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Caribbean

Published on December 18th, 2014 | by BBC News

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Trinidad’s music pirates still at large

Trinidad and Tobago’s music industry is used to controversial lyrics in its annual crop of new soca (soul of calypso) and calypso songs for carnival.

But in the run-up to next year’s event, due to be held in February, at least one pair of artists has discovered that you can go too far.

With the country’s National Carnival Commission worrying that an Ebola virus outbreak might force it to postpone the festivities, soca singers Benjai and Screws decided to make light of the threat.

Their song, No Ebola, contains the chorus line, “No Ebola cyar [can’t] stop no soca,” and invites revellers to “jump up with your gas mask”.

The tune sparked a social media backlash, with many commentators describing it as “insensitive” and “spectacularly ill-timed”, after its initial appearance on YouTube.

If, despite all the disapproval, you want to buy the song on CD, you’re going to find it difficult.

Physical music releases have become a rarity in the twin-island republic, with street-corner pirate vendors now the only way of getting hold of many popular songs in the silver-disc format.

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