Satire in Calypso? How Ironic.
The musical genre of calypso serves many different purposes, like entertainment or self expression. However, one of calypso’s most interesting functions, in my opinion, is resistance. Why is this resistance so interesting? Well, it’s because this particular function is hidden within the music. Particularly, calypso was used to spread news and other important information, like political corruption, without being caught by their opposition. In order to do this, the artists had to strategically use their musical knowledge to mask these messages. The musical traits of calypso, like its upbeat feel and relaxing island sounds produced by the steel pan’s syncopation, connect to its context by masking its darker lyrics of political and social change, thus creating a witty and satirical song of resistance.