Sparrow, Lion & Lord Kitchener | Calypso Memories 1

Sparrow, Lion & Kitchener via YouTube Documentary Video/image via LunaPic 
We constantly hear talk about the good old days but if you look at the state of music today and the ability of Soca artists to tour and earn income year-round and worldwide there is no comparison to what was called the 'good old days'. Today, carnival and carnival music are so glamorous. Soca artists work all year round to tour carnivals across the globe. Today we reflect on what we call the good old days with a calypso discussion with three of the greats, Mighty Sparrow, Roaring Lion and Lord Kitchener. Just seeing this short documentary is priceless; we are thankful for this YouTube post by @mightysparrowaz. 

The documentary started with the Roaring Lion singing about Calypso's origin. He provided an insight to the conditions of work experienced during the early period of calypso music. He discussed the temporary nature of 'calypso tents' covered with 'palm branches' (coconut branches) and ducking rainwater leaking from the covered tent. While much has been said and claimed by many there is no doubt that all the documentary evidence points to Trinidad as the "Land of Calypso". This was concluded by the Roaring Lion in song. 

Next up was the Mighty Sparrow who engaged with the Roaring Lion about the role of the Calypsonian as "a reporter, a prophet and commentator". Indeed, as explained by Sparrow, the Calypsonian was "the mouthpiece of the underprivileged". Sparrow's song, though short, spoke about the stigma attached to Steelband players and Calypsonians. They were frowned upon, scorned and made to feel irrelevant. Look where we are culturally today and what Calypso and the steelpan have given to our nation, the region and world! The steelpan is a world class musical instrument while out of Calypso music we now have the driving musical force for Caribbean style carnivals, Soca!

Kitchener closed the documentary reflecting on his journey to, and time spent in England in the 1940's. He told the story of being fired while performing his first gig in a pub in London. He went on to write and record some timeless calypso compositions. Kitch concluded the conversation, and short film, with his song "Ah Bernice", a funny and delightful song that brought out laughter from all three calypso greats. The good old days indeed, and as we look back, we can appreciate the talent of these creative individuals. In some ways, the art of writing such wonderful songs seems to be lost. Today everything is about social and political commentary leaving one wanting and calling for the good ole days of Calypso music when the music had people chipping and dancing with much appreciation for the artform. 

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Production Notes/Music Credits:
Video Title: Sparrow, Lion and Kitch engage in a musical discussion.
YouTube Page: @mightysparrowaz
Genre: Calypso

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