Jul 18, 2010

The Birdie could not Ramajay|Slinger Francisco


My friend Gail remarked that Sparrow gave her the 'freshcole' tonight; well she was not the only person who cried after seeing the mighty one fall from grace at NAPA in Port-of-Spain last night. 

Indeed it was a very strange night, and one that caused me to pause for a moment and take stock of my life. I witnessed something that simply broke my heart. I am a person who can reach the sappy realm very easily and tonight started out with fun and plenty ole talk and jubilation then extreme sadness swept over us like a raging tsunami crushing everything in its path.

There were many performances but Calypso Rose at age 70 performed like a tigress on the stage at NAPA in Trinidad. She was simply marvelous but then came the shock of the night that left everyone who witnessed it puzzled and dismayed. The greatest ever was announced and the expectation was high. I was pumped for the performance of the birdie. The King of Kings, the mighty one, Slinger Francisco was about to take the stage but then something strange happened.

Initially I thought it was part of the performance and the chair that the Mighty one was sitting on was part of a performance to come. This was not the case because the shell of the man sitting on the chair was not the debonair one, the man who could mash up de place... No, that was not Slinger Francisco! Something was wrong, maybe he was not feeling well, and why was he there in that state? It was sad indeed as the once master of the art form struggled to sing and could not do it the way he used to do it, with flair. The light and fire was gone from his eyes and his voice trembled as he struggled to keep pace with the music.

This was so sad and painful to watch. I believe that everyone watching the show noticed a determination, a great desire on his part to get the job done. The Mighty Sparrow had every intention of completing his stint on stage. At times it looked like he was meditating or taking a quick nap but he quickly got back in time with the music when he had his part to play.

This should not have taken place tonight. The mighty one should have been introduced to the crowd and with a supporting cast sang a few verses - nothing more. The fact that he needed to sit to perform should have been an indication to the promoters that this should have been handled differently.

We have to thank the Mighty Sparrow for the music he gave us, respect him for whom he is, give him his due and let him enjoy the show as a very, very special guest. It is obvious that he cannot perform again and we wish him well. May the Lion of the Calypso World live long, live strong and prosper with good health. Thank you for the music and wonderful memories... I am so confused after seeing this performance tonight...Enough.

Photo Source: http://www.wackradio901fm.com/

Updated 07/19/2010
The Trinidad Express in a report on the performance of the Mighty Sparrow at NAPA stated that "Sparrow, 75, who lives in New York, is suffering from diabetes, which continues to take a toll on his body".

Sparrow's wife, Margaret, also stated and it was reported in the same article that "it was not that the master calypsonian could not walk, but that walking has been causing him severe pain over the last month". This was referenced because Sparrow was brought on stage in a wheel chair and transferred to a chair from which he performed. She also stated that the Birdie, who now lives in New York, is undergoing tests to determine the cause of the back pain.

The article from the Express Newspaper can be read in its entirety at this link: "Tears flow at NAPA as stricken Sparrow sings."

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