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15 Stellar Calypso Steelpan Anthems that Became Standards and Helped to Cement the Pan in Caribbean Culture

Author: Rudy Kendall

The steelpan has become huge force in Caribbean culture due in large part to the many calypsonians of Trinidad who have made the steelpan and the sub-culture surrounding it the topic of some of their legendary records. The most noteworthy and prolific calypsonian who simultaneously brought the steelpan to the forefront of Caribbean culture along with his anthems was the undisputed Grand Master of Calypso, Lord Kitchener. From road marches to party anthems, Lord Kitchener composed numerous gems of steelpan anthems consistently for decades. With this being the case, the majority of anthems listed here are composed by Kitch.

Pan in A Minor will get a pass on this occasion as it is already the preeminent steelpan anthem. More Kitchener classics which we will not cover but which deserve honorary mentions nonetheless are Symphony on the Street and Pan Birthday among others. Some other steelpan anthems that will not be covered are The Road (1963), and Lord Blakie's hit Steelband, among other recordings, due to the fact that although those particular tunes utilized the steelpan as their main topic of focus lyrically, there were surprisingly no actual steelpan instruments to be heard in the tunes themselves. 

In the instances where video footage was available featuring the live steelband renditions of each particular steelpan anthem performed by the following calypsonians, we listed it accordingly in order to give the readers who are unaware of the arranging process an idea of the amount of work and effort that is expended by arrangers and steelbands towards transforming a calypsonian performed steelpan anthem into an actual steelband anthem.


15 Stellar Steelpan Anthems


1. Pan Here To Stay - Lord Kitchener





2. Pan Night And Day - Lord Kitchener 


3. Pan In Harmony - Lord Kitchener 



4. Play One - Black Stalin



5. Pan In Danger - Merchant



6. Tribute to ''Spree'' Simon - Lord Kitchener


7. Iron Man - Lord Kitchener


8. Sweet Pan - Lord Kitchener


9. Steelband Music - Lord Kitchener


10. Symphony on the Street - Lord Kitchener



11. Guitar Pan - Lord Kitchener


12. Pan Earthquake - Lord Kitchener


13. Is De Pan In Me - Lord Kitchener




14. Toco Band - Lord Kitchener


15. Mystery Band - Lord Kitchener 


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