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Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2015 - HOME

‘King Birdie’

sung by Joanne Foster
composed by Don Clarke
lyrics by Gregory “GB” Ballantyne

produced by Junior “IBO” Joseph



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“King Birdie”
Joanne Foster

Provided with the expressed permission of the composer(s)

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Verse 1

Couldn’t keep it forever
Straight from Grand Roy
It fly over to Trinidad
Take shelter
By Jean & Dinah
To rest its wing
And sing
Like a Nightingale chirping
March de road eight times asking
Dimanche Gras was de same thing
King king king

Chorus 1

This doctor bird
UWI conferred
His songs explode
King is the word
On O.R.T.T. road

Bridge 1

St. Patrick’s R.C. and New Town Boys
He first spread his plumage of joy
Two dollars is what
Salvatori Scott
Offered Jean & Dinah for de tot

And dis bird does sing ‘bout Melda
Education, Mr. Walker
Whistle Ten-To –One Is Murder
For Phillip My Dear, yuh hear
From Marajin
To Slave, even Mae-Mae
Maria would say... “Who Dey?”
So doh let de Queen’s Canary
Or de lizard catch my birdie

Doh let de Congo Man cook he
Elaine and Harry, tell Maggie
No Smart Bajan
No dan wid no bird Van
Or is Sedition,

Verse 2

One neighbour
Named Mr. Torrealba
He bring bird seed
Just to keep it singing all day
Joker’s gifts
And Piggy Joseph’s
Dey full his craw
Wid more
Dis Calypso Troubadour
Had good caretakers galore
Leon Noel, Cyril Shaw
More, more, more

Verse 3

Young Brigade
Simeon Road it parade
Nest hideaway
Then fly to the Big Apple tree
Sweet dropsy
Then wake up quickly
We get a scare
Oh dear
There was silence in the air
For we bird we really care
Everybody said a prayer
Yeah, yeah, yeah


Dr. O.R.T.T.
Sing for we
Add one to your legacy
Sing another classic melody
Your songs we’ve song
King Birdie
Wear yuh crown
Sing another classic melody

Bridge 2

To add to de long list of laurels
From world sources unparalleled
The highest decree
Named O.R.T.T.
Trinbago bestowed on King Birdie


Click for King Birdie’s/Mighty Sparrow’s BIO

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Joanne Foster
Joanne Foster

Joanne Foster was the 2013 Calypso Queen of Trinidad and Tobago - a title won singing More Than An Oil Drum. She makes beautiful work once more with this tune for the 2015 season, King Birdie, composed by Don Clarke and Gregory “GB” Ballantyne, as an honour and tribute to The Mighty Sparrow

Joanne first stepped into the entertainment spotlight in 1988 as a vibrant young teenager, immediately announcing her potential by being awarded ‘Best Soloist & Dancer’ at the San Fernando Arts Festival for Schools. The following year she placed second in the National Teen Talent Show.


In 1994 Joanne Foster emerged as one of COTT’s (Copyright Organisation of Trinidad & Tobago) National Song Festival Winners. She made her 1995 debut at the Spectacular Forum, copping the National Carnival Commission (NCC) award for the ‘Most Promising Female Calypsonian.’ Joanne was also a Calypso Fiesta semi finalist in her first appearance at that Skinner Park event.  She would make five subsequent appearances at the Semi Finals: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.  Additionally, from  2003 she was in the South Monarch Competition finals for eight consecutive years.

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A background vocalist attached to the Junior “Ibo” Joseph Dancing Dread Studio for many years, Joanne has sung background vocals for many of the top calypsonians in Trinidad and Tobago. In 2012 she made her debut in the ‘Pan Tune’ genre with an exciting tribute to Pan women everywhere called Pan Woman Jammin’.  For 2014 Joanne was on point once more with On De Drag and Take Me With You.

Don Clarke

Don Clarke’s entry into the world of composing music for the steelpan took place in 2004, when he composed The Bomb vocalized by Edwin Ayoung aka ‘Crazy.’

Don has composed a number of pieces for the steelpan - the likes of Pan Mamaguy, Delgado – a musical tribute to the deceased iconic Pan maker Lincoln “Delgado” Noel, River LimeMomentum and Pan Woman Jammin’.

An Atlanta, Georgia, USA resident - Don makes the annual pilgrimage to his homeland to immerse himself in the intensity of the steelband Panorama and to keep grounded with developments within the steelpan community in Trinidad & Tobago.

For 2015 the successful partnership of Don, Gregory Ballantyne, Junior “Ibo” Joseph and Joanne Foster is behind King Birdie.

Gregory “GB” Ballantyne

Gregory “GB” Ballantyne began composing professionally in 1986, when he collaborated with Len “Boogsie” Sharpe to pen Pan Rising and Dis Feeling Nice sung by Denise Plummer. In the ensuing years he would co-write winning Panorama selections for Desperadoes, and again for Phase II.

In Trinidad, GB’s compositions have won the National Calypso Monarch (Senior and Junior) Young King, International Humour, National Queen, Unattached Monarch, South Calypso King and East Zone Monarch.  His works have placed artistes like Rikki Jai, Devon Seale, The Mystic Prowler, Aaron Duncan, to name a few, into winner’s row.

GB’s credits also include National and Regional Calypso Monarch titles in Antigua and Anguilla, as well as Chutney hits such as ‘Tassa-Man’ sung by Rooplal Gidharie and the perennial favourite ‘Ribbons’ sung by Marilyn Williams.


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