Coordinator of the recently held 2007 Junior Calypso Competition Lance Canterbury said the lyrics submitted by the youths who participated in the competition were in keeping with the laws of the country.
Contacted for a comment by this newspaper, following a letter in which the writer voiced her disapproval with the lyrics of the junior calypso entrants, Canterbury said when pieces are submitted by entrants, the lyrics are looked at and checked for libel, slander, vulgarity and cultural and ethnic sensitivity in keeping with the laws of the country. He said none of the pieces were rejected since they abided by the rules.
He contended however that the form of music utilized the literary device, satire, which in some instances could have had double meanings depending on how a person thinks about it. “Anyone who understand calypso would understand that sometimes what the person sings could have double meanings but we don’t deal with that, we deal with exactly what they are singing and based on that and their message, they are judged accordingly.”
He said too that the lyrics, “I’m feeling horny and want a man to handle me,” as quoted by letter writer Beverly Harper, were not in any of the songs submitted by entrants into the junior competition and the writer might have heard them in another song.
He pointed to the song titled “Good Wood”, which copped the second prize and might have been misconstrued as well, but noted that it made specific reference to Guyana’s different wood species and transformed the names into lyrical content.
Another officer of the ministry told Stabroek News that most of the songs had lyrics which portrayed positive messages for youths.
She made reference to a song from one of the entrants which said, “No ring no ting,” noting that the message was geared at influencing youths to abstain from sex before marriage and plugging the benefits of having children in marriages since a father figure was important.
Sixteen-year-old Earnesta Nelson of Vigilance, East Coast Demerara won this year’s competition which was hosted at the St. Ignatius Sports Club Ground in Lethem. Her calypso was titled “Stop the Carnage.” The competition had 12 entrants.