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Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree

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


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Mountain Dog 29 Jul 97 - 05:07 PM
pete 29 Jul 97 - 06:11 PM
LaMarca 29 Jul 97 - 06:36 PM
Mountain Dog 30 Jul 97 - 11:06 AM
Jon W. 30 Jul 97 - 12:00 PM
Les Blank 31 Jul 97 - 02:37 PM
LaMarca 01 Aug 97 - 01:40 PM
Les Blank 01 Aug 97 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 15 Jun 16 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 15 Jun 16 - 10:56 PM
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Subject: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 05:07 PM

The "Man Piabba" thread reminded me of another old favorite from Mr. Belafonte. Zombie Jamboree's tune has stayed with me, but the lyrics have gotten somewhat sketchy. I think he recorded the tune in the late 50s/early 60s. (There was a verse about Brigette Bardot causing heart-attacks among middle-aged men that helped date it.) Any help with lyrics would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, I'll continue humming from the chorus...

"Back to back, belly to belly at the Zombie Jamboree..."


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Subject: Lyr Add: ZOMBIE JAMBOREE (from Rockapella)
From: pete
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 06:11 PM

here are the lyrics i have... i believe indexed as "back to back belly to belly" on some folk site...

************************************
NB this is transcribed from the Rockapella version, not the Kingston Trio

Back to back Ha ha ha ha
Belly to belly Yes, my friends!
Back to back Ha ha ha ha
Belly to belly Say Huh!

It was a Zombie Jamboree
Took place in the New York cemetery
It was a Zombie Jamboree
Took place in the New York cemetery

Zombies from all parts of the island
Some of them were great Calypsonians
Since the season was Carnivale
They got together in Bacchanal, Huh!

And they were singing
Back to back Belly to belly
Well, I don't give a damn 'Cause I'm stone dead already
Back to back Belly to belly
It's a Zombie Jamboree

One female zombie, She wouldn't behave
See how she's dancing out of the grave
In one hand she's holding a quart of rum
The other hand was knocking a conga drum

You know the lead singer starts to make his rhyme
While the other zombies rockin' in time
One bystander, he had this to say
"It was a trip to see the zombies break away!" Shah!

And they were singing
Back to back Belly to belly
Well, I don't give a damn 'Cause I'm stone dead already
Back to back Belly to belly
It's a Zombie Jamboree

And they were singing
Back to back Belly to belly
Well, I don't give a damn 'Cause I'm stone dead already
Back to back Belly to belly
It's a Zombie Jamboree

Back to back Everyone, we sing!
Back to back And belly to belly
Then back to back A-One Two Three Four!
Hey hey hey hey hey

What a Zombie Jamboree
From Times Square to the Statue of Liberty
Uptown, Downtown, Zombie Jamboree
Oo woh oo woh woh yeah yeah

There's a high wire zom between the World Trades
A King Kong zombie on the Empire State
But the biggest zombies Tokyo to Rome
The zombies who call this city home!
Hah! What they do! Huh!

Back to back Belly to belly
Well, I don't give a damn 'Cause I'm stone dead already
Back to back Belly to belly
It's a Zombie Jamboree

And they were singing
Back to back Belly to belly
Well, I don't give a damn 'Cause I'm stone dead already
Back to back Belly to belly
It's a Zombie Jamboree We do the Limbo!

Back to back Belly to belly
Well, I don't give a damn 'Cause I'm stone dead already
Back to back Belly to belly
It's a Zombie Jamboree
Hey hey hey hey!
****************************************


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: LaMarca
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 06:36 PM

I read somewhere that this was originally recorded by the great Trinidad calypsonian Lord Invader and the Penetrators (no joke).


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 11:06 AM

Dear Pete and LaMarca,

My thanks to you both!

Pete, it's interesting to see what is clearly a later version of the song, including references to the Trade Center. Clearly, this one's been around the block and, like many forms of folk, has been modified to reflect the current singer's surroundings and experience. Thanks for the new lyrics.

LaMarca, thank you for the Lord Invader lead. I've got several collections of old calypso and ska recordings by artists with similarly boastful names. "Lord High Conqueror" comes to mind, for instance.

(I suspect that that name is a variation of "High John the Conqueror" which referred to - among other things - a herb used by the old "conjure wives" and voodoo practitioners in various concoctions...which very nearly brings us back to "Man Piabba", eh, mon?) Folk - and the folk that make it - are endlessly fascinating!


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: Jon W.
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 12:00 PM

Wow - High John the Conqueror is an herb. I've heard the term in various blues songs - Hoochie Coochie Man and variants. I heard somewhere that it referred to a plastic luck/love charm that was popular among the blues folk. That must be one of the "among other things."


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: Les Blank
Date: 31 Jul 97 - 02:37 PM

Re: Lord Invader and his twelve Penetrators !!

The first time I heard of this "group" was at a Kingston

Trio concert in San Bernadino back in the early 60's. Dave

Guard used it to introduce Zombie Jamboree and he let on

like it was a joke. The next time I heard the group

mentioned was on the Kingston Trio album "From the Hungry

I" in the same tongue-in-cheek manner. Now it appears that

at least some believe Lord Invader was a living breathing

person. Who can clear up this mystery ??


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: LaMarca
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 01:40 PM

Les, Lord Invader was a genuine calypsonian from Trinidad who recorded in the 30's and 40's. Dick Spottswood, a calypso connoisseur who has put together some great calypso compilations for Rounder Records, says that The Lion, The Tiger, Attila the Hun, Lord Executor, Lord Invader, Lord Beginner and King Radio were "power names taken by calypsonians as compensation for their status at the bottom of the social and economic ladder."

If you like calypso, Rounder has out three great collections:
Calypso Pioneers 1912-1937 Rounder 1039
Calypso Breakaway 1927-1941 Rounder 1054 and
Calypso Carnival 1936-1941 Rounder 1077


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: Les Blank
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 06:00 PM

Thanks LaMarca (Excuse me if that is your surname -- I do

not mean to be forward) !! I am an uneducated fan of

calypso and really appreciate the discography. Thanks again !!


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 09:50 PM

Found this thread searching for my old C.E. Mauge, Jr post for the 'other' zombie thread just bumped: here


Les: Now it appears that at least some believe Lord Invader was a living breathing person. Who can clear up this mystery ??

As for this song title, it wasn't Lord Invader but rather Winston "Lord Intruder" O'Conner of Tobago.

The problem comes in documenting just what he wrote and when. The story tends to change with the telling and the teller. None of the sources given are retrievable at present but that's not unusual for Caribbean music. There are entire label catalogs still MIA. Expect the story to change again when/if they are located.

In the meanwhile the 1956 C.E. Mauge, Jr. - New York, Woodlawn Cemetary version, is still the only narrative with a matching copyright and discography. I have several copies in my own collection, all with validated release dates. I can vouch that several other tracks on the LPs are derivative (to say the least.) This one almost certainly is as well.


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Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 10:56 PM

LaMarca/Dick Spottswood: "...power names taken by calypsonians as compensation for their status at the bottom of the social and economic ladder."

The name itself perhaps, the classic Trinidadian titles however, were earned in the annual "Calypso King" contests that run in conjunction with that island's carnival.

Calypso is not a 'free & open' art form in the same manner as Bahamian goombay or Jamaican mento. Rather it is an institutionalized competition amongst a closed, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians' Organisation (TUCO) membership (current incarnation.)

The Trinidad title only expanded to "Monarch" in '78 when Calypso Rose (Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis) caught all the men half-stepping and nobody could deny it with a straight face.

Barbados has a similar event but it's at the end of Cropover. For most of the other islands it was a stage name for a hotel/casino lounge act. "Prince Charlie and His Royal Cats at the Holiday Inn" and "Lord Jellicoe at the Sheraton" were actually some pretty mellow dudes enjoying life.


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