Muriel's Treasure - An Hour of Calypso and Soca Hosted by Irwin Chusid on WFMU Radio
Hosted by Irwin Chusid on WFMU ~ Wednesday 2:00 - 3:00 pm
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Muriel's Mailbag

12 OCT 05
Dude -- I can't understand the lyrics. -- Phil
Phil -- Shut up and dance. And don't call me 'dude.'
Dear Irwin -- I prefer the old calypso recordings to the newer soca stuff. -- Karen
Dear Karen -- Thanks for not calling me 'dude.' Learn to like the newer stuff. I'm 87 years old and made the transition. You can too. Anything I play on the show is GOOD. There's a lot of CRAPPY SOCA. I'm protecting your ears from it.

19 OCT 05
Dear Irwin - I tried contacting you earlier about your low interest mortgage rate. You have been selected for our lowest rate in years. Bad credit? Bankruptcy? Doesn't matter. Please play more Sparrow.
Regards, Mestre Gilvan
Mestre - Your correspondence is always appreciated. Nice to hear from you again. And again. And again. Are the meds helping?
Listener Pete gripes:
> the hell with Muriel. how long can you keep this (calypso thing) going? another month maybe?
Host Irwin:
Actually, the program has been an enormous hoax on the listeners! Next week Gender Bias returns!!
In fact, I haven't been hosting Muriel's Treasure the past three weeks. Kenny G has been IMPERSONATING ME!!!
> when do the songs stop sounding the same?
I know, I know. I can't believe people actually LIKE THIS STUFF!!!!! Pathetic!
Next week on GB -- a tribute to the 9th anniversary of Lilith Fair, with lots of Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, and Tracy Chapman.

26 OCT 05
I like the dirty calypsos better. -- Ken from Denver
Ken: It's all in your mind. Sometimes a bedbug is just an insect, and big bamboo is just a whup-ass stick.
Dude, sorry I called you 'Dude' a few weeks ago. I still can't understand the lyrics. Can you provide a glossary? Or a decoding manual? -- Phil
Phil: Decoding manuals aren't free. The point of this program is to drive traffic to the MT homepage which links to Calypso Decoding Manuals @
Are all these calypsonians really members of British royalty? Their names are very impressive. -- Kerry
Kerry: Very few of the Kings, Barons, Dukes, Princes, and Counts who sing calypso are actual British royalty. Less than 15%. Those who are will be so identified on this program.

02 NOV 05
Listener Arlene complains:
I try to listen each week, but after about 10-12 minutes, I have to turn the volume down. The lyrics are funny, but the jaunty beat is just so damn -- JAUNTY. After a while I can't take it. The nuances are there -- I know -- but that irrepressible jauntiness makes me seasick. A solid hour of Muriel is just too much! That music is like jumping on a trampoline. You have to get off after 10 minutes and when you do, the solid ground feels good under your feet . Turning the volume down after 10 minutes of that jaunty beat is to the brain what solid ground is to getting off a trampoline. Can you lower the jaunty meter?
Arlene: You accuse me of forcing upon the audience "excessive jauntiness," and of consigning them to a trampoline for an hour each week.
Do you know how ridiculous these charges would sound in a court of law, much less in a calypso tent? Or, for that matter, in a schoolyard? Besides, how much jauntiness is the average person exposed to in a week? Where does one go to obtain a minimum daily dose of jauntiness, to exercise the jaunty muscles, to massage the jaunty gland? RIGHT HERE, darlin'. A little spurt of jaunt is good for the soul. If you can't get it elsewhere, top off your tank with an hour of Muriel, and hope it lasts all week. If you're stuck on jury duty, forced to work late at the office, or having a colonoscopy, make a small withdrawal from your jaunty account. It could make unpleasant circumstances bearable. We're here to serve.

Illustrations by William Charmatz, from William Attaway's "Calypso Song Book" (McGraw-Hill, 1957)

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