Some juicy facts about The Banana Boat Song

Some juicy facts about The Banana Boat Song

The popularity of The Banana Boat Song (aka ‘Day-O’) seems not to have waned a bit since Harry Belafonte recorded it in 1956. The calypso craze may have died down, but this traditional Jamaican folk song looks destined to live forever. Belafonte’s version has been downloaded more than 14,000 times from Marine Café Blog.

Hymn to the Pilot: A poem written by a harbour pilot

Hymn to the Pilot: A poem written by a harbour pilot

A maritime pilot from Morocco recently sent me a poem entitled ‘Hymne au Pilote’ (Hymn to the Pilot). It’s not everyday that one comes across a pilot who writes poetry, so I thought I should share the piece with the readers of Marine Café Blog.

The author’s name is Mohammed Rida El Mariky, a senior pilot at Tangier Med Complex. He has 14 years pf pilotage experience in various Moroccan port and holds a Ph.D in Admiralty Law from the prestigious Paul Cézanne Faculty, Aix-en-Provence, France. He has published a collection of short stories (‘L’Odeur du luzin’) as well as a collection of poems (‘Les mot qui tanguen’)

Unelaborated marine art: In praise of simplicity

Unelaborated marine art: In praise of simplicity

A work of art can be striking on account of its very simplicity.

One example is Theodore Roussel’s ‘The Sea at Bognor’ (pictured above), which is the completed version of a set of nine colour prints the artist made in 1895. Some people might call such art minimalism, which would not be accurate. “Minimalism,” Tate Britain points out, “is an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle.”

Islands in old photographs and thoughts about life

Islands in old photographs and thoughts about life

Very old photographs are like time machines, transporting you to an era that has long vanished. Looking at them makes you imagine what it was like to live back then. But some vintage pictures, like the following photographs of islands, can do more than take you on a journey to lost time. They can unmoor certain thoughts. Suddenly, sometimes almost instinctively, you find yourself contemplating upon life and the human condition.

Some choice quotes about workers on the waterfront

Some choice quotes about workers on the waterfront

Digging up quotable quotes about the workers who load and unload vessels — stevedores, dockers or longshoremen — can be a real challenge. Try hard as I did, I managed to find online a mere handful which I thought would be worth sharing.

I should have expected this to be the case. Far fewer books and articles have been written about waterfront workers than about seafarers. Poems on the subject, at least those written in English, are as rare as the Casper Octopus. Doesn’t this speak volumes?

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