THE EDITOR: In 1936 King George V died. The then governor, in an effort to prove that Trinidad was a true and faithful colony, decided to cancel the Carnival. Needless to say, there were protests after protests, leading to one calypsonian, The Growling Tiger, to comment. In one of his verses in They Couldn’t Stop the Masquerade, he sang:
Queen Victoria died in 1901
And as usual Carnival went on
And she ruled for 63 long years
When she died the whole universe shed tears
An’ although we played our Carnival
We were not recognised as cannibals.
He listed some inconveniences he’d rather go through than not have a Carnival:
You can stop the Christmas
Don’t celebrate no new year
Do that without no fear
You can stop meh picnic
Ah don’t want no dancing
Prevent meh from romancing
Stop me from going to New York City
Put my family back in slavery
After all do what you like, make church parade
No, don’t stop the masquerade.
He then sent best wishes to Edward and the Royal Family. Because Edward said:
He will make church parade
You don’t be afraid,
Go ahead with your masquerade.
George V’s eldest son was crowned Edward VIII, but just for a while. He just could not reign without the love of his life, Mrs Wallace. A twice divorced American, she was not the sort of person to sit on an English throne. When he abdicated the news was just what Lord Caressar needed. He immediately set to compose his view of it. He sang:
It’s love, love alone
That cause King Edward to leave the throne.
We know that Edward is good and great
But is love that cause him to abdicate.
That move put his brother, Bertie, on the throne as George VI, and his daughter, Elizabeth, to realise she’d be next.
Princess Elizabeth at age 13 saw the man she would marry, Philip. At that royal wedding, no one else got an invitation from Trinidad but Spoiler, master calypsonian, who reported on the menu of the day:
I had crab and I had callaloo
Lappe, gouti, female tattoo
So much ah vermicelli, macaroni, curry cascadoo
Lord, it had plenty female manicou.
I always wondered how Spoiler knew the difference between male and female tattoo and manicou. Maybe the menu was printed. With Spoiler you never know.