Tuesday, April 23, 2024
DAY-O

DAY-O

The Banana Boat Song – Harry Belafonte (1956)

Written by William Attaway and Irving Burgie

(Compiled by Dele Ajaja)

BACKGROUND: “Day – O, The Banana Boat Song,” was a traditional work song, sung on the Jamaican docks, by the laborers who loaded bananas onto the merchant ships, during their grueling shifts. It was a folk-song about Black people’s struggle in the Caribbean during the colonial era. The album was a “one stone” ballad that got two birds. First, it was the first-ever million-album seller in the Music industry that made calypso a household genre. Second, it elevated Belafonte to the status of a superstar.

Dayyyy-o, dayyy-o,
Daylight come and we want go home,
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say dayyy-ooo,
Daylight come and we want go home.

Work all night on a drink of rum,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Stack banana ’til the morning come,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Come Mister tally man, tally me banana,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Come Mister tally man, tally me banana,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)

Day, is a dayy-o,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Day, is a day, is a day, is a day…
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
A beautiful bunch of ripe banana,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Hide the deadly black tarantula,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)

Day, is a day-o,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Day, is a day, is a day, is a day, is a day, is a day-o,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Come Mister tally man, tally me banana,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Come Mister tally man, tally me banana,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)

Dayyy-o, dayyy-o,
(Daylight come and we want go home.)
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day-o,
(Daylight come and we want go home……..)

IMAGE: The late Harry Belafonte (March 1, 1927 – April 25, 2023)

FROM THE ARCHIVES

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