Hurtful and disappointing.
That’s how calypsonian, Captain Sawyer, is describing critical comments made by outgoing President of the National Organization of Women (NOW), Marilyn Rice-Bowen, about his popular 2015 Crop Over song, Suga Daddy.
Rice-Bowen suggested that Sawyer should not be asked to appear at any National Cultural Foundation (NCF) sponsored activity this Crop Over because the lyrics of the tune cast Barbadian women in an unfavourable light.
With many women on the breadline as a result of the economic crisis, she said it was unpalatable to hear such predatory behaviour expressed in the song, which says:
Me and my sugar plum
The two of we will never done
Something for something
My sweet little young thing
You want a flat screen. No problem
You want a washing machine. No problem
You got little children. No problem.
Put on your clothes and meet me by the credit union
You want a new stove. No problem
You want new clothes. No problem
You want new hairdo, you want more Remy
Meet me at the bank at a quarter to 3
I know my Belly big
I know that my hair grey
You and u friends feel I is a punk
I will give u so much money u won’t get it count.
You light bill in the air
You cupboard home bare
Just relax darling
Don’t panic meet me at the Sure Pay in the supermarket.
You boyfriend getting jealous
Don’t let him get between us
Tell him for me you make a decision to stand with this old man through this recession.
Your car insurance out.
Your road tax out, get your cellular phone
When we start to chat
I pay the car insurance and the car road Tax.
Saying he meant no harm, Sawyer told Barbados TODAY the song deals with an entirely different Sugar Daddy.
“This song came one evening (when) I was in my gap and I saw a Light & Power van coming to disconnect people light. Few days later, I saw the green van coming to disconnect the people water. So I said to myself, if I had money, I would try to help them you know,” he explained.
Sawyer added: “The song is about what is going on now. It’s hard on people out there. It’s like I am trying to help. If I were a billionaire, I would help the people. That’s why I say I’m the Suga Daddy. One who would help people who have a hard time surviving.”
He said Rice-Bowen had blown the entire situation out of proportion and he would have preferred if she had spoken to him before publicly blasting the song.
“She is misleading. She turn my ship on another course. I feel very hurt. If they had a problem with my song, they could have contacted me and talked it out instead of blasting me on air. I believe if I were a well-known calypsonian, it would just be a phone call and a chat. But me, being the small Captain Sawyer, they think they can just blast me.”
“Performing from 1997 when I started with Alien Forces to now, this is the most hurtful remarks I have ever gotten from anyone or any organization,” Sawyer said. “I’m for the people. I’m still going to come and make people happy just for the entertainment. I don’t worry about the crown. I don’t worry about winning, I just make my contribution to Crop Over.”
He expressed concern that the criticism was going to affect how much he gets to perform this season.
“They are telling other organizations not to invite me to their fetes. I’m scared because don’t forget Captain Sawyer has not performed for the NCF for over 11 years,” he said.
“The last time I performed for NCF was in 2004. I haven’t been on an event since then. I’m a people’s champion. I just make a contribution to Crop Over. I didn’t enter for three years. And now I enter, it’s like someone throwing stones at me.”
Sawyer said he had no intention now of speaking with Rice-Bowen.
“I have not spoken to her and I will stay away from those people. It keeps flashing in my mind how she reacted on TV and it was very aggressive,” he said, making clear that he will continue to perform his song.
He apologized, however, to anyone whom he may have offended.
“I’m very sorry that I have offended people. When I write this song, I was trying to let these people that are having hard times, [have] a chance to dance and have fun for while and release their stress but instead I end up with these . . . vicious attacks from these organizations.”