Irving Burgie, a songwriter who wrote the Jamaican folk song “Day-O”, died on Friday. He was 95.
His death was due to complications from heart failure, according to his son. “Day-O,” sometimes known as “The Banana Boat Song,” was based on a Jamaican folk song and first recorded in 1952 by the Trinidadian singer Edric Connor.
Burgie reworked the lyrics for the version Harry Belafonte would sing on the 1956 album Calypso. Belafonte’s version of “Day-O” went to Number 5 on the Billboard singles chart and selling 1 million copies in the United States.
The song appeared in the film and Broadway musical “Beetlejuice” and an E-Trade commercial. Burgie also wrote the national anthem for the country of Barbados.