Trinis have a way of rising to every occasion, taken the best and worst situations and turning them into memorable works of art. Reigning National Calypso Monarch, Karene Ashe and her talented songwriter, Christophe Grant, have done just that.The dynamic duo have breathed new life into Ashe's 2011 winning selection, Uncle Jack, with an updated version called Uncle Jack 2 - Fifa. This account chronicles the saga of former FIFA jefe and Works Minister Jack Warner and the international bribery scandal.
The prophetic composition, which may very well go down as a classic in the local history books, is now on everyone's lips as the song has taken the airwaves by storm. In an interview, Ashe was bubbling with excitement. "After that whole bacchanal in London, (referring to allegations of corruption by British Lord Triesman against Warner) Christophe Grant decided to do two verses, but then as it continued, he said he saw some potential there. He said 'this is going to be big', encouraged me to try it. I said I was open to it, and he wrote an entire song and said 'lets do it,' so we did.
"And it is very successful. People are calling me, saying well done. I am getting a lot of text messages congratulating me," the Port-of-Spain City Corporation Public Health employee said. When the song was recorded, Warner had not yet resigned as vice president of FIFA and from CONCACAF an CFU. However, hours after this decision was made public, Grant added another verse taking this development into account. Ashe admitted that three weeks ago she did the recording from looking at the lyrics on paper.
"I don't know it by heart as yet. I have to learn the words because people are asking for it. I have some cramming to do."
She said she will be performing at the ABC tent in London on July 10, and hopes to do both versions there. She also has a number of other local and overseas engagements, which are being handled by her manager, so the tune is in demand. Asked about her first few months as the first $2 million National Calypso Monarch, Ashe responded, "very nice, but tiring. I am enjoying every bit of it."
UNCLE JACK Part 2 (abridged)
It was a year after de election,
As they celebrating their success,
There came de strangest allegation,
T&T name calling in commess;
Yes, CNN describe,
Lacouray and bribe,
Going down in sweet Trinidad;
People say they shame,
For their country's name
In de bacchanal,
Who name you think they call... eh?
Our own Vice President of FIFA,
The most popular Works Minister,
They did raise all kinda talk bout Ethics,
But Senior Counsel said - "No Conflict";
Well once more football,
Mixed up with bobol,
PNM start to crow,
Hear dem ... Didn't we tell you so ...
So who we talking bout
Let me hear you shout...
They want him to swing,
De Minister of Everything...
Now according to England's Lord Triesman,
FIFA is corrupt as a rule,
When they went down to de Caribbean,
He say Warner ask him – "build a school";
Jack in his defence,
Ask – Where de evidence,
These allegations are most unfair;
De school came up ...but,
When I showed them the spot,
The intent was clear,
I thought they would volunteer ...
So how could they accuse him of bribery,
When he was just looking for Charity,
He never ask... he didn't demand it,
So this bribery talk, he can't understand it;
Jack prepare to swear,
His conscience is clear,
De man is no saint,
But his good name they out to taint