44. Harry Belafonte – “Belafonte’s Greatest”

“Daaaaaaaaaay-o, Daayaaaaay-o, daylight come and me wanna go home”.  So begins one of the great tunes about working on Jamaican docks…

belafonte harry greatest album coverI do rue my career choice on occasion.  So few decent songs have been penned about the day-to-day slog of lecturing, researching and attending meetings.  How much for fun would the last hour of week each day be if I could belt out a tune like The Banana Boat Song?

Harry certainly seems to share my passion for said tune.  The rest of the album less engaging, an unsurprising selection of standards such as Scarlet Ribbons, Scarborough Fair and If I Were a Carpenter. Really could be a John English album or perhaps that Buble guy.  But, Mr. Belafonte has a golden voice and a cool Jamaican swagger.

He boldly attempts a subversive Nick Cave-esque Delia’s Gone  (which Johnny Cash would nail several decades later), yet keeps it very crooner-ish. While Jamaica may well be homicide-central nowadays, his calypso take on a shot-to-watch-her-die murder ballad seems a little out of place.

Looking at the cover, perhaps Professor Belafonte could have been an option – he does have a pipe. He owes me a song!

File under: Calypso crooning royalty

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One response to “44. Harry Belafonte – “Belafonte’s Greatest”

  1. Hey, I reckon your students would get a real kick out of you singing the Banana Boat Song at the end of a lecture. What’s lacking here is gumption, innit.

    Nevertheless, I have given you an award on my blog. x

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