Island In The Sun

Album: Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean (1957)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "Island In The Sun" was the title song for a controversial 1957 film about race relations and interracial romance. Harry "King of Calypso" Belafonte starred in the film (with Joan Fontaine) and wrote and performed the song. The island is a fictional Caribbean one named Santa Marta.

    The lyrics detail simple life on a Caribbean island, with hopes that this lifestyle will endure. In the film, the song is played over a montage of scenes of island life. The film, and the Belafonte album in which the song appears, were both released in 1957.
  • Chris Blackwell and his partners named their record label Island Records after this song. Based in Jamaica, the label was founded in 1959.
  • At least 40 artists have covered this song, including The Righteous Brothers, The Merrymen, and José Carreras. The Paragons, a ska group out of Kingston, Jamaica, turned the song into a Jamaican anthem with their 1967 cover of the song on their debut album On the Beach.
  • Belafonte released an updated version of the song in 2017 in When Colors Come Together. Belafonte's son David wrote the new lyrics, and his grandchildren sang backing vocals with a children's choir.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Michael Schenker

Michael SchenkerSongwriter Interviews

The Scorpions and UFO guitarist is also a very prolific songwriter - he explains how he writes with his various groups, and why he was so keen to get out of Germany and into England.

Producer Ron Nevison

Producer Ron NevisonSong Writing

Ron Nevison explains in very clear terms the Quadrophenia concept and how Heart staged their resurgence after being dropped by their record company.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.