Jamaican folk music  

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Harry Belafonte, a New Yorker of Jamaican origin, released wildly popular "calypso" hit records in the period 1956-1958. In reality "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" and "Jamaica Farewell" – both featured on Calypso (1956) and both written by Irving Burgie – were mento songs sold as calypso. Previously recorded Jamaican versions of these now classic "calypso" hits can be heard on the compilation Jamaica - Mento 1951-1958 (2009).

Louise Bennett-Coverley gave Harry Belafonte the foundation for his 1956 hit "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by telling him about the Jamaican folk song "Hill and Gully Rider" (the name also given as "Day Dah Light")."

"Jamaica Farewell" was compiled and modified from many folk pieces to make a new song. Burgie acknowledged his use of the tune of another mento, "Iron Bar"".--Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Among the best known Jamaican folk songs are "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)", "Jamaica Farewell" (Iron Bar), and "Linstead Market". The first two of these were popularized by Harry Belafonte. The third has come a long way since its appearance among Jekyll's 108 Jamaican folk songs. Not only has "Linstead Market" been arranged for solo voice and piano and for performance by choirs, but also, it was arranged for congregational singing in 1975 and now appears in at least five hymnals.

A notable year in the history of Jamaican music was 1907, when Walter Jekyll's Jamaican Song and Story was first published. The contents of this book include four parts entitled Anancy Stories, Digging Sings, Ring Tunes, and Dancing Tunes. Each part has an introduction, songs, stories, and melodies.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jamaican folk music" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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