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Jamaica farewell

Calypso song

Jamaica Farewell

 

 

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Video Details

Jamaica Farewell

Artist: Sal Bonavita.

Playing time: 3.32

Words and Music by: Lord Burgess

Recorded by Harry Belafonte 1956.
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Jamaica Farewell

This is a famous calypso about the beauties of the West Indian Islands.

The lyrics for the song were written by Lord Burgess (Irving Burgie). The song first appeared on Harry Belafonte's phenomenally successful album Calypso.

 

Though 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, and it is indubitable that it was Belafonte who popularised the song outside the Caribbean Islands. Burgess acknowledged his use of the tune of another calypso, "Iron Bar".

 

Other well-known singers of "Jamaica Farewell" include Sir Lancelot and Jimmy Buffett.

This song has been translated into many languages. For example, in Bangla, there exist several translations, some of which are quite well-known. One Bengali version of the song became an important anthem for the Naxalite revolutionary movement in the 1970s and thus has significance for Bengali intellectuals in Kolkata society.

 

The term "ackee rice" found in the lyrics refers to the fruit of a tropical tree indigenous to the Ivory Coast and Gold Coast of West Africa; taken to Jamaica in 1793. It has some poisonous properties, yet if properly prepared the fruit is often used as a food additive.

 

Lord BurgessLord Burgess

Irving Burgie (pictured left) was born 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. Son of a Barbadian mother and an American father. Burgess wrote the lyrics of The National Anthem of Barbados. He has also written 35 songs for Harry Belafonte. Lord Burgess has recorded the albums "Island In The Sun" and "The Father Of Modern Calypso"

 

Lyrics and chords

C                                       Dm         

Down the way where the nights are gay 

              G7                         

And the sun shines daily on a mountain top 

C                          Dm        

I took a trip on a sailing ship 

                   G7                     

And when I reached  Jamaica I made a stop 

 

(chorus) 

C                                    Dm 

But I'm sad to say I'm on my way 

G7                         

Won't be back for many a day 

C                                              Dm 

My heart is down  My head is turning around 

              G7                         

I had to leave a little girl in Kingston Town 

 

Down at the market you can hear 

Ladies cry out while on their heads they bear 

Ackie rice, salt fish are nice 

And the rum is fine any time a year 

 

(chorus) + break 

 

Sounds of laughter everywhere 

And a dancing girl swings to and fro 

I must declare my heart is there 

Though I've been Maine to Mexico 

 

(chorus) 

 

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 

 

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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