Main definitions of calypso in English

: calypso1Calypso2

calypso1

nounPlural calypsos

mass noun
  • 1A kind of West Indian (originally Trinidadian) music in syncopated African rhythm, typically with words improvised on a topical theme.

    ‘the men sing calypso as they work’
    as modifier ‘calypso music’
    • ‘The musical style is similar to West Indian calypso and reggae.’
    • ‘Trinidad has a thriving rock music scene whose best bands blend reggae and calypso with mainstream rock.’
    • ‘Favorite types of music include calypso, reggae, and religious hymns.’
    • ‘Two forms of native Trinidadian music - calypso and steel drum music - have become famous throughout the world.’
    • ‘The calypso, reggae, and steel band music of Trinidad and Jamaica are also very popular.’
    • ‘The postcolonial period has witnessed a significant creolizing of church music, which has been influenced by calypso, reggae, and African American gospel music.’
    • ‘Reflecting an African heritage, this music combines the African ‘call-and-response’ with features of calypso and reggae.’
    • ‘The disc is full of salsa, trip-hop, acid jazz, calypso and reggae beats.’
    • ‘The bar, a cavernous construction of breeze-blocks, heaves with energy, in an easy mix of sailors and islanders, whipped up by a local band running through the year's carnival calypsos from Trinidad.’
    • ‘Wherever you go on on this laid-back island, the palm trees sway to the sounds of soca and calypso music.’
    • ‘The 31-year-old singer blends the best of Caribbean and South London sounds, including reggae, calypso, jazz and British pop music.’
    • ‘Although its roots are similar to those of calypso and reggae, it is more authenticly African.’
    • ‘While listening to calypso music, many of those being entertained like to dance the limbo, a dance very popular among Grenadian Americans.’
    • ‘The sound of soft calypso music drifts down from another deck as, below her, waves lap at the side of the ship.’
    • ‘I don't care if it's classical, funk, salsa, reggae, calypso; it's all dance music.’
    • ‘West Indian calypso and reggae music are both popular.’
    • ‘The project has formed a band called Raw Energy which fuses reggae, African rhythm, calypso, rhumba and rock.’
    • ‘In addition to American and British music, reggae, calypso, and Zairian music are popular.’
    • ‘The steel drums used in calypso music are made from these 55-gallon containers.’
    • ‘They had been arrested together for singing calypsos on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain and though their careers had taken decidedly different paths, there was an intimacy to their relationship that was truly profound.’
    • ‘The Crop Over festival features costume bands, folk music, and calypso competitions.’
    • ‘The steel pan is our gift to the world as is our calypso music.’
    1. 1.1count noun A calypso song.
      ‘a man was playing a calypso on a double bass’
      • ‘Hollis Liverpool wrote his first calypsos in 1954, when he was a pupil at St Mary's College in Port of Spain, and turned professional in the late 60s.’
      • ‘He also learned to play the steel pan, and he and his sister composed calypsos together; she wrote the text and he wrote the music.’
      • ‘Every year, just prior to the launch of Cariwest, Edmonton's vibrant Caribbean arts festival, a contest takes place to decide who has the best calypso song for this year's festival.’
      • ‘He also was called upon to write a special calypso for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1985.’
      • ‘The opening credits feature a traditional calypso that Americans would recognise as Meet the Boys on the Battle Front.’
      • ‘He refuted claims that the station received a letter or request to desist from playing the calypso.’
      • ‘Not many local calypsos have as long lasting effects as Nash's did.’
      • ‘For instance, years ago we would have about five top calypso songs with great quality, now we don't get that.’
      • ‘It was the melodic basis of many early 20th-century calypsos, and today it lives on as the traditional tune for extempo competitions, in which calypsonians show off their quick wits and lyrical skills by inventing.’
      • ‘We have not a single calypso or chutney song to rally around and no hope of pan on the road.’
      • ‘If you have never seen him live, this is an opportunity to see a master of his instrument but also a great showman, exemplified by his calypsos such as ‘Don't Stop the Carnival’.’
      • ‘He was awarded the Trinity Cross in 1978, his portrait adorned two postage stamps and six calypso songs were penned to commemorate his triumph.’
      • ‘The latest calypso songs can be heard on radios and sound systems throughout the country.’
      • ‘Rocket Ship Beach was the first in a series of albums in which Zanes and guests perform folk songs, lullabies, Broadway standards, calypsos and a few originals in a rootsy-but-rocking style.’
      • ‘Despite its Trinidadian roots, Cariwest happens in Edmonton, and so it's quite possible that the crowds might hear calypsos about mad cow disease or SARS!’
      • ‘On the dance floor these days, there are quite a few partners who are comfortable in T-shirts when the music calls for a jive, a samba, a rumba, a calypso, or even a good old waltz.’
      • ‘Sheynnene has toured the Caribbean, North America, the UK and South America performing her winning selections and other popular calypsos.’
      • ‘Flamenco, blues, calypsos, ballads, and a myriad other song forms have made their way into the consciousness of these people with the direct or indirect assistance of his endeavours.’
      • ‘After I bought the machine, I used to go around recording calypsos at different nightclubs, and eventually had the records made in England.’
      • ‘Can you imagine the horror of people here and abroad, the adverse publicity that would attend our nation if such a calypso were to now help to gain the singer the title of Calypso Monarch?’
      • ‘The conscious lyrics of the calypso Free Ourselves saw its singer, Patrice Valentine, placing third in the competition.’
      • ‘I prefer to depend on the comments of callers who heard the calypso during my morning talk show rather than results from a survey.’
      • ‘I grew up with calypsos and Afro-Cuban music at home, so Caribbean music was there from the beginning.’
      • ‘The only limitation is that no steel band is to play a calypso that the said steel band played before in a Panorama competition.’
      • ‘Set to a distinct rhythmic beat, calypsos are songs of social commentary that range from the comic to the tragic.’
      • ‘It is much better than the other boring calypsos I've heard.’
      • ‘It was the melodic basis of many early 20th-century calypsos, and today it lives on as the traditional tune for extempo competitions, in which calypsonians show off their quick wits and lyrical skills by inventing picong on the spot.’
      • ‘It also occasionally featured a calypso from Percival himself.’
      • ‘As such, it's part of Trinidad folklore and history, and certainly one of the greatest calypsos ever written.’
      • ‘As far back as in the 1950s, Lord Melody sang ‘Pedlars’, a humorous calypso on hucksters who sold stolen goods on the sidewalks of Port of Spain.’
      • ‘The five to 17-year-olds, who were wearing colourful T-shirts, performed four pieces, including the calypso which was specially commissioned for the event.’
      • ‘Their followers, chanting calypsos, strumming guitars and banging dustbin lids, swarmed on the field and began triumphant tribal dances.’
      • ‘Never before was one of his most moving songs, ‘Sayamanda’, considered a calypso until Andre died.’
      • ‘Other calypsos failed to pull much reaction from the crowd.’
      • ‘The Police Band performed local calypsos such as the Ashanti's Malaway while the officers on parade entertained the impressive crowd.’
      • ‘The band obliged with a medley of festival type calypsos, only to find audience demand yet unsatisfied, forcing the players to perform yet another calypso medley before the lights finally went down.’
      • ‘The calypsos are OK, but I think they lack quality.’
      • ‘Elsewhere, the calypso is a link to home, thematically and more subtly.’
      • ‘Although others have followed Holman's lead and composed tunes specifically for Panorama, popular calypsos still usually win.’
      • ‘Mark you, sometimes luck intervenes and a good calypso slips through the cracked programming.’

Origin

1930s: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

calypso

/kəˈlɪpsəʊ/

Main definitions of calypso in English

: calypso1Calypso2

Calypso2

proper noun

Greek Mythology
  • A nymph who kept Odysseus on her island, Ogygia, for seven years.

Origin

Greek, literally ‘she who conceals’.

Pronunciation

Calypso

/kəˈlɪpsəʊ/