Harry Belafonte Top 10 Songs

Harry Belafonte is a legendary singer, actor, and social activist known for his unique style and captivating performances. With a career spanning over six decades, Belafonte has left a lasting impact on the music industry and has given us some timeless classics. In this blog post, we will explore Harry Belafonte’s top 10 songs that have become iconic in his illustrious career.

1. “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)”: This is perhaps Harry Belafonte’s most well-known and popular song. Released in 1956, “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” became a global hit and continues to be a favorite to this day. The infectious Caribbean rhythms and Belafonte’s soulful vocals make this song an instant mood lifter.

2. “Jump in the Line”: Another hit from the album “Calypso” (1956), “Jump in the Line” is an energetic and upbeat track that showcases Belafonte’s knack for fusing various musical styles. Its catchy chorus and vibrant instrumentation make it a favorite for dance parties and celebrations.

3. “Matilda”: This calypso-style song tells the tale of a woman named Matilda and her escapades. Harry Belafonte’s spirited delivery and the joyful rhythm of this song make it an instant favorite among fans. It’s impossible to resist the urge to dance along when “Matilda” comes on.

4. “Jamaica Farewell”: In this sentimental ballad, Harry Belafonte bids farewell to the beautiful island of Jamaica. His heartfelt vocals combined with the gentle strumming of the guitar create a melancholic atmosphere that resonates with listeners.

5. “Island in the Sun”: This song, released in 1957, captured the essence of Belafonte’s Caribbean roots. With its dreamy melody and poetic lyrics, “Island in the Sun” transports listeners to a tropical paradise, evoking feelings of tranquility and wanderlust.

6. “Mama Look a Boo Boo”: A humorous and light-hearted track, “Mama Look a Boo Boo” showcases Belafonte’s playful side. The song’s catchy chorus and funny lyrics have made it a fan favorite over the years, perfect for lifting spirits and putting a smile on your face.

7. “Shake Senora”: This collaboration between Harry Belafonte and the Calypso King of the World, Lord Kitchener, exudes pure energy and joy. The infectious rhythm and the interplay between their voices create a vibrant and unforgettable track that will get everyone on their feet.

8. “Try to Remember”: From the Broadway musical “The Fantasticks,” Harry Belafonte’s interpretation of “Try to Remember” is soul-stirring and emotive. His velvety voice and the poignant lyrics make this song a timeless classic that tugs at the heartstrings.

9. “Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)”: Belafonte’s rendition of “Scarlet Ribbons” is tender and melodic, showcasing his innate ability to convey raw emotions through his vocals. This beautiful ballad is perfect for quiet moments and introspection.

10. “Hava Nagila”: Belafonte’s rendition of this traditional Hebrew folk song is a testament to his versatility as an artist. With its lively tempo and celebratory spirit, “Hava Nagila” continues to be a favorite at parties and festive occasions.

Harry Belafonte’s top 10 songs are a testament to his talent and his ability to connect with his audience through his music. Each song tells a story and evokes a range of emotions, showcasing his versatility and the cultural influences that shaped his career. From catchy calypso tunes to sentimental ballads, Harry Belafonte’s music continues to resonate with listeners of all generations, proving that great music transcends time.


1. What is Harry Belafonte’s most famous song?
Harry Belafonte’s most famous song is “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)”.

2. What is Harry Belafonte’s signature musical style?
Harry Belafonte is known for his fusion of various musical styles, including calypso, folk, and Caribbean rhythms.

3. How long has Harry Belafonte been in the music industry?
Harry Belafonte has had a career spanning over six decades, starting in the 1950s.

4. Has Harry Belafonte won any awards for his music?
Yes, Harry Belafonte has won numerous awards for his music, including Grammy Awards and the Kennedy Center Honors.

5. Did Harry Belafonte write his own songs?
While Harry Belafonte did not write all of his songs, he often collaborated with songwriters and showcased his unique interpretation of various genres.

6. Is Harry Belafonte still active in the music industry?
Although Harry Belafonte has slowed down his music career in recent years, he continues to be active in social activism and humanitarian efforts.

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