Lord Kitchener is a legend of the Trinidad and Tobago music scene. His proper name was Aldwyn Roberts but Kitch will always be remembered as “The Grandmaster” for the long stream of hits he composed. As well as a long and heated rivalry with The Mighty Sparrow, another legendary figure. According to the tribute page on TNTisland.com which I highly recommend you read, Lord Kitchener was born in 1922 and started writing songs when he was ten years old. His last active Carnival season was in 1997, only three years before he passed away.
As you might imagine, Lord Kitchener has an extensive catalogue but one of my favourites is 1992’s super-catchy, The Bees Melody. The song is about his (surely fictitious) encounter with a bee hive, but is so enthralled by the melodious buzzing sounds that he refuses to flee.
Once upon a time steelpan music was the lifeblood of Trinidad & Tobago Carnival, before music trucks with massive speakers provided non-stop beats for revellers. Lord Kitchener’s music translated to steelpan beautifully, earning him not only many Road March wins but Panorama titles as well. So it would be wrong to share The Bees Melody without including a steelpan version too. This rendition by Amoco Renegades was arranged by another maestro, Jit Samaroo and took third place in the 1992 finals.
If you’re in love with The Bees Melody like I am, here’s where you can buy a copy online for your very own:
Feel free to suggest songs for future Back in Times Big Tunes posts in the comments!