The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Stacks o' Wax #1


Calypso Sparrow (RCA Victor, 1962)

Picked up last week in the dusty bins of a crusty local used book/used video/used record/used porn emporium. This RCA Trinidad release of songs by the one and only Mighty Sparrow was a mighty fine find for $1. This is Sparrow's fifth album for RCA, and in typical form he touches on political topics like the end of colonialism in Trinidad, and the onslaught of democracy in his home of Grenada, but also the wiles of women on Angelina and the Yankee--a Caribbean girl dumps an American sailor for a Canadian!--and Yvonne Sorry Now. The arrangements are a little on the slick side, but Sparrow's humour and personality cut through the gloss.
"Now the restless 'bird', who flies higher than anyone in the realm of calypso, has dipped into his well of creative power, to startle the ear and assault the eye and imagination of even the most critical observer with an album rich enough in content to sell itself readily to calypso record lovers; persons who have a philiosophical approach to life: to others who hunt after 'museum pieces' and to the listening type--the man who appreciates an album, not only for its 'vocal value', but for the music which enriches the disc."
-from the liner notes

3 comments :

Brent McKee said...

And after all, why wouldn't a Caribbean girl dump an American sailor for a Canadian, particularly in the late '50s or ealy '60s.

swac said...

My sentiments exactly! You never know when America's going to go all Santo Domingo on your ass.

tim said...

I saw Sparrow a year ago on his
"70th Birthday Tour". He's still great and still writes acerbic calypsos when prompted by events.


Check out "Don't Touch meh President" for the best political analysis of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal I heard, NY Times, New Yorker and CNN notwithstanding.

He also released "The Juice is Loose" about OJ, but I've never heard it.