Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall

Harry Belafonte

1960/1994: RCA Victor 09026-62690-2

  1. Jump Down Spin Around
  2. Suzanne
  3. A Little Lyric of Great Importance
  4. Chickens
  5. Vaichazkem
  6. I Do Adore Her
  7. The Ballad of Sigmund Freud
  8. I’ve Been Driving on Bald Mountain
  9. Water Boy
  10. A Hole in the Bucket
  11. The Click Song
  12. One More Dance
  13. The Ox Drivers
  14. The Red Rosy Bush
  15. Didn’t It Rain
  16. Henè Ma Tov
  17. I Know Where I’m Going
  18. Old King Cole
  19. La Bamba

This is an album I grew up with and which helped make world music a natural part of my tastes. Highlights include Miriam Makeba singing “The Click Song” and (with Belafonte) a charming song about marital infidelity; Odetta punctuating the silence of the hall with her guitar like an axe on “Water Boy” and making “A Hole in the Bucket” just hysterical with Belafonte; the Belafonte Folk Singers being intense but with a too-refined “voice;” and Belafonte himself being just marvelous throughout, especially toward the end with “Old King Cole” and “La Bamba.”

Also, as funny as the overall performance of “The Ballad of Sigmund Freud” is, here done by the Chad Mitchell Trio, the lyrics are pretty clever. My favorite line, though, hands down, is “He adopted as his credo ‘Down repression! Up libido!’ ” Hilarious.