A bit of Island Spice


I name today Caribbean Day!

First, the amazing Harry Belafonte, performing with The Muppets. Who would have a banana boat any other way? Day-O, my friends!

And a little tour of New Orleans.

Holy cow! Ringo & his original All-Starr Band (1989), performing “Iko Iko.” And what a line-up! Joe Walsh, Dr John, Billy Preston, Levon Helm, and Clarence Clemons (not to mention three legendary drummers, Rick Danko, Jim Keltner, and of course, Ringo).  I’ve known this song for years, and I’d never heard the title until yesterday.

What’s a Caribbean list without a pirate shanty? This one of my favorites by Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers, an amazing a cappella piece called “Barrett’s Privateers.”

A Beach Boys song that I really enjoy. I decided not to go with the Muppet version of “Kokomo”, although it’s generally much classier to hear a frog sing the lead, backed by a chorus of pigs and parrots. I provided the link, in case a double dose of your Daily Kermit.

Something more contemporary: “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train. It’s not an Island song in anything but its feel.  Laid back and beautiful. It makes me happy to listen to this song, so I’ve gotta include it on my list.

And another Beach Boys song. My kids love this song, because “Then he came and ate up all of my corn…” Say what you want of Brian Wilson, that guy could produce a record and capture a sound like nobody else. Who doesn’t love “The Sloop John B”?

“Beautiful Boy” is  a perpetual contender for my list of ten favorite songs of all time. Not only does John Lennon manage a beautiful song with an amazing Caribbean sound, he makes me cry, damn him. “Life is what happens to when you’re busy making other plans.”

It’s impossible to compile a list of Caribbean songs without including the Head Parrot himself, Jimmy Buffett. I think of “Margaritaville” every time I blow out a flip flop, and step on a pop top.

And I’ll end today’s list with the classic that brought reggae to the mainstream, “I Shot the Sherriff”, performed by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Have a sunny day. Roll a fatty, light up, and listen if that’s your thing. If you don’t, just make it a point to spread a little love on your journey today.

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