Funny Cops Veterans Calypso Monarch Title
Funny sings "Badabadaba"
Event Date: January 28, 2008
The National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) held their fourth Annual Veterans Calypso Monarch Competition on Monday 28th January, 2008, at the St. James Amphitheatre. Veteran Calypsonians were on hand to engage in friendly competition as they each treated the audience with two selections: a classic song and a contemporary song. The competition was an excellent way of exposing the younger generation to these creative geniuses as well as providing sterling lyrics and entertainment for those gathered.
Aiyegoro Ome of the NACC welcomed guests as he highlighted that the gathering of veteran bards will allow them to show the excellence that they have practiced over the years. He further highlighted that the NACC is seriously concerned about how institutions treat veteran Calypsonians. Guest artiste, 'Baron', The Sweet Soca Man, opened the show as he warmed up the audience with a couple of his popular songs. Patrons rocked and grooved to the sweet Soca songs.
Johnny King was the first veteran competitor on stage as he sang his classic "Nature's Plan" which touched on world politics while expressing that the destruction of the weak is nature's plan. His second song, "Whole Day" had the audience singing and dancing in their seats as they grooved along to the popular Carnival 2008 Soca song. Next on stage was 'Contender' (Mark John) whose first song was "Set Up", a strong social commentary against social greed and dishonesty. He followed up this song with "Small Ting" a song that explores Trinidadians penchant for describing even serious situations as 'small ting'.
'King Austin' (Austin Lewis) was the third performer as he launched into a contemporary song titled "Money" which explored the role of money in today's society. Expressing that although money fosters envy and greed, Austin said that "If you don't have it, you eat the bread the devil kneads." His second song "Progress", written by Winsford 'Joker' Devine, struck a chord with the audience who nodded and sang along in agreement.
'Black Prince' (Christopher Howell) was in fine form as he delighted the audience with his song "John Cree" which was about a songwriter named John Cree who seemed to be writing for a lot of singers these days. Prince said that the fellas who only sing shallow party songs without melody or any real lyrics were obviously singing "For Cree", as the audience laughed and applauded in approval. Prince's second song "The Letter" was another tickler for the audience as he sang about a female love interest who asked him to supply a medical, two ID pictures and a recommendation letter from his last lover before they could get involved.
'Explainer' (Winston Henry) chose to do "Pioneers", his contemporary song which highlighted the various contributions of Trinbagonians making the point that T&T is still a paradise. His second song "Dread" in the classic category explored the discrimination faced by Rastas. Brother Mudada (Allan Fortune's) first song "Calypso Recycle" was a witty composition that looked at how a Calypso he sung back in the 1980s is still relevant today. His second song in the contemporary category was titled "We Carnival" and looked at the unifying aspects of the Carnival traditions. Mudada's performance was enough to earn him fifth place on the judges scorecards.
'Singing Francine' (Francine Edwards) was the lone female among the veterans and she made her presence felt with her uptempo song "De Irony" which hailed the virtues of a good iron man and concluded that she does not want any dead iron in her band. Her second song was her classic "Equal Rights" and her overall efforts and on stage energy won her fourth place.
The people's Calypsonian 'Brother Valentino' (Anthony Emrold Phillips) sang "Africa" as his contemporary song as he examined how Europeans have maintained control of that continent. His second song, the anti-colonial classic "Stay Up Zimbabwe" maintained its reputation as a perennial favourite of Calypso lovers. 'Brother Valentino' came in third place with his two selections.
'Conqueror' (Leroy Paul) was witty with his song "Abbreviation" which he sang in the contemporary category while he chose to render "Women and Money" as his classic song. 'Poser' (Sylvester Lockhart) used his contemporary selection to pay tribute to all those who contributed to his forty year long Calypso career. Among some of the names he highlighted were Pelham Goddards, Winsford 'Joker' Devine, Leston Paul, Ed Watson, 'Lord Kitchener', 'Composer', 'Blakie' and 'Superior'. His second song "Party Tonight" was an uptempo Soca-spiced track which had the audience dancing in their seats.
Despite all the sterling songs by the various veterans, it was 'Funny' (Donrick Williamson), who took the fourth annual Calypso Veterans title with "Bababadaba" and "Time Really Flies". The first song "Bababadaba" revolved around the Trini tendency to vocalize and mimic the sounds that are made by the Steelpan. His second song "Time Really Flies" also scored with the audience:
"Day before yesterday was yesterday yesterday
Yesterday was today yesterday
Today was tomorrow yesterday
Tomorrow today go be yesterday
Day after tomorrow tomorrow will be yesterday."
'Power' (Sonny Francois) was adjudged second with contemporary song "Democracy" which challenged the meaning of democracy in these modern times. In the classic category he sung "Yuh Wasting Yuh Time" to the delight of the audience who sang along.
Position / Calypsonian / Contemporary Song / Classic Song
1st / Funny / Bababadaba / Time Really Flies
2nd / Power / Democracy / Yuh Wasting Yuh Time
3rd / Valentino / Africa / Stay Up Zimbabwe
4th / Singing Francine / De Irony/ Equal Rights
5th / Brother Mudada / We Carnival/ Calypso Recycle
6th / Explainer / Paradise / Dread
Veterans Calypso Competition 2008 in pictures: