Skip to main content

Oh, here are the lyrics to the Jamaican one then, as best as I can make out.

Chorus:

Day-o day-o, day da light and me wan go home. (X2)

Mr. come Mr. Tallyman, tally me banana,
Day da light and me wan go home,
Come Mr. Tallyman tally me banana,
Day ...

chorus

Mr. Me come here be work me no come here be idle,
Day da ...
Ah me come here be work me no come here be idle,
Day da ...

chorus

Ah five and six and seven and bunch!
Day da ...
Five and six and seven and bunch!
Day da ...

chorus (X2)

P.S.

That's my best attempt to represent the actual sung lyrics. I'm not trying to mock Jamaican English at all, I think it's awesome and really adds something. I just suck at transcribing dialects, and song lyrics in general for that matter! You are on your own for Linstead Market. I'm pretty sure I've actually looked it up and I *still* don't understand it.

I should look up the song because I'm curious if we know where Belafonte learned it. I'd take the line in this song to mean when you hit seven of whatever, bananas or groups, or possibly eight, that equals a bunch. I've always had no idea why "foot" is in Belafonte's version, I just don't know what it means. Are you filling up a pallet or something?

John Isige, Apr 04 2019 on mumpsimus.org