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‘Reflections on the state of the Steelpan’

‘Whey De Panman?’ & ‘Another Time, Another Place’

sung by Mark Loquan
composed by Mark Loquan



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‘Whey De Panman?’


Have ya ever wondered where de panmen does go 
Ask after Panorama, just to see who know 
Know some fellas gone away to... gig in Japan 
Mus’ be better than staying here and be forgotten


Sad to see some panmen starring... just once a year 
When all is said and done vanish into thin air 
One man take a work on a cruise ship... “fellas ah gone
Ha to leave meh wife behind, and meh newborn”


Ah want to know whey de panman go 
Foreign shows, whey dey appreciate us all 
And whey dey go, de dollars flow 
What happening, dey making a living... making a living


Tell meh whey we going when de head ha no home
Yet we hosting World Steelband Festival all on we own 
Panmen still waiting for payment... from the year before 
Some living from hand to mouth, is dis what we about?


No one could doubt we have de talent and skill 
Every week we could entertain, it just takes some will 
Sometimes ah really wonder... how big we could be 
Let’s get organize, and think globally


So leh we know whey de panman go
Ah realize, dey so underutilize
We cyar deny, de movement growing
Open your eyes, is outside it flowing... outside it flowing



Panmen running panmen in a literal sense 
Why we doh stop “dis is we ting” nonsense 
Doh leh we waste away, ah even hear some say 
Whey de panman?


We might be lucky if we on a stage side
Is a way some ah us does keep we selves occupied 
Meh pardner look like a badjohn... surviving from pan
He could get on, and blow ya mind in any competition


Ah doh know whey de panman go 
Well ah say, stop learning de hard way 
Moving on, to another dawn 
Ash Wednesday morn, ask whey de panman, ask whey de panman 
Ask whey de panman... gone

(Ad Lib)

‘Another Time, Another Place?’


Everytime ah hear dis sweet pan sound 
Ah doh know why meh pores does raise, and meh heart does pound
Yet we sometimes take it, take it all for granted, ah cyar understand
Why ah feel we now start with dis instrument... in dis blessed land


How one hundred people could get on side by side
Before we might be walking down deh street, without saying “Hi”
Truly the power of pan is more than, more than making music, mamayo
Just like we forge the steel, it have a way to go... it could unite we souls


So take meh to another time, yes another place
Where we truly treat de pan with de utmost grace
where we give thanks for giving birth to de power of pan 
where dis unique gift is celebrated by all man


De tuner ha to pound away at a hundred pan 
He say he going up de islands for a Carnival
Is then ah realize dis ting ha de power for Caribbean integration
But after fifty years we could only find... fragmentation


So take meh to another place and another time
where pan players doh ha to scrunt for a dollar and dime
And there is respect for de panman, by all de business community
And all de potential becomes reality


So where would we be in the next century
Ah hope we ha de will to learn from our history
And is there a new vision for de pan dat will stand de test of time
Well all ah ask is for some new direction... show us all a sign


Well ‘99 Panorama use a foreign arranger
Is time we look to the international arena
Can de Ministry, TIDCO and Pan Trinbago work together towards dat light
That would make the power of pan burn so bright, yeh so bright... 
we can make it right


So take meh to another time, yes another place
Where de instrument could only cast a smile across our face
And we realize there’s no boundary for dis instrument
So we can only open our hearts, to what is (heaven sent) 


What are your thoughts on this song?
Click to leave an opinion...

“Whey De Pan Gone?”

Provided with the expressed permission of the composer(s)

Arranged by Jason Dasent, Mark Loquan
Pan by Andy Narell
Sung by Mark Loquan
© September 1, 1999 All Rights Reserved
Published by MLQ Music Ltd., email: mlqpan(at)
Released 2000 for the Passion for Pan Album

“Another Time, Another Place”
Mark Loquan

Music and Lyrics by Mark E. Loquan
Arranged by Jason Dasent
Pan by Natasha Joseph
Sung by Mark Loquan
© April 1999 All Rights Reserved
Published by MLQ Music Ltd., email: mlqpan(at)
Released 2000 for the Passion for Pan Album

Mark Loquan
Mark Loquan



“Good day:

“I was following from afar the events unfolding in the pan world with some of the latest controversies around payment for pan players, the Ministry and Pan Trinbago appearing not to have a common vision for the instrument and its players, statements on Panorama killing pan, statements on pan in the classroom at risk, the lyrics and message of Boogsie's song, talks of boycotting panorama at one point, etc.

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“It reminded me of 2 songs I wrote (not for Panorama), one talking about the where all the panmen disappeared after Panorama, looking to make a living outside, not getting paid or appreciated in their own country in a song called "Whey de Panman?" and another talking about a world which was wishful for the future, how pan could be in "Another Time, Another Place". These songs were written in 1999, over a decade ago, for my album Passion for Pan. Kind of makes me reflect on what has changed in that time period.

“I submit the songs, not for Panorama, but only for reflection as to what has happened and whether our progress with the national instrument and its players are visible in Trinidad & Tobago. We certainly have more composers, younger arrangers coming up, younger people playing the pan, focus on music literacy, etc., but I still wonder whether there is a vision for where we would like to be in the pan world, and how we would judge our progress, with the instrument, musically, socially, science and innovation wise, etc.

“Food for thought.

“Regards, Mark”


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