Toronto Mas'
Mighty Sparrow Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Every year Toronto putting on a big show
Carnival they call Caribana
Jigging to a sweet tune, sweating in dey costume
Playing dey mas′ in Canada
See them how dey jumping up and down
Fighting to do we thing
Shaking up dey bomsie out of time
Chipping with an awkward swing

They wild
Toronto gone wild
Playing mas
Trinidadian style
Steelband beat
Music sweet
And all them white woman
Goin' be in the street

Oh Lawd, he he!

See them how they bumping thicker than a dumpling
Woman in the place like lentil peas
Talking like Barbadian, talking like Jamaican
Telling you dey from the West Indies
A little bit of sunshine get them red
So they staggering in the band
And when the liquor fly up in dey head
They tackling any man

I tell you:

They wild
Toronto gone wild
Playing mas
Trinidadian style
Steelband beat
And the music sweet
And all them white woman
Goin′ be in the street

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Ah see a band of Moko Jumbie, two Jab Molassie
And a Frenchman dressed up in a negligée
A brassiere by the bum bum like two big toolum
In the middle of the night he playing J'ouvert
He looking for a man to seduce them
And then he go feel alright
Ah carry Bill Trotman and introduce him
If you see them how they hug up tight

Mama yo!

They wild
Toronto gone wild
They playing mas
Trinidadian style
Steelband beat
And the music sweet




And all them white woman
Goin' be in the street

Overall Meaning

The song "Toronto Mas'" by Mighty Sparrow is a lively and rhythmical tune that captures the spirit of the Caribana Festival held in Toronto, Canada every year. The song speaks of the carnival that takes place in Toronto under the name Caribana, where people from diverse cultures come together to enjoy and participate in the mas' (short for masquerade) experience. The lyrics describe the masqueraders jigging to a sweet tune, sweating in their costumes and jumping up and down in the characteristic Trinidian style. The song paints a vivid picture of the festival as the singer describes the diverse masqueraders, from women in lentil peas costume to Frenchmen, dressed up in a negligee, looking to seduce men.


The song celebrates the diverse cultural experiences shared by people of different ethnicities, and how this amalgamation creates a unique and vibrant carnival experience. It also touches on the role of alcohol in the festival, which sometimes leads to the participants tackling each other or getting into fights during the festival, as depicted in the line "And when the liquor fly up in dey head/ They tackling any man." Nonetheless, the festival remains a joyful and a resounding expression of the Caribbean culture and the shared experience of its people in Toronto.


Line by Line Meaning

Every year Toronto putting on a big show
Every year Toronto hosts a big carnival called Caribana


Jigging to a sweet tune, sweating in dey costume
Dancing to a pleasing melody while dressed in their carnival outfits


Playing dey mas′ in Canada
Celebrating their carnival culture in Canada


See them how dey jumping up and down
Observing how they are joyfully jumping around


Fighting to do we thing
Asserting their right to participate in carnival culture


Shaking up dey bomsie out of time
Dancing out of rhythm with their hips shaking wildly


Chipping with an awkward swing
Moving their feet with an unusual, unusual style


They wild
They are lively and excited


Toronto gone wild
The carnival culture in Toronto is becoming wild and crazy


Playing mas
Participating in the masquerade tradition of the carnival culture


Trinidadian style
Following the cultural customs and traditions of Trinidad in the carnival celebration


Steelband beat
The distinct metalpan music played in the carnival parade


Music sweet
The music is lovely and pleasurable


And all them white woman
Refers to the presence of white women in the carnival crowd


Goin' be in the street
Implies that the white women will be dancing in the streets


See them how they bumping thicker than a dumpling
Noticing how plump and shapely the women are while dancing


Woman in the place like lentil peas
Women in abundance present at the carnival event


Talking like Barbadian, talking like Jamaican
Speaking in the accents of Barbados and Jamaica respectively


Telling you dey from the West Indies
Claiming to originate from any of the many Caribbean islands


A little bit of sunshine get them red
Their skin turning red when exposed to sunlight, signifying their non-Black heritage


So they staggering in the band
Being uncoordinated and stumbling along with the carnival group


And when the liquor fly up in dey head
Refers to the behavior of people who consume alcohol and get drunk


They tackling any man
Women becoming uninhibited and making advances towards men


Ah see a band of Moko Jumbie, two Jab Molassie
Spotting a group of stilt-walkers and two devils masquerading in Jab Molassie costumes


And a Frenchman dressed up in a negligée
Observing a Frenchman wearing a woman's nightgown


A brassiere by the bum bum like two big toolum
Noticing the man's buttocks protruding like two large loaves of bread


In the middle of the night he playing J'ouvert
Playing music in the early hours of the morning during the J'ouvert celebration


He looking for a man to seduce them
Being on the lookout for a man to flirt with or seduce


And then he go feel alright
Suggesting that the Frenchman will be happy and content if he finds a man to seduce


Ah carry Bill Trotman and introduce him
Introducing Bill Trotman to the Frenchman


If you see them how they hug up tight
Noticing how the Frenchman and Bill Trotman are embracing each other closely


Mama yo!
An exclamation of surprise or disbelief


Hey! Hey! Hey!
An expression of excitement and enthusiasm




Contributed by Isabella V. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@126jazz

"Toronto Mas": The tight, rolling rhythm section and the counter melody by the horn section is nothing short of orgasmic.

@bondeebryan411

Yes guys this is a unique album put together by the great Earl Rodney of Solo Fame.
Recorded in Jamaica

@two9parkave

What studio was used in the recodings?

@riyadhrafique8377

@two9parkave Probably Byron Lee's studio

@colinfrancis3223

CLASSIC

@ricardojohn3473

Beautiful " Chord Structure"

@313castries

Back then great day

@313castries

Back then, mas music

@ucdat99

trippin' on they awkward string!!

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