Oh Carolina

Album: Pure Pleasure (1993)
Charted: 1 59

Songfacts®:

  • This is based on a 1959 ska song by The Folkes Brothers called "Carolina," which was produced by ska legend Prince Buster. Shaggy incorporated a sample from Henry Mancini's version of the Peter Gunn theme into his version.
  • In this song, Carolina is a girl, not a state. She can really move on the dance floor, and Shaggy is impressed.
  • Shaggy (real name Orville Richard Burrell) was born in Jamaica and moved to America with his parents at the age of 18. At, 19 he joined the Marines and spent four years there, earning a commendation from the US government after leading his platoon through a minefield during the Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm. He pursued his music career after returning from Iraq; "Oh Carolina" became his first hit.
  • "Oh Carolina" was a minor hit in Shaggy's homeland of America, but it went to #1 in the UK, where the dancehall reggae sound was big. That scene was driven by the children of Jamaican immigrants who came to England after World War II.

    Shaggy made a bigger impact in America in 1995 with "Boombastic," but he really moved the needle in 2001 when he had #1 hits with "Angel" and "It Wasn't Me," and sold about 5 million copies of his album Hot Shot.
  • This was the first UK hit for the specialist reggae label Greensleves Records despite releasing over 300 records previously.
  • "Oh Carolina" hit #1 in the UK on March 20, 1993 and stayed there the following week. For both of these weeks, "Informer" by Snow was #1 in America, giving both territories reggae-influenced #1s.
  • This was used in the 1993 Sharon Stone film Sliver along with another reggae-ish hit: UB40's cover of "Can't Help Falling In Love."

Comments: 3

  • Micky from London, EnglandGreat fun song! Impossible to keep still to it.
  • Siahara Shyne Carter from United StatesHe means the Place North Carolina?! :-D
  • Stephan from St Georges, CanadaHate this song
see more comments

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