Friday, June 17, 2016

Calypso Rose - Calypso Queen (videos, lyrics, & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about Trinidad & Tobagan Calypsonian Calypso Rose and showcases her song "Calypso Queen".

Selected comments from this YouTube video's discussion thread are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Calypso Rose for her musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

Special thanks to the transcriber of this song as found in the subtitles for the example given below as Example #video given below as Example #1.

"Calypso Rose (born 27 April 1940, Bethel Village, Tobago) is a calypsonian. She began writing songs at the age of 15,[1] turned professional in 1964[2] and has written more than 800 songs and recorded more than 20 albums.

Born Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis, her father was a leader with the Spiritual Shouter Baptists. Her family was very traditional and opposed her singing in Carnival Tents.[2] She composed her first Calypso in 1955 after seeing a man steal the spectacles off of a lady's face in the Croisée, San Juan. In the song, she advises Tobagonians to stay at home, because Trinidad was no place for them. Originally she used Crusoe Kid as her stage name, the name "Calypso Rose" was given to her by the Spoiler, and tent members Piggy and Spike.[2]

Travelling outside of Trinidad and Tobago for the first time in 1963, Rose covered the islands from Grenada to St. Thomas. She won the Calypso King contest and the Roadmarch in St. Thomas with her first recording, Cooperation. In 1966 she wrote the song "Fire in Me Wire", the first calypso ever sung two years running at the Trinidad carnival, in 1966 and 1967.[3]

In the mid-1970s, as well as dominating the race for the title of "Calypso Queen", a title she won five years running from 1972-76,[2] Rose had major hits with Constable Rose and Do Dem Back which became her first gold disc. She was the first female to win the Trinidad Road March competition in 1977 with her song "Gimme More Tempo". The following year she took the title again with "Come Leh We Jam". That same year, she won the competition, the first time a woman had received the award. The competition's title was changed to Calypso Monarch in her honour.[3]

Rose has lived in New York since 1983”...

(as sung by Calypso Rose)

They say that I reign* too long
Forgetting that my constitution is strong.
Instead of respecting my long long reign
They making plot to take down my name.
I’ve been breaking down walls.
Ever since I was small.
They could stand up strong and tall
Like a wrecking ball I could knock them down.
They say that I reign* too long
Forgetting that my constitution is strong.
Instead of respecting my long long reign
They making plot to take down my name.

The one and only Calypso Queen
No man alive or dead
Could come and take the crown off my head.


Them foolish and petty men
I don’t worry about them.
They been trying to take me down
But till then I retain my* crown
They say that I reigning too long
Forgetting that my constitution is strong.
Instead of respecting my long long reign
They making plot to take down my name.

They used to call me small island girl.
And now I travel the world.
Anywhere they go they know.
I am Calypso Rose, Queen of Calypso.


I am the daughter of a warrior.
No time to rest or retire.
Others have come and gone.
But Calypso Rose is still singing on.

They say that I reigning too long
Forgetting that my constitution is strong.
Instead of respecting my long long reign
They making plot to take down my name.

[video clip of interview:
Calypso Rose speaking. “He said “Nah nah nah. Nah.*** We are going to change your name from today.
We are going to call you “Calypso Rose”. Which means rose is the mother of all flowers”.

*In the video she sings “I’m reigning”

** In the video she sings “the crown”.

***"nah" = no

Source: subtitles in [given as Example #1 below]

Example #1: Calypso Rose Calypso Queen Lyrics Video

Island Select, Published on Mar 21, 2016

Calypso Rose Calypso Queen Lyrics Video

Example #2: Calypso Rose - Calypso Queen (Official Video)

Calypso Rose, Published on May 19, 2016

Calypso Rose new Album ‘Far From Home’ available on May 27th here :
Selected comments from this video's viewer discussion thread:

Dominique Keller, June 2016
"Surnommée la Miriam Makeba des Caraïbes, Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis, aka Calypso Rose, incarne depuis 1955 à Trinidad & Tobago la légende du calypso, dont cette énergique mamie de 76 printemps amadoue les rythmes chaloupés, nés entre Afrique, Venezuela et Caraïbes, pour stigmatiser injustice sociale et violences conjugales, et instiller la joie au cœur, à l'instar d'un dernier album (Far From Home, 03/06) signé avec Manu Chao, et promis à être beaucoup, beaucoup dansé cet été."
Google translate from French to English:
"Dubbed the Miriam Makeba Caribbean Linda McCartha Monica Sandy Lewis, aka Calypso Rose embodies since 1955 in Trinidad & Tobago legend calypso, which this energetic grandmother of 76 spring coaxes the swaying rhythms, born between Africa, Venezuela and the Caribbean, to stigmatize social injustice and domestic violence, and instill the joy in the heart, like a new album (far from Home, 03/06) signed with Manu Chao, and promised to be much, much dancing this summer."

Mike Andrews, June 2016
"Congratulations to Her Majesty..the one and only Calypso Queen, and to all the musicians and production team on this project. Beautiful music. Proud to see Rose still blooming."

Christian Godart, June 2016
"Exceptionnelle qui dit mieux ? Et si on dansait ? Calypso Rose c'est aussi une véritable parade musicale caribéenne, avec de nombreux changements de rythmes. Calypso classique, ska, soca, ragga, chants de paix et toujours des paroles engagées pour défendre la condition de la femme et dénoncer les injustices sociales. Mille bravos, j'adore !! Maryanna Chanteuse.."
Google translate from French to English
"Exceptional who says better? Shall we Dance ? Calypso Rose is also a true Caribbean musical parade, with many changes of rhythm. classic calypso, ska, soca, reggae, peace songs and lyrics always committed to defend the status of women and denounce social injustices. Mille bravos, I love !! Maryanna Chanteuse.."

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