Barabajagal (song)

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Single by Donovan with the Jeff Beck Group
ReleasedJune 1969
RecordedMay 1969
StudioOlympic, London
LabelPye (7N17778)
Producer(s)Mickie Most
Donovan UK singles chronology
"Riki Tiki Tavi"
Official audio
"Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)" (2005 Remastered Version) on YouTube
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, with backing vocals by Lesley Duncan, Suzi Quatro and Madeline Bell.


The song was recorded in May 1969 at the Olympic Studios in London. Other songs were recorded with The Jeff Beck Group but were not released until the reissue of the Barabajagal album in 2005.[2]

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.[3] Donovan later clarified that the name was inspired by the phrase "goo goo ga joob" which appears in The Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus".[4] 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. In Canada the song reached No. 20[5] and was his second last top 40 song.

The instrumental backing is provided by The Jeff Beck Group.[6] 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).[7]

In 2005 the track was remastered by EMI Records for the Barabajagal album re-issue.[2]




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.[10]

The song was covered in 1991 by "The Love-in" on Scream Records, UK. (Scream Records, or possibly "From A Whisper to a Scream", were an early 90s UK hip-hop label.)[11]

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

In 2016, the song was featured in an international Heineken advertisement campaign starring Benicio del Toro.[12]


  1. ^ Stanley, Bob (13 September 2013). "An English Pastoral: Folk Rock". Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. Faber & Faber. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-571-28198-5.
  2. ^ a b "Barabajagal (reissues)". Donovan Unofficial. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Barabajagal". Songfacts. Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  4. ^ "BBC Radio 2 – Sounds of the 60s – Brian's Weekly Sleevenotes – 26 July 2014". BBC. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  5. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - September 6, 1969" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Barabajagal". Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ "Donovan Unofficial – Barabajagal". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  9. ^ "Graded on a Curve: Donovan, Barabajagal". 6 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Václav Neckář – Motejl Modrejl / Goo-Goo Barabajagal (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. 1970. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Love-In, The – Goo Goo Barabajagal (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. 1991. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Heineken Sguardo (Benicio del Toro)" – via YouTube.

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