‘Power’ laid to rest

The following article was written by Cecily Asson and published in the Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday, August 17, 2012. Asson reports on the funeral service held in the honor of the recently deceased calypso icon Sonny Francois, the Mighty Power.

Mighty Power performing at last year’s Veterans’ Calypso competition, singing ‘Island in the Sun.’ …

Within minutes of the funeral service starting yesterday for veteran calypsonian, Mighty Power (Sonny Francois) the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Gasparillo was transformed into a calypso tent.

Led by Community Development Minister, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, and Mighty Composer, several calypsonians among them Chalkdust, Allrounder, Ellsworth James and Sugar Aloes took over the altar as they delivered their eulogy to their colleague, in song.

To the accompaniment of a drum, the calypso bards had mourners singing along to a medley of Power’s best known calypsos, including his hits like “Culture” “Ah Coming” and “Keep He Dey,” and “Lucy”. Power was a member of the Gasparillo church.

SERENADE TIME: Minister of Community Development, Winston 'Gypsy' Peters, centre, and Michael 'Sugar Aloes' Osuna, and other calypsonians serenading Sonny Francois  Mighty Power  at his funeral service yesterday, at the Sacred Heart RC Church in Gasparillo.

Power, 78, of Caratal, Claxton Bay, died last week Thursday at the San Fernando General Hospital. He had been undergoing tests for cancer, relatives said.

But it was Parish Priest Fr Steve Duncan who stunned the congregation with his wide knowledge of calypso, calypsonians and controversial issues within the fraternity when he delivered his homily.

He told mourners Power was a regular member of his congregation, and among his favourite Power calypsos were “Tun Tun” and “Culture”.

Duncan explained, “That was my era when he composed that tune I would have grown up listening to that tune never quite understanding it.”

It was in his later years, Duncan said, he understood the double entendre and warned that “be careful little mind what you think.”

For full report: Power laid to rest