J = Jamaican Farewell

It is Thursday.  I just finished computing my taxes and I really need a dose of Calypso as only Harry Belafonte can give.

I have always liked Mr. Belafonte.  A wonderful voice, a great way of dealing with rhythm, a sense of humor…  I grew up with an album of his at home, and my parents loved the Calypso Christmas carol.

This song came to me later in a collection of love songs.  I’m not sure how I missed it, but I have it now.  Enjoy it, forget about taxes, dance to the languid beat…

 Down the way
Where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountaintop
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

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

Down at the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their heads they bear
Ackee*, rice, saltfish are nice
And the rum is fine any time o’ yea

*ackee is the Jamaican national dish

©Cherry Lane Music Co (ASCAP)

…And you can watch Mr. Belafonte HERE