On Saturday 9th February my attention was brought to a letter published in The Letters to the editor column of one of our daily newspaper. The caption was “Lyrics of junior Calypso Monarch were vulgar”. Well! Being the writer of the song I was simply horrified at this bold face untruth.
The extracts of the song as stated by the writer are totally inaccurate. This is what she quoted “Ah put meh dog in she cat” this is what the actual lyrics of the song say. “So I took out my dog and put licks in her cat.” But for one to get the gist of these lines it has to be taken in context…. Here are the lyrics of the song leading to the line I just quoted. …
“Because of the thieving in this country I had to get a weapon to protect me, it mek outa leather with some balls inside. I call it my dog, was my joy and pride, So late one night me neighba call out; she got some trouble inside she house. So I put my dog inside my waist and hurry ova to me neighba place, when I get deh she sweating bad and she have her cat inside a bag; she seh that the cat cause nuff worries and she want me to teach it a lesson please. You can do it what you want; ah just don’t mind cause this cat ain’t got place and time so go ahead and perform the act. So I took out my dog and put licks in her cat.”
Her second statement is also incorrect “she put she salt fish in meh mouth” To cut a long story short. Here are the lyrics for the verses that contained the offending lyrics according to the letter writer, Molly George-Simpson. Judge for yourself.
Its five years ah sitting on the sidelines wanting to sing calypso
Yes it’s been a long time long time ah sitting on the sidelines looking at the show
Everybody tell me it’s a waste a time cause calypso lose its rhythm and rhyme
No more double meaning no more craft no style
The art of storytelling is left way behind
So listen when ah tell yuh a story please listen attentively
Because of the thieving in this country
I had to get a weapon to protect me
It mek out a leather with some balls inside
I called it Ma Dog; was me joy and pride
So late one night my neighba call out
She seh she got some trouble inside she house
So I put MA Dog inside meh waist
And hurry ova to my neighba place
When ah get deh she sweating bad and she have her cat inside a bag
She said that cat cause nuff worries and she want me to teach it a lesson please
You can do it what you want I just don’t mind, cause this cat ain’t got place and time
She said go ahead and perform the act
So I took out ma dog and put licks in her cat
Some people have a one track mind
And only smut they hear in my lines
Well listen I’ll tell you this is your interpretation of my lyrics
You have to understand the genesis, how calypsonians have used their wit
I pay tribute to Canary, and Kitch. Duke , Stalin, Chalkdust all great lyricists.
So when sister Joan call me by she quick
Cause she want me to taste her salt fish
Is long time she in the fish business but now she into drying it
People from all round does come by she but strange enough she neva see me
So she seh me boy Jovinski make sure you come by sister Joanie
So the next day ah went by she and she decide she was going to feed me
I stood up there looking in disbelief cause so much salt fish staring back at me
Fish drying all over de place an I must admit I like the taste
I told her I believe and have no doubt I now get what she was talking bout
She seh me boy eat and don’t spit it out and she kept putting the salt fish down in my mouth……..(End of verse)
Calypso is a fine art and most don’t understand the nuances of the genre which can lead to them making empty statements based on their own mind set. Molly George- Simpson was obviously not privy to all the lyrics of the song but thought it best to launch a verbal attack on the Junior Calypso Monarch, the organizers and the public who liked the piece.
Her rant was based on what she thought she heard and so she decided to publish those few snippets of fallacy and swear by it.
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