Three tracks from Side One of an LP on the Camille label of Barbados. 1973.
1. Garrot Bounce - Lord Nelson 2. Wet Your hands - King Obstinate 3. Sparrow Melody Horse Race - Lord Melody
"Carnival songs began to be called "calypsos" around 1900. The roots of calypso lie in African-Trinidadian stickfighting songs, drum dance songs and other folk traditions. Lead singers, or "chantwells," of Carnival songs performed both in the "yards" (headquarters) of masquerade bands and on the streets during the festival itself. Often they sang in French Creole, the vernacular language of the majority of Africans in Trinidad during the nineteenth century. By the turn of the century, however, some chantwells were singing Carnival songs in English, the language of the island's colonial rulers who had become more influential than the old French plantation owners.
The French Creole calypsos of working-class Trinidadians often had two line stanzas, sung by a chantwell and chorus in a call and response fashion. These songs were typically accompanied by pieces of bamboo used as percussion instruments. Meanwhile, the growing influence of the middle class in Carnival was reflected in the composition of English-language calypsos with four or eight line stanzas, which were perceived to be more sophisticated. These songs were generally accompanied by stringed instruments, associated with the musical traditions of nearby Venezuela. The lyrics of both types of calypsos of this era often included boasts and witty derision of rivals."