August 18, 2018

Sparrow Come Back
RCA Victor 1962



Later beter bekend als Mighty Sparrow begon Slinger Francisco
zijn carrière onder de naam Sparrow. Het was de gewoonte dat
zangers rustig stonden als ze zongen. Slinger echter schudde met
z’n lichaam waarop hij de bijnaam ‘Mus’ kreeg welke vervolgens
een eigen leven ging leiden. Deze plaat is uit 1962, een periode
van grote populariteit voor de jonge Sparrow. Rond 1961 was hij
nog King gekroond. Mighty Sparrow is nu 83 jaar en nog steeds
actief. Acht jaar geleden heb ik hem nog zien optreden. Ook
toen nog kon de oude man z’n onderlichaam niet stil houden..

Later better known as Mighty Sparrow, Slinger Francisco started
his career as Sparrow. Singers used to just stand still and sing but
the young Slinger kept moving his body which gave him the name
of Sparrow. This record is from 1962, just after he had lost the title
of King in 1961. It was a period of great popularity though. Mighty
Sparrow now reached the age of 83 and is still active. I saw him in
the Amsterdam Paradiso eight years ago. The old man was even
then flirting with his public, making obscene moves all the time..

tracks ;

01 – Federation
02 – Hangman’s cemetery
03 – Smart bajan
04 – Robbery with V
05 – B.G. war
06 – Renegades
07 – Take your bundle and go
08 – No. 69
09 – Wahbeen and grog
10 – Sparrow come back


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  1. anon 18 August 2018 at 12:37 - Reply

    Thanks so much! A great one i’ve been looking for. ‘Take your bundle and go’, ‘Robbery with V’ and ‘Sparrow come back’ are probably the pick – songs that you regularly see on the compilation albums or reworked versions.

    ‘Robbery with V’ in particular is an important one with a bit of a story. In response to Sparrow losing his Calypso King crown, he takes the melody of the winning song that beat him (the Mighty Dougla’s ‘lazy man’) and rewords it to slam both the judges and the Calypsonian who beat him to the crown.

    First verse: “They want a new king. They will do anything. They don’t like the way i sticking up for money – if I don’t get paid I ain’t singing for nobody. They decide to clip my wing and put an obstacle there as king. A man with no originality, no stage personality. They trying to make me look small. All he have is a deep croon, but he wouldn’t change the tune at all. This song that song, same melody. No variety. If you don’t believe me you could ask anybody if it ain’t robbery with V”


    • Moos 18 August 2018 at 20:53 - Reply

      Exactly my thought Anon, ..Ouch indeed, but although he may have
      been right about the Mighty Douglas’ qualities, he was not really
      showing good sportsmanship and proves himself a bad loser.
      He really knew how to put his finger on the spot though..

  2. Alex 18 August 2018 at 19:48 - Reply

    Hi Moos, I will be in Amsterdam next weekend. I was wondering if you would be out at the flea market. It would be really cool to meet in person, as you are pretty much solely responsible for my obsession with African music. Let me know!


  3. Anonymous 20 August 2018 at 13:27 - Reply

    Not really bad sportsmanship, just calypso. The winner of the 1986 crown, David Rudder, was mocked in song soon after by the 2nd place winner, The Mighty Gypsy.

    Rudder’s winning song for 1985

    Gypsy’s mocking response

    Gypsy’s 2nd place song was The Sinking Ship. It’s a masterful calypso about the country’s mismanagement by inept politicians.


  4. Anonymous 20 August 2018 at 13:44 - Reply

    Speaking of masterful calypsos, here’s one of the best ever. One to look for.
    Progress – King Austin (1980)

    Written by Winsford Devines.

    Today when I look around in the world, what do i see
    I see footprints that man have left on the sand
    While waking through times
    I see fruits of our ambitions
    Figments of our imaginations
    And I ask myself, when will it end, when will it end

    It is plain to see universally this land is not bountiful as it was
    Simply because in its quest for success
    Nothing stands in man’s way
    Old rivers run dry, soon the birds wouldn’t fly
    The mountains will be no longer high
    And when I really think of it
    I does wonder why, oh why

    I see charity deplored, equal rights totally ignored
    Wisdom and ingenuity working in accord, simply to afford
    Such inventions as total nuclear warfare and environmental warfare
    And I wonder now, where do we go from here

    Prophets everywhere gaze upon the horizon and declare that judgment will come
    As the savage hands of unscrupulous men defile everything pass by
    Time is running out as we eat and drink species at the brink of being extinct
    And I think no one can deny that the price of progress is high, real high

    I see consciousness as bait, as today we live recklessly
    Money, lately goes inflate and thereby create a turbulent state
    I see a struggle between the sexes
    New hang-ups and old complexes
    Now the question is
    Right in context, what shall by next

    I’ve already seen this world have come divided between race, colour, creed
    and class
    And some of the things the scripture predict truthfully come to past
    Soil that wouldn’t bare
    Children making children to be a part of this growing mass
    And I ask, if this is progress ?
    How long will it last


  5. […] Sparrow Come Back 1962 Sparrow 1959 The Calypso Genius vol. 1 1966 Calypso Carnival 1968 […]

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