2. Jean and Dinah – Mighty Sparrow

Slinger Francisco (born 1935) is better known as Mighty Sparrow and the Calypso King of the World. He won Trinidad’s “Calypso Road March” eight times, “Calypso King/Monarch” eight times, and the “Calypso King of Kings” twice.

Jean and Dinah was a popular calypso in 1956. It was also the Mighty Sparrow’s first hit and the first of eight road marches. This song celebrates departure of the U.S. troops from Trinidad. The U.S had been given “rent-free” lease by the British on a parcel of land to hold as a navy base.

Teaching Points

This song can be used to teach a number of topics in Social Studies and History: mainly the rise of single parent households, the effects of prostitution, the effects of the World Wars on the Caribbean islands, the effects of colonization, and the rise of nationalization.

Song: Jean and Dinah

Lyrics: Jean and Dinah

Jean and Dinah
Rosita and Clementina
Round the corner posing
Bet your life is something they selling
And if you catch them broken
You can get em all for nothing
Don’t make no row, the yankees gone
Sparrow take over now

Well the girls in town feeling bad
No more Yankees in Trinidad
They going to close down the base for good
Them girls have to make out how they could
Brother is now they park up in town
In for a penny, and in for a pound
Believe me its competition for so
Trouble in the town when the price drop low
So when you bounce up

Things bad is to hear them cry
Not a sailor in town, the night clubs dry
Only West Indians like me or you
Going to get a drink or two
And as we have things back in control
Ah seeking revenge with me heart and soul
Brother when I spread the news around
Is to see how them cave men come into town
Just doh make mischief

It’s the glamour boys again
We are going to rule Port of Spain
No more Yankees to spoil the fete
Dorothy have to take what she get
All of them who used to make style
While they taking two shillling with a smile
No more hotel to rest your head
By the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread

Source: Musixmatch