Sounds of the Season:
Crop Over! A time when many calypsonians review current social events and articulate their views through music. Many of the Pic-o-decrop finalists touched on controversial topics.
Over the last 12 months, the atmosphere surrounding Barbados has been highly charged due to stormy issues involving our labour movement, environment, economic recession and politics. Then came Election Day on May
24, when our nation saw lightning strike the same place 30 times – yes, citizens witnessed all 30 parliamentary seats being won by the Barbados Labour Party. This was more than enough to split open a new set of concerns such as mismanagement of government contracts, the anticipation of austerity measures and the emergence of a more vocal LGBTI community. This climate created grand opportunities for commentary by some of the greatest in the business – our calysonians.
As the finalists were Mr Blood, Donella, Billboard, iweb, Colin Spencer, Kid Site, Adrian Clarke, Jude Clarke, Structure, and Crystal Cummins-beckles.
Calypso Monarch Anderson Mr Blood Armstrong sang of Sexual Harassment, written by Don “Sir Don” Marshall. The song cleverly looks at the recent sexual harassment claims by many females overseas. It highlights the fact that incidents of the past resurface, and that Barbadian males also can cry, “Sexual harassment!” even if you, “wink at me or long out your tongue, flaunt cleavage when I am around”. Donella Weekes-oliver, one of the two female Pic-o-de Crop finalists, shared her heart with Crop Over Souvenir, “[My song, Pray for the Children] really just reaffirms the need to keep our children in prayer after all the negativity going around with the fights and violence we see in the schools and on the streets”.
It is obvious that Billboard Murrell had no problem living up to his name by displaying his views openly in Sex Change. “This thing simple, don’t make it complex! Yuh can’t change yuh sex!” expresses his belief that sex change is not possible, no matter the behavioural, surgical or medical adjustments. In spite of objections by the LGBTI, Billboard continues to exercise freedom of speech.
Though he did not compete, the country was blessed with a rendition of praise by tentime calypso monarch Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire. The tune, I Am Alive, was the only song he released this year. As RPB took his final bow from competition, he encouraged the nation to praise God in good times and bad. That’s why this joyful song is a noteworthy sound of the season!
Donella Crystal Cummins-beckles iweb Adrian Clarke Billboard