The traditional role of theTrinidadian Calypsonian has been among other things historian and storyteller. He is a true decendant of the West African 'griot'.
This calypso by Maestro introduces us to a segment ot Trinidad seldom heard of, the men of "The Mang", Sixth Company.
(I've always assumed that it was called the "Mang" ,because of the prevalence of mangrove in that area).
These "Mang" men are the ones who called themselves "Merikins"
I spent a few years in New Grant as a child and we lived at Hindustan Road junction. I have vivid memories of bands of stickmen coming out of the Mang , down Hindustan Road on their way to the stickfights at Moruga Road Junction.
I remember their "flambeaux" torches in the night, their head ties and of course their Mountain Dew rum as they marched down to the stick fight, chanting lav-ways like "Benjamin Moanin', Benjamin Moanin' in de grave" or "King Cobo dead, tomorrow is a grand funeral".
I remember several of the names in this calypso from hearing them as a child.
They were well known stickmen and Maestro who I knew ,and who was also from the "country" would also have known of them.
Apart from being a great kaiso, this song also has historic value of a time and place.