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De Carnival is over!

De Carnival is over!
Shaunelle Mc Kenzie, our First Lady of Calypso

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“The sun is descending, the moon is appearing and the crowd is gone; it seems like nobody is interested in carrying on. When the sky is like a wooden shack after a storm; not a Band or a Mas is around to perform. All I can see is some broken bottles so far, an indication the Carnival is over.” Lyrics from de grand master, Lord Kitchener’s Calypso: “The Carnival is over!” That first verse describes a scene of ah street in Port of Spain, after de “last lap” on Carnival Choose-dey Night in Trini-dad. In ah few hours time it would ah bin Ash When-is-day, when Trinis all over would storm de churches to do penance, seek repentance, “clean up dey act,” get de symbol of forgiveness wid some Ashes on de forehead, and dey ready to go again.

We have moved our Festival away from de traditional pre-lenten season, so no Ash When-is-day, we throw de baby out wid de bath-water. Even Lie-Za who thinks de whole Service encourages hip-pock racy. She thinks dat after de climax of Vincy Mas, we in SVG need more dan ah coal-pot of Ashes on de forehead, we need ah day of reflect-shun, to let our Souls catch up wid us again. Ah have no authority to comment much more con-dem, ley de church Pastors deal wid all de Vulgar-is-him, Rum and wine on ah Bumsey. Some ah dem ain’t no better.

SHE WAS EBONY

Vincy Mas is over and what lovely Steel Ban Music we had at both Junior and senior Panorama. Ah PT dey’s no recordings, whether tape of VDO of some ah these live performances, souvenirs foh sale to visitors as dey leave. Ah drove past ah Mas Tent on When-is-day only to see one ah de lovely costumes flattened by de rain, literally dumped in de yard. An awful waste of money, time, labour and talent. Maybe in de schools, we should be teaching ah subject called “Values” and “Waste”.

Congrats to Shaunelle Mc Kenzie, our First Lady of Calypso, she did de double dis year by winning both Female and Nah-shun-all Monarchy. She has been around foh at least twenty-five years. Ah remember her, ah lickle tiny tot playing Pan wid Potential; and also winning de Primary School category in Junior Calypso. My fondest memory of Shaunelle is her role in ah BBC documentary in de mid 1990’s. What ah recall is ah Vincy born lady named Ebony, who as ah child had migrated to England. She had played Pan before she left as ah kid. Someone at BBC found Island Girl Ebony’s story fascinating, and so BBC came hey and had it all documented. Guess who played de role of Ebony the 10-year-ole Pannist?? Yes, de dimunitive, charmingly chubby Singing Shaunelle. Lie-Za saying she go get BBC to do ah Documentary on Shaunelle; hopefully de tapes of her live performances over de years would be made available.

Well de results of de calypso Finals speak foh itself. Shaunelle, Man Zangi and Patches in dat order. My pick was Patches. Wid due respect most of de others on stage on Dimanche Gras Night are Calyposo singers, have no clue about writing, composing and arranging Calypso. Dat’s where Paches is de star. Lie-Za say to tell Man Zangi to humble. On Finals Night competing wid Zangi was one ah de humblest of dem all Patches wid forty years in de business; long before Man Zangi was born . He went responding to ah Picong dat Ipa ah former Monarch did on him. And dat quite possible was he down-fall. But de ole saying still holds “All ah dat is Mas!” De Carnival is over! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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