Smokey in the kaiso mix
COUNT?VETERAN CALYPSONIAN William Smokey Burke into the mix for this year’s Crop Over festivities.
Smokey, who underwent treatment for cancer – which is now in full remission – said he is physically and mentally ready to participate in this year’s national cultural season.
The regular Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finalist and two-time finalist told the SATURDAY?SUN on Thursday that after being absent from the festival last year he had been ready since February and could not wait to perform at the opening of his Cave Shepherd All Stars tent on tomorrow night at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed.
In fact, Burke pointed out that his readiness could be attributed to the fact that he had already released his songs for the season. He expects to enter the relevant competitions with his tunes Paul Radical (party song), De Damage Already Done and Big Breed Fowl Cock (social commentary).
“I have been waiting so long to get going for this year after missing last year’s Crop Over due to illness. While I was in Toronto, it was nice to hear somebody on the radio say ‘Crop Over is missing Burke’,” he said, adding “I was frustrated not only with the illness but particularly because I was unable to take part in any aspect of the festival.”
And while Burke is singing to Barbados that he is back, he has made it clear that he is not looking for sympathy.
“A radio announcer had said to Romeo a couple of years ago that Romeo made it to the finals because he was an invalid and the judges felt sorry for him.
“But I just want to be judged. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I don’t want any story, whether it be in the Press or on the radio, to be preceded with ‘cancer patient Smokey Burke’.
“That cancer came and gone. I just want to be judged like everybody else. I don’t want to be told what Romeo was told,” he said. (AH)