Calypso Twist
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Chubby Checker felt so glad
When the twist sent New York mad
But at length and at last
The twist reach to Trinidad
Trinidad as you know
Is the land of calypso
But listen to this
I think we got the calypso twist

I mean a little bit of limbo (limbo)
And a little bit of Shango
Then if you could bongo
To the rhythm of calypso
Ay ay ay ay oh!

When the music start to play
Is to see them break away
Woman and man
Twisting up their foot and their hand
And when they drink and feeling sweet
Is fête from the dance-hall ′til in the street
That's why I insist
We got the calypso twist

I mean a little bit of limbo
And a little touch of Shango
Man if you could bongo
To the rhythm of calypso
Ay ay ay ay oh!

Keep a big twist competition
In every section of this island
Look bacchanal
When you reach up to Maraval
Maraval got the belt right now
For pelting bottle and making row
But if you see them twist
They knocking their heel and trembling like this

With a little bit of limbo
They believe in their Shango
All of them could bongo
To the rhythm of calypso
Ay ay ay ay oh!

Dances come, dances go
I never see a dance that catch people so
Chubby Checker
That′s a man we must remember
He really made this dance popular
But I was sorry for him in Astor Theatre
A girl from Boissierre
Make Chubby look like a square

With a little touch of limbo
And a sweet piece of Shango
The girl could have bongo




To the rhythm of calypso
Ay ay ay ay oh!

Overall Meaning

The Mighty Sparrow's Calypso Twist is a celebration of the cultural exchange between Trinidad and the United States through music and dance. The song begins by acknowledging the popularity of the twist dance in New York City and its eventual journey to Trinidad. Sparrow points out that Trinidad is the land of calypso, a music genre that incorporates social commentary, humor, and infectious rhythms. He weaves the twist dance with elements of Trinidadian culture, such as limbo and Shango, a percussive music and dance form associated with the Yoruba religion. The result is a unique fusion of African, Caribbean, and American music and dance.


Sparrow captures the infectious energy of the calypso twist as he describes how people in Trinidad react to the music. The song encourages listeners to let loose, twist their feet and hands, and have a good time. Sparrow also mentions how twist competitions were held on different parts of the island, adding to the festive atmosphere. The song celebrates the universality of dance as a way to bring people together, regardless of their background or social status. The final verse pays tribute to Chubby Checker, the artist who popularized the twist dance in the United States, and highlights the talent of a Trinidadian girl who outshined Chubby Checker in a dance competition.


Overall, the Calypso Twist is a catchy, upbeat, and joyous song that showcases the cross-cultural exchange between Trinidad and the United States through music and dance.


Line by Line Meaning

Chubby Checker felt so glad
Chubby Checker was very pleased


When the twist sent New York mad
When the dance move 'the twist' became popular in New York


But at length and at last
Eventually


The twist reach to Trinidad
The dance move reached Trinidad


Trinidad as you know
As you may already know Trinidad


Is the land of calypso
Is known for its calypso music


But listen to this
But here's something interesting


I think we got the calypso twist
We have our own version of the twist with a Calypso flavor


I mean a little bit of limbo (limbo)
I'm referring to the limbo dance


And a little bit of Shango
And also the dance Shango


Then if you could bongo
If you know how to play the bongo drums


To the rhythm of calypso
To the beat of Calypso music


Ay ay ay ay oh!
Exclamation of excitement or enjoyment


When the music start to play
When the music begins


Is to see them break away
People start dancing and letting loose


Woman and man
Both women and men


Twisting up their foot and their hand
Dancing and moving their feet and hands


And when they drink and feeling sweet
When they are drinking and feeling good


Is fête from the dance-hall ′til in the street
There's a party vibe from the dance floor to the street


That's why I insist
That's why I'm emphasizing


We got the calypso twist
We have our own dance style that combines the twist and Calypso music


Keep a big twist competition
Let's have a big twist dance competition


In every section of this island
In every part of this island


Look bacchanal
Let the party and festivities begin


When you reach up to Maraval
When you get to Maraval


Maraval got the belt right now
Maraval is currently the best at the twist dance


For pelting bottle and making row
For throwing bottles and causing trouble


But if you see them twist
But if you see them dance the twist


They knocking their heel and trembling like this
They're moving their heels and trembling like this


With a little bit of limbo
Including some limbo dance moves


They believe in their Shango
They're faithful to the Shango dance


All of them could bongo
Everyone knows how to play the bongo drums


To the rhythm of calypso
To the beat of Calypso music


Ay ay ay ay oh!
Exclamation of excitement or enjoyment


Dances come, dances go
Dance moves come and go in popularity


I never see a dance that catch people so
I've never seen a dance that became so popular


Chubby Checker
Referring to the man who popularized the Twist dance


That's a man we must remember
He's someone we should always remember


He really made this dance popular
He helped to make this dance very popular


But I was sorry for him in Astor Theatre
But I felt bad for him when he was at the Astor Theatre


A girl from Boissierre
A girl from the Boissierre region


Make Chubby look like a square
Made Chubby look uncool or outdated


With a little touch of limbo
With some inclusion of the limbo dance


And a sweet piece of Shango
And with some elements of the Shango dance


The girl could have bongo
She can play the bongo drums


To the rhythm of calypso
To the beat of Calypso music


Ay ay ay ay oh!
Exclamation of excitement or enjoyment




Writer(s): Slinger Francisco

Contributed by Claire G. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Dave Cooper

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