Song Lyrics

Jamaica Farewell

Traditional

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[the specific lyrics Joni sang are unknown]

Footnotes to Jamaica Farewell

Late in 1963, Joni wrote out a list of 28 songs in her repertoire- of which this was one. All were presumably considered for performing at the 1963 'early' session in Saskatoon (released on Archive Series 1) although this one was not recorded.

This is a Jamaican-style folk song (mento). The song appeared on Harry Belafonte's album Calypso. It reached number fourteen on the Billboard Pop chart. The lyrics for the song were written by Lord Burgess (Irving Burgie), an American-born, half-Barbadian songwriter. It is about the beauties of the West Indian Islands.

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. Burgess acknowledged his use of the tune of another mento, "Iron Bar".

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