Mudcat Café message #1969180 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30431   Message #1969180
Posted By: John on the Sunset Coast
15-Feb-07 - 08:17 PM
Thread Name: What's the difference between calypso and reggae?
Subject: RE: What's the diff btwn calypso and reggae?
Calypso is a wonderful music form. Not including an almost complete Belafonte catalog, I have about twenty each of CDs and LPs of this diverse music.
Often we think of calypso as singing accompanied by bongo drums and guitar, or even steel drums. There are early calypsos featuring multi-piece orchestras ala Lionel Belasco; there are calypso melodies without words. The best, for me, are like broadside ballads. Subjects might include protests against taxation and such; events like the abdication of the Edward VIII, the Graf Zeppelin's visit to Trinidad; FDR visiting Trinidad or natural disasters. There are songs about celebities like Bing Crosby, the Mills Bros., and even Adolf Hitler. Too, there are songs of love, requited and unrequited, usually in a humorous vein. There are religious calypsos, bawdy calypsos and everything in-between calypsos. If anyone is interested I can send a small discography of my collection; I have songs of many artists listed in posts above.
I have one small quibble with Amos. I do not think of Harry Belafonte as an archetype of this music, but more of a popularizer of it, sort of the Kingston Trio for Calypso. And thank God for that!