The Banana Boat Song (Day-o)

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Information About The Banana Boat Song (Day-o)

The origins of "The Banana Boat Song" are not known completely and it's the same for its author but we know for sure that this is a Jamaican folk song. The most interesting thing about this folk song is that it was originally sung by the banana field workers of Jamaica.

The melody was very much a calypso style of singing but different locals improvised their own lyrics from time to time often their most common reference "daylight come and we wan" go home". This song was also frequently sung by dock workers who worked during the dark shift loading bananas onto ships.

The first recorded version was took place in 1952 when Trinidadian singer Edric Conner who along with his band "The Caribbean's" recorded this song onto his album "Songs From Jamaica "and named the song "Day De Light". Song lyrics were written by Ivrine Burgie from the island of Barbados.

Daylight has come, the shift is over and they want their work to be counted up so that they can go home (this is the meaning of the lyric "Come, Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana/ Daylight come and we wanna go home").

The song is perhaps best known for being used in the comedy film Beetle Juice. In the dinner scene, the guests become possessed and sing and dance to the song.

For further information about the song "The Banana Boat Song", check out  Wikipedia.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

This version changes 'Daylight come...' to 'Day is breaking'

Come mister tally man tally me bananas
Day is breaking I wanna go home
Come here for work, i didn't come here for to idle
Day is Breaking i wanna go home
Three han' Four han' Five han bunch!
Six han seven han eight han bunch!
Day is breaking i wanna go home.
So check them and check them but with caution!
Day is breaking I wanna go home
My back is breaking with bare exhaustion
Day is breaking i wanna go home.

I wanna go home.

Song Video

Listen to this song's music

119 Comments

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Tony Waterman (DjMistertee), Ottawa, Ontario. Canada

14 January 2014 at 10:28pm

I am not sure that it should be considered a Jamaican Folk Song, as it was written by Irvin Burgie, who is Part Barbadian, a his mother WAS from Barbados, and his Father was American. (He also wrote the Barbados National Anthem) and this Song Day Oh was FIRST Performed By Harry Belafonte an American, with no ties at all to the Caribbean

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Jasmine, Georgia

26 February 2013 at 9:37pm

our music teacher plays this in grade school

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Chigbo, Nigeria

4 January 2013 at 10:31am

I have always loved this song starting from my childhood even when I didn't know the full lyrics. Now my kids love it too.

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Valarine, India

27 December 2012 at 2:30pm

Wow, never thought this song could have so many comments..... I grew up listening to this song and I remember our school kindergarten children did a dance for this sont in early 90s. When I was in high school I used to listen at home in radios and cassettes but when I grew up and when I was in Congo, I started to search for this african accent song. A polite way of making the worker's hope of going home being expressed thru a song...

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Nicky, United States

26 July 2012 at 2:53am

best use is in peep show

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Kody, United States

10 May 2012 at 2:19pm

I love this .song

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Michael, United Kingdom

21 April 2012 at 7:50pm

the song is wicked, and have always liked it from when I was young and see it on top of the pops, but seeing it on beetlgiuce brought back memories . excellent

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Heinrich, South Africa

28 March 2012 at 6:07am

If I hear dis song after 2 months being away from home,it is so imotional.I'm just thinking of how good it's gona be when I'm back at home.

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Mom, United States

28 March 2012 at 5:36am

Moderater you allowed a couple inappropriate comments. Check Beno and Collete.

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Ryan, Bhutan

27 March 2012 at 9:59pm

hey Emily i love you so mrss from ryan

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Morven, United Kingdom

20 March 2012 at 5:13pm

Hello, Joshua from Portsmouth! I also live in Portsmouth! In Copnor.

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Beno, Bosnia And Herzegovina

20 March 2012 at 9:05am

i get a boner when i hear this song on full blast

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Sandarie, Bosnia And Herzegovina

9 February 2012 at 6:49am

Daj i meni bananu.Super.

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Janeway, Bosnia And Herzegovina

8 February 2012 at 11:50am

This is so funny

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Niasbio, Japan

19 December 2011 at 4:03pm

I am from Japan. But I never saw that awesome song

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Wojcieh, Poland

19 December 2011 at 3:53pm

Wait! how did you mace this.

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Sabina, Denmark

19 December 2011 at 3:42pm

I did have lot of fun waching this song.

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Suryea, Jamaica

14 October 2011 at 2:14am

I love this song. It is awesome. My dad grew up singing it when he was little singing it with his siblings. He is 61 now but still has the Jamaican accent and I love him. I am visiting Jamaica. In Kingston where my dad was born.

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Bob, China

13 October 2011 at 2:45pm

the lyrics is fun!

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Aith Hanmore, United States

11 October 2011 at 3:24pm

i hate the song how to love but my sis is so weird she keeps playing i am sexy and i now it song it gets annoying well by

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This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.