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Yellow Bird remains one of the most enigmatic pieces ever played on the steelpan. Despised by many in the pan community it continues to be a source of controversy -joy for some and pain for others.

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Any tune once explored  can be  made interesting  to play, check this solo version of yellow Bird 


as far as I know it was not written by a West Indian (or Black person) for that matter. That has been one of the major gripes and it was thrust on us by the industry as a caribbean thing (writers = Keith,  Bergman & Luboff (u know who they are)  I built a steelband in 63 in England, (still in mid teens) got them a recording contract, arranged the music, played Bongoes and produced the LP as well  The recording company insisted that Yellowbird and Peanut Vendor be on it EMI-MFP1227   paddy corea
the bird has survived centuries and though explored heavily by the caribbean and now by pannist in America, is not even caribbean or english, the original version is called "Le petite wazon" those who do not know french it's translation means the little bird and what started out as a french ballad hundreds of years ago flew into the Caribbean with the french settlers and was popular with the carrousel singers, and when the caruso was being transormed to Kaiso an adapted colloquail version of the carousel music performed by the slaves infusing into it their african influence the bird survived as one of the popular songs, though a very beautifull song and re-introduced to the world by Harry Belafonte has been considered derogotory by pannists who hate the stigma of steel pan music being profiled as a yellow bird thing, but in fact it influenced the calypso and calypso and pan goes hand in hand

Apple , Your post is indeed interesting and educational . Thanks .

I don't think anyone "despised" the tune "Yellow Bird". As a matter of fact I think most of us actually liked it.

I think, like  a couple other tunes ("Banana Boat Song"," Ambacaila") it became a cliche for Caribbean music, as cultural tourists would try to impress their friends by requesting Caribbean music bands and steel bands ignore their rehearsed repertoires and "play Yellow Bird".

As everyone knows, Trini musicians liked to showcase the latest calypso hits, and resented being constantly asked to play "Day Oh", or "Yellow Bird" or other music considered by many to.be Caribbean Folk music.

Folks, to all the chemists, physicists, historians, I feel your pain.  Music is universal. Who cares who composed what. Don't we play Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Tchaikowski and feel proud of that fact?  I was a tourist panist in the islands in the 60s.  Yellow Bird and others were "bail out" tunes. They just added to your repertoire. Tourists loved them; we entertained and made a shilling. One of our top tunes was "I want to hold your hand" (BEATLES).  Furthermore, it seems that the Double Tenor was made to order for that tune ...... how sweet, smooth, refreshing and entertaining.  Thanks for your space/time.


I knew that the tune wasn't hated. it's just that unlike Patrick, many musicians resented being constantly asked to play it.

Well said. I'm fed up with this eh this and this eh that. Music is music once it entices the ears.
I'm one who doesn't like anything about the tune.  I wouldn't mine if panmen never play that tune again.

There is so much unknown about our Caribbean Culture and History...  This song was created by us for us before it was adopted, adapted (and stolen) by others...  The scourge of neocolonialism and doudouism has tainted and soured it for some...  Here is some info to ponder on the origins of "Choukoun" a.k.a. "Ti Zwazo" a.k.a. "Yellow Bird"...  > http://www.haitian-truth.org/harry-belafonte-yelow-bird-the-story-o...



There you go !  Thanks for the education Andre.

Wow!! This is shocking!


Thanks Andre.


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