Carnival for tea,breakfast and dinner

All I do is think about Carnival !!! Join me on the road to carnival 2k7

Location: Arima, Trinidad & Tobago

I love Carnival!!. Trinidad's carnival! Once a year my senses rejoice at the opportunity to douse my soul with intoxicating soca music, shed my cares and fears, and temporarily transfer my spirit into the mas. (S. Drakes)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Good Song, Bad Lyrics

Are you the kind of person who listens to lyrics or not? I'm the type of person who listens to mostly rhythms and beats. Some soca artist put words in there for a reason, to be heard, to spread a message, idea or thought. Others however just look for lyrics that make a good melody. Recently I noticed that there are songs I like but once I know the message I can no longer enjoy them since the message is not something that makes me happy to hear.

This happened to me a couple of days ago with Crazy's chune: Cold sweat. While driving with my mum the song started to play on 96.1,I pumped up the volume and started to sing the chorus. My mum frowned her face and said "crazy like to sing ah set ah rudeness eh". I stayed quiet and really took in the lyrics for the first time, I was a little upset over some of the lyrics in verses. For example she keep it cumin and cumin, cuming and cumin. After that every time I heard the song I bobbed my head and sang the chorus but the joy of hearing it just wasn't there any more.

During this week here I actually began listening to the lyrics of some of my favorite soca chunes. For example one of my old time favorites really shocked me, I don't know who sang it , here are some inserts:
"Here comes the lollipop man, ah wah yuh put up allyuh hand"
"Here comes the lollipop man, ah wah yuh understand"

"Sucking on the lollipop, suck it till yuh dribble drop"

"All de rude boys.. Stick it.. stick it stick it"
"All meh girl dem ..lick it lick it lick"

Do I need say more? Moving on!Some other ones that struck me as negative were Sherwyn and Bunji’s-water, Crazy’s Cock cah stand up ( hilarious) and save ah soul and many more, too much to mention.
A couple good examples did arise from my recent soca lyric research KMC's Three mile and first experience had some good lyrical content ,yet fun and relevant.

"We coming from Oxford street, Chip! Chip! Chip! Chip!"
"Last year for Carnival first time ah play mas."

"Last year for Carnival frist time ah play mas"
"Me and meh Woman on de trailer truck taken in the brass"

This years contribution from Zan arised as one of the winners the song title The Heart of a man – "Every creed and race find an equal place".Most of Destra's songs that I listened to over the period passed my lyrical test and I actually realized that some if her lyrics were brilliant. Remember the song celebrate? There are some inserts from the song listed below, do you know, I believe the girl was actually talking about losing her rag???lol

"Keep jumping Celebrate!"
"Keep waving Celebrate!"

"Last February when I lost u in the fete..nah nah nah nah"

"I soak yuh with burrybery cologne..nah nah nah nah"

Benji's new song for this year is also a winner, I jus love it, if you got jah in your life. Some other artistes worthy of mention was Patrice Roberts and Maxismus Dan.

Well since we have discussed some of the good and some of the bad.. let's discuss some of the ugly. The Ugly being some of the lyrics that just don't make creative sense no matter how u look at it. Let's start with Iwer George, who could possibly forget the song Hand!, Hand!, Hand!..some article that I read on the newspaper a while back stated that he mentioned the word hand more than one hundred and seventeen times (117). The man could have used another word to say hand, Maybe palm or arm or something, a classic case of writers

Another example is Mr. Vibes and his song titled Thing…I guess I don't need to say anyTHING more on the THING The strangest thing though ( no pun intended) is that I love them both, dem chune is real vibes in a fete!.

I also wonder if soca chunes influence people's thinking even if they aren't really listening. I know that many people believe in subliminal influence even going so far as to listening to tapes with subliminal affirmations. The lyrics are not even really subliminal since all you have to do is pay attention to understand them. So does lyrics matter to you??


Blogger saucydiva said...

But Kevian that double entendre in Calypso is part of the Culture from Calypso's inception. Remember Sparrows's classics such as "ah never eat a white meat yet" or "whey the lizard, teacher Mildred, under she dress, taking a rest, she looking jolly and happy, the lizard musbe tickling she". or what about "L ike tun tun, she like tun tun, sam like tun tun who eh go like tun tun"? LOL.

Girl, my aunt had this book with Sparrow's lyrics and my cousins and I were very young when we used to giggle over the "rudeness". I don't bother with crazy, I mean after "Paul yuh Mudder Come" he cyar sing nothing else that would shock me, I like the lil tongue in cheeck calypsoes to be honest, but I guess it must be a lil embarasing listening to it with someone much older,especially your mom.

It is the retarded calypsoes like "hand and hand and hand" that I can't stand. At least Crazy show some creativity with his rude lyrics but what is creative in making a song that repeats one word 117 times!

6:39 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

yeah the hand song was a i sure he wrote it in two minutes.

I agree with u the double meaning has always been a part of calypso, but sometimes I find that they exploit the true meaning of sex. There are many different topics that one can sing in double meaning.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most ppl dont really listen to the content of what they signing during Carnival...which to me is amazing! The biggest perpetrator are young children. My lil cousin of 5yrs luv "Cold sweat" from Crazy. His innocence impedes his parents from stopping him from singing it. But that is another story....

A big part of Carnival is sex....and sex sells! So overtly sexual song will always be a hit. Put it down as part of your culture.

I prefer the KMC, Desta, Sherwayne etc lyrics...where they try and capture the true essence of Carnival...where its a time to free up and break enjoy jumping in the streets of POS/Sando/Arima/Chaguanas/Scarborough with our friends/strangers jus having a good time!

I'm not saying i dont move to the "slack" ones...cuz that would be a lie...but i prefer the others...probably cuz i getting old! lol.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Bagogyul said...

Ofcourse i pay attention to the lyrics and yes they do matter!
It's what makes the song "More" for me, Rude, political or not.
I like to understand it fully, as saucy say it's part of our culture.

As for the sexual meaning, and exploitation.
Wining is a sacred thing, and is how you play your mas!

8:20 AM  
Blogger buublenut said...

Love this tune too girl...

"Last year for Carnival frist time ah play mas"
"Me and meh Woman on de trailer truck taken in the brass"

but I always thought it was taking her to brass - well tot ell thet ruth FRIST I thought it was "Takin in her ass" then when I listened I thought it was "taken her to brass" but I well trust that you r trini ear is better then mine girl :)

You making me want to download and burn a new soca cd tonight girl - and Kara if you reading this if I actully do do this I will make you a copy :) - and it won't cost you $10 lol (inside joke guys)

8:25 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

annon 8:15 that is so true little children walk around singing these songs with little or no knowledge of what they really mean. And maybe I am getting old to and that is why the slack chunes getting to me now.

Bubs i am not to sure that is taking in the brass, but that is what it songs like to

Bagogyul the lyrics never mean that much to be until

8:48 AM  
Blogger ttfootball said...

yes I pay attention to the lyrics most of the time, i.e. I DO recognise the double entendres and for the most part it doesnt bother me unless is something truly ridiculous or the ones that plain annoying e.g. "hand hand hand" For me they could get away wit a lil shit lyrics if the music real good

9:26 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

Girl before now lyrics never bothered me.. I just into the beat and how the melody rides the beat.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Trinigee said...

I agree that double entendre is part of calypso culture and that is why i find clever calypsoes so muche better than the blatant lyrics in takes a lot more talent to say the same thing in a more creative manner.
Lyrics-wise I find bunji is always able to say 'something' in his tunes and still have de wickedest riddims.
All of dat being said, i went to children of de 80s and Iwer mash up de place wit Hand!!!

10:14 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

I actually don't like bunji's lyrical style I find he does Rhyme everything..

" i am not a super hero. I am not he-man"
"Fay-ann lyon's know that I am she man"lol.

Iwer does always mash up de place no

10:30 AM  
Blogger Ahva said...

I am a die hard soca baby....but thats jus the way mostly singers from long ago write their music, with most songs having double meaning...I will find myself singing it but i wont in front of elderly ppl...its disrespectfull..and worst yet to she crazy performing this tune when he reaches d cuming part huh his face expression is self explanatory...i never heard the lollipop song but certain songs jus not catchy to a music major so of course i really listen to beats and instruments then the singer and lyrics come after....but its soca and come carnival monday and tuesday u kevian will be wining to crazy song inn tribe and i'll be doin d same in island people...

11:47 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

Ahva yuh sure right I will be wining to crazy chune in

11:52 AM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

Lyrics help to make the song what it is. If the lyrics have good content it just hits you on a more personal note. But if the lyrics dotish it don't really matter if the song hot and could get you going.

To go along with what everyone has said already it is part of the fun the sexual innuendo. Its been there for a long long time. The best one is 2 sappodilla and a 9 inch banana.
I find dem is more grinding & party songs.
Destra I find always captures the spirit of Carnival and gives you that on de road feeling. Her party tunes have that 'fetting with yuh man' vibes. I love KMC's first experience that is give me goosebumps because alot of the lyrics described how i felt about missing carnival for so long.

And as for the chupidee lyric ones, the singers know it, the writers know it, and we know it chupid.
ON the road you want to jump up, you want to have stamina and if the beat right and you catch that from the song then what you want again? Its all part of the fun.

11:57 AM  
Blogger lime said...

the lyrics is one of the reasons david rudder has always been one of my favorite artists. he gives a positive message and even when he gets into some innuendo he isn't vulgar about it.

1:13 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

i cah wait very well put I must say

Lime david rudder was always one of my favorites since I was a child and he will continue to be.. great lyrics, great beats and ryhtums.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Kevin G said...

well i can still say that crazy has done a double entendre which is cool, but bunji sing real S#*t "dont call me he man i is she man super blue is he father in law"
what the hell is that.was he on drugs or did he just come off of drugs. Any way the song is dissapointing he can do a lot better than that. My message is listen to the words of that song before you go singing it.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Karabana said...

LOL Kev, "do you know, I believe the girl was actually talking about losing her rag???lol" Too funny, yeah, LOVED Bonnie & Clyde a lot more before I knew the meaning, hah! That was our song that year, "I’m your queen! You’re my king, my darling!"
When I 1st started listening to soca & calypso, hubby had to translate, hah hah, & I just had to laugh over the innuendo, it's a riot. The silly old school ones seem to mostly have been replaced with your unoriginal basic jump up & wave your rage, wave your flag, let me see ya roll it down low tunes which all sound the same.
That's why I think the artists are experimenting with different non soca sounds, like sampling hip hop & rap, bc they have to keep their I just wanna wine on you all night long lyrics.

Listening to 96 right now, Alison H has some of the best lyrics, Gyrl power, be sexy not skanky, roll it & control it gyrl...

Hmmmm, whatever they're playing now ("lets get crazy for the soca city") w the Reggae vibe, me likey!.... :)

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Xena said...

Good topic Kev, I love all forms of my culture, I appreciate the soca music that has a message and even the ones that don't. I am totally against censorship. Some of our artiste may sing slackness that may make some people want to turn their radios off, I just hope the radio comes off just the same when gangster rap comes on.
As for the song that I love the most and just gets me into the spirit is Slaughter's... "Carnival I luv you and know that you love we too....."

5:38 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Hahah at kevin G, i agree make sure u know what the lyrics stand for before u go about singing

Allison Hinds has some good lyrics, but i didn't come across any of her chune in my survey. Kudos to Allison!

Xena welcome to the blog, why are u againist censorship?

1:08 AM  
Anonymous squeezle said...

You know how much steups I hear when I tell people that 'Celebrate' was a song about a rag????

'Words can't describe how I dying to wave you' HELLO!!!!

I really think most people don't listen to the lyrics, but to me that is a very important part of the soca experience.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous xena said...

Hi Kevian, I am against censorship because everyone has the right to be heard. Everything is not going to be for everybody but I don't believe creativity should be stifled.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous sweettrini said...

Xena - YES!!! That was me and my crew's song in '05!!! Carnival I love you!!!! by Dawg E Slaughter - dat song need an Grammy, a Oscar, a BET award or COTT award, some kinda sumthin man!!! Lyrics could lift yuh up like yuh high or drop yuh like ah heavy stone oui. Great post Kevian!!

8:42 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Squeezle is only a couple of days ago I realise , i always thought it was a love song.. i mean,it is a love song.. but she jus loves her

Xena I agree with your point that everyone should be given the chance to be heard but do you think that all age groups should look at any type or movie?, the principle is almost similar. I see censorship as being important.

Thanks Sweet Trini!!.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Xena said...

Yes Kevian if its an issue where profanity is being used, then there is the proper channels for that, not public radio or television. But when its censoring someone's point of view, just because you don't agree with what they have to say, that I'm against.

3:55 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

I am in total agreement, but what issues are u talking about censorship againist?

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yow well as im in the music industry i can clearly feel you with your topic. but as a producer some artists come to do tracks and wen you listen to their lyrics you wonder wat the hell and you cant tell them change it or fix it cus thats wat they want and nothing else and thats wat they are paying for. so then the producers have to hype the song with some serious instumentals hence the reason why ppl listen to the beats and not the song..... SO IN CLOSING PRODUCERS TO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THAT.

7:42 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

It is good to hear a producers view point on it.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Jamette said...

On a similar note, my friends and I were at a popular bar on Friday and they were playing some recent popular dancehall songs and we got to talking about this SAME thing. We were commenting that we keep getting caught with hooks and beats, then 2 months later we listen to the words and can't bear to hear the songs again. Hot wuk anybody? Oh geeed. These songs are just nasty. Then i used to be singing Akon and Snoop loud loud, 'I wanna LOVE YOu, you already know' until one day i was walking from Richards on Maracas and some ASSSSSSSSSS cruises by with his super sound system on the beach bumping this song on this cheery sunday afternoon with families around and as i am holding my son's hand i hear what the lyrics really are. I wanted to cry. I was so embarassed for the people who had no choice but to listen, and it was LOUD!!!

2:14 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

At last someone else had the same experience as me!!

I real like that hot wuk song, what does the lyrics say??.. I fraid to i ent hear it in a while because the radio stations gone soca.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Jamette said...

Girl this is the link to what they call the 'dance' on careful.

6:09 AM  
Blogger kevian said...


12:55 PM  
Anonymous Jamette said...

Steups, girl i almost vomit when i was done wid that. Dem girls in the rafters... and in de dirt and ting wining. Ewww

6:50 PM  
Blogger Karabana said...

it was a very unsettling video, I feel ashamed 4 them. The way they debase themselves & allow themselves to be treated is revolting.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Karabana said...

Hubby'll remember that boat cruise we went on many yrs ago where during a dance competition, this JA gyrl was putting on quite a sleazy show, handstands w a guy behind grabbing her & simulating sex, etc, etc. Real nice. I see it's progressed. These gyrls are living it: how low can you go. Don't they know they are not seen as dance hall queens, they are dance hall ho's.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

girl I just heard anslem douglas - Ah coming and this blog just seeming appropriate for it

p.s I signed up to you tube just to see the video and I can't view it steupse

8:02 AM  
Blogger Tyrell said...

Freedom of speech and choice! People still go crazy over these things? They have been engendered in the calypso tradition for decades. Just as with movies and books we have some music that will offend some and please some. Not everyone will think like everyone else...and i think it's much ado about nothing. And often we focus as trinis on denigrating our own music while giving dancehall (which pervades our airwaves a lot more except during the soca switch) a pass. Ever listened good to Movado, Vybez Kartel, Beenie and others? Dancehall has some of the misogynistic, sexual, lewd and offensive lyrics ever.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wats the name of the lollipop song and who is it by

9:26 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home