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Thread: 100 best calypsoes since 1900

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    100 best calypsoes since 1900

    100 best calypsoes since 1900

    By Peter Ray Blood

    Associate Editor


    For the past month or so I have been scratching my clean-shaven head trying to come up with a list of 10 outstanding calypsoes before 1990.

    It's that time of year again, when media practitioners have been invited by Good Friends & Gentle People to compile personal listings of their favourite old-time calypsoes for play at the second annual Back in Time Kaiso Dance.

    Following the success of last year's edition, one can only imagine that this year's, at the Queen's Park Oval carpark on June 18 (the night before the Labour Day Holiday), will be an even bigger outing.

    Part proceeds from this event will again be donated to the welfare fund for retired calypsonians.

    Following last year's party, the promoters donated the largest single contribution ($12,000) to the Telethon for the Arts - administrators of the fund. The cheque was formally handed over to Culture Minister Eudine Job-Davis during a ceremony held at Trotters on February 27.

    My predicament however is to come up with my favourite ten calypsoes, not repeating any that I chose last year.

    Had it been calypsoes from this year's Carnival, my problem would have been easily solved as I can easily name my five favourite soca items of the year. They are "Ben Lion" (Andre Tanker & 3 Canal); "Trinidad" (Naya George); "Chances" (Sanelle Dempster); "Mash It Up" (Onika Bostik); and "Ghetto" (Bunji Garlin).

    I am sure that it's not just I who is in this particular fix as at least six of my colleagues are also required to come up their favourite ten oldies.

    I understand the list includes BC Pires, Keith Smith, Allison Hennessy, Sprangalang, Sharon Pitt and Terry Joseph.

    Last year, my picks included "Subway Jam" and "Doh Stop Dis Party" - Swallow; "Carnival Coming" - Count Robin; "Steel and Brass" - King Wellington; "Dragon Dance" and "Too Much Wood in the Fire" - Sparrow; "Flag Woman" - Kitchener; "Superman" - Blue Boy; "No, No, We Ent Going Home" - Tambu; and "Suck Meh Soucouyant" - Crazy.

    That night I was soundly congratulated by patrons when Desi of DJ Crosby Sounds played them.

    I have no intention of busting my brain any more and have decided to offer readers 100 of my favourite calypsoes since 1900 and invite you to pick ten for me.

    I have included songs which have had an indelible impact on the art form, the social, cultural, political, and even sporting aspects of national, regional and international life, as well as calypsoes which can be regarded as significant benchmarks, either by structure or melody.

    My picks in alphabetical order

    1. "After Johnny Drink Me Rum" (Chieftain Douglas)
    2. "All Day, All Night" (Roaring Lion)
    3. "Bassman" (Shadow)
    4. "Black Identity" (Maestro)
    5. "Brown Skin Girl" (King Radio)
    6. "Calypso Music" (David Rudder)
    7. "Calypso Rising" (GB)
    8. "Canaan Barrow" (Lord Melody)
    9. "Caribbean Man" (Black Stalin)
    10. "Cat Brain" (Spoiler)
    11. "Corruption in Common Entrance" (Cro Cro)
    12. "Don't Hang Your Hat Where Your Hand Can't Reach" (Lord Christo)
    13. "Education" (Sparrow)
    14. "Endless Vibration" (Lord Shorty)
    15. "Federation" (Sparrow)
    16. "Food Prices" (Relator)
    17. "Flag Woman" (Kitchener)
    18. "Fire Fire" (Calypso Rose)
    19. "Five Rules of Calypso" (Mighty Fearless)
    20. "Ganges and the Nile" (David Rudder)
    21. "Get Something and Wave" (SuperBlue)
    22. "God Bless Our Nation" (Lord Baker)
    23. "God Made Us All" (Pretender);
    24. "Gold" (Maestro)
    25. "Graf Zeppelin" (Atilla the Hun)
    26. "Himself Told Himself" (Spoiler)
    27. "In a Calabash" (Mighty Killer)
    28. "I Went to Berlin on a Donkey" (Lord Melody)
    29. "Jahaji Bhai" (Brother Marvin)
    30. "Janet" (Lord Melody)
    31. "Jean and Dinah" (Sparrow)
    32. "Juba Dubai" (Chalkdust)
    33. "Kennedy" (Sparrow)
    34. "King Liar" (Lord Nelson)
    35. "La La" (Lord Nelson)
    36. "Last Train to San Fernando" (Dictator)
    37. "Life is a Stage" (Brother Valentino)
    38. "Little Black Boy" (Gypsy)
    39. "Lorraine" (Explainer)
    40. "Love in the Cemetery" (Kitchener)
    41. "Love Your Own" (Black Stalin)
    42. "Mae Mae" (Sparrow)
    43. "Man Family" (Zandolee)
    44. "Miss Mary Ann" (Roaring Lion)
    45. "Miss Tourist" (Kitchener)
    46. "Model Nation" (Sparrow)
    47. "Money is King" (Growling Tiger)
    48. "Nature's Plan" (Johnny King)
    49. "Nobody Wins a War" (Singing Sandra)
    50. "Obey the Highway Code" (Magic)
    51. "Oh No, Mr Fox" (Lord Baking Powder)
    52. "Om Shanti Om" (Lord Shorty)
    53. "Outcast" (Sparrow)
    54. "Pan in A Minor" (Kitchener)
    55. "Pan in Danger" (Merchant)
    56. "Pan Talent" (Mighty Terror)
    57. "Papa Chunks" (Roaring Lion)
    58. "Pay As You Earn" (Sparrow)
    60. "Pedlars" (Lord Melody)
    61. "People Will Talk" (King Fighter)
    62. "Phillip My Dear" (Sparrow)
    63. "Portrait of Trinidad" (Mighty Sniper)
    64. "Portuguese Dance", aka "Pharaoh" (King Pharaoh)
    65. "Post, Post, Another Letter for Thelma" (Mighty Spitfire)
    66. "Productivity" (Mighty Sniper)
    67. "Progress" (King Austin)
    68. "Rainorama" (Kitchener)
    69. "Rally Round the West Indies" (David Rudder)
    70. "Ramgoat Baptism" (Lord Wonder)
    71. "Rebecca" (SuperBlue)
    72. "Rum and Coca Cola" (Lord Invader)
    73. "Sailin'" (de Mighty Trini)
    74. "Santa Take a Big Man From St James" (King Solomon)
    75. "School Days" (Sparrow)
    76. "Send Dem Back" (Lord Blakie)
    77. "Sinking Ship" (Gypsy)
    78. "Soca Baptist" (SuperBlue)
    79. "Split Me in Two" (Mighty Dougla)
    80. "Steelband Clash" (Lord Blakie)
    81. "Still de Best" (Cro Cro)
    82. "Sugar Bum Bum" (Kitchener)
    83. "Super Power" (Merchant)
    84. "Talking Backwards" (Spoiler)
    85. "Ten Thousand to Bar Me One" (Lord Invader)
    86. "The Art of Making Love" (Lord Shorty)
    87. "The Dumb Boy" (King Solomon)
    88. "The Labour Situation" (Growling Tiger)
    89. "The Mecca" (Brother Mudada)
    90. "The Will" (Scrunter)
    91. "They Cyar Get Mih Money" (Hawk)
    92. "Think About the Children" (Merchant)
    93. "Time" (Sugar Aloes)
    94. "Tribute to Spree" (Kitchener)
    95. "Trinidad Dictionary" (Conqueror)
    96. "The Dumb Boy" (King Solomon)
    97. "Voices From the Ghetto" (Singing Sandra)
    98. "We Want a Goal" (Lord Christo)
    99. "We Want One Day" (Lord Superior)
    100. "What is Calypso?" (Mighty Duke)

    "Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." - Oprah Winfrey

    "If you keep believing in yourself and seek enthusiasm inside your soul, things will get simpler, more spontaneous." ~Paulo Coelho

    "I find your lack of faith disturbing" - Darth Vader

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit
    the floor each morning the devil says:
    "Oh Crap, She's up!"

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