Trinidadian who came to England in '48 to record Song For Jamaica. Caribbean music's etnograph. It was a worksong for nightshift stevedores of Trinidad, loading banana boats in the evening and working all night to finish the job the next morning. Daylight doubled for paytime; "Daylight come and me wanna go home". Thematically linked with Pay Me My Money Down (see there).
Harry Belafonte [as Day-O, opening track of his Calypso album and a world hit in '57 as Banana Boat Song]
Tarriers [without Vince Martin; bigger hit US than Belafonte's]
Laurel Aitken [as Mas Charlie; mento version true to the spirit of the original]
Stan Freberg [as a parody]
Bobbejaan Schoepen [as Theo (Bananenboer)]
Kid Dynamite [Dutch version; lyrics: Pi Veress]
Brothers Four [as Day-O]
Kinks [as Bananaboat Song; Ray Davies shouts "Day-o" during Kinks shows to measure the enthusiasm; when patrons echo it's OK; they always do]
André Van Duin [as Het Bananenlied, carnival hit NL]
Demis Roussos [both as Day-O]
Jason Derulo [as (Day O) Don't Wanna Go Home]
The Tarriers were unaware of Harry Belafonte's recording. His Banana Boat Song recording was even one year older than theirs. When the Tarriers' version hit, RCA rush released Belafonte's on 45. Both versions sound like two different streams from the same source. The Tarriers had the biggest immediate hit, Belafonte scored bigger in the long run. Eric Darling of the Tarriers is the first to admit Harry's version is more interesting than theirs.