Justin Trudeau Apology Sparks Interest In 'Day-O'


When Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday night for dressing as Aladdin at a party in 2001 – complete with dark makeup on his face and hands – he admitted it wasn’t the first time he did something racist.

“When I was in high school I dressed up at a talent show and sang ‘Day O’ with makeup on,” he said.

So, what’s “Day-O?”

Often known as “The Banana Boat Song,” it is a traditional Jamaican folk song that is believed to date back to the late 19th century. It was sung by workers who loaded bananas onto ships.

“Work all night on a drink of rum / Daylight come and me wan' go home / Stack banana till the mornin' come / Daylight come and me wan' go home.”

First recorded as “Day Dah Light” by Edric Connor in 1952, it went mainstream when Harry Belafonte released it in 1956. “Day-O” became his signature song.

The song has been covered by a long list of artists over the years – from Shaggy to The Wiggles. Jason Derulo sampled “Day-O” in his 2011 song “Don’t Wanna Go Home.”