defining characteristics, standing out in a crowded field where comparisons are frequent. Peetah’s soulful vocals—often paired with the harmonious complements of his brother Roy “Gramps” Morgan—created a distinct musical fingerprint over the band’s 30-year history. Whenever a Morgan Heritage song starts, there’s no mistaking the group’s identity.

In honor of Peetah Morgan’s enduring legacy with Morgan Heritage, DancehallMag highlights 20 essential songs from the band’s rich catalog. These tracks showcase their versatility, ability to tackle social issues with grace, and commitment to spreading positivity and love through music.

1.Don’t Haffi Dread (1999)

Don’t Haffi Dread, the title track from their 1999 album, is the quintessential “Rasta 101” anthem. The song tackled the necessity of dreadlocks for spiritual identification in the Rastafarian community, and stands out for its nuanced and convincing approach, moving beyond simplistic statements often found in similar Reggae songs. With Gramps and Una Morgan, the sole female member at the time, on backing vocals, it gently reminds listeners that the essence of Rastafari lies beyond outward appearances.

Album: Don’t Haffi Dread (1999)
Producer: Bobby ‘Digital’ Dixon, Peetah Morgan

2.Liberation (Chant Woee) (1999)

This one is a call to action for more conscious artists to rise and help ‘liberate’ the people using music. With Peetah taking the lead and Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan, the group’s rapper, delivering a verse, Liberation pays homage to legendary reggae artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, Garnet Silk, Sizzla, and Capleton, hailing them for using music as a tool for social commentary. Several artists answered the call on the Liberation riddim, including Capleton with Jah Jah City, Jah Cure with Love’s The Solution, Ras Shiloh with Unto Zion, Bushman with Truly Great, and the Morgan sibling group LMS with Never.

Album: Morgan Heritage Family and Friends, Vol. 1 (2000), Liberation Riddim (1999)
Producer: Morgan Heritage, Denroy Morgan

3.Down By The River (2000)

Down By The River is the title track from Dean Fraser‘s riddim, which remade The Cables’ classic, What Kind Of World (1970). The song takes on a spiritual theme, with Peetah and Gramps’ vocals describing a journey toward spiritual awakening inspired by the symbolism of a river and the guidance of nature.

Album: More Teachings (2001), Down By The River Riddim (2000)
Producer: Dean Fraser

4.What We Need Is Love (2000)

What We Need Is Love is laid on the Grab Yu Lass Riddim, which itself samples the 1967 You Don’t Care Riddim. Peetah, who leads the song with Mr. Mojo contributing ad-libs and raping in the third verse, delivers yet another excellent message of unity and love, urging listeners to embrace these values for themselves and future generations.

Album: More Teachings (2001), Grab Yu Lass Riddim (2000)
Producer: Bobby ‘Digital’ Dixon

5.More Teachings (2001)

Living up to its title, this song is an exploration of Rastafarian philosophy and history. More than that, it showcases the diverse talents within Morgan Heritage beyond Peetah and Gramps. Mr. Mojo delivers an intro and rap verse, while Una takes the rare opportunity for a solo segment.

Album: More Teachings (2001)
Producer: Denroy Morgan

6.She’s Still Loving Me (2002)

She’s Still Loving Me showcases Morgan Heritage’s ability to blend musical styles, weaving a country influence into their signature Reggae sound. While the song doesn’t delve into social or political commentary, its message of unwavering commitment and dedication in a relationship, delivered via Peetah’s emotive tenor and Gramps’s soulful baritone, has made it a staple of their live performances.

Album: Three In One (2003)
Producer: Phillip Linton

7.A Man Is Still A Man (2002)

On the same bass-heavy riddim as Sizzla‘s Simplicity (We Use To Survive), A Man Is Still A Man challenges societal biases by championing the inherent value of every individual regardless of wealth, skin color, or social status.

Album: Three In One (2003), Simplicity Riddim (2002)
Producer: Bobby ‘Digital’ Dixon, Morgan Heritage

8.Your Best Friend (2004)

This one finds Peetah (with backup from Gramps and Mr. Mojo) navigating the advances of his woman’s ‘best friend’ on the Drop Leaf riddim. While the narrative focuses on that specific situation, the song’s themes of loyalty and temptation offer a relatable listening experience.

Album: Full Circle (2005), Drop Leaf Riddim (2004)
Producer: Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett

9.Tell Me How Come (2005)

In Tell Me How Come, Peetah delivers a powerful vocal performance on the beautifully crafted Seasons Riddim, raising critical questions on a range of social injustices, including the unequal treatment of the Rastafarian community, the disparities in educational opportunities, and the abundance of guns in underprivileged areas. It’s the closest he comes to literally wailing on a song, with the affecting chant: “Life is so unfair (in this sweet paradise), And this is what we swear.

Album: Full Circle (2006), Seasons Riddim (2005)
Producer: Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett

10.Hail Up The Lion (Uncomfortable) (2005)

Hail Up The Lion (Uncomfortable) exemplifies the band’s Rastafarian faith and its significant influence in their catalog.  Built upon a riff sample from Keith & Tex’s Stop That Train (1967), the song pulsates with infectious energy with the catchy call to action, “Uncomfortable – Babylon will be from this day on/ because the rebel – come start up a revolution/ Don’t want no trouble – best you listen to the Rastaman/ and Hail the Lion, Hail Up The Lion.”

Album: Full Circle (2006)
Producer: Big Yard

11.So Much To Come (2005)

Co-produced by their father, the legendary Reggae artist Denroy Morgan, So Much To Come paints a vivid picture of a future fraught with social ills, political corruption, and environmental destruction. The song’s prophetic tone and message are carried by Peetah’s soulful vocals and Gramps’s supporting harmonies.

Album: Full Circle (2006)
Producer: Denroy Morgan, Morgan Heritage

12.I’m Coming Home (2005)

A good number of Reggae lovers are fixated more on message rather than melodies. Guess what? Morgan Heritage delivers on both fronts in I’m Coming Home. Gramps’s lead vocals take center stage in the song, offering an introspective look at the sacrifices and challenges faced by artists and individuals constantly on the road.

Album: Full Circle (2005)
Producer: Robert Livingston

13.Brooklyn and Jamaica (2006)

Brooklyn and Jamaica, recorded on the Statement riddim, draws a compelling parallel between Jamaica, the reggae scene’s birthplace, and the New York borough of Brooklyn, home to the largest Jamaican diaspora outside of the island. The song weaves together narratives from both locations, highlighting the shared realities and struggles faced by many in these communities. Consider it conscious Reggae’s answer to Damian Marley‘s Welcome To Jamrock (2005), which had a Dancehall flow. Brooklyn and Jamaica‘s impact extended beyond reggae circles, inspiring American rapper Maino to collaborate with Morgan Heritage on a remix titled Ask Me ‘Bout Brooklyn.

Album: Mission In Progress (2008), Statement Riddim (2006)
Producer: Shane Brown

14.Love You Right (2006)

On the Time For Love riddim, Peetah delivers sensual vocals expressing deep affection and commitment to a partner. He’s backed up with harmony from Gramps and a rap verse from Mr. Mojo, who add depth and dimension to a female fan favorite.

Album: Mission In Progress (2008), Time For Love Riddim (2006)
Producer: Everton Hardweare (Singing Melody), Michael Steer

15.Nothing To Smile About (2008)

Nothing To Smile About features an interactive hook, inviting listeners to participate in highlighting the harsh realities in Jamaica. Built on the Rub-A-Dub riddim, it opens with a poignant observation: tourists, who often perceive Jamaica as a paradise, are blind to the struggles faced by its citizens. Peetah takes on the role of a tour guide, who educates a foreign visitor about the lived experiences of many residents.

Album: Mission In Progress (2009), Rub-A-Dub Riddim (2008)
Producer: Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor

16.Girl Is Mine (2013)

A well-executed Reggae cover of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s Girl Is Mine that stays true to the 1982 original song. However, Peetah and Gramps show off their versatility even further by replacing Michael and Paul’s back-and-forth at the end with an exciting singjay verse.

Album: Here Come The Kings (2013)
Producer: Jason ‘J-Vibe’ Farmer

17.Strictly Roots (2015)

Strictly Roots, the title track from the Grammy Award-winning album, sets the tone for the entire project with its deep roots reggae sound. The song opens with a dramatic drum roll and a soaring horn line, immediately capturing the listener’s attention. Peetah takes the lead with his distinctive chanting vocals, while Gramps provides backing harmonies with his recognizable baritone voice.

Album: Strictly Roots (2015)
Producer: Morgan Heritage

18.Sunday Morning (2015)

Another track from their Grammy-winning album, Sunday Morning paints a vibrant picture of a carefree Sunday spent indulging in relaxation and celebration. The song was further boosted in 2019 when global pop group Now United incorporated elements of the song into one of their tracks.

Album: Strictly Roots (2015)
Producer: Morgan Heritage

19.Reggae Night – Global Remix (2017)

Reggae Night (Global Remix) takes the original 1983 track by the legendary Jimmy Cliff and injects it with a vibrant, party-ready energy. As the title suggests, the song aims to be a global celebration of reggae music, featuring an impressive eight guest artists: Stonebwoy, Bunji Garlin, Timaya, Stylo G, Rock, DreZion, and Jaheil. It was included as a bonus track on the Avrakedabra album, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2018.

Album: Avrakadabra (2017)
Producer: DreZion

20.Remember (2023)

In Remember, Peetah and Gramps recall slavery and the civil rights movement, and those lost in the struggle for freedom and equal rights. “(Remember when) Africans never had no rights, (Remember when) Slave master control we life, (Remember when) Just wah day dem give we civil rights, (Remember when) So many fight and died,” they sing in the thumping, roots Reggae track. With a militant verse from Capleton and additional contributions from Ivorian singer Alpha Blondy, the song appeared on the band’s last album, The Homeland.

Album: The Homeland (2023)
Producer: Travis Garcia, Morgan Heritage

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