Kaiso No 12 - November 28, 1998

Greetings from Fairbanks as the temperature dips below zero most nights and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Thursday was Thanksgiving and my friend Cam and I tried our hand at making a Turducken, a stuffed de-boned chicken inside a stuffed deboned duck inside a stuffed deboned turkey.  Three different stuffings, it was quite a challenge.  But now let us give thanks for calypso.

Tribute to Melody

Last week I made note of the program that is occurring this weekend in New York City starring Fighter, Blakie, Prowler, Valentino, Power, Brigo, Funny, and Composer.  I did earlier this week get to talk to Dewad Phillips who is producing the show.  The show is moving to Boston on December 5 and Montreal on December 6.   Also, a three camera video shot was being done of the New York City show for hopefully a video release next year.  Phillips had a similar program, in New York City of calypso pioneers that included Pretender and Bomber.  It was recorded and with some overdubs has recently been released on CD.

When I have more details on these shows, I'll pass them on.  In the meantime, here are the lyrics to a Melody song from 1951 about Kitch and other calypsonians who were out of country, Beginner going with Kitch to England and Caresser up to Canada, which refers to various songs by each.

Tribute to Kitchener

Kitchener sang Nora Nora too late
Otherwise calabash would be out of date
Kitchener sang Nora Nora too late
Otherwise calabash would be out of date
You talking ' bout road breakaway
Listen at what I have got to say
You must have the pep and vitality
To swing the tempo musically

For instance Nora Nora Nora
I want you to leave Lord Kitchener
Nora Nora Nora
I want to go home to see my grandmother, etc.

Caresser should take a rest
And fly back to the city of Port-of-Spain.
We waiting so come by plane
We don't want to hear them old songs again
When I turn on me radio Saturday night
Caresser singing myself and me girl in fight
She like it but I don't like it at all
and as If he does hear we and start to bawl.

(mute ) I'm the Lord Caresser the king of hearts
And I'm living among the aristocrats
And all those people over there
All they studying is obeah
So the more they try to do me bad, etc.

Beginner is another one
His career I really can' t understand
And they both took the plane for London city
Not a letter, not a cable, nothing to read
As he trying he best and he can't succeed
And as the cold country have him totolbay
I hear him singing ' bout the cricket the other day

(mute ) those little pals of mine
Ramadin and Valentine
They are resting on my mind
Ramadin and Valentine

Kitchener filled my heart with glee
When I heard his programme on the BBC
I turned on the full volume
And ah daneday to hear Lord Kitchener croon
He started with Jamaica, Jamaica
I bound to remember
Jamaica, Jamaica
My haven and savior.

Then I'll walk the Journey
I don't care 'bout nobody
Not even a taxi
Not even a taxi

On the Web

One site that I just noticed had expanded was the site for New Beacon Books,   http://www.newbeacon-books.com/new.htm   in London that is now starting to list books it carries in various fields, but has annotated lists of recent Caribbean fiction and non-fiction.  Among the items they list is another book I had never heard of otherwise: I have not been able to locate more information on this book.  New Beacon is a publisher as well as a bookseller and they reissued: This book is a must for every calypso and carnival fan and it is great it is back in print.

Forthcoming soon from the University of Chicago Press is the following:

Another website that is useful is   http://www.caribbeannewspapers.com/   which is a single site to then go to all the various newspapers in the Caribbean.  If you can't attend all the Carnivals, then you can read about them!

Next week I plan to look at advertising calypsos and calypso in Dominica.  With luck, I'll try to keep to a more regular schedule.

Ray Funk

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