The Virgin Islands has a new Calypso Monarch as Patrick “Soljah” Farrel dethroned the reigning
King, Campbell “King Kan” Barnes at the Lionel Roberts Stadium on Thursday night, April 18,
2013, to the delight of the large crowd. Eleven Calypsonians competed for the coveted title in
two rounds of battle, with topics that covered everything that is a concern in the Virgin Islands
including politics, economics, crime, corruption and salaries.
In his first selection entitled “Gun Man Culture”, Soljah sang about gun violence and the need for gun control. Dressed in a white suit, his message rang out loud and clear. At the end of his song, he asked the audience to release their white balloons, which had been distributed, as a symbol for world peace. His second song, ‘Sing Soljah Sing” had the audience cheering loudly, as he mentioned everything affecting the Virgin Islands, including politicians, the closing of businesses, violence, high bills, sexual harassment claims, rumors concerning former senators and the eight percent salary cut. The crowd cheered even louder when he included in his lyrics, the resignation of the Commissioner of Education which had just recently occurred. He sang that his fans had urged him “to sing ‘bout everything, long time we’re looking for a true king.” He also urged everyone to take out their Bible and get on their knees and pray. He encouraged the audience to urge him on by singing the words “sing”. He poked at King Kan by stating that the crown would not be going back to St. Croix on the seaplane. At the end of his performance a large shining crown was brought on stage, which once again brought the audience to their feet. Soljah was also awarded Most Improved Calypsonian.
Another crowd favorite was Toby “Toby Dee” Derima, who was declared First Runner Up. In his humorous first selection “1,2,3,4”, he played with the number four which made it seem like a curse word, and he had the audience laughing and raising their fingers as he sang the numbers one to four. He wore a lion costume for his second song “Ah Fraid”, in which he told about being afraid to sing about the government and corruption because he did not want to lose his job or get sent to jail. There was no dispute when he received the award for Most Humorous Calypsonian.
The Second Runner Up was Cedric “King Spade” Brookes, who was also a crowd pleaser. In his first selection “Talk to Pablo”, he sang that if you wanted to know how to succeed in business, you must “talk to Pablo”, because only the businesses controlled by the people from Santo Domingo such as the whorehouses seem to be succeeding. His second song “Teach the Children” was about teaching the children to pray because they are all going astray. Holding up a Bible, he sang that this is the only way to beat down Satan. Spade also received the award for Best Social Commentary.
The other Calypsonians who competed were Campbell “King Kan” Barnes, who sang “House Divided” and “De Sheriff in Town”, Julien “Sarrow” George, with his songs “Cash for Gold” and “Why Everything is a Gun”, Samuel “Mighty Pat”, Ferdinand, who won the award for Best Political Satire, with his selection “Spit in they Mouth”, which was another crowd favorite, and he also sang “Some ah dem Policemen”. Also competing were Ashley “Ashanti” George who sang
“White Collar” and “Who don’t hear does Feel”, Jacqueline “Singing Jackie” Leader, the only female contender, “the rose among the thorns”, with her songs “Edit the Story” and “Ah Didn’t Know”, Myrel “Super T” Tonge, with “Foggy Bus Line” and “More Money for Wapa”, and Morris “Generic” Benjamin, with his selections “Letter of Resignation” and “Return of the Dread I”.
The Virgin Islands Calypso Monarch Competition was co-sponsored by Innovative and Guardian Insurance.
The Master of Ceremonies was the very funny George “Culture Man” Silcott, who kept the show moving and had the audience laughing throughout the night. Musical Accompaniment was provided by Spectrum Band with added brass for the occasion.
Congratulations are extended to all of the participants for their great performances. It was a night for the lovers of pure Calypso, a night where a new Monarch emerged.
“A Tropical Scene for 2013” was brought to the Schneider Regional Medical Center on Monday, April, 2013, as the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee gave the patients and other members of the community a taste of this year’s festivities. There was standing room only in the hospital’s lobby, with those patients who were able to be brought downstairs. The parking lot was also crowded with members of the community of all ages. This was the only opportunity that most of the patients would get to experience 2013 Virgin Islands Carnival.
The evening’s entertainment featured a variety of groups that will be participating in this year’s Carnival Parade. These included three Majorettes groups, namely Sebastian, Charming Twirlers and St. Thomas Majorettes, who each performed unique and energetic routines. Other participating groups included young and more experienced Quadrille Dancers, the ever popular Tropical Masqueraders, Calypsonians, the young and very promising Addelita Cancryn 21st Century Band and perennial favorites, the Indians.
The audience was also introduced to this year’s Carnival Royalty, Queen Adisha Penn and her Court, and Princess LaZonique Phillip. Other Royalty was also in attendance.
From the reaction of new Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Regional Medical Center, Bernard Wheatley, a local resident, it was obvious that he thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.
Milo’s Kings provided musical entertainment for the event. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Lisa Wynne-Magnuson.
Special thanks are extended to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority for the excellent decorations and lighting of the facility. This was a great improvement from the previous years, and the high visibility enhanced the safety factor that was a great concern, as the crowd gets larger each year. Special thanks are also extended to Mr. Roland Henderson and his Company for donating their time and expertise for the construction of the stage.
It is always commendable when the entire community is involved in Carnival, and giving this opportunity to those persons who would otherwise be unable to view or participate in the festivities is a priority of the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee.