Category: In The Spotlight Created on Monday, 12 December 2011 07:42
It is Festival time in Montserrat. This year the Festival celebration recognises 49 years, as it inches ever closer to 50 years of continuous revelry, in December, of 2012.
MNI Alive is joining in the festive spirit now taking over Montserrat and strike a discussion as to who can be considered as the most legendary Montserrat Calypsonians to date. This is a question that quite possibly has the potential to incite very heated, yet friendly discussions amongst those who consider themselves to be purists and historians of the calypso art form. Then there will be others, who, despite evidence to the contrary, will hold firm in their bias and refuse to stray even an inch from their preferred choice.
Be that as it may, I will start the ball rolling by throwing a few names in the ring to get the juices flowing and emotions riled. Such is the nature of calypso to the island man that Calypsonians are often revered as masterful storytellers, some even attaining legendary status in local folklore.
But what is it about the Calypsonian that we so love as Caribbean people. What creates this sense of joy and awe as we sit intently, either at the band house, or listen critically during the live performances to then engage in critical analysis of each song and its delivery after?
At this time of year in Montserrat, calypso is one cutural expression that takes centre stage. It was a local Calypsonian, Earl ‘ Hustler’ Browne who said, “Festival in the city depends on calypso, festival would be sleepy, if the calypso slow.”
The last part of those lyrics by Hustler is another talking point. Do we need a further injection of jumpy beats into the calypso competition to give it a wider appeal to many who would prefer to hear some tempo? It is a worthy consideration, so much so, that many local performers have engaged this concept and produced songs of quality and hard-hitting lyrics to an up-tempo melody.
But the question still begs as to who can be considered as a legendary Calypsonian from Montserrat? There are so many names that come to mind that this article alone will need to span many paragraph lengths to satisfy the many talented individuals who have graced the steps of the local art form. It is also not just about those who were crowned Calypso Monarch over the years, for surely, there are still many great performers of the art form that can stand should to shoulder with the Monarchs.
Listed below is just an initial fifteen names of those who can be considered to be all time legends. Of course, this list is by no means final. Also, the order in which the names appear on the list below is strictly random.
Fifteen Legendary Montserrat Calypsonians
5. De Bear
11. Lord Alfredo
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