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“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional Jamaican folk song that gained widespread popularity when it was recorded by American singer and actor Harry Belafonte in 1956. The song is also known as “The Banana Boat Song” due to its catchy chorus, which includes the refrain “Day-o,” pronounced “dee-oh.” The song has become a classic and is often associated with Caribbean and calypso music.

Here is some information about the song:

  1. Origin and History: The song “Day-O” has its roots in Jamaican mento music, which is a genre of folk music with African and Caribbean influences. It was traditionally sung by Jamaican dockworkers as a work song to coordinate their efforts when loading and unloading banana boats in the early morning hours.
  2. Lyrics: The lyrics of the song describe the toil of dockworkers loading bananas onto boats and their desire for the workday to end so they can go home. The refrain “Day-o” is a call to tally the bananas and is a rhythmic element in the song.
  3. Harry Belafonte’s Version: Harry Belafonte’s recording of “Day-O” introduced the song to a global audience. His rendition is known for its lively and upbeat tempo, with the memorable chorus being a crowd-pleaser.
  4. Cultural Significance: “Day-O” has been used in various films, television shows, and commercials, making it one of the most recognizable and enduring songs in popular culture. It has been associated with tropical and Caribbean imagery and is often played at festive events.
  5. Legacy: The song has been covered by numerous artists and remains a symbol of Caribbean and calypso music. It is frequently performed at Caribbean-themed events and is a favorite for sing-alongs and dancing.
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“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by Harry Belafonte is a timeless classic that continues to bring joy and a taste of the Caribbean to audiences worldwide. Its catchy melody and lyrics make it a song that people of all ages can enjoy and sing along to.

Video

Lyrics

“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”

Day-o, day-o
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan’ go homeWork all night on a drink of rum
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Stack banana till de morning come
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

Come, Mister tally man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Come, Mister tally man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

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Day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

A beautiful bunch o’ ripe banana
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Hide the deadly black tarantula
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

Day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

Come, Mister tally man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Come, Mister tally man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

Day-o, day-o
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan’ go home

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