Keithroy “De Bear” Morson has been blasted by a prominent Trinidadian calypsonian for altering the words to his song The Judgment.
Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who is also the minister of Arts and Multiculturalism in Trinidad and Tobago, hammered Morson for his decision to back down while speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Big Issues programme yesterday.
“I condemn the calypsonian and I would not have changed not one word if that’s what I wanted to sing.
“The calypsonian should continue to do what he has to do and let the goodly judge do whatever she believes is right for her and let the chips fall where they may,” Peters said.
The T&T calypsonian is concerned that De Bear’s decision to try avoiding the courts will allow a dangerous example to be set that could damage the art form.
“It is an attack on the arts, I agree, and it is an attack on the freedom of expression and that should not be allowed through the artistic fraternity to happen at all because that sets a precedent not only in Antigua but it will somehow set a precedent throughout the Caribbean,” Peters added.
Gypsy also decried the blunt way in which many contemporary calypsonians seek to get across their message.
“A real calypsonian would find some way around everything they have said there (about the offensive of words).
“A lot of the writers now are very upfront and forthright in what they are saying and the artistry in saying things without saying it is somewhere lost in the writings of some composers today and if we had that kind of thing back in the writing then this may very well never have been,” Peters said.
The Trinidadian minister of Arts and Multiculturalism also went on to suggest that there may have been an ulterior motive behind the threatened action.
“I don’t know which judge or which lawyer in their wisdom would be so foolish as to try restrict or in some way muzzle what they are saying what they want in a free society. I could not understand for the life of me why anybody would try to muzzle a calypsonian.
“If a judge could be so peeved as to want to take legal action against a calypsonian for singing about some decision that they have made then there might very well be something in the mortar other than the pestle,” Peters said.
Meanwhile, Morson’s lawyer Leon Chaku Symister said he too wished De Bear had not changed his song.
“I would have preferred he leave it alone and let it follow its course because that is the way you are going to defend the art form,” Symister said.
Morson made the adjustments to his song after receiving a letter from lawyers representing Justice Louise Blenman that warned criminal charges would be brought against him for slandering the judge in the song.