Trinidad and Tobago


Merchant’s music, lyrics now
all in one songbook

…best of pan-kaiso 2001 in another


March 4, 2001

THE best of Dennis Franklyn Williams’ music has been published in a single book by Alvin Daniell’s Major & Minor Productions.

Williams, known as Merchant in the calypso world, penned scores of songs although he recorded only four albums and two singles. Most of his work was sold to other singers.

One such song, “Ra Ti Ray”, written in less than ten minutes, was felt by Merchant to be a throwaway item, but became a massive hit for calypsonian Designer. Several of his titles also became catch phrases, like “Taxi Talk”, “Pan in Danger” and “One Super Power”.

Respected by all for his ability to compose infectious music, Merchant’s lifestyle did not enjoy equal attractiveness, but was often overlooked in light of the body of work he produced.

Daniell, former chairman of the Copyright Organisation (Cott), told the Daily Express he pondered the best way in which to honour Merchant after his passing. “It would be a great loss to the music world if his songs were allowed to pass on with his demise.”

The lyrics, bass and melody lines of the songs are reproduced in easy “fake-book” style, with relevant piano and guitar chords identified above each bar. Included are super hits like “Caribbean Connection”, “Dr Soca”, “Let No Man Judge”, “One Super Power”, “Pan in Danger”, “Taxi Talk”, “Um Ba Yo” and “Norman, is That You?”

In the same style, Daniell has also produced Soca Hits 2001, a book of 20 pan-kaiso songs released this year. The 2001 edition is dedicated to the late calypso grandmaster, Kitchener.

Twenty songs, including the two that topped the Panorama final, Pelham Goddard’s “A Happy Song” and Preacher’s “Rain Melody”, played by the Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars are available, as is work by De Fosto, Brian “Bean” Griffith, Mark Loquan, Blackstone, Oba, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Ray Holman and GB.

The Merchant Collection:

I Coming Too
Be Careful
Caribbean Connection
Dr Soca
Hold on Tight
Let No Man Judge
Love Conquers All
Norman, is That You?
One Super Power
Pan in Danger
Pan in Yuh Pan
Ra ti Ray
Rock It
Sing in She Party
Still De Best
Taxi Talk
The Party Now Start
Think About the Children
Tumble Down
Um Ba Yo
There Must Be a Way
What About
Youths of the Nation

Pan-Kaiso 2001

A Happy Song
Champion Sound
Class is Class
Fire and Steel
Fit and Ready
Heroes of the Nation
Kitchener Say
Music for the World
Pan in de Major
Push my Pan
Queen of the Road
Rain Melody
Raindrops on My Pan
Song of Praise
Steelpan Ladies
Take Back de Road
Tribute to Pan Pushers


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