Yesterday’s article about “All in the Family”: Australian Woman Finds Out her Fiancé is Actually her Half Brother (which now has claims it is a fraudulent story) reminds me of a reggae song I first heard some years ago while I was in the Caribbean. I suspect all genealogists can sympathize with this young man’s problem!
“Shame and Scandal in the Family” is a song written by calypso singer Sir Lancelot. It was later recorded by folksingers Odetta and Burl Ives and later still by Trini Lopez and by Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Melody. In 1964, The Kingston Trio included a live performance of the song. Other versions have been recorded in several different languages by still other artists. The lyrics varied slightly in the various versions.
In Lord Melody’s 1960s version the story follows a young Trinidadian man in search of a wife. In each of the verses, the young man asks his father for permission to marry a different woman, only to be told he can not marry the girl as “The girl is your sister, but your mamma don’t know”. However, the tables are turned during the last verse, where the young man’s mother tells him that “Your daddy ain’t your daddy, but your daddy don’t know”, clearing the path for him to marry any of the girls.
Here are the lyrics in Lord Melody’s 1960s version: