This year, the African & African Diaspora Studies Program's Distinguished Africana Scholars Lecture hosts two prominent speakers: Rawle Gibbons, founding Director of the Centre for Creative and Festival Arts at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and Willard Harris, aka Lord Relator, a seasoned Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian
noted for imitation and his ability to sing extemporaneously - “the art of composing impromptu lyrics about any subject, at any time, without previous thought or study.
Kangkala, a calypsonian
, is the narrator of Earl Lovelace's Caribbean saga.
I remember that growing up in Trinidad the calypsonian
, like the blues singer, was regarded by my parents and grandparents as devil music.
The loud beat, the music of the calypsonian
, and the vigorous dancing--all accompanied by heavy drinking and smoking--go on for hours and induce an intense state of ecstasy and mirth among participants, who become so carried away by the spirit of the occasion that they lose track of the prescribed route and wander around the narrow streets until well into the night.
Amy carried on, restless as ever, moving from one place to the other, forming women's organizations here, political organizations there, and various civic organizations everywhere it seemed, sometimes with Sam Manning, her longtime lover and an outstanding calypsonian
, but always in need of money, always trying to develop schemes for making money, none of which did well.
It was the Runners who had saved her by tapping into her operating language, her argot, creole, and Nannysong, a fusion of computer language and protocols in Eleggua, Marryshow, and Calypsonian
tongue, a song so complex it had been mistaken for "fuzzy logic" garble (50-52).
Typical of this was Sparrow's injunction in 1959 to those who opposed Williams "to leave the damn doctor" and in which the calypsonian
states unequivocally that "soon in the West Indies /is please Mister Nigger please.
The oxtails (Barbadian style) are prepared with a drink in your hand, "the Chinese incense burning sweet in your apartment," and "a hot calypso by the Trinidadian calypsonian
Crazy" playing in the background, but not too loud, because you don't want your neighbours to call the police.
Lord Melody was one of Tiger Bay's most famous and colourful characters.
Even a calypso by the calypsonian
Chalkdust, a schoolteacher, in 1971, "An Answer to Black Power" stressed solving the Black Man's problems.
, as a practitioner of the style is called, counted among his most fervent fans such high-profile figures as England's Princess Margaret and U.
They have it to say how even the calypsonian
Mama Choonks hear what happen, and she writing a rapso about it, and boasting that she going to come in Road March Queen again this year, when she bust some style 'pon the crowd with she new tune "Workee in the Parlor.