Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Parang! Merry Christmas!

Parang is a type of music with Caribbean and Latin American cultural influences. The word is derived from the Spanish word parranda, meaning 'merry-making' or 'a group of serenaders'. Parang is a popular folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, it is part of the Island's Hispanic heritage that originated from over 400 years ago during Spanish rule via Venezuela.

In the past, it was traditional for parang serenaders to pay nocturnal visits to the homes of family and friends, where part of the fun was waking the inhabitants of the household from their beds. Today, a new form of parang, soca parang, has emerged. Soca parang is a combination of soca and parang.

Traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmas time, when singers and instrumentalists (collectively known as the parrandero) travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends and neighbours family ect. using whatever instruments are to hand. Popular parang instruments include the cuatro (a four-string small guitar) and maracas (locally known as shak-shaks. Other instruments often used are violin, guitar, claves (locally known as toc-toc), box bass (an indigenous instrument), flute, mandolin, bandolin, caja (a percussive box instrument), and marimbola (an Afro-Venezuelan instrument). In exchange for the entertainment, parranderos are traditionally given food and drink: pastelle, sorrel, rum and ponche crema (a form of alcoholic eggnog).

While traditional house-to-house caroling tradition is still practised by some small groups and larger organized groups, modern parang music has also developed a season of staged performances called parang fiestas, held from October through to January each year, culminating in a national parang competition.

Here is a mixtape with some parang classic from DJ Private Ryan.
Private Ryan Presents Trini Christmas Parang - Only The Best
Click to download.

1. Eat Something – Scrunter
2. Gone Parang – Scrunter
3. Madamme Jeffery – Scrunter
4. Its Christmas – Baron
5. Come Go – Baron
6. Neighbour Neighbour – Rikki Jai
7. Grrt – Sprangalang
8. Ham and Pastelle – Da Mastamind
9. Black Cake and Sorrel – Da Mastamind
10. Drink a Rum – Kitchener
11. Si Yo Pudiera – Flores De San Jose
12. The Paint Brush – Kenny J
13. Santa Looking For A Wife – Bindley B
14. Indian Chick – Taxi
15. Homemade Wine – Scrunter
16. D Parang Now Start – Scrunter
17. We Come Out to Dance – Susan Maicoo
18. Santa Say – Bindley B
19. Play The Soca Parang – Bindley B
20. Hurray Hurray – Singing Francine
21. El caiman – Santa Rosa Serenaders
22. Bring Drinks – Sprangalang
23. Christmas Medley – Crazy
24. Soca Santa – Machel Montano
25. Mamacita – Sharlene Boodram
26. Drinking Anything – Scrunter
27. Anita – Scrunter
28. Gimmi Rum Gimmi Whiskey – Susan Maicoo
29. Trini Christmas is the Best –
30. Chinee Parang – D Joseph
31. So Intoxicated – Ataklan
32. Love for Christmas – Diamond Cut
33. Mr Santa Claus – Rembunction
34. This Christmas – H2oPlo
35. Esta Fiesta – Lil Bits
36. House to House – General Grant
37. Caroline – Ziggy Ranks
38. Tante Euleyne – Blazer
39. Yvonne - Crazy

Dont forget my own mixtape from 2009 and 2007, you can find it at

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