Veteran calypsonian Winston Scarborough, popularly known as De Original DeFosto, likened Trinidad and Tobago to a woman telling her story on her 50th anniversary. Having heard her trials and triumphs, he penned a composition about them: In Tribute to Dr (Eric Eustace) Williams: An Oath To Her (T&T). The song earned him a spot in the semis of the Lord Brynner National Calypso Competition which took place at Palms Club, San Fernando, yesterday. He is a top contender for the top ten places in the finals on August 25 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. Interviewed on Wednesday, Scarborough said: "The song is about Mother Trinbago speaking to me about the good and the bad she has endured. This is a woman crying out in joy and sorrow. She is sharing her story with me. She is 50. She is reflecting on her experiences...her milestones. I am documenting it in song." As Mother Trinbago's narrative unfolds, she reflects upon the contribution of her other four prime ministers: the late George Chambers, ANR Robinson, Patrick Manning and Kamla Persad-Bissessar. She was wounded by the 1990 attempted coup and governments morphing into kleptocracies. On the flip side, she celebrates icons like Olympic medallist Hasely Crawford, the Soca Warriors football team and indigenous cultural expressions like calypso, pan and tassa.
As expected, Williams, who was labelled the "Father of the Nation" for leading it to Independence status on August 31, 1962, dominates the storytelling. Quizzed on his inspiration, Scarborough said: "I am a patriot. I believe in T&T. That was the greater incentive. It is a tribute to Mother Trinbago. It is a tribute to Dr Williams and Dr Capildeo. They led us to independent status." Patting himself on the back, Scarborough listed several of his other nation-building songs including Could We Rise Again, Palace State of Mind, Trinbago Hold On and Reflections of the late Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams. He said: "I always sing tributes. I like to write nation-building songs. I won nation-building competitions in the 80s. This song is a lagniappe. It reflects the country for 50 years. It is a landmark in the nation's history."
About Winston Scarborough
The Morvant resident was raised at the St Mary's Children's Home, in Tacarigua. There he honed his skills as a trombone player and musician. His best placings were second at the Dimanche Gras finals in 2000 with Pan Forever More and One More Kitch One More. In 2007, he sang Police Money. He has worked closely with Mt Lambert-based arranger Leston Paul. The late Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) is his favourite mentor. Yet a major national title remains elusive. He said: "I could never emerge the victor. I am not counting my chickens before they are hatched but I'm giving it my best shot. I am looking forward to the finals."
An excerpt from LYRICS FOR
An Oath to Her
They took an oath to protect this nation at all cost
Since 62 hear me
They took an oath to see her become a mighty force grow gracefully
It was Dr Williams and Dr Capildeo
Now today she turn 50
Telling me about her story
She say she had five men
In charge of her beauty
Dey say Chambers was too duncy
Just say they kick put poor Robbie
and Panday used to tell she
Ask your mother young lady
She said Manning had a hold on she and twice he let her go
Now on her 50th anniversary is a woman running the show