Kung Beharry Singh was the most popular classical singers of Trinidad. He was born in El Socorro but later moved to Longdenville where he settle and raised a family. ‘K.B.’ as he was popularly known, engaged in many singing competitions, but his most notable achivement was his successive victories in the classical singing competitions hosted by the NCIC, in which he was a four time winner.
K.B. started singing in his teens, having gotten his inspiration from his father. He developed a good style of the classical form and maintained his love for classical singing when most of the singers of his time were shifting to the newly popular film songs.
He developed a good repoitoire and became a favourite singer on’cooking nights’when he would encounter his rivals Hanif Mohammed and Yusuf Khan. K.B. was bestowed with other talents besides singing. In his youth he was a dancer and played a vital role in the Indra Sabha show.
One of my favorite eras of Trinidad classical! Also, thanks to Dr. Visham Bhimull for kindly translating. speaks of Bharat finding out of Ram’s exile on his return to Ayodhya.
पूछत भरत मइया, ‘मोरे राम कहाँ, माई?’
(Bharat askes his mother, ‘Oh mother, where is Ram?’
जब से आये अवधपुरी में हमें उदासी छाये
(Since I’ve returned to Ayodhya I’ve been cast in sadness)
घर गालिया घाट बाग़ में बात पड़ जाए रोवत पाए
(In every home, street, landing place, garden it is said only crying can be met)
राम बिना मोरी सूनी अयोध्या, लछिमा बिना खतुराई
(Without Ram my town of Ayoghya is empty, without Lutchman danger befalls us)
सीता बिना मोरी सूनी रसोइया, उनकी पहर भरत जी खाई
(Without Sita the kicthen is empty, Bharat dreads the possibility)
माता कैकयी ऊंची बोली, ‘सुन भरत और बिसराई!
(Mother Kaikayi said loudly, ‘Listen Bharat and don’t forget
राम लखन के बनवास दिए है तुमको गज पर उल्टी जाए’
(Ram and Lutchman were exiled to the forest, your fate has changed)
कहे भरत, ‘सुन माता कैकयी, ये क्या कुमत-कमाई?
(Bharat says, ‘Mother what manner of ill-deed is this?’)
अब धड़कन में आग लगा था सुनकर कए माई रे माई’
(Now there is a fire of rage in my heart on hearing this o mother!)