Oh, island in the sun
Willed to me by my father's hand
All my days I will sing in praise
Of your forest, waters, your shining sand.
Continuing our brief sojourn to an islands theme, let’s escape to this beautiful paradise captured by the calypso pens of Harry Belafonte and Irving Burgie (aka Lord Burgess) in 1957 for the fantasy film of the same name, about interracial romance and colonialism on the fictional island of Santa Marta, and clearly influenced by both writers’ Caribbean roots. It was also covered by, among others The Hyltonaires, sometimes spelled Hiltonaires, but best of all, and for ourselection, rejigged in a rock steady style by Jamaica’s The Paragons for their 1967 debut album On The Beach, by which time they were fronted by John Holt. Pertaining to ancestral history and roots, and despite referring to years of toil, the song is certainly idealistic, though a little escape is no bad thing in these times of troubled islands.
Now for fun, let’s compare with Belafonte’s sugar-cane soaked movie calypso version:
And also this scratchy Hyltonaires version, that follows another song, also beautiful.
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