Banana Boat (Day-O) – Harry Belafonte

March 18, 2022

Today’s song is “Banana Boat (Day-O)” by Harry Belafonte. It’s almost sure to be your favorite tune about floating fruit.

Fun Facts: 

  • Harry Belafonte was born as Harold George Bellanfanti in Manhattan, New York, in 1927.
  • Belafonte began performing in New York clubs to fund his acting career. He was a staple in Las Vegas in the Rat Pack era of music in the 1960s.
  • “Banana Boat (Day-O)” is a call and response song about dock workers loading bananas onto Jamaican cargo ships. The lyrics “Come, Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana” is the worker asking the boss to total up his earnings.
  • The song was originally recorded by Edric Connor and his band in 1952. A folk band called the Tarriers also recorded a successful version of the song.
  • The Belafonte version of “Banana Boat (Day-O)” hit number 5 on the Billboard charts at its release. Its popularity led it to become the singer’s signature song.
  • “Banana Boat (Day-O)” was also featured in a variety of films, perhaps the most famous being the 1988 classic Beetlejuice.
  • The song has remained prominent in popular music, with Jason Derulo and Lil Wayne both including samples of it in their work.

Lyrics:

(Musixmatch)

Day-o, 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

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 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)

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 to go home)

Come Mister tally man, tally me banana

(Daylight come and we want go home)

Day-o, 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)

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