Steelband Panorama 2012

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Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2012 - HOME

‘Only One Trinbago’

sung by Gene Toney
composed by Stephen “GospelPan” Reid

lyrics edited by Winsford “Joker” Devine & Bernadette “Mannette” Reid
arranged by Frankie McIntosh



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Click here for lead sheet


Verse 1

Whenever I plan a vacation,
I have a dilemma,
looking for a paradise,
to give me an adventure.
But in the end I decide
to go back to Trinidad,
Because it’s the only place,
that truly makes me feel glad.


You’re my blessed utopia, sweet Trinbago
I’m always astounded by your beauty.
No matter where you go,
whether high or low,
You always find;
there’s only one Trinbago.

Verse 2

You’re the origin of calypso,
stick fighting and rapso,
Carnival and pan around the neck
and don’t forget limbo.
But nothing compares to what
you did that’s ever so grand,
I’m talking about the day,
you created the SteelPan.


Verse 3

You’re the jewel of the Caribbean,
a gem of high value,
So incredible and lovely,
that I am in love with you.
Whenever I think of how
I had a wonderful time,
Calypso and Carnival
begin to play in my mind.


Verse 4

Trinidad and also Tobago,
has really nice cuisines,
When you try the island recipes,
you’ll know what I mean.
Curry chicken and rice
along with callaloo and gravy,
Is ecstasy when you done
and finish with a mauby.



How can I forget Trinbago is nice,
It’s sweeter than honey, sugar and spice!
How can I forget, Trinbago is nice;
Trinbago is nice, so nice, so nice;
Beautiful beaches and clear blue skies!
(background vocals: - “sweet, sweet Trinbago, sweet, sweet Trinbago”)

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“Only One Trinbago”
Gene Toney

Provided with the expressed permission of the composer(s)

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Gene and Roseanne Toney
Gene Toney, right
with wife Roseanne

Gene is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s foremost dancers, a choreographer, and troupe leader. He got involved in dancing around the time of the twin island state’s achievement of political independence from Great Britain in 1962. With the advent of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Competition in the ’60s, the Harding Place Cocorite Youth Movement was formed, and Gene embedded himself in its artistic life, particularly dance, under the leadership of the now-deceased Carlton Francis.

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Through this activity, he became acquainted with some of Trinidad’s leading dancers such as: Jean Coggins, Julia Edwards, and Neville Shepherd with whom Gene performed and toured before forming his own troupe, the Ujamaa Folk Performers in 1972. Under the guidance of Gene, Ujamaa toured the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, Venezuela, and other places, performing numerous Caribbean dances including the Bele, Pique, Joropo, and the Limbo. Ujamaa has won the national limbo competition on multiple occasions.

In recent years Gene, together with his wife, Rosanna Toney, has taken his talents to Brooklyn New York, and assisted in the transmission of the knowledge and performance of these Caribbean dance forms among the youth, particularly those of Caribbean parentage. He has worked in the youth programs of the Sesame Flyers organization, helping to develop their dance troupe and artistic programs in general. He continues to share his cultural gifts by participation in the steelband movement, mas’ making and performance, and calypso singing.

Born in South East London, Steve Reid (pictured with wife Bernadette) has been involved in Pan, both as a player and as a band director for more than twenty-two years.

It was after attending the Notting Hill Carnival at the age of nine that he wanted to join a Steel Band; in 1989, that dream became a reality when he joined Calvary Steel Orchestra and two years later, became its director.

Steve has also collaborated with Ray Holman and David ‘Happy’ Williams on a total of six compositions, which have yet to be heard; the songs range from gospelypso, to praise and worship to contemporary pop styles.

He wrote this song after visiting Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, the homeland of wife Bernadette. It was his first visit to this island paradise, which left an impression on him that there is, Only One Trinbago.

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