Lord Erving Bugess,, formerly Erving Burgie brought up in the United States, though he was of West Indian extraction and spent his childhood in a West Indian community in Brooklyn. On September 15, 1955, Burgie obtained copyright registration of the "words, music, arrangement" of a song entitled "Jamaica Farewell"(Shari Music Publishing Corp.).
Irving Burgie was born in Brooklyn in 1924. His mother was from Barbados, and he grew up surrounded by people from the Caribbean. After serving in the Army during World War II, Burgie studied music at Julliard, the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California.
He was influenced by the folk music revival that was sweeping the country and began performing and writing songs. During the early 1950s, he appeared at the Blue Angel in Chicago and the Village Vanguard in New York, where he worked for a period with Louise Bennett, a writer and interpreter of Jamaican folk traditions. It was during this period that he assumed the name "Lord Burgess."
Burgie is best known as a songwriter. Some of his compositions, such "Jamaica Farewell" and "Day-O," were based, in part, on Jamaican folk traditions. In 1955 he met Harry Belafonte and provided him with "Day-O" and other songs for a performance in "Holiday in Trinidad," a segment on NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour.
The next year, Belafonte included "Day-O," "Jamaica Farewell" and other Burgie compositions in his immensely successful album titled Calypso. Burgie went on to write other songs for Belafonte, such as "Island in the Sun," which was the title song for a 1957 movie that starred Belafonte. He also wrote the music for an Off-Broadway musical titled Ballad for Bimshire (1963) and composed the national anthem for Barbados, which gained independence from Britain in 1966.