Posted on

Pure big up time


My cousin Ralph Clarke is worth ah Big-Up. He’s ah farmer, into chicken and sheep, and on dat farm is plenty fruits, mangoes, pears, plums and so on. His customers, friends and all body know him as Clarkie or Bubbles. Ah robust but humble, energetic work-ah-ha-lick, one can actually feel the energy and strength M&8-in from his robust frame. But what is it that mek this Ole Farmer different and qualify foh ah Big Up? At age seventy-two when most recording artiste, getting ready to retire, packing up dey music to call it quits, would you believe that my cousin, who never sang in ah choir, church or whatever, has decided to start his musical career, and has just completed his first Album of Gospel songs.{{more}}

Clarkie’s story is as long as his three score and twelve years. He left school early never completed Primary School; he went to learn shoe-maker trade, as well as part time fishing before migrating to Canada where he spent twenty years. He came back in the 1970’s, built his Farm and foh the last thirty years has been supplying the Supermarkets with eggs, mutton and fruits from his homestead at Cane Hall.

Ah almost gave up trying to get him to come to church, he just wouldn’t budge. However, the first Sunday after his seventieth birthday, ah was almost in shock when ah saw him at the church door waiting to greet me. Singing was always his thing, and that morning we sang ah lot ah lively choruses that ah believe turned him on. He enjoyed his first visit but complained that he couldn’t tek part because he wasn’t familiar with any ah the choruses. However he never missed ah Sunday after that. After two years of uninterrupted fellowship, ah was tempted to tease him about putting on The Salvation Army uniform.,. but knowing how easily it is to get him upset and turned-off, ah kept my silence and distance from that subject. He is now ah full Salvationist!

One day he phoned and asked me to listen to ah song he had composed. It was good, had ah Gospel beat and ah encouraged him to wuk on it, the next Sunday in church, scared like ah rabbit, he went up on the pulpit, sang his song, and got ah rousing round of applause foh his effort. Is like that was all he wanted to get going, in ah few short months, me cousin not only grew in confidence but had written nearly ah dozen Gospel Songs.

Cautiously ah introduced him to the idea of documenting his work. He was flattered when ah explained that we will have to go to ah recording studio and suggested Brian Alexander’s. It will tek ah whole article to cover that experience, it was an exercise in patience foh Brian: “ take one, take two, do over this line, repeat that chorus one more time etc!” Brian will not settle foh anything less than perfection, all this time ah could feel the temper building up in Clarkie, he dey bubbling out ah patience. Between he and Brian they manage to record six songs, back vocals by the Gould family, quite ah good CD, but what is important is my cousin who is living over-time according to Scriptures, is now officially ah recording gospel singer. Ah glad foh him!


The Soca Warriors, the smallest nation at this year’s World Cup Finals, played with ten men and defied the great, big Swedish team to ah goal-less finish. After that Stalin performance, they could ah come home next day. Dey done do way dey ha’ foh do. And dey did it all not just foh T’n’T, but foh SVG and the whole Caribbean. All de commentators talking bout dis Caribbean team as ah result of that spectacular display by the Soca Warriors. Ah writing this article on Wednesday, de day before T’n’T or ah better say, before we play England. De result is e-material, all eyes and mouth will be on T’n’T and de Caribbean. Ah don’t know how far the Soca Warriors would reach but ah feel Germany will keep de Cup this time. Ah have no problem with that, after all, I have German roots, my great-great grand-father was one ah them Germans Royalty, not related to Hit-Law, his name was Zincke; but like he did miss-behave and he ended up in Jah-mek-yah. Later foh Germany, dis week all de Big Up is foh de Soca Warriors.


Since last week ah wanted to Big Up Karib Cable foh using Channel 45 to expose local talent. But when ah was looking foh de Football and ah didn’t see anything from Karib Cable, ah held back; instead ah gave Key-lee and Jan-Key some Wud, good-bad wud, not no Sailor Wuds eh, but ah give then good.

And like dey hear what ah say, because bright and early Wednesday, Lie-Za call to tell me Soccer on Channel 45. So ah Big Up foh Key-lee and Jan-Key, and next time mek sure and give us the Soccer from the first match. Ah could expect ah call from Jan-Key, she mouth ain’t idle eh; and ah know ah getting back some, if not all ah dem Wuds ah give she and de husband!

And wid that, ah gone again.

One Love Bassy