edge

Obeah Bassman in Heaven

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayPicture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

Winston Bailey, the Shadow

As a tribute to the late Shadow, this special Carnival Sunday version of Trini to the Bone (as told to BC Pires) takes every word (apart from a handful of conjunctions or articles) in all the personal statements, not from in-depth conversation with the subject, but from the lyrics of Shadow’s own songs. This is, then, a very special ‘Bago to the Bone, as listened to by BC Pires

My name is Winston Bailey, the Shadow and I belong to the House of Music.

I am the wizard who was born dread. Poverty dread. Misery dread. And I was born in them, so I must be dread.

In this world of confusion, I try to understand for so long what’s really right and what’s really wrong.

William Shakespeare say, “Who steals my purse, steals trash.” But the Shadow say, “That thief was looking for some cash!” If I catch you inside my pocket, looking for trash inside my wallet, run away from there, danger could be near: my name is not Shakespeare.

Somebody keeps fooling somebody.

I love my music. Instead of giving me love, give me music.

They say angels does come down and walk around. They say angels are everywhere. Maybe I’m an angel, maybe I’m not. If angels are loving and kind and righteous in thoughts and deeds, I’m an angel. But, if angels are creatures who are gentle and meek, and if a man slap an angel, he turn the other cheek, I’m no angel.

Music power is mystic power. It makes you twist like foolishness.

What’s wrong with the soca controllers? Making and breaking stars, they want to conquer me, control my energy. But they know damned well, I am hot like Hell. I blow their mind with my melodic basslines!

If your conscience haunting you, it’s you that I’m talking to: I’ve spent restless days and sleepless nights to make soca right. Now they’re playing games, heavy-heavy games. To protect my honour, I’m going to fight like a tiger.

I’m a stranger.

I was alone, away from home, quite in Toco, making calypso. I don’t know how this thing get inside me. I am musically sick. Mummy beat me with music stick! If I don’t want to dance, if I don’t want to sing, I got to dance, I got to sing. I’m a master of music and I’m bad with my lyrics.

I hear they building a new flyover down by Uriah Butler and a new highway straight to Maracas Bay and I feeling something: election coming. When the campaign get hot, it’s a whole lot of “ifs” and “buts”. But, when they have the election, the poor man ain’t stand a chance: is a lot of simi-dimi and the same khaki pants!

A calypsonian challenged my reputation: he said that he is the soca king, I can’t make with the soca thing. I called the mental hospital: come quick to avoid a funeral. I might pelt a big stone and mash up your jaw bone. Boy, you better don’t touch me! He came in my house to fight me – but I belong to the House of Music. He is either crazy or real sick. I don’t want to sink that soca boat: if I tackle the soca, the boat will turn over! Leave me, let me do my thing.

Naked we all came into this world.

Survival is a crucial business. The cat loves the rat. He loves the rat for his face. He loves the way rat face does taste. But the rat don’t need no love like that. The fox loves the ducks, oh what a love! But it’s a decent meal he’s thinking of! Survival is a brutal business.

A young man asked for an opinion about a lady he want to marry. “You working?” No. “You stealing?” No. “You dealing?” No. “You looking for plenty horn, Boy.” Why you want to marry? You aint’t have no money. You think is joke? I wish you luck. Without money to buy honey, you heading for misery. She want money for hairdo and calaloo. And you ent have none? You better believe me, somebody will horn you.

Marriage is not for dogs and fools. Fools rush in, busy-busy-busy. They buy a ring and they hurry-hurry-hurry. Man feels pressure and woman, worse: a little bit of pressure and they hurry to divorce! For better or worse, hold on to your cross!

A man have a right to work well. But he also have a right to be paid well.

Some bum-bum thin, some bum-bum fat. When bum-bum rolling, who care ‘bout what?

If you burst my face with a stone, police have a right to bring you to my home. Give me a stone, forget about case, I have a right to burst back your face! If a man burst a next man eye, putting him in jail is equal to “lie”. He only resting and getting fat – burst back his eye and finish with that!

A poor man living in a mini-mini-hut, children hungry, nothing in the pot. The rain come down and the house does leak. Ten little children want dumplin’ – Mummy have to slice them thin-thin-thin. He gone by a neighbour to beg for some rice. The neighbour under pressure, things ain’t nice. He gone in the big shot area to beg, a police put a bullet in his mini-mini leg. Take him in court and he lost his case. The prosecutor say, “He have a bandit face!” Poverty is Hell!

Man could change my destination, give me suffocation, treat me very evil, get me into trouble. Man could take my wife, change my life, man could leave me in grief but no man could take my belief. For I believe in the stars in the dark night, I believe in the sun in the daylight, I believe in the little children, I believe in life and its problems. Rob me, beat me, cheat me. You could dig out my eye and cause me to cry, you could tell me I lie – but you can’t change me.

The cock on the farm demonstrating he charm. The hen in alarm, but he don’t care a damn!

I look around and all I can see is hatred and confusion. Deep down in my soul I would like to see the day when love would come to stay. I’d like to see a world of unity. It’s my dream: one love.

Love was meant to be the master key of a world of peacefulness, happiness and togetherness, equality throughout humanity.

I looked in the mirror. What did I see? A man with a hard-face looking like me. I called Priscilla to take a look. “Go call the neighbour, I see a crook!” She said, “Shadow, that is you!” But I know that isn’t true. I in front the mirror, the man inside, like she want to take my brain for a ride!

If a man is born in luxury, they prove to me through history, he is somebody. But if a man is born in poverty, starvation and misery, he is nobody. But everybody is somebody and nobody is nobody, whether poor or wealthy. Poverty is what it takes to make such dangerous mistakes about who is somebody. But when a woman raise her son or daughter from the time that child is born, he or she is somebody.

It was Tuesday night, Las’ Lap Carnival, drink if you drinking, laugh if you laughing. Spreading joy in La Romaine, when I bounce up Hard-Face Jane. I say, “Doux-doux, come, take a drink of rum.” When she start to roll she waist, she look like a mental case. She hips like two butter flaps: whips-whaps, whips-whaps! I asked for her company but she gave me a dose of karate.

Stoop to conquer could never be all right. If you really want to conquer, you got to learn to fight. They had my grandfather waiting for those good things that come to those who wait. But he wind up in a coffin, poor like a church rat, he found out too late.

Some people never had a chance to see the sunlight. Some people never ever saw the silvery rain. Some people are lucky. They get to see the moon and stars. Some people ain’t lucky: they never seen a river flow, they never see a pretty rainbow.

Tension in my body, tension in my soul. Tension in my belly, my blood running cold. The tension keep rising, reaching for my head, if it don’t stop rising, I will soon be dead.

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayThe truth shall set you free, so the saying goes. It’s so far from reality, only Heaven knows.

The blind man said to the seer-man, “Put a penny in the blind man hand.” The seer-man said, “I’m working so hard, drawing my pay, but life so hard, I can’t see my way.” Then the blind man let go his bombshell: “I blind – but you seeing Hell!”

Life is a one-way street. And I don’t intend to waste it.

What you come here for? You’ve got one life to live. Only that one lifetime to live. Enjoy your life. A little eat-up. A little drink-up. A little hug-up. A little love-up. And, if you feel like dancing, take some time for prancing. A little smile makes sadness go away and gladness come your way.

Everyone must choose the right side to use. To make yourself happy should be your priority.

When is time to work, don’t watch the clock. When you count the hours, the work does get harder. But, if you come out to party, don’t let the music waste, look for a dancing space. Party wild, in freedom style. Only love can match this feeling.

If angels don’t jump up on Carnival day, when all them nice ladies come out to play, dressed up in they short pants with bum-bum galore. If angels don’t watch back, I’m very sure I’m no angel.

Obeah Bassman in Heaven

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayPicture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

Winston Bailey, the Shadow

As a tribute to the late Shadow, this special Carnival Sunday version of Trini to the Bone (as told to BC Pires) takes every word (apart from a handful of conjunctions or articles) in all the personal statements, not from in-depth conversation with the subject, but from the lyrics of Shadow’s own songs. This is, then, a very special ‘Bago to the Bone, as listened to by BC Pires

My name is Winston Bailey, the Shadow and I belong to the House of Music.

I am the wizard who was born dread. Poverty dread. Misery dread. And I was born in them, so I must be dread.

In this world of confusion, I try to understand for so long what’s really right and what’s really wrong.

William Shakespeare say, “Who steals my purse, steals trash.” But the Shadow say, “That thief was looking for some cash!” If I catch you inside my pocket, looking for trash inside my wallet, run away from there, danger could be near: my name is not Shakespeare.

Somebody keeps fooling somebody.

I love my music. Instead of giving me love, give me music.

They say angels does come down and walk around. They say angels are everywhere. Maybe I’m an angel, maybe I’m not. If angels are loving and kind and righteous in thoughts and deeds, I’m an angel. But, if angels are creatures who are gentle and meek, and if a man slap an angel, he turn the other cheek, I’m no angel.

Music power is mystic power. It makes you twist like foolishness.

What’s wrong with the soca controllers? Making and breaking stars, they want to conquer me, control my energy. But they know damned well, I am hot like Hell. I blow their mind with my melodic basslines!

If your conscience haunting you, it’s you that I’m talking to: I’ve spent restless days and sleepless nights to make soca right. Now they’re playing games, heavy-heavy games. To protect my honour, I’m going to fight like a tiger.

I’m a stranger.

I was alone, away from home, quite in Toco, making calypso. I don’t know how this thing get inside me. I am musically sick. Mummy beat me with music stick! If I don’t want to dance, if I don’t want to sing, I got to dance, I got to sing. I’m a master of music and I’m bad with my lyrics.

I hear they building a new flyover down by Uriah Butler and a new highway straight to Maracas Bay and I feeling something: election coming. When the campaign get hot, it’s a whole lot of “ifs” and “buts”. But, when they have the election, the poor man ain’t stand a chance: is a lot of simi-dimi and the same khaki pants!

A calypsonian challenged my reputation: he said that he is the soca king, I can’t make with the soca thing. I called the mental hospital: come quick to avoid a funeral. I might pelt a big stone and mash up your jaw bone. Boy, you better don’t touch me! He came in my house to fight me – but I belong to the House of Music. He is either crazy or real sick. I don’t want to sink that soca boat: if I tackle the soca, the boat will turn over! Leave me, let me do my thing.

Naked we all came into this world.

Survival is a crucial business. The cat loves the rat. He loves the rat for his face. He loves the way rat face does taste. But the rat don’t need no love like that. The fox loves the ducks, oh what a love! But it’s a decent meal he’s thinking of! Survival is a brutal business.

A young man asked for an opinion about a lady he want to marry. “You working?” No. “You stealing?” No. “You dealing?” No. “You looking for plenty horn, Boy.” Why you want to marry? You aint’t have no money. You think is joke? I wish you luck. Without money to buy honey, you heading for misery. She want money for hairdo and calaloo. And you ent have none? You better believe me, somebody will horn you.

Marriage is not for dogs and fools. Fools rush in, busy-busy-busy. They buy a ring and they hurry-hurry-hurry. Man feels pressure and woman, worse: a little bit of pressure and they hurry to divorce! For better or worse, hold on to your cross!

A man have a right to work well. But he also have a right to be paid well.

Some bum-bum thin, some bum-bum fat. When bum-bum rolling, who care ‘bout what?

If you burst my face with a stone, police have a right to bring you to my home. Give me a stone, forget about case, I have a right to burst back your face! If a man burst a next man eye, putting him in jail is equal to “lie”. He only resting and getting fat – burst back his eye and finish with that!

A poor man living in a mini-mini-hut, children hungry, nothing in the pot. The rain come down and the house does leak. Ten little children want dumplin’ – Mummy have to slice them thin-thin-thin. He gone by a neighbour to beg for some rice. The neighbour under pressure, things ain’t nice. He gone in the big shot area to beg, a police put a bullet in his mini-mini leg. Take him in court and he lost his case. The prosecutor say, “He have a bandit face!” Poverty is Hell!

Man could change my destination, give me suffocation, treat me very evil, get me into trouble. Man could take my wife, change my life, man could leave me in grief but no man could take my belief. For I believe in the stars in the dark night, I believe in the sun in the daylight, I believe in the little children, I believe in life and its problems. Rob me, beat me, cheat me. You could dig out my eye and cause me to cry, you could tell me I lie – but you can’t change me.

The cock on the farm demonstrating he charm. The hen in alarm, but he don’t care a damn!

I look around and all I can see is hatred and confusion. Deep down in my soul I would like to see the day when love would come to stay. I’d like to see a world of unity. It’s my dream: one love.

Love was meant to be the master key of a world of peacefulness, happiness and togetherness, equality throughout humanity.

I looked in the mirror. What did I see? A man with a hard-face looking like me. I called Priscilla to take a look. “Go call the neighbour, I see a crook!” She said, “Shadow, that is you!” But I know that isn’t true. I in front the mirror, the man inside, like she want to take my brain for a ride!

If a man is born in luxury, they prove to me through history, he is somebody. But if a man is born in poverty, starvation and misery, he is nobody. But everybody is somebody and nobody is nobody, whether poor or wealthy. Poverty is what it takes to make such dangerous mistakes about who is somebody. But when a woman raise her son or daughter from the time that child is born, he or she is somebody.

It was Tuesday night, Las’ Lap Carnival, drink if you drinking, laugh if you laughing. Spreading joy in La Romaine, when I bounce up Hard-Face Jane. I say, “Doux-doux, come, take a drink of rum.” When she start to roll she waist, she look like a mental case. She hips like two butter flaps: whips-whaps, whips-whaps! I asked for her company but she gave me a dose of karate.

Stoop to conquer could never be all right. If you really want to conquer, you got to learn to fight. They had my grandfather waiting for those good things that come to those who wait. But he wind up in a coffin, poor like a church rat, he found out too late.

Some people never had a chance to see the sunlight. Some people never ever saw the silvery rain. Some people are lucky. They get to see the moon and stars. Some people ain’t lucky: they never seen a river flow, they never see a pretty rainbow.

Tension in my body, tension in my soul. Tension in my belly, my blood running cold. The tension keep rising, reaching for my head, if it don’t stop rising, I will soon be dead.

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayThe truth shall set you free, so the saying goes. It’s so far from reality, only Heaven knows.

The blind man said to the seer-man, “Put a penny in the blind man hand.” The seer-man said, “I’m working so hard, drawing my pay, but life so hard, I can’t see my way.” Then the blind man let go his bombshell: “I blind – but you seeing Hell!”

Life is a one-way street. And I don’t intend to waste it.

What you come here for? You’ve got one life to live. Only that one lifetime to live. Enjoy your life. A little eat-up. A little drink-up. A little hug-up. A little love-up. And, if you feel like dancing, take some time for prancing. A little smile makes sadness go away and gladness come your way.

Everyone must choose the right side to use. To make yourself happy should be your priority.

When is time to work, don’t watch the clock. When you count the hours, the work does get harder. But, if you come out to party, don’t let the music waste, look for a dancing space. Party wild, in freedom style. Only love can match this feeling.

If angels don’t jump up on Carnival day, when all them nice ladies come out to play, dressed up in they short pants with bum-bum galore. If angels don’t watch back, I’m very sure I’m no angel.