Tag Archives: Antigua music

Short Shirt’s Top 100

Appendix 5 of Nobody Go Run Me: the Life and Times of Sir Mclean Emmanuel by Dorbrene O’Marde

King Short Shirt’s Top 100 Songs of All Time on Radio ZDK (Broadcast Tuesday 28th February 2012 – His 70th Birthday)

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100 Antigua Will Redeem (1972)

99 Antigua (1962)

98 No Place like home (1964)

97 The World needs love (1969)

96 Labour Day Night (1970)

95 Run Short Shirt Run (1963)

94 Starvation (1974)

93 Love Lifted Me (1997)

92 Believer (1978)

91 The World in Distress (1986)

90 What we gonna do (1979)

89 Miss Yvette (1975)

88 Josephine (1969)

87 No Promises (1976)

86 Fighting (1974)

85 Black Like Me (1970)

84 European Common Market (1972)

83 Last Jouvert (1992)

82 Ghetto Vibration (1977)

81 Utopia (1973)

80 Tyranny (1977)

79 Iron Band (1983)

78 Racial Violence (1969)

77 Nudist Society (1970)

76 Symphony (1976)

75 Pac Man (1983)

74 Disco Dumpling (1980)

73 The Madness of it all (1977)

72 Leh we go (1975)

71 Bleeding Heart (2001)

70 When we are together (1981)

69 Reach for the sky (1977)

68 Me man you woman (1972)

67 Push back you bam bam (1966)

66 Lead on/Press on/Hang on (1975/79/83)

“Yield not your soul to fill your bowl

Better death than live a lie

For they must dry the sea

And they must move the sky

Before the righteous spirit die” (from Press On)


65 Taste it (1985)

64 Vengeance (1975)

63 Help (1980)

62 Legs (1988)

61 Children (1980)

60 After Midnight (1985)

59 Tell the truth (1995)

58 I surrender (1997)

57 Statehood (1967)

“We are the gem of the Caribbean

A very special link in the chain”

56 We have got to change (1981)

55 Yankee in Carnival (1970)

54 Technical School (1970)

53 Heart Transplant (1969)

52 The Message (2001)

51 Cry for a Change (1975)

50 Raycan (1970)

49 Star Black (1974)

48 Until (1985)

47 One people (2001)

46 Pull Together (1973)

45 Stand Up Grenada (1979) (actually Viva Grenada)

44 Anguilla Crisis (1969)

43 Jouvert Competition (1981)

42 Nationalism (1981)

41 Treat me nice (1969)

40 Dance from Antigua (1977)

39 Send you king (1974)

38 Viv Richards (1976)

37 We are the ones (1977)

36 Spirit of Carnival (1985)

35 Rock and Prance (1977)

34 Summer Festival (1980)

“Some are wearing tear up pajamas

Big boots and sneakers

With oversized trousers

Zip up panties

Half slip and nighties

Like if they don’t plan to go home”

33 Kangaroo Jam (1979)

32 Lucinda (1974)

31 Push (1982)

30 Jamming (1978)

29 Hari Kari (1987)

28 Jouvert Rhythm (1987)

27 Alive and Kicking (1982)

26 Uneasy Head (1978)

25 Benna Music (1978)

24 Nobody go run me (1976)

23 Illusion (1977)

22 Forward Together

21 Hand in Hand (1993)

20 This Land (1974)

19 Awake the Youths (1975)

18 Day of Reckoning (2003)

17 Not by Might (1979)

16 Heaven Help Mankind (1993)

15 Handwriting (2001)

14 True Antiguan (1987)

13 AIDS (1988)

12 Unity (1978)

11 Share the Honey (1992)

10 My Pride and Joy (2001)

9 Afro Antiguans (1972)

8 Love and Understanding (1977)

7 Power and Authority (1976)

6 When (1976)

5 Inspite of all (1976)

4 The Fire After (1988)

3 Lamentation (1973)

2 Our Pledge (1981)

1 Tourist Leggo (1976)

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Respect to the writers – Marcus Christopher, Shelly Tobitt, Fd, and Stanley Humphreys; and arrangers like Jagger Martin and others, and Short Shirt himself easily one of the more influential Antiguans and Barbudans of the 20th century – such was the power of his art. For more, see our songwriters database and our song lyrics database, as well as this Ghetto Vibes review, this and this review of O’Marde’s Nobody Go Run Me, which was longlisted in 2015 for the Bocas Prize.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards

King Obstinate is one of my favourite calypsonians, so when I came across this archival image from one of his iconic performances, I just had to share. What I remember of Obstinate as a kid is how fun his performances were from the big belly of Doing the Fat Man Dance to the pig tails and diapers of Children Melee and I think there was an elephant suit somewhere in there…this is back in the day when the calypso show was a theatre and I was still a kid losing myself in the illusion. Even then though I knew that Obstinate was also digging at deeper issues; I knew it in the power Believe had to bring tears to my eyes and in the way when he sang “sons of the soil also brought fame, proudly reclaim our true heroes name…” it made sense to us, perfect sense, when he called for a “Short Shirt village and Swallow town”. I remember grown folks cackling with glee as he dropped wud for the higher ups on songs like “Ah coming down to talk to you” at a time when few else (in fact few within and without the calypso arena dared to). Dropped wud for his rivals too. Antiguans will remember “Tiny t’rowing pompee-eye” at Short Shirt’s Wedding. Short Shirt may have been the Monarch (and remains my all time favourite) but Obsti didn’t pull punches. As he himself would later say “he sang the songs” of our lives. Here’re some in my top 10 favourites (or at least the favourites I could find on youtube, alas Believe, probably my all time favourite was nowhere to be found):

Wet Yuh Han’
Opening lines:
“Two woman cussing on Greenbay Hill
Ah go to work, come back, they cussing still …”

Antigua and Barbuda Independence
Opening lines:
“Oh land of peace, haven of rest
Antigua your shores are blessed
With the sweat of those who toiled
In bondage to till the soil”

Children Melee
Opening Lines:
“In a nursery little Tommy telling Sally (me nar lie, me nar lie)
Ah Bet you can’t tell me how me mammy get she baby (me nar lie, me nar lie)”

Ah Coming Down to Talk to You
Opening lines:
“Quite in Washington they bringing me the news
Mr. Bird it got me so confused
They say of all your picknee
You love Ivor the most
Because the others just waiting to take your post”

Shiny Eyes
Opening lines:
“I met this girl in St. Lucia, she had shiny eyes
I never thought I would lose her; she’s as pretty as the morning sky”

I’ll Always come back to you
Opening lines:
“Antigua and Barbuda ah wey me bury me navel string
And at an early age in the cane field ah start to sing”

Who Kill Me Sister
Opening lines:
“King Obstinate is asking who kill me sister Ethlyn
Right George, I’m asking: who kill me sister Ethlyn”

How will Santa Get here
Opening lines:
“Christmas is coming
Every child is hoping”

Get what you can get
Opening lines:
“Years ago when Antigua was young and no whole ton of money was around
Mi grandfather does say, water more than flour and tuppence ha’penny had plenty power”

Resurrection
Opening lines:
“King Obstinate I hear a voice cry
King Obstinate water in yuh eye”

It’s not for nothing that the four time Monarch and Sunshine Hall of Famer is known as the UNDEFEATED King Obstinate.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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