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Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2014 - HOME

‘Smallie Dancing’

sung by David Rudder
composed by David Rudder



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Verse 1

There is a man who is a part of the joy
That we once knew
A little light that burns a hole in the blight
And frees a lover
He comes around,
Jus’ when the music is found,
Out of the blue
With every song
You see him spinning around,
It’s life, sweet life
He’ll dance to the bands
Who came and raised up the hall
His soul says “I do”
To every note that he feels
An’ he’ll dance with the ones
Whose very tears say it all
Each year he never misses the boat,
Or a note, or a beat.
There he goes.


Little man with a heart of gold
Lost away in a sweet control
Like he’s dancing for you and me now
Feel his spirit, so sweet and free
SMALLIE danced, SMALLIE danced
SMALLIE danced into the night.

Verse 2

With every note
He spins around and around,
’Til the song, is flying
This little man
Whose spirit lies in a pan,
Is dancing away
And only when the final note in its joy,
Says we’re goodbye-ing
Then like a plan,
You know this magical man,
Like day, he melts
He danced to the bands
Who came and raised up the heat
His soul said “I do”
To every note that was born
And he danced for the bands whose shoulders sank in defeat
Not once did his spirit ever cry,
Ever lie, wonder why, wonder why?


Verse 3

This panorama,
I’ll be eager to see him manifest
Riding upon, every run, from tenor to bass
He’s such a part- of the rhythm of life,
That life says “Yes!”
Spinning away,
Did I just hear him say
“The pans, the pans”?
He’ll dance, for the crowds,
And yes-  he’ll dance for his life
His soul and the music will reveal our joy
And he’ll dance, such a dance
That cuts our blues, like a knife
And the pain of our everyday, is gone,
For awhile, for a dance, sing a song


Repeat Verse 1

Rudder, July 6th 2013 (c)(p) COTT

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“Smallie Dancing”
David Rudder

Provided with the expressed permission of the composer(s)

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David Rudder 
David Rudder

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David Rudder was born in Belmont, Trinidad on May 6, 1953. One of nine children, he spent much of his early childhood with his grandmother, a spiritual Baptist, growing up near a pan yard and a Shango yard, in a neighbourhood where boys dreamed of being entertainers. It was at school that he discovered how much art, painting and sculpture really interested him. Rudder began singing at the age of 11 with a group called The Solutions. In 1977, he joined the brass band Charlie’s Roots and began charting his musical career.

In the early days, Rudder acquired a reputation as a back-up singer in the calypso tent run by Lord Kitchener, while earning his living as an accountant with the Trinidad Bus Company. Rudder’s first big break came when Christopher “Tambu” Herbert, lead singer with Charlie’s Roots, fell ill after an exhausting tour of Guyana and suggested his friend Rudder as a temporary replacement. Rudder stayed on as a co-lead singer, and built a reputation for his scintillating performances. His exposure to Shango and the Pan Yards influenced his music, he was also influenced by Jazz and African artists such as Yossou N’Dour, Alpha Blondy. He is known as one of the few band singers who wrote all his own songs.

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