Merciless Calypso

I’m proud to bring our first calypso entry to La Pelanga. Calypso is of course the official music of Trinidad that goes back over 100 years and has it’s roots with French troubadours. The 1st time I heard this song by the Lara Brothers I knew instantly I needed to hear it again and again. Oddly the Lara Brothers are 1 of the most famous parang groups of Trinidad, (parang is a form of traditional Trini Christmas music ). I say odd because this song titled Sans Humanité (without mercy) is straight lyrical murder. These types of lyrics are more associated with Jamacian dancehall, (think Cutty Ranks’ “Limb by Limb”), but this song proceeds it by about 20 years.

Taken from an amazing 1971 National Geographic Society compilation filled with live recordings from local artists, 100 person steel pan bands and even school children. The recording is a bit wobbly, but I transcribed the lyrics for you to follow along. Be warned, this song is about as addictive as they come. Enjoy!

– Pozole

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Sans Humanite by Lara Brothers

Sans Humanite

No no no no no I say no
My answer is no
No no no no I say no
My answer is no
You may come with your rod of operation
No no no no consolation
Grieve and pain with bad education
Sans humanité

 

Man, I pity their condition
When they have no ammunition
For to fight with a lion in an open competition
In anticipation for the coming celebration
War, man, this is war and rebellion ’cause from me they shall suffer execution
For against me they use their bad diction
And I highly eloquent in the House of Parliament
Sans humanité

 

chorus

 

The very first day I sat on the throne
I caused every man to grumble and groan
Boy, you could hear my voice through the atmosphere
They thought I was an angel from heaven up there
So to fight will be agony
But I still got a community
(his crew that will go to battle with him)
I didn’t mean to carré
(an defensive position)
But I got my dignity
Sans humanité

 

chorus

 

Tell me what death would you like to die
For your crucifixion is drawing nigh
Tell me what death would you like to die
For your crucifixion is drawing nigh
I’ll give
you a crown out of old boxwood (a coffin)
And a gallon and a half
(refers to rum, used to bathe corpses back in the day)
it will do you good
And for your dirty behavior you’ll be buried as a pauper
Sans humanité

 

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