"Deep in we soul, losing control, every
phrase is so haunting."
There has been a limited number of songs
done in minor key for the Panorama, the most
notable being Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor. Probably not surprising, when the minor key is
generally associated with emotions of sadness
and melancholy, unlike the Panorama and
Carnival, that conjures up feelings of
celebration and having a good time.
It is quite typical to hear arrangers doing a
song in a major key, to go into a section
arranged in minor mode for variation, before
going back to the major key. I thought it would
be a change to put out a challenge to the pan
arrangers, some of whom claim that to do an
arrangement of a song in minor key takes
tremendous skill, and that the challenge is a
major one, hence the play on words in the title.
This was the second year working with Christophe
Grant, who wrote the lyrics, and the 4th
consecutive year with Denyse Plummer. It was a
good chance to work with Jason Dasent once more,
who by that time had a much bigger studio with
updated equipment and a very spacious voice
booth. Perfect pitch Duvone Stewart, leader
and arranger for CFS Pantasy, played the pan
solo at the end of the track.
The interesting story on this song, is that it
did not do so well for Panorama (perhaps there
were much better songs to choose from, and/or
the challenge was indeed major ??). However the
song was arranged for bpTT Youth Steel Orchestra
by one of Trinidad’s talented young arrangers,
Amrit Samaroo, and scored by Kareem Brown for
the Pan in Education CD. This advanced
arrangement was played by the
Arizona for the PASIC Convention 2006, and also by
West Valley High School Steelband
in Fairbanks (.pdf), for the Alaska Solo and Ensemble
Music festival 2007.
Verse Yes my pan is versatile,
Treasured by adult and child,
Sweet steel - like a drug to an addict,
De world is hooked on my steelband music;
Everytime dat I hearit,
I keep falling in its spell Deep in a trance, feeling to dance,
Like some jumbie voodoo magic, Deep in a trance, feeling to dance,
Now its wonders I must tell...
Chorus Steelband does cover,
Yes from major to minor,
Panman so super - could play anything,
From salsa to samba, (ah tell yuh anything),
From soca to raga (ah tell yuh anything);
But some say de steelband dey (brakesing),
Only major songs now dey (playing),
'Til some chanting with glee
How we fraid minor key, Padam, Padam! - De challenge is minor (repeat)
'Cause pan playing anything.
Verse Suddenly they made a switch,
Challenged by Grandmaster Kitch
They played - Symphony in A Minor,
Showing the range of my steel band music;
But then just like a turtle
They soon crawled back in their shell; Hiding their skill, in every drill,
Only tackling major, Hiding their skill, in every drill,
Now this myth we will dispel...
Bridge See we sail... major to minor,
Up de scale - nice and free,
See we sail... bass up to tenor,
Without fail - harmony;
Proving to all at any cost,
Just like ooman, panman is boss, Heat in de place, free up yuh waist,
Pan playing anything.
Verse Panmen now to make de grade,
Minor key you cannot fraid,
No threat, ever seem like a hurdle,
Is plain suck-eye for my steelband music;
Everytime dat we hear it,
With national pride we should swell; Deep in we soul, losing control,
Every phrase is so haunting, Deep in we soul, losing control,
All this talent we must sell...