Black Prince: Life as a calypsonian not easy

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Staff Article
Interview Recorded: May 30, 2005
Posted: July 05, 2005

But me eh see calypso do nothing for you

Kenroy Smith 'Black Prince'
Kenroy Smith 'Black Prince'
I would like to see calypsonians learn to respect themselves, respect one another, and get a reasonable worth financially for what they are doing. The building of the museum and the culture is good; I would like to see that too. I am not a gold digger, but I feel that when you do a job, you should feel satisfied. Even if you are not satisfied, you could excuse the rest why you are not satisfied. Let us put it this way. If you send a man to make fifteen hundred dollars to do work, and he tells you he cannot make fifteen hundred, take twelve hundred. You decide if to take the twelve, and you tell him all right. You might see the reason why, because sometimes people put on shows and they have a certain amount of seating to accommodate a certain amount of people and so on. You may tell yourself that you would do four songs for about twelve hundred dollars and you would feel good, but you would feel better if you get fifteen hundred. What happens is, people will call you to do shows, and before they tell you about the show, they would say, "Doh kill meh". They put you in a bind. What they mean is, don't charge me no big price. If you tell them to tell you what they have in mind, and what is their budget, they will tell you. When you tell them what you want, they tell you, "Boy ah cyar make that, you cyar take off something ... you coulda tell meh that from before and I woulda either say yes or no." So if they want to tell you three hundred and you call two hundred or two hundred and fifty, they would tell themselves, "ah stick him." That is a regular thing that goes on.

It is not easy to deal with these people. I get that very regularly. Another thing I get very regularly is someone saying, "Good day Mr. Black Prince, I would like you to grace the stage at so and so place... we are having a fund raising, but we do not have any money." So why am I gracing that stage? People say you must give back to the community. But you never get anything from the community, but they believe you get. They are just watching the flash of the thing, but they do not know what is really going on.

This song will give you all an idea of what I am talking about.

Life as a calypsonian not easy
Ah mean in the way you think it would be
Better ah did stay bachelor and carefree
Ah doh know who tell meh to get married
From the day yuh boy went into married life
One set ah pressure ah getting from meh wife
She make meh to know, she doh like calypso
An' she eh see why it is I fighting it so

Well me eh see calypso do nothing for you, (calypso)
An' in the night ah cyar get a good night is true, (calypso)
Always with ah choung choung night an' day, (calypso)
When the season come yuh sure to get pay
Cyar believe is calypso yuh love so, (calypso)
You fooling yuh self in case yuh eh know
An' outa the blue she tell meh this eh no sport
When the nighttime come best ah hug up meh calypso

Doh know whey it is calypso do she
Cyar believe she even born here in this country
Ah doh know if is some calypsonian fool she
She really eh like calypso or me
Is to know the game playing I does encounter
Man cutting meh up left right back and the center
An' when ah turn to June
For support at home
Is ah fresh set of ridicule to the bone

But me eh see calypso do nothing for you, (calypso)
An' in the night ah cyar get a good night is true, (calypso)
Always with ah choung choung on ah guitar, (calypso)
Not for hell yuh cyar win the Mardi Gras, (calypso)
They tell you that you could sing calypso
Yuh fooling yuh self in case you eh know
An' outa the blues she tell meh this eh no sport
Let calypso come an' wash them dirty jockyshorts

Ah tell yuh this wife of mine she not easy
Trying she best to send meh crazy
Forever taking off string from meh guitar
Telling meh I buss them an' cyar remember
She does wait until she feel that I composing
Start throwing down wares real hard hard in the kitchen
And whey ah sitting down, come sweeping around
Telling me get ah black smith an' pound meh tongue

But me eh see yuh calypso do nothing for you, (calypso)
An' in the night ah cyar get a good night is true, (calypso)
Always with ah choung choung doh make meh cuss
Between you an' Rex West doh know who wuss, (calypso)
Telling meh that is calypso but yuh lie
Is dem woman and dem whey bunning yeh eye
An' outa' the blue ah get the shock ah meh life
Yuh go use the hole in yuh guitar when you want wife

You know the nice thing about this song? The season I sang that we didn't get paid. That was with 'VINTAGE'; we eh get no pay. (Laughter).

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