Nanci Griffith was an American singer-songwriter working in country, folk, and what she termed “folkabilly.”
She is known for such songs as the anti-war song “From a Distance” (1982) and the anti-racism anthem “It’s a Hard Life Wherever You Go” (1989). That is her socially engaged side, which, as a matter of principle almost, does not interest me very much.
There is another side, the slice-of-life side, represented by her song “Love at the Five and Dime” (1986). This side interests me more, also because the “five and dime” of the title reminds me of Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) by Robert Altman.
Louise Bennett-Coverley gave Harry Belafonte the foundation for his 1956 hit “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by telling him about the Jamaican folk song “Hill and Gully Rider” (the name also given as “Day Dah Light”).”
“Jamaica Farewell” was compiled and modified from many folk pieces to make a new song. Burgie acknowledged his use of the tune of another mento, “Iron Bar””.–Sholem Stein
I remember vividly how one night my parents went to a Harry Belafonte concert in Antwerp and lodged me and my brother in a fancy hotel which had a pool that was partly inside and partly outside the hotel. It was winter and the pool outside was steaming into the open air. This must have been before the first oil crisis. (update: I called my mother, it was the Sofitel, located on the Boomsesteenweg 15, Aartselaar)