Posts Tagged ‘calypso


Day 13, 14 & 15/365…

If you’ve been following my 365 project, you’d have realised that I didn’t post anything on Saturday, Sunday or Monday (its early Tuesday morning as I type this).

Well, its Carnival time… and I went to my first Carnival fête: St Mary’s College All-Inclusive (read an interesting review of the 2008 edition of the fete here).  An “all-inclusive fête” is a Carnival fete where everything you need is included in the price.  You get as much as you can eat and as much as you can drink, as long as stocks last.  The fêtes usually go strong for as much as 10 hours… some start as early as 4pm… and they go ’til after midnight in some cases.  St Mary’s is my alma mater, and I usually attend the fete.

In lieu of my lack of photos, here’s a video I recorded of a performance at the fete: Kes the Band featuring Nadia Batson who sings with them as their female lead, although she’s an artiste separate and apart from the band.



Day 12/365: Kaiso, Kaiso!

Calypso, originally uploaded by boboleechron.

I love making mistakes like these. I think they look so cool.

I was bumped on the elbow when I took this picture of a calypsonian performing at a calyspo show. He was dressed up as a magistrate and was swinging his gavel as he sang his composition.

“Kaiso! Kaiso!” is a phrase of encouragement, akin to “Bravo! Bravo!”

Kaiso is another name for calypso, the indigenous music created and loved by Trinbagonians & Caribbean people.


Wrong Country? No Love…

You know something’s really wrong with the US economy when not even the “local” girls want to marry American men!


Ineligible Bachelors: Indian Men Living in U.S. Strike Out

The Wall Street Journal article points out that:

Vikas Marwaha would normally be considered a good catch by Indian parents seeking a husband for their daughter. The 27-year-old software engineer earns $80,000 to $100,000 a year and comes from a family “of doctors and engineers,” according to his profile on a matrimonial Web site.

But Mr. Marwaha works for a start-up Internet phone company in San Francisco. And because the U.S. economy is wobbly, that’s a problem. Many Indian parents now are balking at sending their daughters to the U.S. to marry.

Interactive Graphic

Check out this interactive “Indian Singles” ad at the journal!

Until recently, overseas candidates would quickly elicit 10 to 15 responses from young women, says Smita Seth, 55, owner of Manpasand Marriage Bureau in Ahmedabad. But in the past few months, she has had to coax parents to even consider overseas grooms; they prefer men from their own towns instead.

In order to find a suitable bride, many Non-Resident Indian (N.R.I.) men leave their successful US jobs, try to find suitable jobs at home and begin the search for a bride, anew… where they’re being confronted with the fact that its pretty hard these days to find a “bride who is smart, fluent in English, and ‘simultaneously, docile in the house’.”

I wonder how other bachelors from other cultures worldwide are coping… the potential brides too!  Someone should do a study on this… it seems that the general trend is reversing.  People are leaving the US now, instead of flocking to it!

The reason? Pretty simple actually… as the Mighty Sparrow succinctly put it in one of his classic calypsoes:

Pic from Afrobella: A young Mighty Sparrow


“No Money, No Love”

Peace and Rice,


PS:  Here’s one N.R.I. male who shouldn’t have any problem finding himself a bride… 🙂

Democratic Convention[Chicago Sun Times]

I want to wish you all the best in your new job, man!  8)


Doctor’s Orders

I went to my big sister’s graduation ceremony at the University of the West Indies (St Augustine campus) on Friday Oct 31, 2008 (Halloween).  She graduated (with distinction, mind you) with her post-graduate diploma in “Educational Technology”.

Trinidad Newsday

Anyway, UWI likes to grant honourary doctorates at each of its graduation ceremonies.  As luck would have it, the calypsonian Black Stalin was carded to be one of the recipients at my sister’s graduation.  I had no clue until I picked up the programme and gave it a quick skim while waiting for things to get started!

After the first honourary PhD recipient (Mr Kynaston McShine — a QRC old boy) gave his moving acceptance speech, it was Stalin’s turn…

“Ah… I had ah mind to give a lil speech this morning… but after Dr. McShine speech, I feel is better I sing (audience laughs/claps).

Flickr: Ricosmixxx

Ah came here dis morning to just do one calypso and leave… but ah tink this being ah graduation– one such as this with so much young people — we should add another one to it — jus’ fuh so…

(audience applauds)

Yuh know and… and this particular song… we going to do this one with no music (motions to band to be still)… so we could let de message hit home…which is so much easier when yuh do it acappella style…

We just want to say that… yuh know… God <???> … regardless of your position, regardless of your condition, one of the things we know is that… we doh run dis world… somebody else does run it for us… and while passing thru, we got to make de best of it… so …ahm… here is my story…”

(starts singing his song “In Times” acappella)

We seem to feel that life is over
just because we throw a few pennies down de gutter
We seem to feel everything is lost
so we fighting to get back something at any cost
but while we fighting and we fighting just to get back that little something…
we keep forgetting that we know nothing of this world in which we livin’
Someone greater put this world together
So we must remember…

In times of plenty we must be grateful
In times of sorrow we must be strong
In times of joy we must be thankful
Because life really have its ups and its downs
In times of disaster we must be ready
To get together and move obstacles out de way
And if you listen to this watchword from yuh lover, Black Stalin
Tomorrow would be ah better day

We meet ah world today wit four seasons
Who is we to try and find out “what’s the reason?”
And what goes roun’ so…
Must come back roun’ so
Why dat is so, nobody doh know
And there are so much other mysteries
That nobody still can answer
So we just got to say ‘thanks’ and keep looking to de future
because dis world is not yours to control
it is just to behold, so…

In times of plenty we must be grateful
In times of sorrow we must be strong
In times of joy we must be thankful
Because life really have its ups and its downs
In times of disaster we must be ready
To get together and move racism out de way
And if you listen to this watchword from yuh lover, Black Stalin
Tomorrow would be ah better day

As we go thru this life we livin’
we must know by now that this world owe us nuttin’
so live yuh life, just enjoy it,
and just try to leave dis world better dan yuh meet it
because de maker of dis world which nobody has no contract
no paper is going to tell you yesterday is going to come back
so… look ahead but without looking dead
after all is said…

In times of plenty we must be grateful
In times of sorrow we must be strong
In times of joy we must be thankful
Because life really have its ups and its downs
In times of disaster we must be ready
To get together and move racism out de way
And if you listen to this watchword from yuh lover, Black Stalin
Tomorrow would be ah better day
…for you and you and you…

(audience applauds)

Stalin then went on to perform one of his beloved songs “Caribbean Unity” aka “Caribbean Man”, with just guitar and drum accompaniment. The audience sang along without prompting, too.

You can find the lyrics to that song at the Toronto Lime website.

Apologies for the poor audio/video quality, but I was fairly high up in the bleachers, and that was the best I could do with my camera maxed out at 3x zoom.  I need a new camera, and I’ve been a good boy all year, right, Santa?



It was really nice to hear Stalin and to see him moved enough by the occasion to give the graduands this piece of advice in song, which I’m sure they appreciated (especially the undergrads).  It was really appropriate too.  Maybe the upcoming US election had something to do with it.  Being poised on the threshold of history will do that to you I suppose.

He (Stalin) really is a man of the people, and while he seemed a bit in awe at all the pomp and ceremony of the occasion, he was…well, how do I put it…*Stalin* !  He will never lose his common touch, which is why so many Trinbagonians love and admire him so much.  Even while he walked through the venue, he took the time to acknowledge the starstruck in the crowd with his winning smile.

With the mess the world is in today, with all manner of danger, threat and peril looming around every corner and facet of our lives, lets sincerely hope and pray that the UWI Graduating Class of 2008 will follow the goodly Doctor’s orders and make a difference in the lives, hearts and minds of the whole world.

Peace and Rice,



Back-in-Times Thursday

In keeping with my ‘no stress for the week pledge’, here’s some “Back-In-Times” Soca music.

“Back-In-Times” is just another way we Trinbagonians say “Old School Jam”.

The name of the band is Shandileer.

The name of the song is “Love Up”.  I can’t find a video for this one, but please go…


“Love Up” by Shandileer


…for the audio track.

Its something I found over at

Trinidad & Tobago Flag


Lyrics, again, courtesy of the good folks at

I’m not too sure if Ronnie Macintosh (in front with the hat) was with the band when they recorded this song, but I can distinctly hear Carl and Carol Jacobs doing background vocals:

Every day we just eating and we talking
We wondering if we both know what we doing
Darling ah dunno really how you feeling
But ah think is time we should start up this romancing


Leh we go down de road and sit down by de school and luv up
We go talk bout de day, how it all past away and luv up
We could sing, we could dance and then all ah we dance and luv up
Doo-doo come leh we go, leh we go down de road and luv up
Oh lord, leh we go, leh we go, leh we go, go down de road and luv up

We dont know what we have and what we missing
Leh we work it out baby, we could come out with something
Talking bout life and living it is not de same thing
So baby leh we start to live, forget de horrors and fretting


[Instrumental Break]

All over de world people carrying on, say dey fighting
Please doo-doo leh we avoid de quarrelling
We could wake up in de morning, do ah little something
Make sure everything wukking
And when de evening come, leh we settle down to some loving


Leh we go down de road
Aye aye aye aye aye aye aye
ooh, ooh, ooh


[Shandileer pic taken from here.]


Trinidad is My Land…


…and of it I am proud and glad.

The Mighty Sniper: “Portrait of Trinidad.”

I took this shot on Carnival Monday, 2008.

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