Island Music, and Songs of the Sea


By D. J. McAdam.

I thought of calling this list by various titles - tropical music, vacation music, kick-back music, even "musica tropical," and I suppose the word "beach" should have been in there somewhere, too - but, in the end, "island music" sounded like the best thing, and besides, I'm in an island mood, so why sweat the details?  The idea came to me while I was cruising around the southern Caribbean.  What songs would I most want to put on my iPod to get me (or keep me) in an island mood?  What follows is the answer I came up with.  Remember, this isn't a list of authentic island music, it's a list of songs that somehow might put one in that indefinable island mood. 

Like all such lists on this site, don't worry too much about the order.  In fact, don't worry at all . . .

  1. Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
  2. One Love / People Get Ready - Bob Marley
  3. Island Girl - Elton John
  4. Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley
  5. Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
  6. In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
  7. Caribbean Dream - Billy Ocean
  8. Girls on the Beach - The Beach Boys
  9. I've Got Sand in My Shoes - The Drifters
  10. Vacation - GoGo's
  11. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes - Jimmy Buffett
  12. Orinoco Flow - Enya
  13. Sailing - Christopher Cross
  14. Stir It Up - Johnny Nash
  15. I Shot the Sheriff - Eric Clapton
  16. Banana Boat (Day-O) - Harry Belafonte
  17. The Tide Is High - Blondie
  18. Moondance - Van Morrison
  19. Kokomo - The Beach Boys
  20. Montego Bay - Bobby Bloom
  21. Vahevala - Loggins & Messina
  22. Spirits in the Material World - Police
  23. Baby I Love You - Big Mountain
  24. Escape - Rupert Holmes
  25. No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems - Kenny Chesney
  26. An American Dream - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  27. Kingston Town - Harry Belafonte
  28. Harbor Lights
  29. Coast of Malabar - Chieftains, with Ry Cooder
  30. Cara, Mia - Jay and the Americans
  31. Red Sails in the Sunset - Dinah Washington
  32. Israelites - Desmond Dekker and the Aces
  33. Many Rivers to Cross - Jimmy Cliff (or Joe Cocker, or Harry Nilsson, or UB40, or Linda Ronstadt, or Oleta Adams, or a lot of other folks - but really, it's a Jimmy Cliff song)
  34. I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash
  35. Key Largo - Bertie Higgins
  36. And I Love Her - The Beatles
  37. Coconut (Lime in the Coconut) - Harry Nilsson

In addition to the above songs, and also in something of a different vein, I would like to mention that I received for Christmas (2009) the Smithsonian Folkways CD entitled, "Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea."  If you like folk music, or sea shanties - or, I suppose, if you're noticing a big lack in your CD collection when it comes to Irish pirate ballads - then consider this highly enjoyable collection of songs.

 

 



 

 

Copyright © D. J. McAdam· All Rights Reserved