Barabajagal (song)

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Single by Donovan with the Jeff Beck Group
ReleasedJune 1969
Format7-inch single
RecordedMay 1969
StudioOlympic, London
LabelPye (7N17778)
Producer(s)Mickie Most
Donovan UK singles chronology
"Riki Tiki Tavi"
Donovan US singles chronology
"To Susan on the West Coast Waiting"
"Riki Tiki Tavi"

"Barabajagal" is a song by British singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch, released by Donovan in 1969. It was later used as title track to the album Barabajagal; the instrumental backing is provided by The Jeff Beck Group.


The song, along with "Trudi" and "Stromberg Twins", was recorded in May 1969 at the Olympic Studios in London. Other songs were recorded with The Jeff Beck Group but they remained unreleased until they appeared as bonus tracks on the 2005 reissue of the Barabajagal album.[1]

The first UK pressings of the single use the full title "Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)") and give the B-side the title "Bed With Me". Subsequent pressings (most UK copies) shorten the title to "Barabajagal" and rename the B-side "Trudi"; the title is a made-up name for a seductive lover mentioned in the song.[2] In a later interview, Donovan explained that the song title was an invented word and had been inspired by the phrase "goo goo ga joob" from The Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus";[3] the single is credited to Donovan and Jeff Beck Group. In the US it was always credited as "Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)" by Donovan with the Jeff Beck Group, and with the B-side "Trudi".

It reached No.12 in the UK Singles Chart and No.36 in the US chart. It was Donovan's final top 40 entry in either country.

The instrumental backing is provided by The Jeff Beck Group.[4] In his autobiography, Donovan relates how Jeff Beck's guitar had not been delivered to the studio, so they had to borrow one for him to play on the track (at Beck's request, it was a Fender, his preferred instrument).[5]

In 2005 the track was remastered by EMI Records for the Barabajagal album re-issue.[1]



In 1970 a Czech version of the song was issued, as the B-side to "Motejl Modrejl (Mellow Yellow)", by Czech singer and actor Václav Neckář on the Supraphon label.[6]

The song was covered in 1991 by "The Love-in" on Scream Records, UK. (Scream Records were an early 90s UK hip-hop label, possibly called "From A Whisper To A Scream ").[7]

The song was featured on the 2009 "Ronnie Chase" episode (Season 5, Episode 15) of the US television show Nip/Tuck.

In 2016, the song was featured in an international Heineken advertisement campaign starring Benicio del Toro.[8][citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Barabajagal (reissues)". Donovan Unofficial. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Barabajagal". Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 2 – Sounds of the 60s – Brian's Weekly Sleevenotes – 26 July 2014". BBC. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Barabajagal". Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b Leitch, D. (2005) The Hurdy Gurdy Man, London: Century (U.S. (2005), The Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-35252-2) p.333
  6. ^ "Václav Neckář - Motejl Modrejl / Goo-Goo Barabajagal (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Love-In, The - Goo Goo Barabajagal (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Benicio del Toro racconta Heineken nella campagna 'There's more behind the star' - soggetto The Look".

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