Where Calypso Went? [Song]

Uploaded by IsDePanInMe

By Brother Valentino

In 1912 in New York City, they record the first calypso
By Lovey's Orchestra, a band from Trinidad, the record could show
This orchestra was led by George Bailey, the musician, not the mas' man
The tune was entitled "Mango Vert", so Calypso recordings began
In 1914, two years later, Julien Whiterose and one Jules Sims
Gave to Calypso its first vocal recordings
In 1921, Railway Douglas opened the first Calypso tent
And from then to now I keep asking where the hell the Calypso went.

'Cause since in the early 20's, Sa Gomes sponsored Lion and Tiger
Our Calypso music was attracted by a recording company they called Decca
It was recorded before all that jazz and so much other music
But somewhere along the way, Calypso has lost its magic
Just when they feel the Calypso would skyrocket all over the continent
It took a nosedive in the Savannah and then back to the frigging tent.

In the early thirties Calypso reach Harlem's black community
Pioneered by Sir Lancelot, the Duke of Iron and Houdini
Sam Manning, Bill Rogers, the Duke of Marlborough
Not forgetting Gerald Clarke and Lionel Belasco
Look how long the Calypso was on the international scene
Until a man name Morley Amsterdam brought it where the pasture was green
"Rum and Coca Cola" the Andrew Sisters said it all
The tune sold seven million copies and Lord Invader, he had a ball.

A hundred and fifty US thousand dollars, he got for this calypso
And for composing the melody, Belasco, he got something also
Through Amsterdam and the Andrew Sisters, Calypso made the hit parade
Now today the same Calypso ketching its arse to make the grade.
'Cause everyday now the people keep complaining, Calypso is dying slow
But is all them Calypso judges and promoters that have it so.

Calypso reach in Greenwich Village, Calypso reach all over Broadway
Calypso sold its first million albums through Harry Belafonte
Nat King Cole recorded "Calypso Blues" in 1948
Chuck Berry recorded "Havana Moon", that calypso was really great
Robert Mitchum, Rosemary Clooney, the Kingston Trio, Louis Farrakhan
All these people sang the Calypso, Lionel Richie and Bob Dylan
Calypso, it was acknowledged, had an influence on the Motown Sound
Jamaicans could say, thanks to Calypso, Reggae music is still around.

A calypsonian told me a story about Bob, Peter and Bunny
Recording his calypso, "Where Sammy Gone", they sang background vocals for he
Our first Independence Calypso King, Lord Brynner, who they send loco
Told me that Bob Marley and the Wailers pick up some vibes from we Calypso
After all these people and places, "Where the hell did Calypso go?"
End up in some cheating competition on some blasted Dimanche Gras Show.

The first woman to enter a tent to sing Calypso
Lady Trinidad was her sobriquet, the first to cut a record also
Thelma Lane was her name. I want them female calypsonians know
About a feminist in the art, a trail blazer and fighter of long ago
And then enter Harold Phillips, a man who would create history
A calypsonian and a pannist, a concert promoter from Laventille
In his Colony Club in England where he promote his calypso show
These white boys would walk with their guitar and together they jam the tempo.

And then Woody told me a true story, them white boys used to gig with he
About a historic concert they pull off in Hamburg, Germany
John, Paul, George and Ringo is Lord Woodbine made me to know
The famous Beatles from in Liverpool pick up some vibes from we Calypso
After all these explorations, how much further did Calypso went?
End up in all kinds of competitions and then back to the frigging tent.

Source: The lyrics posted on this blog are often transcribed directly from performances. Although it is my intention to faithfully transcribe I do not get all the words and I have a knack for hearing the wrong thing. Please feel free to correct me or to fill in the words that I miss by dropping me a message via e-mail. I'd be forever grateful. Thanks in advance!

A Note From The Gull

Thank you, Brother Valentino! I have been thinking about this. I have to say that this year's Dimanche Gras calypso competition left me cold. I waited for Singing Sandra to sing her second song and then hurriedly left the house [Internet]. I am probably biased but Singing Sandra was my choice for Monarch...even though as I watched her perform, I was bothered by a feeling that something was bringing her spirit down. Singing Sandra, I hope that you do not allow anything to discourage you and that you are blessed with health and strength to continue singing. Stay strong, stay true!

I think that there should be a people's choice for People's Calypso Monarch, a decision that is not reached by appointed judges but just a mechanised system for tallying phoned in votes.

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!