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5 Enjoyable Calypsoes from Carnival 2020

5 Enjoyable Calypsoes from Carnival 2020

Duane O'Connor performing live GIF

Calypso needs more love. Yes? Yes. Sometimes I forget how much I like calypso. It’s the way our writers take varying topics and tell stories that can leave us pensive or chuckling. And boy, we certainly have a way with words. Calypso is akin to Broadway to me. I love the brass and the way the melodies sit on the music. I also love how an experienced calypsonian will leave you convinced that the topic they are singing on is all that matters in the world. I always leave an encounter with a night of calypso feeling full. How to not love calypso?

This year I had the pleasure of being a judge at the Sangre Grande regional finals. I left that experience determined to judge every performance at Calypso Fiesta from the comfort of my home the next day. I needed to know that my results lined up with the judges. They didn’t. Though, we matched on half of the finalists. But I imagine this is why there is a panel of judges.

Regardless, these are five calypsoes that stood out to me from Carnival 2020:

Jalanie Wells – Current Matters

This song uses the word current as a pun. It begins with a neighbour fussing about T&TEC cutting her lights which to her is a “current” matter. The song goes on to tell that real “current” matters are the issues of the day. Some of my favorite lines:

Cause Rowley bring Spanish to Trinidad
He want to send them for their ID card
So he could get some more voting fingers
Dem is current matters

Lyrics from Jelanie Well’s Current Matters

See the full lyrics here.

Donald Duane O’Connor – Not In Here

A topical song on the fashion show held in the Trinity Cathedral. It was a joy to watch this performance by Duane O’Connor. Ten points for the costuming and choreography. Those dance moves put a smile on my face every time.

Take off thy shoes
For the ground you stand on is holy
Why you rearranging my pews
To make it look like fun city

Lyrics from Duane O’Connor’s Not In Here

See the full lyrics here.

Terri Lyons – Obeah

Envious people, politicians, fake friends, even calypsonians, all might be wukkin’ some Obeah and Terri is just here to let you know that you should watch your back. The lyrics and melody were on point, which are major criteria for judging. Additionally, her presentation was pure fire at the Calypso Monarch competition.

Some woman will do anything to get a man
Sweat rice, rub up, push on they sam sam
So stop tell yuh friend all yuh man business
You talking, she making a checklist

Lyrics from Terri Lyon’s Obeah

See the full lyrics here

Gypsy – Way of the World

This song touched my soul. It is quite poetic and simple truth. The message here is don’t try to please people; some will love you, some won’t. The melody is memorable, and the musicality is decent. This song deserves all the props.
P.S., background vocalists I see you. Gih dem! 🙂

See Also

You hungry like hell you, going and eat something
But something inside you say you too fat
Nothing you could do, you can’t even please you
Cause the world is made up like that

Lyrics from Gypsy’s Way of the World

See full lyrics here.

Terri Lyons – Meghan, My Dear

You better believe Terri made this list twice. She had two excellent songs this season, which is why her Calypso Monarch win was so well deserved. This song has to be on your playlists. If you have not heard this song or seen it performed, you have been missing out – BIG time. This topical piece on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is an easy one to enjoy over and over again.
Peep at the “rasta mother-in-law” in the back. 😀 Well done, Terri, well done!

De family still in shock and in de Queen in pure misery
But he mudda go proud because Harry is now contributing to black history

Lyrics from Terri Lyon’s Meghan, My Dear

See full lyrics here.

I’ve looked for a recording of this song and have not found one. If you know Terri, please tell her we need it on everywhere music is sold/streamed.

What were your favourite calypsoes from Carnival 2020?

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