The Truth About Calypso Music

Selected Mighty Sparrow Lyrics

Jean and Dinah
Don't Go Joe
No Money, No Love
Obeah Wedding

Short Bio on Mighty Sparrow

Here Are the Best Calypso Options

There are two main styles of Calypso to be explore on CD. The first is the 1920-1940 period, which is covered nicely by Rounder Records and available through Amazon (see below). The other is the 1950's calypso from the legendary Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener among others. Kitchener and Sparrow songs have the most wit and humor of the Calypsonian's that I've heard. They're available on ICE records. There are several CD's for each artist, but volume one is superior in both cases. The 1950's calypso recordings sound more refined with much clearer vocals, but I still spend more time with the older recordings for reasons that are unclear to me. The above Mighty Sparrow lyrics all came from Mighty Sparrow volume one (Ice records). [Nora] [Doctor Kitch] [Tie Tongue Mopsy]

Note: The bastards at Amazon have arbitrarily sampled the first several tracks on each CD, so realize that those songs are not nearly the best examples from each CD.
Recommended Reading

And if you really want to learn about the history of Calypso music and carnival in Trinidad, the best book to get is Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music of Trinidad (1993). The paperback version is currently out of print, but if you're serious, you can still get the hardcover version which also comes with its own CD.

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