Irving Burgie (“Day-O” Songwriter) Passes Away at 95

Irving Burgie at his home in Queens in 2017. Burgie, who rewrote the lyrics to the traditional Jamaican song "Day-O," died on Friday, Nov. 29, at the age of 95.

Irving Burgie, the composer who helped to bring Caribbean and calypso music to the mainstream with the hit song “Day-O” has died at the age of 95.

His death was confirmed by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who called for a moment of silence for the man who wrote its national anthem. [BBC News]


The 1950s song Day-O went on to be used in films, adverts and even as a wake-up call for astronauts in space. The calypso hit, also known as The Banana Boat Song, featured in the popular film Beetlejuice and has been sampled by rapper Lil Wayne and singer Jason Derulo.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family today.

Harry Belafonte - Banana Boat Song (Day-O)