“Mighty Sparrow” happy to be in Dominica

The Mighty Sparrow will be inducted in the Calypso “Kaiso” Hall of Fame
The Mighty Sparrow will be inducted in the Calypso “Kaiso” Hall of Fame

The incomparable, legendary Dr. Slinger “Mighty Sparrow” Francisco, who will be among the four to be honoured at the Calypso “Kaiso” Hall of Fame on Friday (January 29), said it feels good to be back in Dominica to receive such an honour.

The 80-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago arrived on island last evening and was welcomed as a VIP guest by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

‘Mighty Sparrow’ who spoke exclusively to Dominica News Online (DNO) on Thursday said Dominica is one of the countries he always had a special love for.

“Being honoured, I like that, especially in a place like here, this place reminds me of my dream castle,” he said. “Dominica is one of the countries I have always liked. I have had some very good friends over the years, even the years I have not been coming, these guys were my friends still.”

He mentioned former Calypso King Deryck “De Hunter” St Rose as one who continues giving him support along with other calypsonians on the island.

He has many fond memories of Dominica and has seen improvements on the island.

“The roads are much better than it was back then and all the buildings and so people are improving on the houses,” he stated.

His advice to the young calypsonians, “if in case you don’t succeed, try and try again, don’t give up, don’t cry.”

“Not everybody is going to succeed the first time, try to understand that,” he noted.

He also encouraged calypsonians to continue singing calypso throughout the year and not only during the Calypso season. “Because somebody will recognize your talent along the way and who knows when the next season come you will be coming in with the experience that perhaps you needed the first time.”

“Because somebody will recognize your talent along the way and who knows, when the next season come you will be coming in with the experience that perhaps you needed the first time,” he stated.

The Mighty Sparrow, also had some words for Carnival lovers saying they should enjoy themselves but not over do it while partying.

“Because you don’t the partying spirit to take over and you misbehave,” he added.

Mighty Sparrow sang his first big hit, “Jean and Dinah” in 1956, followed by “Carnival Boycott” in 1957.

He is an 11-time winner of the calypso monarch title in Trinidad and Tobago, adding to his Carnival Road March titles.

He is also a self-taught guitar player and began writing his own songs from the time he was able to speak, he said.

The other candidates for the Hall of Fame are Chief Judge, Patrick “Pembo” Pemberton, Treasurer of the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA), Kelly “Ras Kelly” William and Calypso Commentator, Osborne “Ossie” Lewis and Roosevelt “Mico” Williams holding the record for the highest number of calypso titles in the history of Dominica calypso.

The event will take place at the Fort Young Hotel from 6:00 pm.

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40 Comments

  1. 4cars
    February 2, 2016

    He is “Sparrow.” Did he flew down here?

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    January 31, 2016

    “The 80-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago arrived on island last evening and was welcomed as a VIP guest by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

    Add to that he is a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago; however, do not forget he is a Grenadian by birth! And the man has to like Dominica, since he was able to take a very beautiful Dominica yellow woman with him back to Trinidad after a performance in Dominica in the 1960’s eh!

    Some even believe his smashing calypso hit “Obeah Wedding” in the 1960’s was all about her!

    Maybe she was the bag of sugar he sang about also; when he said ” She got a bag of sugar down da.” I have to ask me mudam welfare queen Elizabeth bout dat, cause she knows, she like all him calypsos oui!

  3. ATKINSON
    January 30, 2016

    I would like to see Sparrow sing his hit song “Dead or Alive” with Patrick John also sing alone with him. All the other leaders sparrow name in the song are gone “The Shah, Eric Gairy, Idi Amin, Somasa, Ian Smith, Eric Williams” So that would be Nostalgic. And at the end “Tony” serving sparrow with legal paper suing him :mrgreen:

  4. peaceful
    January 29, 2016

    How old is sparrow?

    • Negbwa
      January 29, 2016

      Read before you comment

    • Face the Facts
      January 30, 2016

      Good question. :lol: I think he is in his late 70’s or early 80’s.

    • LALA
      February 3, 2016

      DIDNT YOU READ THE ARTICLE?

  5. Doc. Love
    January 29, 2016

    It is unfortunate my right to express his opinion has been dumped in Skeritt’s garbage bin. All I did was to comment that Sparrow sang a song telling the world that former Prime Minister Patrick John was a wanted man. For that, I was called a fool, stupid, playing politics and a hater of Sparrow. As far as some people are concerned, calypso is a culture thing, it was just a calypso of the times. If this was the case then, why all the criticism when our very own King Dice sang about Skeritt and the alleged corruption and sales of Diplomatic Passports to crooks and criminals. If fact, a former press secretary of the Government publicly called Dice’s song, my Dominica trade house.com, rubbish.

  6. January 29, 2016

    Sparrow you are loved. Nice see you looking so much better. Thanks to youtube I enjoy your songs on the weekends. God Bless

    • Face the Facts
      January 30, 2016

      He is a brilliant person who composed and sang some excellent, winning calypsos. He took especially the West Indies/Caribbean by storm. The music is also enjoyed to today and always will in years to come.
      He has been a great influence on all those who emulated him in the calypso field.
      As you also know he has been very sick. He is a man with nine-lives or more. :lol:

  7. Madeleine
    January 29, 2016

    ////

    Boy, mister, looking good for 80 eh, saw him last year whilst in Antigua for Carnival, he can pass for 60.

  8. Shaka Zulu
    January 29, 2016

    Sparrow, the standard to which calypso compositions and renditions are measured. Privileged to have personally met this legend while he is still alive. He is afterall our brahms, our Betoveen, our Frank Sinatra our west Indies legend whoes music will leave on long after we are gone and whoes songs I hope one day will be studied in poetry classes. They were funny, provocative, seriously intelligent, full of social commentary and some even had wisdom from my grandmother. He is my all time favorite.

  9. January 29, 2016

    welcome sparrow wishing you the best of health also looking good

  10. anonymous2
    January 29, 2016

    He is one of the original Calypsonians that is still alive.

  11. Floridian diaspora
    January 29, 2016

    The mighty Sparrow should not have come to Dominica as a calypsonian ambassador bearing in mind that this Labor regime is seeking to prosecute all calypsonians that sing against their government. Our freedom of speech has been taken away from us.

  12. January 29, 2016

    Sparrow the best ever.Allways visite Seemoon club in Massacre after his show .Love that checken…

  13. Face the Facts
    January 28, 2016

    Mighty Sparrow, welcome to Dominica!
    As a teenager, I first attended one of you shows in D/ca. A family friend took a few of us to your show. This was the first time I tasted “a beer.” I did not like it; never had a taste of liquor then. I had a sip and placed the rest under the table. This was the end of that beer. I have never forgotten it. :lol:
    I enjoyed the show which was well attended.
    You look well. I have heard of your illness. Pleased to know you are much better
    A few years ago I read you commenced singing Gospel songs. How great! I am impressed. God has a way of enlightening His children.
    I assume God wants talented souls in Heaven. :lol: One day, a voice as yours will loudly proclaim and sing among others, “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace” among relevant songs/hymns, praising God. :)
    There is no doubt that Dominicans love you and are great fans. Enjoy your stay in Dominica. Keep well. God bless you with health and strength.

  14. KID ON THE BLOCK
    January 28, 2016

    After a time is another, tan fer tan, tan kitay tan Jah guidance BIRDY!

  15. Bettie
    January 28, 2016

    DNO, Slinger Francisco aka, “The Mighty Sparrow” is not from Trinidad. He is Grenadian but spent a lot of time in Trinidad.

    • ATKINSON
      January 30, 2016

      Now he is an American residing in Queens :-D

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      January 31, 2016

      He did not just spend a lot of time in Trinidad, he literally grew up in Trinidad, and went into Calypso around the age of 18 years old or there about, was so young then he was referred to as “the little boy.

      Those days I was still walking without any pants and bare feet oui!

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

  16. Songbird2
    January 28, 2016

    Did you all know that Sparrow has always had close ties with Dominica? As a young man he was hanging out in DA all the time. He was also engaged to a Dominican girl they called Bew back then and hence the song, Obeah Wedding. Just a little history. If you don’t believe me, you can always ask him.

  17. GrandBayrian
    January 28, 2016

    The Mighty Sparrow! We like it so. Thanks for all the great calypso songs. “Elaine and Harry always in misery” ,”She sits on me” “Only a fool breaks his own heart” “salt Fish” Yes I know they were way before I was born., Yet they are my favorites . May the Good Lord continue to bless you.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      February 1, 2016

      “Only a fool breaks his own heart”

      That was not a calypso; that song fell into the category of pop music, and he did not write that song that song was written and made popular by someone in the one of the United States, I do not recall the recording artist name.

      Lots of Jamaicans recorded it also; that came about with another popular one he did “The hackle-bop” He did that one after spending some time in the US. Only a Fool Brakes His own heart made it number one in England, and stayed at the top of the pop chart for a months!

      I love all of his songs my favorite one is “Ten to One is Murder” I also like the one , came out in 1959, My next favorite is the one which the chorus goes “anytime we meet man to man is blood and sand” I think the title of that one is: Am a Rebel!

  18. Doc. Love
    January 28, 2016

    Mighty Sparrow might be happy to be in Dominica, but former Prime Minister Patrick John might not be so happy that he is in Dominica. Mr. John might forgive him but I doubt he will forget the nasty songs he sang about him. Remember, “Patrick John is a wanted man.”

    • world peace
      January 28, 2016

      Doc. Love you are mistaken, it is just calypso, just singing and a record of history and besides Patrick John was a calypso writer so he knows how these things work. Dominican just like to make much ado about nothing

    • Not So Fast
      January 28, 2016

      Stupes speak to what you know Doc Love. Sparrow is actually one of PJ’s favourite and he was never that petty. First of all the song WAS NOT ABOUT PJ it was about social issues across the globe and PJ was one of those mentioned as wanted man.. Some of you just sick

      • ATKINSON
        January 30, 2016

        The song “Dead or Alive” was about the rise and fall of dictatorship

    • Face the Facts
      January 28, 2016

      Mighty Sparrow sang on everyone possible. If you are in his company and he knows and associates with you, you have to be beware. I do think all calypsonians have that tenancy. They love making songs on people. Well, as long as they keep it clean. :lol:
      You know, the words of Mighty Sparrow’s calypsos were a bit diplomatic. Listeners have to read between the lines to comprehend them, which they did.

      • Haha
        January 29, 2016

        Yh like the reigning king karessah

      • Face the Facts
        January 30, 2016

        “tendency”.
        I had a conversation with a few people about words changing and disappearing. I was informed it has to do with the system – not mine. The system changes it, thinking the word which was typed is an error.
        What type of system is that? It cannot read what the writer meant, the intention and sense of it. This is a flaw in it.
        When typing errors are noted which may make no sense, it is not always the fault of the writer. I am a perfectionist (not exalting myself) :lol: and ever so careful what I write.
        There are times I observe the error and change it. I ask myself, how could this be changed? I did not type that! This is a flaw in the system which should be changed by the one who devised the system. This person should be exposed for incompetence. People purchase these types of systems and they are not flawless. They should be.
        Imagine typing “tendency” and it is changed to “tenancy.” It is ridiculous and downright an error, not on my part.

    • January 29, 2016

      yes you just had to put politics in it you just one of the haters the man sing a song was a great song you stupid insensible fool.

    • Sams Gutter
      January 29, 2016

      This just shows how petty and simple minded some Dominicans are. Calypso is an art form is social commentary and just that. To think some people want to ban Sparrow from DA fro a song he sang almost 40 years ago is asinine??????

    • January 29, 2016

      Suggest you drop your political nonsense and enjoy your Canival Season, Mr. John knew back then Sparrow was singing about those times and not against him personally .

  19. the fly
    January 28, 2016

    Wellcome home Mr Sparrow, long time no see we last last met in London hammersmith townhall then at Newtown Dominica all the best to get you God bless.

  20. Ideal
    January 28, 2016

    Sparrow my man, you still looking good. I am so glad you are feeling and doing better than a year or two ago. May god continue to bless and guide you So sorry I cant be there to see your sexy self…Love you Sparrow

  21. Knowing better
    January 28, 2016

    The 80-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago arrived on island last evening and was welcomed as a VIP guest by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    The 80-year-old from Grenada who relocated to T& T arrived on island last evening and was welcomed as a VIP guest by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  22. nonamegal
    January 28, 2016

    Sparrow looks better than me at the age of 80. yes I, congrats!!

  23. January 28, 2016

    Long live the best calypsonian …Sparrow we love you,take care of yourself… :-D

  24. Just Saying
    January 28, 2016

    Seeing this man perform is on my bucket list.

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