Trini by birth, Montserratian by marriage, Pat ‘Belonger’ Ryan has been the Emerald Isle’s Queen of Calypso since the 1980s. Belonger made a name for herself in 1988 by placing 3rd in the normally male dominated Calypso “King” competition. The popularity of her patriotic hit, ‘Still home still nice’, secured her place in Montserrat’s musical hall of fame.
The music, costumes and stages associated with Caribbean Festivals are traditionally ephemeral arts. The Calypsos that are composed for Montserrat’s Christmas Festival may be played during festival and then never be heard again. Even when Festival music is recorded it rarely leaves the island.
But 21st century technology is a powerful tool. It enables us to preserve our musical and artistic heritage for future generations. It also allows us introduce our unique, Montserratian culture to an international audience.
A vast ocean may separate our islands from much of the rest of the world but we can easily stride across the digital divide. You can hear the classic, ‘Still home still nice’, on YouTube:
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