New master of calypso

We know of 10-time calypso monarch Red Plastic Bag as the lyrical master, but today, a lyrical headmaster was discovered.

Jeff Broomes, already a well known figure as the controversial principal of Alexandra School, released his debut calypso composition this afternoon, during the school’s speech day and awards ceremony.

The kaiso, titled Something Peeping Out, and arranged in the traditional form, was performed by a group of students from the school as part of the ceremony.

Broomes gave Barbados TODAY a copy of the lyrics. The first verse read:

I took a peep in a Sunday paper

People said it would make me ponder

Ban the drum was the call

But the story didn’t tell it all

Is then I knew what they talking ’bout

Cause something was peeping, peeping out.


It’s peeping, it’s peeping

It’s peeping, it’s peeping

In front of we face daily

There’s something peeping out at we.

The second verse went:

My mind turned to society

With its ninety per cent lit’racy

We go to school and university

But still can’t read or write properly

I ask east and west, north and sout’

Why is this thing peeping, peeping out?

And if you think this was a one-off effort, think again.

Broomes told Barbados TODAY he was currently working on another calypso which he would give to Big Heather for next year’s Crop-Over Festival.

That calypso is called Pinpalin. Pinpalin, he explained, was locally coined word, which represented people who were not on the level or did foolishness.

The lyrical headmaster’s song reportoire was about 10 strong, comprising various genres, including ballads. In fact, he said he had written a song in honour of the late Prime Minister David Thompson which has never been made public, but was presented to his mother.

The opening stanza of that ballad titled A Cry For David, asked:

Time, why did you speak

Love though strong, fell to its feet

You reached wide and touched all,

But so suddenly you had to fall

Now, with a weighted heart, we sinkingly cry

David, David, why, Oh David, David, why?

Broomes said rather than allow things to get him down, he writes when the going gets rough. (EJ)†

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