Song – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Recess Song: “Pretty Pager Butterfly”

Informant Speaking: “When I was going to school in Jamaica there are a few songs that we used to sing. I don’t necessarily know the meanings behind them. But there is one about a butterfly that my Mom and me use to sing on my way from home when I was four years old. And it goes like this:

Pretty pager butterfly

What do you do all day

I roam around a sunny field

With nothing to do but play

Nothing to do but play

All the live long day

So fly butterfly, Fly butterfly

Don’t waste your time away

I remember singing it in school when we had field days. Because in Jamaica there is a day designated for activities outside. We would run around in the field freely with other four year olds in our field day uniforms which if I remember correctly were white shorts and a white shirt. Every time I think of that song it just brings back happiness. And sometimes I’ll flip back to images of me and my mother walking back home from school.”

This is a unique song that I have not heard of any other renditions of this song before. Michaela is unsure where she first heard this song before. But she does believe that she first learned it at Hemmingway Preparatory School in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This song may be unique to Jamaican culture. Michaela told me that she has not heard her version or any other version of this song in the United States.  I agree with Michaela’s interpretation of this song; it is a song that exudes happy feelings and childhood memories. The lyrics describe a child-like freedom that only children seem to express when they have no worries or stressors that daily life may bring that adults often feel. This song is perfect for the time and location in which it is performed. Recess where there is “nothing to do but play” and roam in sunny fields is the perfect atmosphere for children to enjoy singing “Pretty Pager Butterfly”.

Michaela Simpson Buttefly Song