Sheet Music: Banana Boat Song

TitleBanana Boat Song
Alternate titlesDay-O
ComposerTraditional Jamaican
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyC major
Time signature4/4
Tempo128 BPM
Performance time1:00
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (48 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (497 kB)
Date added2009-04-21
Last updated2009-04-21
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.8 (average)
Calypso, Traditional/Folk


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Tuesday 21 April 2009

Tune of the Day: Banana Boat Song

aka “Day-O!”

This traditional Jamaican folk song, a famous version of which was sung by Harry Belafonte, is the best-known calypso, a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the beginning of the 20th century. It is a song from the point of view of dock workers working the night shift loading bananas onto ships. Daylight has come, the shift is over and they want their work to be counted up so that they can go home:

Come, Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wanna go home.

By the way, the cry “Day-O!” by itself has become a frequently-used bit at baseball parks in late innings when the home team needs a rally, as spectators want to “go home”.