Dragon Lady claims calypso censorship; not so, says tent management
CALYPSONIAN Lynette Steele, also known as Lady Gypsy, says there are certain political elements who want to censor her 2023 offering, Political Cemetery.
In a brief, no-holds-barred interview on Sunday morning, the woman known in the fraternity as the Dragon Lady said she was told she would not be allowed to sing that song in the tents or for the judges.
She vowed, however, “I will not be censored.”
Steele told Newsday she was barred from singing her biting political commentary at Friday’s night opening of Kaiso Showkase Tent.
She said she was surprised to learn that she was slated to do another one of her 2023 gems, One Moment in Glory, in which she speaks about the disrespect to artistes while they are alive but who get one moment of glory when they are dead.
“That was my plan for opening night, but I saw on the board when I went to the tent, I was down to do One Moment of Glory. I had rehearsed both songs, so I said okay.”
But she said she was not comfortable doing it and the audience, which gave a rousing round of applause as her name was announced before her stage appearance, appeared disappointed when they realised that was not her choice. However, she still received an encore.
“Because they love the song. They fed up too, but they just don’t have the testicular fortitude to stand up and say it.
“We have a clash with another tent in Arima tonight (Sunday) and I called management to say I was changing my song, that I was going to do Political Cemetery.
“I don’t want to call names, but it was then I was told that I can’t sing that. I asked why, and was told (they) don’t want me to sing that.
“I get so p---ing mad I nearly jump out of the clothes I was wearing.
“What the hell I care about what (they) want me to sing or not sing? Nobody is going to do that to me. Nobody is going to gag me.”
She questioned, “Why, where, when this happen that (they) controlling the calypso tent? ...You get to censor calypsonians?
“How come other members of the tent were allowed to bash Kamla (Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar) and sing 'Faris, Faris, Faris'?”
Lady Gypsy, the sister of calypsonian and NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters, was scheduled to perform the song at the UNC National Congress (UNC) meeting at Couva on Sunday afternoon
“Then I am going to the tent tonight and I am going to sing Political Cemetery. Who don’t like it, lump it. If they don’t want me to sing it inside, I am walking with my iPad and I will sing it outside on the grass.
“They don’t call me the Dragon Lady for nothing."
This is not Lady Gypsy’s first battle with the calypso fraternity. In 2017, she had to take legal action to get into the Calypso Monarch finals.
“How much more can I take? What more would they do to me for telling the truth? My truth is the people’s truth. They happy to see this brave little woman stand up.
“Nobody is going to hush me. I am going to sing my frisking song and if you don’t want me in the cast, leave me out.”
Responding to Steele's claims, Kaiso Showkase tent manager Steve “Ras Kommanda” Pascall said there is no censorship.
“We are running a business and we believe Lady Gypsy’s One Moment of Glory could help to build our business.
“We looking for another monarch and we believe that song could take us there.”
"Dragon Lady claims calypso censorship; not so, says tent management"