Soca Feminism? They Call Me Lucy!

A faceless Lucy, a dutty wining Lucy, Lucy “bam bam” with forensic detail of her underwear and what’s under there, a Lucy as an empowering figure, a Lucy dancing by herself on the speaker box, a Lucy on a stage of women dancing, Lucy Lucy…Feminist anthem?

 

Carnival is a time that elicits diverse responses by different segments in our country as it relates to public participation. Some parents raise their children to take part in the culture; mummy and daddy mighta be big feters back-in-de-day and nowadays! Some parents spend time with their children and enrol them in “Carnival Education 101 Class” – these parents teach their young ones about the history of mas, the significance of kaiso as feel-good-music and protest song, the rhythm and rhyme of the Pierrot Grenade and Midnight Robber and so on and so on. Then there is a significant section of the population that holds the view that Carnival activity and performances of sexuality are some form of moral corruption and senseless revelry throughout the country. “The Devil is a liar and he blue!” These parents might tell their children horror stories about Carnival before their children go to sleep, monitor and manage the television stations on Carnival Monday and Tuesday or ship off the little ones to a retreat among children whose parents have the same anxiety. “Far, far away from Carnival!” This helps ensure that you remain a “real good girl” or “real good boy”.

 

 

I grew up as a real good girl
Always home, don’t go nowhere
As soon as I was introduced to Carnival they say I loose

 

 

 

Destra Garcia, Queen of Bacchanal’s “Lucy” is a story about a “real good girl” who grew to love the fiery spirit of Carnival and whining. Her offering in 2015 is quite special in her catalogue of music. “Lucy” is a song that sheds light on the contradictory-hypocritical-moral-standards young women face and are oppressed by in this country. On one hand, you want girls and women to bruk out/take it down/bubble on de spot and shake yuh bottom for Carnival because it is “we culture” [plus, if yuhz not a national beauty queen you can be a Carib girl]. On the other hand, we are quick to judge the character of women by the way they dance in public. So this “Woman Getting On Bad” formula makes sense in a sexist-homophobic logic:

 

Woman Getting On Bad +Her Man/Partner = SHE LOOSE
Woman Getting On Bad + A Man = SHE BAD AND SHE LOOSE
Woman Getting On Bad + A Woman = SHE IS A LESBIAN AND SHE LOOSE
Woman Getting On Bad (Alone) = SHE STUSH, SHE FEEL SHEZ IT AND SHE LOOSE

 

“Lucy” attacks the localized version of slut shaming of our women. Lucy reclaims the power from the label imposed on her as a sexually irresponsible and ill-mannered woman and projects a positive self-image, self-confidence on the dance floor and in life. Not only is the song amazing but also the animation video visually articulates the upright Lucy who challenges the oppressive male gaze and narrow definitions of female sexuality.

 

 

 

Was never a partier
My school bazaar I used to go
But since I was introduced to bacchanal they say I loose
When ah drop it hot
And ah wine it on top de speaker box
And ah grind it and ah doe want to stop
And they call me Lucy

 

 

 

The video mixes the old-school 1980s ‘Fat Albert” style cartoon aesthetic with Japanese-influenced anime in characters sketches. We see a young cartoon Destra eyes glued to the gyrating figure of a Sanelle Dempster-like figure on TTT! Memories oui…! This suggests the strong influence media has on youth ideas about sexuality. Then, the animation aptly portrays the close up intimate rub-a-dub setting of a school bazaar. The school bazaar is one of the most important spaces for youth performativity in our island. Where else can a fourteen or sixteen year old have a space to express and explore sexual desires in a safe environment among peers under the supervision of the school management and parents? It’s a win for the child, a win for the parents and a win for the school raising funds! School discos are one of the few occasions that adults recognize that the youth (teenagers) are not asexual beings. It is also a very important time in the life of a boy or girl who matures into defining boundaries of fun, play and their bodies. And yuh could say what yuh want, plenty people get dey first whine in dey. Think back to your first whine :D

 

A major shortcoming, however, in the production of the official music video, is the excessive imagery of Destra’s “bam bam” which I think went counterproductive to the potential of the song as an empowerment song. In the animation video (3:39), a total of fifty-nine (59) seconds were dedicated to a faceless image of Destra whining with a focus on her animated derriere or her on all-fours on the ground. That means 27% of video time was dedicated to Lucy not being Lucy…but an overly sexualised Lucy de whiner-girl who has the power to give a man an erection, as one Youtube viewer admitted.

 

At the same time, in Soca land where we underrate the musical and entertainment abilities of Destra, relegate groovy soca music as a women’s space until $2million dollars jump up (simultaneously, discrediting female entries into Power Soca), and put yuh hand in de air without asking questions! Yea…I have to big up a song with a story line, dancing instructions, melodious chorus, 1990s blend of calypso and soca rhythms and a message. They Call Me Lucy!

I attempted to transcribe the song. You can see the Lyrics here:

Published on Youtube: Jan 22, 2015
Title of Video: Destra – Lucy (Official Music Video) “Soca 2015” [HD]
Channel: JulianspromosTV | Soca Music
Accessed on Tuesday 3rd February 2015
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGvQ4zRHMLo

Directed by Eldon Pernel
Lab206 Studios
Creative Director – Lyndon Joseph
Lead Animators – Fabien Kong

Produced By De Red Boyz
Written By Jason “Shaft” Bishop & Destra Garcia
Mixed By Andrew Denny
Mastered By Sterling Sounds.

Destra – Lucy (2015)

[Lucy Lucy]
[Queen of Bachannal]

I grew up as a real good girl
Always home, don’t go nowhere
As soon as I was introduced to Carnival they say I “loose”

All down on de ground
Wokin woking up meh bottom
And It draggin draggin all over town
And they say I Lucy

Was never a partier
My school bazaar I used to go
But since I was introduced to bacchanal they say I loose
When ah drop it hot
And ah wine it on top de speaker box
And ah grind it and ah doe want to stop
And they call me Lucy

[Start to whine]

I looser than Lucy
I sweeter than Juicy
Dis carnival have me so damn loose [hey]

Get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Loosen yuh waist kill dem with de pace

There’s no place I rather be than in a fete having a time
For those who [are vibe/abide] to see me acting up and wining loose

All down on de ground
Wokin woking up meh bottom
And it draggin draggin all over town
And they say I Lucy

I never meant to be this way is de bacchanal inside ah me
When I come on a stage, getting on bad
Yuh know I loose

When ah drop it hot
And ah wine it on top ah speaker box
And ah grind it and ah doe want to stop
And they call me Lucy

I looser than Lucy
I sweeter than Juicy
Dis carnival have me so damn loose [hey]

Get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Loosen yuh waist kill dem with de pace

Now show me yuh slackness
Show me yuh went and practice
Lucy is a Carnivalist
And Dat is why I behave so loose

All down on de ground
Wokin woking up meh bottom
And it draggin draggin all over town
And they call me Lucy

I grew up as a real good girl
Always home, don’t go nowhere
As soon as I was introduced to Carnival they say I “loose”

All down on de ground
Wokin woking up meh bottom
And it draggin draggin all over town
And they say I Lucy

I looser than Lucy
I sweeter than Juicy
Dis carnival have me so damn loose [hey]

Get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh

Lucy, Lucy
I looser than Lucy
I sweeter than Juicy, Juicy
Dis carnival have me so damn loose [hey]

Get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Get loose, get loose ah wha yuh
Loosen yuh waist kill dem with de pace

Now show me yuh slackness
Show me yuh went and practice
Lucy is a Carnivalist
And Dat is why I behave so loose

All down on de ground
Wokin woking up meh bottom
And it draggin draggin all over town
And they call me Lucy

I looser than Lucy
I sweeter than Juicy
Have me so damn loose
Get loose
Get loose
Get loose
Get loose
Queen of Bacchanal…

 

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Meta

3 Comments

  1. February 3, 2015
    Reply

    I appreciated her reclaiming female sexuality from the narrow jaws of sexist logic. Kudos for this deconstruction – the concept of soca feminism was an unexpected one for me.

  2. Akil Griffith
    February 4, 2015
    Reply

    I love the break down of this song, I find it so accurate and necessary for the people of the country to really look at what we in society condemn and accept.

  3. Denise Dimsoy
    February 8, 2015
    Reply

    I am one of the people who usually stay away from Carnival. I agree that the music is infectious. However, I don’t believe that it empowers women. Our society has double standards. Even the ‘good girl’ who ‘bruk out’ is called loose and admits to being loose, ‘looser than. Lucy’ in her words. What is to be gained? A desensitized population who thinks it is appropriate, commendable and advantageous for women to display their prowess at sexual skills to all and sundry? In our highly empowered world, would men continue to display more modesty than the average woman?. I have often wondered why more men do not publicly display their wares. I wonder if it is because they are more interested in getting women to provide them with entertainment, amusement and titillation? Far from being empowered I feel that today’s sexually ostentatious.women are again pandering to the whims and fancies of men in society hoping to attract the elusive grand prize of a fantastic mate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *