Home Headline Calypsonians weigh in on Queen Ivena’s alleged defamation of PM

Calypsonians weigh in on Queen Ivena’s alleged defamation of PM

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1989

Two former calypso monarchs of Antigua & Barbuda along with a regional calypso legend have weighed in on the topic of defamation in calypso music.
Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung, Joseph “Calypso Joe” Hunte and Trevor “King Zacari” King all had an opportunity to comment on the threat from Prime Minister Gaston Browne to Lena ‘Queen Ivena’ Phillip for what he considers libelous lyrics in her new song entitled ‘Nastiness’.
“In 1993 I sang a song named ‘Paul’ and the Archbishop went to the papers saying ‘Crazy needs to go to church and he’s serving the devil’. That song became big and I got a lot of followers. That happened to Shorty, too. He created a soca that offended the Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams who kicked up against it and it got the song very big,” Crazy from Trinidad & Tobago, said.
“I want to give her a message. Tell Ivena that Crazy say to go to Prime Minister Gaston Browne and hug him up and kiss him. You know why, because he give her a big hit there. It’s either he love her or he’s insecure.”
Former local Monarch, King Zacari explained why he has never been threatened with a lawsuit.
“I have a tendency to mask my lyrics. For instance I sang a song once called ‘Toon Town’ and going home one day Mr Daniel saw me coming down the road and asked me what did I call him in my song. I told him I never called him anything. I named some characters and you can put yourself wherever you want to be.
“Usually I do my best to be metaphorical but one thing I find is that in our country we seem to be governed by grapes. We had blue grapes first, thin-skinned, red grapes now, more thin-skinned. Basically every little thing seems to touch their corn. It’s as if they are untouchable. You are in the public eye, act accordingly,” King Zacari said.
Another local veteran, Calypso Joe stated, “I made a pledge during my career that if I’m not going to say anything good about you then I’m not going to say anything about you at all. Sometimes you have the information to write thing about them but you can’t mask it properly so you just forget about it. I’m not a legal mind but having listened to the song, I see its actually referring to a speech made by the prime minister and I don’t believe a man can be libelous for that. I’m repeating something that an official said in an official document in a public place.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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