Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)

I usually have little issue with songs being remade. Music evolves, artists bring different versions and the world goes on. Especially this particular song, having been recorded in 1954 and undergoing huge changes within just a  few short years. When you go back it really proves that musical evolution isn't necessarily a bad thing. However when a song has some higher meaning, in this case historical value, and all of a sudden it "evolves" into something that no longer means what it used to, well, I start feeling bad for the generations who won't be aware that the song existed in the past.

I'm referring to Jason Derulo's Don't Wanna Go Home. Jason was most likely watching Beetlejuice's famous dinner scene, and said to himself 'I could sing this!' and so he did. The song is no longer about the hard workers in Jamaica, loading banana's into ships during the early hours of the morning who only wish to finish by the time the sun comes up, but is instead about partying all night and not wanting to go home after sunrise. Let's not get into the fact that the narcissist mentions his name right when Robin S' beat comes into play or this could turn into the first never ending blogger rage rant in history.

Let's instead focus right now on the first  ever recorded version of this Jamaican Mento Folk song by Trinidadian, Edric Connor and The Caribbeans.

Enjoy, Day Dah Light.

Okay, so I don't actually expect all that many of you to enjoy it, just listen to 35 seconds, get the gist of it, see where the craze comes from. If you did enjoy, you should check out the album Songs From Jamaica. Just because I wouldn't buy it doesn't mean others wouldn't.

From this point on, many other artists began to record the song as well, having their own versions in their own styles, molding it until in 1956, only 2 years later, Harry Belafonte made a few more drastic changes and came up with the version that most of us are used to.

Enjoy Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).

Clear, drastic changes. Making an original version while keeping the value and story. I've overemphasized this.

The song can be found in Calypso, one of the most successful albums in the Billboard charts. Much of this success is attributed to the single.
Buy: CD | mp3

Ironically enough, Day-O isn't Calypso, but rather a Folk song, The rest of the album however features both wisdom from back in the day and earlier Calypso music, much less obvious with the steelpan. A perfect example of both would be the last track on the album, Man Smart (Woman Smarter). I telepathically sensed your smirk, ladies. Just now.

As for Derulo, this video made me feel better about the whole situation. And honestly, if I could make an easy buck like that, I might be doing it too.
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  1. Looking back on the Beetlejuice thing. Whoa. It was my first exposure to the song, so it is forever engrained that way.
    I do like me some steelpan action.
    ARGH! I can't find what I am looking for, but I did find this:

  2. The first time I heard Jason Derulo's song, I knew Harry Bellafonte was turning in his grave.

    I actually have the banana boat song as my morning wake-up ringtone on my phone.


  3. P.S. - I have to pass on the original/inspiration for the song. But that is just a case of reverse-listening; I am far too aware of the Belafonte version to consider that there was a song it was a remake of sorts.

    I didn't even know that was the case, so through the power of blogs, I now know something new.

  4. woa, for a second there it looked like he had extra fingers!! lol.

  5. Wow, the original version is, so different.

  6. @Phil
    ELECTRIC steelpan? I'm in shock and awe and question if it's any better than a good keyboard. It's still a stunning thing to see.

    As far as the second comment, that's what I worry about for future generations, the first thing you hear is often the one to stay..
    But.. But Harry has no grave yet!

  7. that's just how music evolves :) i believe many famous led zeppelin songs are based/covers of other songs.

  8. @Electric Addict
    I don't mind evolution, in this case it's a mixture between narcissism, taking advantage of virgin ears, and loss of original value that sets me off. Lil Wayne sampled the same track, and while I'm not a fan of him at all, his use doesn't bother me.

  9. Never knew there was the similarity, I actually prefer the original now that you shared it! Keep up the great posts mate

  10. Ah thank you so much for the Robin S link. I knew that beat sounded familiar.

  11. This totally reminds me of Beetlejuice!

  12. one of the greatest songs ever, and love that it was in Beetlejuice.

  13. This is a fun little song! Great music to start off the week! :D

  14. Off topic, but I just realized that this is the most decent music blog I'm following! :)

  15. @mdias
    Thank you, means a lot :)

  16. I have to say that Beetlejuice was also my first time hearing this tune.

    By the way, should I be proud or ashamed that I've never heard of Jason Derulo before?

  17. @Bonjour Tristesse
    Proud. Very proud.


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