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Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?

DigiTrad:
BANANA BOAT SONG
BELAMENA
CHOUCOUNE
COME BACK, LIZA
EDEN WAS JUST LIKE THIS
JAMAICA FAREWELL
TURN AROUND
YELLOW BIRD


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Amos 23 Jul 03 - 11:40 AM
Nerd 23 Jul 03 - 12:15 PM
Nerd 23 Jul 03 - 12:21 PM
Steve-o 23 Jul 03 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Jul 03 - 03:20 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jul 03 - 03:33 PM
Mark Clark 23 Jul 03 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Jul 03 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 23 Jul 03 - 04:06 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Jul 03 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Jul 03 - 04:25 PM
Amos 23 Jul 03 - 04:28 PM
GUEST 23 Jul 03 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,JB 23 Jul 03 - 04:38 PM
Amos 23 Jul 03 - 04:52 PM
Steve-o 23 Jul 03 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Margret RoadKnight 24 Jul 03 - 01:01 AM
JedMarum 24 Jul 03 - 09:57 AM
John Hindsill 24 Jul 03 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Frankham 24 Jul 03 - 10:30 AM
Nerd 24 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM
GUEST 24 Jul 03 - 12:15 PM
M.Ted 24 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 03 - 12:59 PM
John MacKenzie 24 Jul 03 - 02:33 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 03 - 03:58 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 03 - 04:01 PM
Amos 24 Jul 03 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Nerd away from home 24 Jul 03 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 03 - 05:30 PM
John Hindsill 24 Jul 03 - 10:13 PM
John Hindsill 24 Jul 03 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Ben 27 Jul 03 - 06:13 PM
Hrothgar 28 Jul 03 - 04:45 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Jul 03 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Q 28 Jul 03 - 12:49 PM
Cluin 28 Jul 03 - 03:01 PM
James Fryer 02 Sep 03 - 12:24 PM
Nerd 02 Sep 03 - 12:33 PM
James Fryer 02 Sep 03 - 02:04 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 23 May 11 - 03:22 AM
Arkie 23 May 11 - 11:41 AM
Stringsinger 23 May 11 - 02:29 PM
blinddrunkal 24 May 11 - 12:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 May 11 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Eric Armstrong 24 May 11 - 02:13 PM
Don Firth 24 May 11 - 02:57 PM
James Fryer 13 Aug 11 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 16 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 16 - 06:59 AM
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Subject: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 11:40 AM

Harry Belafonte popularized this song back in the Fifties, so successfully that it is on many peoples' "50 Songs you Have to Know" list. I have entertained scores of young children with it -- it has a certain magic that captures their fancy for some reason.

It is attributed to Lord Burgess, whoever that is, in the DT. Belafonte himself claimed that he heard it being song by sailors at the docks where he played as a child in Jamaica. This may just be showmanship, but he says it with what sounds like a straight face. His recorded version, however, seems to have a polish in lyrics and scanning which is not typical of sailor's own music.

Does anyone know anything about the history of this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 12:15 PM

Amos: The "sorry to say but I'm on my way" verse is a floating one that turns up all over the caribbean, and I'm sure That's what he heard sailors singing. Other of these verses may likewise be of folk origin, but the overall feel is, as you say, polished pop, not sailors' music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 12:21 PM

BTW, Lord Burgess is a Barbadian-American calypsonian who wrote many songs for Belafonte, including "Day-O." He did base many of his calypsos on folk songs. His real name, I believe, is Irving Burgie, and he may still be active, though he'd be about 80 today.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Steve-o
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 02:23 PM

I just sang this song this week with a classroom of Special Ed teenagers- they all sing along and even dance to it. It has nice simple words, and a "joyous" melody and rhythm- you'd be hard pressed to find a human being that doesn't respond to this "natural" song. And Amos, I also don't sing it like a crusty old sailor, because I'm not a crusty old sailor. Very interesting about Lord Burgess- I always knew the attribution, but, silly me, assumed it was some old Brit folk song collector.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 03:20 PM

Irving Burgie, born 1926 in Brooklyn, American father, Barbadian mother. Many songs and film music.


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Subject: Irving Burgie/Lord Burgess
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 03:33 PM

I've wondered about a number of those calypso songs that were recorded by Belafonte, the Kingston Trio, and others. They're credited to Lord Burgess, Irving Burgess, and most often Irving Burgie. I have a delightful little CD called Island in the Sun: The Songs of Irving Burgie (1996 - Angel Records). The CD booklet says Belafonte recorded 35 Burgie songs, and the Kingston Trio recorded several. Burgie wrote the words to the national anthom of Barbados, his mother's homeland. Burgie attended Juilliard, University of Arizona, and the University of California. He used "Lord Burgess" as a stage name in the mid-1950's.
Here are the songs on the CD:
  1. Day-O
  2. Jamaica Farewell
  3. River Come Down
  4. Island in the Sun
  5. Angelina
  6. Yellow Bird
  7. Land of the Sea and Sun
  8. Gamblin'
  9. Kingston Market

One could wish that such a prolific songwriter could come out with a CD with more than 10 songs, but this is all I know of. Still, I wonder how many of these songs have traditional roots. Are they all completely original? Many have entered the "folk canon" and are often listed as "traditional."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 03:48 PM

I've always loved this song as well although the only place I sing it is in the shower. Someone told me many years ago that “Jamaican Farewell” was the theme from the Broadway show, Camelot… you know, Down the way where the knights are… Oh, never mind. <bseg>

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:03 PM

There are a couple more Irving Burgie cds. He is called the "Father of Modern Calypso."
His NY musical, "Ballad for Bimshire," had his music and island themes. It was produced in 1963, and according to the Musical Heaven (brief summaries of all NY musical theatre) website, ran for 74 performances at the Mayfair Theatre. www.musicalheaven.com/b/ballad_for_bimshire.shtml.

A revue called "Day-O" is based on his compositions. Haven't looked it up, so don't know the details.
Haven't found a decent biography yet, so don't know if any of the pieces are partly folk based or not.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:06 PM

Ages ago, I was working on doing a version of Jamaica Farewell/Island in the Sun. If I recall correctly, it's possible to switch between them, i.e. doing a verse of one and moving directly to the chorus of the other.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:11 PM

The melody, as I dimly recall, appeared in an earlier calypso with the chorus ending : "....Put your foot on the old brass bar."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:25 PM

Burgie wrote "The West Indian Songbook." This should have information about the roots of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:28 PM

Well, it would be interesting to know whether there were any genuinely indigenous bits relating to "the Jamaica Farewell", which is the phrase Belafonte used in describing whatever it was he heard as a child playing and swimming around the Kingston docks. (I assume it was Kingston). It was really disingenuous of him to paint this picture of a small island boy hearing the sailors sing "The Jamaica Farewell", obviosuly this song, and not mention that it was written by a talented living professional songwriter!! The whole tearjerking picture of "small Island boy makes it to the big time and remembers his roots" is just frabjous and meretricious! I am anNOYed! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:36 PM

not to mention he (Belefonte) was born in NYC and though he did spend some time in the islands returned to NYC to live before he was out of HS.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:38 PM

Amos,

Agreed, though you'll have to admit that sometimes success in music depends more on one's marketing talent than singing. Not that Belafonte wasn't a fine musician, but he apparently knew how to sell as well.

JB


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:52 PM

Right -- pitching whitey a bill of goods. Humph!! Good marketing, obviously, good showmanship, but lousy folklore!


A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Steve-o
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 06:58 PM

Gasp!! You mean Harry Belafonte is not a REAL folk singer???!! I'll go throw out all my old albums. Hmmmm...maybe I'd better get out all my Josh White albums, and.....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Margret RoadKnight
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 01:01 AM

I have a signed copy of Irving Burgie's "The Caibbean Song Book" (Caribe Music Corp., 1977) which says he wrote the poem "Jamaica Farewell" in 1955 and set it to a melody strongly reminiscent of the Jamaican tune "Iron Bar"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 09:57 AM

I love this song and sing it frequently often right in the middle of a string of traditional irish songs - and I'll introduce it as one more irish trad song ... I don;t know why, but I think that's funny - and more importantly, I think it fits!

Great song. Fits anywhere. People always love it.

Me too!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 10:18 AM

What a wonderful thread. Calypso is one of my favorite genres., and it was (is?) a very inclusive music. I particularly enjoy the current events (then) such as "Roosevelt in Trinidad", "Graf Zeppelin", "Love Alone" and on. The paeans to contemporaneous entertainers as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley ("Don't Blame it on Elvis") are fun. There are songs about the foibles of everyday life, "Mister Pay Me My Rent". I should reasearch my collection of Calypso vinyl and CDs.

Calypso singer/actor (he appeared in several films in the mid 40s to 50s-mostly as a calypso singer) Sir Lancelot, lived his last years in obscurity, and died in a suburb of Los Angeles a few years ago. [awkward sentence, but you get my drift.].


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 10:30 AM

Hi,,

The tune for Yellow Bird is Haitian. It's
"Chacounne" which is the name of a beautiful but faithless young lady.
Pete Seeger and I recorded it on our Nonesuch record for Folkways.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM

As I mentioned, the "I'm sorry to say" verse is traditional, and turns up in field recordings all over the Caribbean. I'm reasonably certain it did not originate with Burgess, though I'd have to look up the dates on various field recordings to be sure. So that verse at least is something Belafonte could have heard as a child. But, as several people have said, it was more about marketing than the truth. Remember also that Belafonte was an actor, too. He may have approached his concerts as role-playing in that sense, and lied effusively under the cover of "staying in character."

Calypso is an interesting genre, one of the indigenous folk/popular styles out there in which songwriters are given credit for their work (but still liberally steal from one another). Burgie just took it to a new level by going to Juilliard, performing and writing for broadway, etc. But the genre itself is difficult to pin down on the folk/popular continuum.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 12:15 PM

Tajkj Mahall, Hairy Belly Font and Sir Mr Lord "pass me a" Bergie are all frauds from the fraud capital of the world: New York City. All deserve a Phd. in BS. Also, "Yellow Bird" as we usually hear it is a Tin Pan Alley tune. I think Adolpf Green cashed the royalty checks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM

Give Harry a break! Since when is "truth" a necessary element in the performance of folk music? If you rule out embellishment, exaggeration, and confabulation, there isn't much left of interest--


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 12:59 PM

Lets take a vote. How many people would much rather hear Jackson Browne's "Jamaica, Say You Will" than Hairy Belly Fonts old BS number? Good. Hairy: you lose!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 02:33 PM

Harry's tops in my house!
Giok


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 03:58 PM

Yellow Turd
                               Fall out of banana tree
                                     Hit Harry in the head
                                     That's why they found him dead
                                 Good riddance to Harry say we


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 04:01 PM

Is she rollin' Bob?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 04:25 PM

Sigh. I'm sorry to say it after all my moaning, but I have always found Harry a delight, regardless of his showmanship -- a gentleman and a giver of good song. More than I can say for various cybergraffitists.

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Nerd away from home
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 04:51 PM

My dad used to know Belafonte and always says he was a very nice man. That's good enough for me. But then, I too was raised in the Fraud Capital of the World. AND I have a Phd in BS, too!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 05:30 PM

If you think this is bad, check out this thread: Subject: RE: BS: Flatulence Tax


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 10:13 PM

Why is there so much Belafonte bashing here. He has never claimed to be a purist folk singer, or calypsonian. What he is is a trained actor, and a so-so crooner cum jazz singer. What he did is find the folk idiom (before it was popular, "Mark Twain" @ 1954) and calypso ("Calypso" @ 1956) and present them in a dramatic, entertaining way which others followed. He once said that he did not play instruments so that he would be free to fully express the lyrics [I paraphrase]. In the Civil Rights era he switched to African oriented music, probably not with as much success as earlier.

I think he deserves a place in a folk music hall of fame as a pioneer, along with the Weavers, Burl Ives and other pre-Kingston Trio performers who got us interested in the "real thing".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 10:21 PM

Add: Belafonte--

Additionally, he shared his concert stage with Odetta, Miriam Makeba and the Chad Mitchell Trio, when those folks were not so well known or early in their careers. Enough adulation already! ;.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Ben
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:13 PM

Yellow Bird, as has been mentioned above, is Haitian in origin, not called 'Chacoun' but 'Choucoune', which is the name of a bird.
Original words (in creole french) by Oswald Durand, music by Mauleart Monton. You can find it at www.dsuper.net/~legagneu/Parolier.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:45 AM

I like Belafonte. Good musician, and great presenter of songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 08:11 AM

Hate to get technical (I'm not from NY, btw), but isn't calypso from Trinidad? So "Kingston farewell" wouldn't actually be calypso ...

Pedantically,
Steve


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:49 PM

It is the style and arrangement, not the song. Somewhere I heard "Yankee Doodle" in calypso arrangement.
I won't throw out my old Belafonte, Kingston Trio, etc, recordings. Pure they ain't, but, as Hrothgar says, good music.

The musician who applies the motto "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" has yet to be born.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Cluin
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 03:01 PM

It's put a few extra bucks in the tip jar for us, so, on basis of that, It's a good enough song for me. Always gets a sing-along.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: James Fryer
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 12:24 PM

I would call Jamaica Farewell a West Indian ballad rather than a calypso. This is partly because it is not Trinidadian, partly because the melody is not one of the common calypsos.

Many of the songs that Belafonte performed were not calypsos, even though they were marketed as such. One of the major conflations was between calypso and mento, which was a Jamaican musical form that pre-dated ska. "Jackass Song" is an example of a mento performed by Belafonte, later made into ska by Prince Buster.

I find Belafonte's studio recordings bland, but his live work is incredible and I can't recommend too highly the 1959 live double album recorded at the Carnegie Hall.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 12:33 PM

Calypso is not an exclusively Trinidadian genre. In the Calypso tents all over the islands, champions and queens are crowned who come from barbados, St. Lucia, Nevis, and many other islands. To say "that's not Calypso because it's not from Trinidad" is like saying "that's not bluegrass because it's not from Kentucky."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: James Fryer
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 02:04 PM

The calypso competitions on other islands are I believe a recent (post 1950s) innovation, inspired by Trinidadian carnival. E.g. many mento performers in Jamaica began calling themselves calypsonians after Kitchener's visit in the late 1940s.

In the period discussed here, I think it is perfectly valid to distinguish between Trinidadian calypso and the musical forms of other islands; indeed I think it is ignorant not to do so.

However, my main reason for not considering 'Jamaica Farewell' a calypso is that (in my opinion) it is musically not a calypso. The melody in particular is unlike any Trinidadian calypso that I can think of (although I am happy to be proved wrong).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 23 May 11 - 03:22 AM

One of the posts above says that "I'm sad to say, I'm on my way, won't be back for many a day" is a floating verse which turns up in field recordings. Can someone post other songs which use this verse, just for interest?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Arkie
Date: 23 May 11 - 11:41 AM

An Irving Burgie CD made when he was in his 70s is available on emusic. The notes by Steve Leggett from the All Music Guide are:

"It probably isn't accurate to call Irving Burgie "the father of modern calypso" as the title of this CD proclaims (Burgie's music is calypso the way that Porgy & Bess is blues -- suggesting the form more than being it), but his deceptively simple, breezy and impossibly infectious faux folk tunes have certainly defined the public's perception of both calypso and the Caribbean for the past fifty years, so much so that songs like "Day-O," "Wheel and Turn," "Go Down Emmanuel Road," "Angelina," and "Kingston Market" have actually traveled a reverse path from the world of pop to become traditional mento standards in Barbados, Jamaica and elsewhere. All of this is even more amazing given that Burgie was born and raised in Brooklyn (albeit a West Indies section), and although his songs sound simple, even effortless, he was JuIlliard trained, and these songs are actually carefully crafted, with subtle internal rhymes and perfectly placed release points. Burgie first tasted success when Harry Belafonte recorded eight of his tunes for 1956's Calypso, a phenomenally successful album (the first album to ever sell a million copies in the U.S., with some 11 million sold internationally) driven in no small part by "Day-O," one of the most recognizable melodies in modern music. Belafonte went on to record some 35 of Burgie's songs, and other artists like the Tarriers, the Kingston Trio, Jimmy Buffett, Miriam Makeba and Tom Rush have also had success with Burgie compositions. For a man in his mid-seventies, Burgie handles things pretty well on The Father of Modern Calypso. Included here are versions of the gorgeous "Jamaica Farewell," "Angelina" (arguably the best song ever written about a concertina), the timeless "Wheel and Turn," the impossibly beautiful "River Come Down," and, of course, "Day-O." Burgie may not provide the definitive version of any of these, but there is undeniable charm in hearing his affable, warm voice tackle these famous songs. The instrumentation is energetic and bright (if a little bit obvious at times), and the backing singers occasionally sound like they are auditioning for an off-Broadway musical, but Burgie's wink-and-a-grin singing coupled with these unstoppable songs keeps the overall presentation upbeat and fun, making The Father of Modern Calypso a wonderful slice of West Indies folk-pop. Here's hoping that Burgie records a follow-up in relatively short order."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 23 May 11 - 02:29 PM

Though Burgie may have written the words to "Yellow Bird", the melody is older from a well-known Haitian song, "Choucounne".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: blinddrunkal
Date: 24 May 11 - 12:48 PM

I'm sad to say I must be on on my way - so buy me beer or whisky cos I'm going far away - I'd like to think I'll be returning when I can - to the greatest little boozer and to Sally MacLennane. Good old Shane eh?

http://youtu.be/RBMb3z7po-c


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 11 - 01:01 PM

Lyrics of "Choucounne" (mentioned here by Stringsinger) in thread 1733, "Yellow Bird."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Eric Armstrong
Date: 24 May 11 - 02:13 PM

What an interesting thread, Mr.Burgie's body of work includes some of the best songs ever written, whether they are labelled pop, folk or anything else.
Songs like Jamaica Farewell must involve "megabucks" in royalties, it makes one wonder if Burgie got just rewards for his efforts, if so he must be a very wealthy man.
In addition anyone who has ever sung for a living in pubs, bars etc. has surely whispered a silent prayer of thanks for songs such as Jamaica Farewell, Yellow Bird.

Eric Armstrong


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 May 11 - 02:57 PM

I saw Harry Belafonte in Denver in, if I recall correctly, 1956 in the Denver University football stadium. He filled the place and put on one helluva fine show.

He introduced a lot of people to folk music, albeit in a slick, well-rehearsed manner, who would probably not have become interested in folk music otherwise. I saw him several more times in concerts in Seattle where he introduced singers like Odetta, Greek singer Nana Mouskouri (with whom he did a recording)—and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

Had it not been for Belafonte, I—and many thousands of other people—would never have had a chance to see and hear these people live.

Our sour GUEST up-thread is probably long gone by now, but all I can say about their comments is, a) they don't know from Shinola, and b) ain't it a bitch when your hemorrhoids are acting up?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: James Fryer
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 05:04 AM

Burgie was more a copyrighter of existing folk songs than an original songwriter.

Considering the songs listed above: "Day-O," "Wheel and Turn," "Go Down Emmanuel Road," "Angelina," "Kingston Market", "River Come Down"

all but "Angelina" (which I don't know) are Jamaican folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 16 - 06:54 AM

Belafonte on the Colgate Comedy Hour

Lord Tanamo - Iron Bar (mento)

The 1956 television performance was the first time a national audience saw Belafonte perform but he was already earning a six-figure salary on the American ballroom circuit. This was cross-marketed with rescheduled/remixed co-releases of his "Belafonte" & "Calypso" LPs for the big "calypso craze" break out that same year.

Note that Norman Luboff appears on both albums and was musical director for the Colgate Hour at the time. Bill Attaway was a writer for the show and also cowrote many of Belafonte's songs but, oddly for a author by trade, he failed to set up his own dedicated publishing entities as did Burgie and Belafonte (and Luboff.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 16 - 06:59 AM

Belafonte lived in Jamaica from c.1936 – 1939 (from the age of nine to almost thirteen.) Hubert Porter recorded the main pop version of "Iron Bar" for Ken Khouri in Jamaica in 1953 as a "traditional mento." It may have been around before then but Irving Burgie had never been to Jamaica period. He was studying the modern recordings available in 42nd street music stores in New York City.

Contemporary fans feel just as strongly about the authenticity of their mento as do calypsonians so calling "Jamaica Farewell" a mento wouldn't do either. Luckily for the "modern calypsonian" selling into mid-20th century American and European markets was unlikely to cause much of a fuss either way.


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