We did not want to know

In an earlier comment about song-writing I made the point that while talent has to be there, the more critical quality is observation because that is almost always the ingredient that sets a song apart; the writer has turned a light on something in the society, or in an individual, that would have otherwise escaped the rest of us in the populace.  In fact, to look at the popular columnists or commentators in our local press – Freddie Kissoon, Ralph Ramkarran, Henry Jeffrey, Adam Harris, Christopher Ram, Ian McDonald, etc – is to see this taking place as each writer brings us to something, or an aspect of something, that is new or revealing or thought-provoking.

Furthermore, in the society at large, I have often said that we can be in advance of shifts in our society, wherever it may be, through this inclination to observation, leaving us aware of something before the most recent data or study or programme presents something to us as a condition we have reached.  An example of this came to me recently through my humble cell phone. I’m not into the various smart phone apps, and the constant checking for messages or updates, including even during a play at the Theatre Guild (I saw that one once), but I do notice the occasional faint beep on my cell phone when one of the GTT messages comes in, and I have noticed a definite increase, in recent weeks, in the number of these with discounts, packages, applications, and even promotion of events being sent to me. From that observation I have deduced that GTT is likely improving customer outreach but, more likely, in our economic downturn, looking to increase revenue from its captive customer base. More specifically, this is confirming for me that the much discussed economic downturn is real – GTT is quite properly cranking up in response…..


The hand of the mother

I’ve said it before; how much an influence my mother Zepherina, born at Hague as I was, had on me.

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Travelling in the good old days

On the way back from a recent trip to Canada, it occurred to me that although there are still airline problems in the Caribbean, it is nothing compared to the headaches that used to exist.

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A bow to Trinidad

Anyone who writes will attest that one direction leads to another.  In my So it go notebook, for instance, there is this one direction that deals with the origin of the word “soca” and the reminder is there for me because the explanation we frequently hear is that when Lord Shorty combined calypso and American “soul” music in this new rhythm with higher tempos and more emphasis on drum track in the recording, he named it soca from that “soul” American influence and from the calypso origin. 

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Lights dawning

Going back to the ‘30’s and the ‘40’s, an enduring message for young people growing up in Guyana was that the white culture was supreme. 

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The heyday is gone but the sweetness lives

Calypso achieved popularity with the arrival of calypso tents in Port-of-Spain, particularly from the first commercial recordings in the 1930s, and from the spread of the tents after World War Two ended in 1945.

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