Jamaica is a Caribbean Island republic with a population of about one million people. Jamaican music comprises traditional Jamaican folk music as well as popular genres such mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub music, dancehall, reggae fusion, and related forms.
A famous Jamaican folk song is “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).” It is basically for the working class who work all night to load bananas on shipments.
The most famous version of it is Harry Belafonte day o (the banana boat song) (beetle juice). It is most generally recognized as a piece of calypso music, although the song features mento influences.
It’s a call-and-response work song written from the perspective of dock workers putting bananas onto ships during the night shift.
The words describe how the morning has arrived, their shift has ended, so they want their labor to be acknowledged so they may go home.
Harry Belafonte and Origin of the song:
Harry Belafonte born in 1927 is now 95 years old. He sang many songs in the 1950s which became famous. He also became active in several social movements. It includes the civil rights movement.
The song day o was initially released in 1956. It was composed in 1955. It got very famous and became his signature song.
Edric Connor, a Trinidadian vocalist, recorded the song in 1952. “Day dah light” was the title of the song. The song was sung by Harry Belafonte on The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1955, and American vocalist- songsmiths Lord Burgess and William Attaway created an interpretation of the lyrics for it.
Belafonte recorded the song for RCA Victor, and this is the interpretation that utmost people are familiar with the moment, as it hit number five on the Billboard maps in 1957 and went on to come Belafonte’s hallmark song.
” Star O,” a song about the day shift ending as the first star appears in the sky, introduces side two of Belafonte’s 1956 Calypso reader.
When asked about the song’s title, Harry spells out” Day Done Light” during the recording session. Bob Gibson, a folk singer who had visited Jamaica and heard the song, instructed his interpretation to the folk band the Tarriers in 1956.
They released a cover of the song that included the chorus of another Jamaican folk song, “Hill and Gully Rider.”This song was their biggest megahit, reaching number four on the pop maps, surpassing Belafonte’s rendition.
The original 1956 Belafonte album is featured in a dinner sequence in the 1988 film Beetlejuice, in which the guests are supernaturally compelled to dance along to the protagonists’ song. Beetlejuice and Lydia sang it in the first episode of the animated television series.
The Harry Belafonte day o (the banana boat song) (beetle juice) became well-known for decades. Many versions of this song were sung by different singers. It was a song that was sung was folk and collective betterment. Unlike now at that time song was about social causes rather than self-empowerment and self-growth. Songs of protest, sorrow, and optimism, according to Belafonte, gave him power.
I am John C. Crawford. I am the founder of EnjoyWiki.com. I am a professional freelancer, blogger and content writer. I have several blogs and EnjoyWiki.com is one of them. I always love to share my experience on my blogs.