Sir Ruel Has Traditional Traditional Media Running for Cover

Two of the more popular calypsos of the season by Chad ”Sir Ruel” Bowen have been banned by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)  and Voice of Barbados (VOB). Not a surprise to many is the fact the two social commentary songs deal with political references in Barbados. To be expected the CBC has banned both Run for Cover and Not My Vote and the less aggressive VOB has banned Not My Vote.

In the age of the Internet and social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube the two songs can still be heard but the banning of the songs by traditional media reinforces the view held by many that local media is intimidated by the political class compared to Trinidad and several other islands in the Caribbean.

The two calypsos by Sir Ruel are refreshingly  ”biting”  in a market  that has been starved of proper social commentary in recent years. The two songs are guaranteed to be on the  playlist of many.

Here are the two songs for your listening pleasure AND critique.

The irony for the BU household and others is that members of parliament continue to engage in immoral behaviour and attack citizens at will from behind the cloak of parliamentary privilege. In the mean time local media is on full bast with bashment soca crowding the airwaves. Here is an example of one of the popular bashment tunes by Scrilla with the title Wood.


  • As I said before they that claim to be promoting CULTURE are the very ones stifling CULTURE. Fabee needed to tell Sir Ruel dat since 2008 ya caan “Sing Wha De People Wunna Hear”……However it is completely acceptable to stand in Parliament and speak most provocatively about “blood flowing in de gutters like water”.


  • @Hamilton

    The traditional media is the key for championing change in Barbados. Barbadians unlike many other markets still rely on traditional media to shape opinions. They have pulled a couple teeth from the Announcer for 2017 anyway.


  • I just listened to run for cover. Absolutely nothing libelous nor inflammatory in those lyrics.

    Where is this going? Anyone hearing that such an innocuous song is banned is going to get the wrong (right?) impression now.


  • Is there any wonder that social commentary is on its death bed? After this, show me a musician, songwriter or calypsonian with any measure of sense that would waste time with this gendre. But then again, this will suit the ruling class.


  • A reverenced doctor booby is calling for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee to continue almost half year after it culminated with a shrine to the devil complete with fork cum trident at the garrison savannah.This clown prince of jackasses who flew in the face of the almighty with the quote….’no way he can ded pun my watch’..and de man ups and ded since 09.Let go convicted prisoners for their and their families’ sakes,but screw the victims.The last reverenced doctor booby who got involved in the prison burn down de people prison with his vile anti BLP rhetoric.The whole lot a blasted stinking reverenced dems should be marched out to the parade square at 0600 hrs.


  • Dennis Johnson gave an explanation as to why Stardom took the stand it did. He said that a particular line was questioned, and based on legal advice the decision was taken. Completely understand the need to err on the side of caution, but what has always infuriated me is the fact that such thin skinned cry babies have no difficulties slinging mud from the floor of our parliament. Right in the full focus of the television camera I saw three grown ass men poking fun at Edmond Hinkson’s speech impediment. Did they not see such as an affront to all others who share the same?…….this present crop of politicians is as sickening as shite.


  • And the thing is that Edmund is a brilliant man unlike the raggamuffins out dey by stuart


  • Two good songs from the young man.

    It’s been a very long time since I have heard such “biting” social commentary. Calypsonians such as “Red Plastic Bag” have all gone silent over the past 9 years, although there is more than enough “material” available for them to compose good social commentary tunes.

    However, in MY opinion, these so call “bashment” calypsos are NONSENSE. 99% of those songs sound like choruses………..they are poorly composed with repetitive lyrics being sung to the same rhythm, which is indicative of the lack of creativity.


  • What’s wrong with the bashment soca?


  • Bashment soca for seniors. wutlessness has been around forever. Jean and Dinah, Benwood dick ………


  • Nobody likes to hear the truth about themselves.

    If Sir Ruel telling lies about any politician he can be sued for defamation but the problem is that there is the danger that

    ” a lie can lead to a truth”.


  • We are boasting of having a Cultural Industry and embracing young talent….But, it seems to be going up in the air and dropping in the face of whoever banned those two songs, especially Run for Cover, the beautiful composed song with the sweetest horns by Sir Ruel. Politicians are going in Parliament and behaving like “wild boys” as labelled by the last PM and CBC allow this sordid behaviour in our homes without cutting. Calypso is the theatrical form of History that past and present calypsonians have been using successfully to portrait what’s happening in society. Gabby sang biting commentaries like Government Boots, Dah beach is mine and a host of other critical songs. Gypsy sang The Sinking Ship which became a theme song for a party theme song during elections.
    I listened attentively and Run For Cover is a brilliant display of lyrics that if RPB or Gabby was the singer none of the media would have touched. CBC should be ashamed regarding the banning of this young articulate youth, yet, screen bashment music displaying nothingness as undergarments.
    Regardless, that song “Run for Cover” going straight to the finals. To Sir Ruel….Keep the faith!


  • @The Blogmaster you are a very astute media and messaging practitioner so I am surprised by your assessment that it “reinforces the view held by many that local media is intimidated by the political class compared to Trinidad and several other islands in the Caribbean”.

    Government run media outlets usually NEVER play any political commentary that is blatantly anti-government…so CBC’s stance is as the norm.

    And private ran media houses thrive on entertainment and advertising…controversial songs drive both of those things….so as said above VOB erred on the side of legal practicalities.

    The songs are indeed quite good but apart from the lines in ‘Not my Vote’ that caused VOB pause (whatever they may have been) the line that caused me great mirth and personal pause of whether Sir Ruel’s himself is a ‘madman’ (LOL) was the part in ‘Run for Cover’ when he appears to be saying:

    “… maybe if dey had Dave Thompson things wouldn’t go done hill so fast, he was great in my opinion!…”

    Good lawd, I would ‘Run for Cover’ too, wid dat sentiment!

    But anyhow, as back in the day when one calypso like a ‘Boots’ did the rounds to wide acclaim the aggrieved party can get a sweet riposte made to win back some hearts and minds.

    And to your point “In the age of […] social media platforms […] the banning of the songs” is surely useless and counter productive…but it can save a media house some money damages, however.


  • When U R deemed 2 B 2 radical the powers that B don’t want U heard
    word up


  • @Hamilton Hill 08:52 With the advances in technology, could this “offending” line not be digitally removed without prohibitive cost and the tune still played on-air? VOB has mastered the technology of bleeping contributors on the call-in programme whenever something is said the could offend the lords of parliament.


  • I was going to write that Sparrow, Tradewinds, Kitchener et al uses to write shiite, but they were creative………….. something that is noticeably lacking in these young calysonians.


  • @Dee Word


    nd to your point “In the age of […] social media platforms […] the banning of the songs” is surely useless and counter productive…but it can save a media house some money damages, however.

    The challenge for Sir Ruel is that if he wants to win a car he will have to amend the lyrics. What does this say about artistic license?


  • David

    The point has been made by Jeff that the media houses should test the libel laws in court but how can they when their own lawyer believes that they are libelous,as in VOBs case?

    Possibly Jeff needs to talk to the next lawyer forum and tell them to stop mis-interpreting the laws of the land.


  • I thought it was tradition for the “traditional media” in Bim to ban songs that offended politicians or some “important” folks. I can rhyme off a few e.g. “Jack” ,”Boots”, ”Chicken and Rum” “Mummy why yuh bite me” etc.

    Initially I thought that “Run for cover” wasn’t really catchy but after listening a second time it does have a hook and I could see folks singing the line “Run for Cover” and one could see why the Gov run CBC would ban the song as it could stand in for a BLP commercial.

    Calypsonians are the port laureates of the man in the street and there is a long history of them using songs for social and political commentary. One of the best is Dr. Hollis Liverpool known as “Chalkdust” and I remember visiting Trinidad many years ago and a work acquaintance from a branch office used to show me around town. We used to discuss the politics of the country and he told me a story that Dr. Eric Williams used to turn off his hearing aid if he wasn’t interested in hearing your point of view. I believed him because he was well connected and some years later became a Minister in a T & T Gov’t. To make a long story short he spoke of “Chalkdust” and his song ‘Ah Fraid Karl” and if any one followed Trinidad politics at the time they knew of Karl Hudson Phillips the Atty General and the power he wielded in the Williams Gov’t.

    “Chalkdust” has many more biting commentaries in song but “Ah Fraid Karl” is one of the best.


  • Erratum

    S/B “poet laureates”


  • Word to Sir Ruel….

    do a radio edit of the song.

    ” a radio edit is a modification, typically truncated, to make a song more suitable for airplay, whether it be adjusted for length, profanity, subject matter, “


  • Indeed, albeit it is already innocuous, nevertheless, edit what the in-house counsel desires and then Run with it.


  • When he edits the original lyrics to what extent does he compromise his artistic license /freedom? It is a social commentary that is not a money spinner anyway.


  • @ fear play ….it is not in Starcom’s remit to edit. They are not the owners of the work. Remember the heat that RPB caught back in 1989 for “Pluck It” ? I am wondering if there is a way that COSCAP can get involved, providing that Sir Ruel is a member. Give a listen to Sugar Aloes doing A Plead The Fifth. Even more biting than Ah Fraid Carl as mentioned by the Sarge…..Never got banned. All I can think is suppose Sir Ruel had sung about robbing an octogenarian? Or about lashes like peas? Or about de probate of mommy ‘s Will? Da mussee wudda bury he instead….lord come fah ya world!


  • Music in the field of Music

    Music that ain’t no Fake

    This is the Tackro

    Uglier than the Ugly

    Tougher than Tough

    Rougher than Rough

    Dreader than Dread

    Sent from Zion

    A Conquering Lion

    Cool your Will

    Whether you are Iron or a Steel


  • Fact of the matter is that the little cupcakes in parliament can give but they can’t take. It is alright to inherit five million dollars from your business savy mother but no one is to comment on it. It’s alright to withhold money from a client for many many years but not alright to sing about it. It alright to make secret deals and sign mou’s to build incinerators then sit quietly in parliament (like an idiot) and announce that nothing has crossed your desk BUT we can’t sing about it. Freedom of information? Freedom of the Press? In your mind maybe, but not in the freest black nation in the world.


  • Lie of the day by dem menisters……Denis Kellman on VOB says the NCC staff salaries were not paid on time because the funds were transferred to the WRONG ACCOUNT.You mean in the year of our lord 2017,the Dems cannot get its Salaries and Wages account right the first time?In my time the financial controller would be disciplined.


  • The Finance Minister continues to embarrass his eminent self and by extension his ‘Doolittle’ PM,the ‘Quisling’ minister Boyce and the ‘Unbiblical’ cord man Jester,by having to walk back the date of implementation of an unpopular tax by 2 weeks thus far.Confidence will only return to the country Barbados when these super clowns for a Dem government is removed from the parliament one day coming soon.Investors,hold on a little longer ya hear!


  • One of my favourites.


  • Classic – Mascoll (Crop Over 2006)

    Go find it on youtube.




  • If Starcom had balls, they would play Not my Vote and let themselves be sued. Then go to court and expose the truth behind the kickbacks and contracts mentioned in the song. It is only libel if it is untrue. And of course it would mysteriously never come to court for fear of the probable exposure of said truth.


  • I do love biting social commentary, but I must admit that I also love wood (-:)

    Scrilla’s “Wood” that is.


  • @David June 28, 2017 at 11:51 AM “The challenge for Sir Ruel is that if he wants to win a car he will have to amend the lyrics. What does this say about artistic license?”

    It doesn’t say anything about artistic license.

    But it does say that our politicians real, real thin skinned.


  • Just listened to “Run for Cover”. It seems pretty innocuous to me. He is simply advising DEM to run for cover, because their political charade is over.


  • No threats of violence nor nothing so.


  • I ain’t see nothing wrong with “Not my Vote” either, except that maybe Ninja Man might sue.


  • Morning brothers and sisters in Cell

    Welcome to JA

    On the Big J today it’s a Saturday huh! in the morning of the dawning

    the Young Jamaica Show with a shout with a show on Big JBC Radio

    Sir Marcus with the socks so boss jocks soul shock so from the steeple to the cell people huh!

    Baby everything is alright and I don’t mean maybe

    Compliments of jamaican recording and publishing studio at 13 Brentford Road Kingston

    In collaboration with Music City the slickest little Kitty in the City huh!


  • Running Away-Crazy Baldhead (Medley Rehersal)


  • See what Sir Ruel posted to BU Facebook. He sent a big thank you to the public.
    David King published an article on WordPress.

    28 June at 06:32 ·



    Two of the more popular calypsos of the season by Chad ”Sir Ruel" Bowen have been banned by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Voice of Barbados (VOB). Not a surprise to many is the fact the two social commentary songs deal with political references in Barbados. To be expected the CBC has banned both Run for Cover and… [ 177 more words ]…/sir-ruel-has-t…/

    Sir Ruel Has Traditional Traditional Media Running for Cover

    Two of the more popular calypsos of the season by Chad ”Sir Ruel” Bowen have been banned by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)  and Voice of Barbados (VOB). Not a surprise to …


    LikeShow More Reactions


    7 Curtis Griffith, Sandra Madea and 5 others


    Santini More

    Santini More · Friends with James Paul and 43 others

    Are our elected politicians now so thin skinned that these 2 harmless tunes would offend them? It is a sad day for creativity, freedom of speech and Crop Over!

    LikeShow More Reactions

    · Reply ·


    · 28 June at 09:57 · Edited

    Maureen Fields replied · 3 Replies

    Raymond Lorde

    Raymond Lorde David King, Barbados has a long tradition of banning songs. I remember that "Boots" by Gabby was on a don’t play list. It used to be overtly political. However, the threat of lawsuits by lawyers for libel or slander have given the media houses reasons …See more

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    · Reply ·


    · 28 June at 07:45

    David King

    David King Agree with you. I see two issues here. The reluctance by the large traditional media houses to est these matters in court with the weight of public opinion behind them. And the fact Sir Ruel has to make a decision to tweak the lyrics to compete based on NCF rules.

    LikeShow More Reactions

    · Reply · 28 June at 08:32

    Peter Lawrence Thompson

    Peter Lawrence Thompson I am told that the defamation statutes are significantly different in Barbados than they are in Trinidad

    LikeShow More Reactions

    · Reply · 28 June at 08:37

    David King

    David King Peter we don’t know this unless the matters are test in court. The practice in Barbados is for media houses to settle claims based on legal ”opinions”.

    LikeShow More Reactions

    · Reply ·


    · 28 June at 10:59

    Rawle Maycock

    Rawle Maycock The contentious lines are well written! I listen to them quite attentively.

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    · Reply · 28 June at 11:59

    David King

    David King…/the-jeff…/

    The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Freedom of Expression and the Citizen

    In a progressive democracy, as we claim to be, a…

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    · Reply · Remove Preview ·


    · 28 June at 12:19

    Curtis Griffith

    Curtis Griffith You say place the blame on the traditional media, I suggest it should be placed on their attorneys at Law David King

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    · Reply · 28 June at 16:47

    Arturo Edward

    Arturo Edward For thirty years, calypsos like this. Thirty years the same blasted claims about the Party in power. How about a calypso about a complete overhaul

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    · Reply · 29 June at 07:55

    Chad Bowen

    Chad Bowen · Friends with Annette Beckett and 126 others

    I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who shared this song. Thanks for your support and kind words of encouragement do continue to share its over 10,000 views already please keep it going 👏👏👏

    Sir Ruel- Not My Vote

    Song Title: Not my vote Artiste: Sir Ruel Writer: Joseph ‘Invader’ Hughes Arranged…

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    · Reply · Remove Preview · 3 hrs

    Gavin Dawson

    Gavin Dawson WHAT IS BARBADOS coming too? Free speech getting less, pity, and CBC should be concentrating on how they are going to get rid of the huge DEBT they have accrued, instead of words of a song,VOB well don’t want to upset any one. Chad ( sir Ruel) people are interested and are playing your songs on FB you are getting more plays the ever CBC or VOB could do.The good thing is neither station can do anything about it, complain yes but why try to close the gate the horse has gone.

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    · Reply · 6 mins


  • Vincent Haynes

    Good comment above…..placing the blame on the Attorneys……Jeff should be asked to comment.


  • @Vincent

    Jeff’s deals with this matter in a very interesting article tomorrow.


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