The story behind the calypso songs in the British movie Paddington

unnamed

A post by Peter Jordens.

Tim Masters of the BBC explains how the soundtrack of the British movie Paddington (released in the USA on January 16, 2015) came to include classic calypso songs […] which hark back to the music of the immigrant community who were settling in Notting Hill – where Paddington bear makes his home – around the time when Michael Bond began writing his classic children’s books.

“My wife introduced me to this brilliant, but largely neglected music,” explains the film’s director, Paul King. “This is the music being made in the place where these books were written, by people who arrived on these shores. It felt like such a glorious gift – they are really upbeat positive songs – for the most part – all about that experience.”

One of the songs King heard was Lord Kitchener’s ‘London is the Place for Me.’ Lord Kitchener, real name Aldwyn Roberts, was a Trinidadian musician among the passengers on the Empire Windrush, the ship which brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to the UK in 1948. He sang ‘London is the Place for Me’ to a Pathe News crew as he disembarked at Tilbury.

The song, performed in the film by D Lime – featuring Tobago Crusoe – came to King’s attention on a compilation from Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s Honest Jon’s record label. Inspired by what he heard, King emailed Albarn’s agent and explained he was trying to track down some of the performers. “I expected no reply,” he recalls. “Or I hoped for a name of someone who might be able to help. What I didn’t expect was Damon to say he’d love to be involved, help put a band together and use his recording studio.”

For the full, original article, go to http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30196290.

Also see our previous post Lord Kitchener Podcast: BBC Radio – Kitch!

The four calypso songs in the movie, all performed by D Lime featuring Tobago Crusoe, are: ‘London Is the Place for Me’, ‘Gerrard Street’, ‘Blow Wind Blow’ and ‘Savito’. D Lime is a 5-piece calypso band especially put together for the film by Damon Albarn; in the movie the band makes appearances on city streets, performing merrily or gloomily as the scene requires. Paddington is a movie about being a stranger in a strange land, with an underlying message of tolerance and acceptance.

Our readers can watch Tobago Crusoe perform ‘London is the Place for Me’ at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbGkuaZPbOU. They can listen to the original song by Lord Kitchener at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGt21q1AjuI. Also of interest: ‘Gerrard Street’ by King Timothy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DzcclxrwQ4.

2 thoughts on “The story behind the calypso songs in the British movie Paddington

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s