Trinidad calypsonian blasts ‘De Bear’ for backing down

Keithroy “De Bear” Morson has been blasted by a prominent Trinidadian calypsonian for altering the words to his song The Judgment.

WinstonGypsyPeters, who is also the minister of Arts and Multiculturalism in Trinidad and Tobago, hammered Morson for his decision to back down while speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Big Issues programme yesterday.

“I condemn the calypsonian and I would not have changed not one word if that’s what I wanted to sing.

“The calypsonian should continue to do what he has to do and let the goodly judge do whatever she believes is right for her and let the chips fall where they may,” Peters said.

The T&T calypsonian is concerned that De Bear’s decision to try avoiding the courts will allow a dangerous example to be set that could damage the art form.

“It is an attack on the arts, I agree, and it is an attack on the freedom of expression and that should not be allowed through the artistic fraternity to happen at all because that sets a precedent not only in Antigua but it will somehow set a precedent throughout the Caribbean,” Peters added.

Gypsy also decried the blunt way in which many contemporary calypsonians seek to get across their message.

“A real calypsonian would find some way around everything they have said there (about the offensive of words).

“A lot of the writers now are very upfront and forthright in what they are saying and the artistry in saying things without saying it is somewhere lost in the writings of some composers today and if we had that kind of thing back in the writing then this may very well never have been,” Peters said.

The Trinidadian minister of Arts and Multiculturalism also went on to suggest that there may have been an ulterior motive behind the threatened action.

“I don’t know which judge or which lawyer in their wisdom would be so foolish as to try restrict or in some way muzzle what they are saying what they want in a free society. I could not understand for the life of me why anybody would try to muzzle a calypsonian.

“If a judge could be so peeved as to want to take legal action against a calypsonian for singing about some decision that they have made then there might very well be something in the mortar other than the pestle,” Peters said.

Meanwhile, Morson’s lawyer Leon Chaku Symister said he too wished De Bear had not changed his song.

“I would have preferred he leave it alone and let it follow its course because that is the way you are going to defend the art form,” Symister said.

Morson made the adjustments to his song after receiving a letter from lawyers representing Justice Louise Blenman that warned criminal charges would be brought against him for slandering the judge in the song.

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16 thoughts on “Trinidad calypsonian blasts ‘De Bear’ for backing down

  1. Da Bear, you did the right thing because, trust me, you would have been left to face the music alone in court.

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  2. Big Joe your commend contradicts what Gypsy said. When asked about performing if he was in charge of carnival he stated that is a clear conflict of interest and so he would not do that. The Antiguan situation was explained to him with Name and he stated that to him is a conflict of interest.

    NC, All I am saying is if Chaku is sure this is not slander and it is an attack against the art, then simply offer his services for free.If Da Bear refuses since we have not heard a word from Caricom man, Chaku can publicly offer his services for free to Caricom man since he so believes in it. Doing this would show us all that he is not all just hot wind.

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  3. @ Big Joe-Actually Gypsy said that as cultural minister he will now compete in competitions because it will be a conflict of interest. He said that Namba is in a conflict of interest situation.

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  4. Tenman, maybe you should repeat what Chaku said, because I don’t remember hearing him saying or encouraging anyone to slander.

    De Bear had to find a solution that was best for him, we can spin it any way we want it, this was about him. What I didn’t like was the fact that the Judge or her lawyers had to read and approve the second song, before it was put on air. That should never happen and I hope that De Bear ensure that it doesn’t repeat itself.

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  5. To all bloggers on this issue, i think you all need to do some serious reading of regional and int’l news, and listen to calypsoes by Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes, Cro-cro, Pink panther and Gypsy. Two weeks ago i referenced Gypsy as the cultural minister in T&T who never stopped singing or competing in calypso competitions, but the majority here saw Namba’s efforts as a conflict of interest.

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  6. Well said my fellow posters’. I hope from here on the calypsonians in A&B will definitely alter the way they write songs and do justice to the art-form.

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  7. The cultural minister of T&T can say what he wants, this is A&B, and our cultural minister (namba) defended the Judge instead of De Bear or the Art Form because, judging from the comments he made, De Bear was hung out to dry and left to go it alone. The saying “HIND SIGHT IS BETTER THAN FORE SIGHT” is true, but in this case Fore sight is BETTER than hind sight. Many who are in defence of (Bear) singing the original song are only setting him up for a downfall and ruin; these are the same folks who when push comes to shove, would not so much as put out one red cent to help the young man fight his case. REMEMBER THE BROOKLYN SIX, for $50.00, something that could have been nipped in the bud, cost us dearly. De Bear, you did well, burry the hatchet, sing the other version and move on.

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  8. All talk. I listened to Chaku echoing the wrong sentiments of Gypsy. No one has the right to slander anyone. I then recalled Da Bear’s statement about not being able to deal with legal fees and such. Let me ask this who would most of the legal fees be paid to after all we are told by Chaku that they have a case that would be won? Since Chaku so believes in this case why did he not offer to forgo his legal fees? I grow tired of rhetoric that is full of sound and fury but essentially weak. I also share Joe joe’s sentiment about the lack of creativity today and no longer use of double meanings and other techniques to hide actual people’s names and actual circumstances.

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  9. well Gypsy said it but how much ppl would help the man if he get charge well he could sing and then go on the run

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  10. De Bear was overwhelmed. Imagine being sued by a Judge. I would be overwhelmed too. By intimating that De Bear is yellow bellied, is to be incapable of putting one’s self into another man’s shoes. I agree with Gypsie, Calypsonian and current Trinidad & tobago Cultural Minister, that the goodly Judge would have thought twice, maybe three times, before filing her suit in Trinidad or perhaps in other jurisdictions. The goodly judge is well aware that Antiguans are still rocked by her hand made decision and therefore have a soft under-belly, uncertain of throwing their full support behind De Bear. De Bear was right to change his lyrics to soothe the waters for his own peace of mind.
    He cannot afford to pull a DR.Paul on stage.

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  11. change is good July 12, 2010 at 08:27 - Reply

    I am of the view that the bear made the correct choice, he should not be beaten by the public. it’s not his fault if he is a yellow belly good for nothing worthless,dunce,two face confused individual. it is certainly not his fault. so i urge the public to give him a chance.

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  12. Well maybe De Bear felt all alone out there and intimidated with no cash to move forward. Was chaku going to defend him for free?
    I agree it would have been better but you never know what you would do when faced with adversity until you have faced it.

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  13. I agree with Gypsy that Calypsonians lack creativity today and no longer use double meanings and other techniques to hide actual people’s names and actual circumstances. De Bear and his writers need to listen to the song Ben Lion by the late Andre Tanker to hear what Gypsy is talking about. In that song Ben Lion is really Bin Laden and he also makes references to George W Bush and the Afghanistan war. He achieves this by singing about the characters in a jamming party atmosphers without calling their actual names. That is a brilliant calypso.

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  14. Since he changed the song, I would suggest he changes his his name
    Keithroy ‘ Yellow Belly Bear’ Morson.

    And that all I have to say about that….

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  15. SLANDER MY FOOT,SLANDER YOUR JUDGEMENT,SOME OF THEM BIG WIG OFF,ME TELL U REAL OFF,THEM WA,KILL THE ART FORM AR FEAR IN AR THEM MIND,ALL BIRD AR BIRD,HE, SHE ALL AR THEM BIRD, ME NA HAVE NOTTING TO HIDE,ME FOR ANTIGUA&BARBUDA,ME NA GET PAY SO ME NA HAVE NOTTING TO SAY,ALL THEM BIRD THAT FLY ROUND THE PLAY CAN DROP DEAD THAT WILL PLEASE ME,THEM MESS HARD TO CLEAN IT TAKE YR,THAT AR MY SONG SO ME WA THE CROWN. FOR CARNIVAL DO NOT BAND MY SONG

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