Jamaïca Farewell

Harry Belafonte

About Jamaïca Farewell

"Jamaica Farewell" is a Jamaican-style folk song (mento). The song appeared on Harry Belafonte's album Calypso. It reached number fourteen on the Billboard Pop chart. The lyrics for the song were written by Lord Burgess (Irving Burgie), an American-born, half-Barbadan songwriter. It is about the beauties of the West Indian Islands. Many, including Belafonte himself, have said that the song was popular in the West Indies since long before Burgess. It is believed that Burgess compiled and modified the song from many folk pieces to make a new song. Burgess acknowledged his use of the tune of another mento, "Iron Bar". The Kingston Trio, who led the folk revival of the late 1950s, took their name from the mention of Kingston, Jamaica in the song, though they only recorded it many years later, in 2006. The line "ackee, rice, saltfish is nice" refers to the Jamaican national dish. 


Year:
2005
140 

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Down the way where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Down the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their heads they bear
'Akey' rice, salt fish are nice
And the rum is fine any time of year

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Sounds of laughter everywhere
And the dancing girls sway to and fro
I must declare my heart is there
Though I've been from Maine to Mexico

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Down the way where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

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Harry Belafonte

Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. (born March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes and was a vocal critic of the policies of the George W. Bush Administration. more »

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Written by: Irving Burgie

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

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