Calypso and the crown

Queen Elizabeth II -
Queen Elizabeth II -

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.




"Calypso and the crown"

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