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Babalu - Remember on the sitcom I LOVE LUCY/CBS/1950-61 when Cuban born singer Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) banged on his drums and sang that funny sounding lyric "Babalú Ayé"?

Ricky Ricardo & His Orchestra - Babalu Album

He was actually invoking (in song) the help of a patron saint of the sick worshipped by the Cuban immigrants who belonged to a religious group known as the Santeria (Translation: Worship of Saints).

Santeria is a mixture of African magic/witchcraft and Catholic mysticism that originated with Yoruban (Nigerian) slaves who were brought to Latin America during the 17th Century.

Babalu Lyrics (Spanish)

Babalu aye
Babalu aye
Ta empezando lo velorio
Que le hacemo a Babalu
Dame diez y siete velas
Pa ponerle en cruz.
Dame un cabo de tabaco mayenye
Y un jarrito de aguardiente,
Dame un poco de dinero mayenye
Pa' que me de la suerte.


Quiere pedi
Que mi negra me quiera
Que tenga dinero
Y que no se muera
Av! Vo le quiero pedi a Babalu 'na negra muy s
anta como tu que no tenga otro negro
Pa' que no se fuera.

Babalu a ye!


Babalu  Lyrics (English)

Babalu aye
Babalu aye
Jungle drums were badly beating
In the glare of eerie lights:
While the natives kept repeating
Ancient jungle rites.
All at once the dusky warriors began to
Raise their arms to skies above
A a native stepped forward to chant to
his Voodoo Godess of love.


Great Babalu!
I 'm so lost and forsaken
Ah, great Babalu

TRIVIA NOTE: On the TV series Ricky Ricardo later left his $100-per-week job at the Tropicana Club to become the proprietor of the Ricky Ricardo Babaloo Club.

Inspired by Ricky's classic phrase, the Quick Draw McGraw's cartoon burro sidekick was called "Baba-Looey." 

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