Irving Burgie, songwriter of ‘Day-O’ passes away at age 95 (Top 5 List)

Renowned song-writer, Irving Burgie, died on Friday November 29th at the age of ninety-five (confirmed by his son, Andrew Burgie). Irving was an icon who preserved Caribbean culture and traditions on a diaspora scale through the various songs he wrote, especially for fellow icon, Harry Belafonte. Here are five little known details about the song-writer’s musical journey.

Irving Burgie Top 5:

  1. Irving Burgie was a renowned songwriter with roots in Barbados. He wrote the lyrics to the classic calypso “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” which was made famous by Harry Belafonte and also featured in the pop-classic ‘Beetle Juice.’
  2. Burgie wrote roughly 35 songs for Harry Belafonte including eight songs for his 1956 album entitled, ‘Calypso.’ That was the first album to sell over a million copies in the United States *
  3. He wrote the national anthem for the island of Barbados when it achieved independence on November 30th 1966.
  4. Among many other features, the Day-O song was also used ‘as the wake-up call for astronauts on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in space in 1997, according to the Songerwriters Hall of Fame. ‘*
  5. Burgie began taking his music seriously after he returned from serving in an all-black U.S. Army battalion during World War II.

Thank you for your contribution to the preservation of culture Mr. Burgie. It has not gone unnoticed and is very much appreciated.



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MISSION: To elevate the brand of Caribbean culture in the fields of MUSIC, BUSINESS and the ARTS by celebrating the work of cultural ambassadors while advocating for upcoming Caribbean talent1.


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