The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61495   Message #988859
Posted By: Amos
23-Jul-03 - 11:40 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
Subject: Origins: Jamaica Farewell: History?
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?