Known as Lord Burgess

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

Irving Burgie


Gave us timeless Barbadian standards "Jamaica Farewell" and "Day-O"

Irving Burgie has long been acknowledged as one of the greatest composers of Caribbean music. His songs to date have sold over 100 million records throughout the world. Irving's classic Caribbean standards include such familiar hits as "Day-O," "Jamaica Farewell," "Island In The Sun," "Angelina," and he was co-writer of "Mary's Boy Child."

Irving Burgie has written some 35 songs recorded by Harry Belafonte, including 8 of the 11 songs on Harry's 1956 album, Calypso (the first album in America to sell over one million copies). Irving penned songs for the Kingston Trio ("The Seine," "El Matador," and "The Wanderer") and for other groups. His song "Day-O" appears in the "We Are The World" video, and is featured in the hit film Beetlejuice. "Day-O" was also the wake-up call for the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in outer space in 1997.

Irving Burgie wrote the words to the National Anthem of Barbados-his mother's homeland and the place of his introduction to Caribbean folklore.

Irving's formal studies were at the Juilliard School of Music, University of Arizona, and University of Southern California. He became a folksinger using the stage name "Lord Burgess" and performed the circuit between New York and Chicago, making his New York nightclub debut at the Village Vanguard in 1954.

His autobiography "Day-O!!!" is newly was released in 2007.

Wrote the lyrics of the National Anthem of Barbados