BC’S BDOS – Wuk-up waste
“SOMETHING’S HAPPENING” could be the greatest Bajan song of all time. It’s one of those magical songs – like Calypso Music, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Purple Haze, Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Imagine, Samba Pa Ti – whose melody almost alone conveys its whole import to the first-time listener instantly. You hear Something’s Happening and time stops. From the first note to the last, you’re transported direct to the collective unconscious whence all art arises, that wonderful place where even the greatest doubter knows God for sure.So, when RPB sang Something’s Happening at the Plantation on Crop-Over Saturday night, I dropped all my cares and threw my hands in the air. The back injury that stopped me running a decade ago, my young children to be picked up next morning, money worries, imminent mortality itself, every thing went straight out the window and I went deeper into the music and higher in the air, jumping up, spinning round, soul soaring. I forgot completely that I was even on Earth – until I was brought back down to it with a bump, and reminded I was specifically in Barbados, by the security guard tapping me on my shoulder. “People,” he said, sternly, “do not appreciate how you’re dancing!” Yes. There you have it: Crop-Over Saturday night; right in front the stage; Red Plastic Bag in good voice singing one of the greatest songs anyone in the world will ever hear and no West Indian could ever resist – and you’re not supposed to dance. There are, you see, people right next to the stage, standing perfectly still, almost rigid, who do not appreciate dancing. People came from all over Barbados to stand to attention at a soca fete. If Bag had segued from Something’s Happening into the national anthem, the people behind me would have been ready for it.“You’re joking!” I said. (How could I be causing offence? I was reasonably sure I wasn’t obscuring anyone’s view, with my tall self; and it was unlikely my long, flowing locks were flinging around and getting in people’s faces, like Gabby’s.) The security guard eyed me grimly. “I don’t want,” he said, “to ask you to leave.” I stood stock still for a moment – the people nearby, I imagine, were happy at last – and met his gaze. He meant business. I was a middle-aged bad boy. “You’re right,” I said, “we shouldn’t have any dancing on a dance floor.” Satisfied, he lumbered off. And I went into shock and behaved myself. Every time I felt like jumping up, I forced myself to settle down. Until David Rudder came on. The only reason I didn’t make a jail when he sang Madness – I’m from St Anns, myself – was that the people around me must have got fed up of all the dancing and gone home. But the dancing ban in a public fete wasn’t the greatest surprise of my first Crop-Over; I had to leave the Plantation and go to town for that; which I will detail next week; assuming a security guard from the Nation doesn’t appear in my office, tap me on my shoulder and warn me that: “People don’t appreciate how you’re writing.” BC Pires is a threat to national insecurity.