Hooper And Chanderpaul

“What’s your favourite Tradewinds song, and which one you feel has had the strongest reaction?” I’ve been asked that many times.  On the first question, it depends on when you ask me; some days it’s Is We Own; some days it’s Angel Wings; some days it’s Copycats. On the second question, I suspect Not A Blade O’ Grass would be the answer.

It’s interesting though that only one interviewer – a very astute Guyanese lady – has ever asked me the parallel question: “Which song do you feel had the weakest response?”  The answer to that one, hands down, is Hooper and Chanderpaul, and therewith, as they say, hangs a tale.  It was about a decade ago, at the time of the ethnic street clashes here, and a concerned Guyanese government official called me out of the blue.  “Guyanese pay attention to your music, man, so a song on this subject might help to calm things down,” was the way he put it.

My response was that my serious songs did not tackle subjects head on – Blade o’ Grass, for instance, did not mention Venezuela or border clash directly – and that I didn’t think the  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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