Mortals can’t say his name three times, but fans can sing these calypso songs all night long. The original Beetlejuice movie premiered in 1998, complete with some unique music choices later added to the original Broadway musical.
Here’s what we know about the songs featured in the original movie.
‘Day-O’ became known for its appearance in the Tim Burton film, ‘Beetlejuice’
There’s no better way to liven up a dinner party than with some music. Or rather, there’s no better way to add some death to a dinner party. In an attempt to clear out unwanted house guests, a couple of ghosts broke out the calypso music.
One scene from Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice features Harry Belafonte’s iconic song “Banana Boat (Day-O).” Since then, this song has become synonymous with the film and its corresponding musical adaptation, which premiered on Broadway in 2018.
Why add calypso to a creepy ghost-filled story?
“It’s a ghost story taking place in a New England–style house,” screenwriter Larry Wilson said during an interview with Pitchfork. “Then here comes Harry Belafonte! Why? Why not? That’s the secret of Beetlejuice. No one was afraid to take things to the most most far-out places.”
‘Beetlejuice’ the movie (and the musical) also features ‘Jump in the Line’
Throughout this film, fans learned about the mysterious and slightly disgusting Beetlejuice, an entity known for taking his thrills too far. True to Tim Burton’s style, there are plenty of gags and comedy, complete with a darker undertone. In that respect, Belafonte songs were a smart choice.
“It’s absurd,” Beetlejuice music editor Bob Badami said during the same Pitchfork interview. “There’s no logic to it.”
In addition to “Banana Boat (Day-O,)” another Belafonte hit plays during this comedy. That’s “Jump in the Line,” which appears toward the end of this movie. It was the perfect celebration anthem for Lydia and her new friends. Additionally, this song appears in the stage production of Beetlejuice, this time performed by the character Lydia and other cast members.
‘Beetlejuice – The Musical’ includes original songs performed by characters like Lydia and Beetlejuice
The musical adaptation of this story features songs from the original movie, as well as new hits detailing the adventures of Beetlejuice and Lydia. It’s this music that makes this production so unique from other shows.
“We started this project eight years ago, working in a bunker together with the writers, but it didn’t come together for me until I heard the musical score,” director Alex Timbers said during an interview with MD Theatre Guide.
Since its Spotify debut, songs like “The Whole ‘Being Dead’ Thing,” “Dead Mom,” “What I Know Now,” and “Say My Name” earning millions of plays on the music platform. Beetlejuice – The Musical also earned eight Tony Award nominations, including one for “Best Musical.”
After an untimely exit due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Beetlejuice – The Musical returns to Broadway in 2022. Until then, the movie version of Tim Burton’s story is available on Amazon Prime Video.
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