“It ent to say I ent have a sense of humour
But I don’t like the latest rumour
Of course I have a sense of humour
But I don’t like the latest rumour
People all about
Having to say how sparrow kick out
He was in some kind of collision
Poor soul and he done dead and gone
Well every half an hour somebody ringing up
Until they get the news they don’t know when to stop
I know sparrow a very nice fellow
Whenever we met he always said hello
It was Simpson the funeral agency man
With the coffin in he hand
Simpson the funeral agency yes he working in the junction”
The Mighty Sparrow
I think it was somewhere between 1958 and 1959 when the first rumour of ‘Sparrow dead’ hit the airwaves and became a topic of discussion of all sorts as reflected but in greater magnitude in the recent statements, news items, street talk etc. from media houses and persons quoting from ”reliable” and sources “close to the family” without specifying.
From the lesson learnt, the message to the media is to be more investigative and to always ensure that there is a positive method of verification of story or statement or else the item becomes meaningless and the media less reliable and open to criticism. The buildup of negative energy towards one’s recovery is clearly not the most desirable thing as it has its toll on the family and others around providing support for the change of status of the malfunctioning process at the time and the well-being of the individual.
Now having regained consciousness, I cannot but wonder what may be going through the mind of Slinger or what would be his response upon full recovery. One knows the history of the Mighty Sparrow from Bois Bande´ and Village Ram to Willie Dead; Rebel to Salvation; Take Your Bundle and Go to Rose
(Girl I love you bad) ; New Philosophy (Knock them down they love you long and they love you strong) to Love One Another; Bad Johns to we Pass that Stage; Honesty to Lying Excuses; What could it be this time? Since we have already heard from Sparrow Dead to Dr. Bird.
Sparrow enjoys life, loves the stage and positive energy. His recent performances in July and August at the Mas Camp and Antigua carnival respectively are living testimony. At age seventy eight (78) the Bird is no longer in full
flight and hates to feel caged. He still continues to warm the hearts of many wherever he performs as his captivating tonal aggression leaves them asking for more. I recall Sparrow was on tour in 2007 in Ottawa and was being interviewed on television. The interview was going well, with intelligent and jocular exchanges, discussing the tour, calypso, his band and the legend himself. The interviewer then asked Sparrow “when will you be ready to leave the stage?” Sparrow responded. “Excuse me, I don’t understand the question.” Then she asked. “Do you have any thoughts of retirement?” Sparrow then exploded with heated words,”Interview over”. That was it. One must know what to ask the Bird.
In another interview a few years ago in Barbados, Sparrow was asked. Do you now consider yourself a Grenadian or a Trinidadian? Sparrow’s response was. “There is no getting away from the fact that I was born in Grenada and I have now acquired citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago. I am not trying to compare myself with Christ you know, but Christ was born in a stable – which is more important, the stable or the man?” Then he went on to explain that it was time we regard each other as Caribbean brothers and
sisters and not of Grenada or Trinidad.
The Bird lives on and I am sure that there will be
much more to be shared
with the region and the
Long live the Mighty Sparrow.
—George Haggai Alcee