By anguillian July 31, 2017 12:39




I am not a carnival enthusiast and as such you will not usually find me at carnival shows, but one has to be deaf or dead not to have heard the lyrical genius in the calypsos which have been released this year. It is certainly calypso with a difference. We see calypso veterans being reborn or taking a new approach. Some are stepping out of the shadows into the limelight and others are totally new to the arena. There is a calypso to appeal to everyone this season. Whether you are old or young, you are sure to find a calypso that you like. I was pleasantly surprised with the early release from Ziggy who has been performing for over 30 years and who announced that finally:

“Ziggy come to sing, come to do me ting
No joking and no skylarking…
Ziggy come to sing, come to do me ting
Believe me, I’m in it to win
Yesterday is history, today is a brand new me
And I am seriously singing for the monarchy.”

Whatever may be our views on Ziggy’s chances of taking home the crown for the first time, we must admit that he has certainly stepped up the ante, this time around, and is no doubt a serious contender. However, this will be no walk-over. Ziggy has a lot of competition.

One of the first calypsonians to release this year was the Undertaker, brand new to the calypso scene, though not to the stage. His song, “I have Faith”, tells of how much he loves Anguilla and of his belief that it will recover from the present economic crisis. The song has a wide appeal and one cannot help but sing along when it plays on the radio.

Also back on the scene this year, though we are not sure if he will hit the stage, is Anonymous with his calypso “Just for Calypso”. Anonymous has a message for everyone involved in calypso to ensure the continuity of the art form and to do what is necessary for it to thrive. We look forward to seeing if he actually throws his hat in the ring on Friday 4th August.

Not to be outdone, veteran calypsonian and former Calypso King, the Mighty Gossip, has an inspiring song, “We shall Overcome”, which recounts Anguilla’s progress over the past fifty years – and appeals to all Anguillians to show pride in how far we have come. His song about national unity and national pride is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and he is one calypsonian whose ability to capture the crown cannot be underestimated.

Hot Shot, who has been consistent in his performances over the years, has also upped his game with his rendition of “Justice”, a cry for justice for everyone in every aspect of life in Anguilla. According to him, justice is either lost or dead because no matter how hard he searches he cannot seem to find it. He cries out:

“Justice, justice, our people need justice
Tell justice for me, I have a message for he”.

It is hoped that Hot Shot will find justice on the night of the calypso competition.

However, he will first have to get past Queen B who has a “Ground Sea” coming for all those in her path. Queen B is no pushover. She is one of those stalwarts of calypso who is a strong contender every year. Her song which tells of the disappointment of the people about the state of the country and our leaders, warns that: “ground sea ah come” which I take to mean something unexpected and unwelcome for our leaders.

While Queen B warns of the Ground Sea, our reigning monarch, Singing Roxxy, asks: “Who will carry on?” Roxxy’s tune, with its unique melody, questions the continuation of the legacy of many trailblazers in Anguilla and beyond. Her appeal to us is to pick up the mantle and move forward – not let the hard work of those before us to go for nought. Such a timely appeal on this 50th Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution. She is sure to put her all into retaining her crown on competition night.

These are just examples of what the calypso scene is like this year. There are many more contenders that I could mention, but I think those mentioned are sufficient to make the point that, with the quality of the calypsos and the hype being created by the calypso tents, there is no doubt that the competition will be keenly contested. Hopefully, at the end of the night, no one will be crying “tears behind closed doors” – to borrow from the words of one of the other calypsonians.

I could not end this editorial without honourary mention of Junior Calypsonian, the Mighty Linger, whose song should resonate with all of us. It calls on us, as a country, to give honour and respect where it is due – whether in calypso or in national service. His calypso should not only evoke feelings of shame, but should inspire a commitment to do better for those who have served our country with distinction:

“For a King has no honour, in his own land
And the late Ronald Webster is no exception
Despite his contribution, he still faced opposition
For a king has no honour in his own land.”

By anguillian July 31, 2017 12:39


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