Rum And Coca-Cola – Andrews Sisters

March 25, 2022

Today’s song of the day is the American calypso song “Rum And Coca-Cola” by The Andrews Sisters.

Fun Facts:

  • “Rum And Coca-Cola” was composed by Lionel Belasco, a composer best known for his calypso songs. 
  • The lyrics were written by Lord Invader, a calypso singer from San Fernando, Trinidad.
  • Calypso is a genre of Afro-Caribbean music that arose in Trinidad and Tobago in the mid-19th century. The rhythms of calypso can further be traced back to a West African genre of music called Kaiso, illustrating calypso was largely created by West Africans enslaved by the French in the 18th century.
  • Like other music genres, calypso is very diverse and includes Benna, which originates from Antigua and Barbuda; Mento, which originates from Jamaica; and Spouge, which originates from Barbados.
  • “Rum And Coca-Cola” was copyrighted by Morey Amsterdam, an actor, producer, writer, and all-around entertainer, for sale and distribution in the United States. This allowed The Andrews Sisters to sing their version of the song which was then released in 1945 to great commercial success.
  • On one hand, The Andrew Sisters’ hit helped to expose American audiences to the calypso genre. On the other hand, their singing of the song was controversial because it was performed by a white singing group. Consequently, a white label was able to profit off of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean song in a genre that was created by enslaved Africans.

Lyrics:

(Genius)

If you ever go down Trinidad

They make you feel so very glad

Calypso sing and make up rhyme

Guarantee you one real good fine time

Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola

Go down Point Koomahnah

Both mother and daughter

Workin’ for the Yankee dollar

Oh, beat it man, beat it

Since the Yankee come to Trinidad

They got the young girls all goin’ mad

Young girls say they treat ’em nice

Make Trinidad like paradise

Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola

Go down Point Koomahnah

Both mother and daughter

Workin’ for the Yankee dollar

Oh, you vex me, you vex me

From Chicachicaree to Mona’s Isle

Native girls all dance and smile

Help soldier celebrate his leave

Make every day like New Year’s Eve

Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola

Go down Point Koomahnah

Both mother and daughter

Workin’ for the Yankee dollar

It’s a fact, man, it’s a fact

In old Trinidad, I also fear

The situation is mighty queer

Like the Yankee girl, the native swoon

When she hear der Bingle croon

Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola

Go down Point Koomahnah

Both mother and daughter

Workin’ for the Yankee dollar

Out on Manzanilla Beach

G.I. romance with native peach

All night long, make tropic love

Next day, sit in hot sun and cool off

Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola

Go down Point Koomahnah

Both mother and daughter

Workin’ for the Yankee dollar

It’s a fact, man, it’s a fact

Rum and Coca-Cola

Rum and Coca-Cola

Workin’ for the Yankee dollar

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