THE Windrush generation imbroglio, Michelle-Lee Ahye’s gold medal sprint at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games in Australia and the deportation of 82 Venezuelans, last weekend, provided fodder yesterday for extempo calypsonian Black Sage (Philip Murray) in his performance at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, National Library, Port of Spain.
Murray, who was supposed to have shared the spotlight with Myron Bruce, ended up as a solo act – for which he chided his fellow extempo singer for not showing up. “I was supposed to be doing this song with Myron B, but the first rule in performance is punctuality. But like Myron eh learn that rule yet. I don’t know what happen to him. But we going,” he said, before launching into a set about small island states and the Windrush generation controversy.
Murray joked, in his performance, that Bocas Lit Fest founder Marina Salandy-Brown should give him Bruce’s payment for the session.
Bruce eventually showed up after the event but did not perform. Attracting Bocas Lit Fest diehards, other literary enthusiasts, library staff and curious passers-by, the noon-time extempo performance did not disappoint. If anything, it fuelled Murray’s creativity to the point where he invited the audience to offer topics for him to sing about.
These included Winston “Gypsy” Peters’ recent appointment as National Carnival Commission chairman, the inter-island seabridge debacle, the state of West Indies cricket, obeah and the appointment of Paula-Mae Weekes as the country’s first female President.
On the Windrush issue, Murray sang: “ I wonder if all of you realise/Theresa May had to apologise/Britain who we call great/had to apologise to the small island states/We went to help them out and it was so sad/ they treated the Windrush generation bad/ so before the thing get complicated/Theresa May, your apology is accepted.”
He also sang about late calypso icon Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), who was among the TT citizens on board the Empire Windrush when it docked at Tilbury in 1948.