"Sly Mongoose" is a Trinidadian folk song and calypso which is widely recognized in the Caribbean.



The song was recorded by Jamaican musician Sam Manning in the mid-1920s[1] and Lord Invader (of "Rum and Coca-Cola" fame) in 1946.[2] A different version with a similar name, "Slide Mongoose Slide" was recorded in the Bahamas in 1935, performed by the Nassau String Band. The songs are clearly related but the version recorded in the Bahamas has notable differences, not only are the lyrics different but also the singing style and melody, it is in the style of other Bahamian folk songs recorded in 1935, like Bimini Gal, Bellamina, and Abaco is a Pretty place.[3] Other Caribbean artists to record the song include The Gaylads,[4] Aston "Family Man" Barrett,[5] Ahadu & Light of Saba,[6] Beverley's Allstars,[7] Harry Belafonte,[8] Max Woiski Sr. (under the alternative song title "Ba-Anansie"),[9] Ernest Ranglin[10] and Monty Alexander.[11] Versions with varying lyrics have also been sung as calypsos.[12]

It has been performed and recorded by the German musician James Last[13] and his orchestra and by American jazz musicians including Charlie "Bird" Parker,[14] Louis Armstrong[15] and Benny Goodman.[16]

The Jamaican National Dance Theatre Company have performed it in a dance choreographed by Rex Nettleford.

See also



  1. ^ "Sam Manning - Volume 1 - Recorded In New York, 1924-1927". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  2. ^ Gibbs, Craig Martin (2015-04-30). Calypso and Other Music of Trinidad, 1912-1962: An Annotated Discography. McFarland. ISBN 9781476619316.
  3. ^ "Deep River of Song: Bahamas 1935, Vol. 2 - Ring Games and Round Dances - Alan Lomax | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "Lee Perry With The Skatalites / The Gaylads - Rape Bait / Sly Mongoose". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  5. ^ "Various - Trojan Bob Marley & Friends Box Set". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  6. ^ "Ahadu And Light Of Saba* - Hebi Down Ya". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  7. ^ "Derrick Morgan - What's Your Grouse". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  8. ^ "Harry Belafonte - Harry Belafonte". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  9. ^ "Max Woiski En Zijn La Cubana-Orkest". 45worlds. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  10. ^ "Ernest Ranglin - Jazz Jamaica". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  11. ^ "Monty Alexander Featuring Ernest Ranglin - Rass!". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  12. ^ Powell, Azizi (2014-07-29). "pancocojams: Lord Invader -"Sly Mongoose" (information, lyrics, & sound file)". pancocojams. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  13. ^ "James Last - Copacabana Happy Dancing". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  14. ^ "Charlie Parker - "Bird" Is Free". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  15. ^ "Louis Armstrong and Edward R. Murrow With Leonard Bernstein - Satchmo The Great". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  16. ^ "Benny Goodman - Here Is Benny Goodman AT His Rare Of All Rarest Performances Vol. 1". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-22.