Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Jumbie Jamboree” — King Selewa & His Calypsonians (2007)

Oh, what a jumbie jamboree
Took place inna Kingston cemetery
Oh, what a jumbie jamboree
Took place inna Kingston cemetery

Jumbies from up north of the island
Some of them are great Calypsonians
Since the season was carnival
They ska together in Bakanal…

Most commonly known today as Zombie Jamboree, something of a Caribbean standard I suppose, Jumbie Jamboree was originally attributed over a half-a-century ago to a songwriter named Conrad Eugene Mauge. A notable hit, the song eventually caught on stateside and was transformed into “Zombie Jamboree” by a host of singers, bands, and vocal groups.

Who, might you ask? We’re talking Harry Belafonte, the Kingston Trio, Peter Tosh, Harry Nilsson, Rockapella, even Louis freakin’ Farrakhan! Yup it’s true, good ol’ Calypso Louie was belting out island classics before he turned into whatever it is he is today! And that’s I’ll all say about that.

Anyway, everyone in the known world is long-since familiar with Zombies, but Jumbies are something wholly other. They are, according island folklore (and Wikipedia), malevolent spirits whose machinations cause fits of wild dancing in their victims.

You know… Party ghosts!

Since Jumbie Jamboree is the original, that is what we’re going with today, courtesy of King Selewa & His Calpsonians and their 2007 recording of this seminal island spooktacular classic.

So what are you doing wasting time reading this? Click that video below and bring out the Jumpin’ Jumbie Jammonit deep inside ya, kids! Sing it with me now:

Back to back, belly to belly
I don’t care a damn, I dun dead already
Back to back, belly to belly
That a jumbie jamboree…


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