Theophilus Philip better known as Mighty Spoiler, was a Trinidadian calypsonian of the 1940s and 50s, and can be considered one of the most important and influential exponents of the art-form.
Indeed , his work has been studied and covered by others, and his style copied ; he is considered one of the greatest comedic calypso storytellers of all time.
Born in Princes Town in 1926, Spoiler’s career began in 1946 at the House of Lords Calypso Tent, where he soon became one of the most popular calypso singers.
In 1947 , he became one of the founders of the new Young Brigade Calypso tent and in 1948 he won the calypso King title with his composition about the marriage of Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen of England.
In 1953 he again won the calypso crown, with his humorous take on reincarnation in which he stated that after death he hoped to return as a “Bedbug”, with a preference for only biting “big, fat women “😊!
In 1955 , Spoiler won the calypso crown for a third time with “Picking Sense out of Nonsense”.
In 1956 Spoiler was abroad and didn’t compete in Trinidad’s Calypso king competition, but in 1957 he competed and placed second to Lord Pretender (Aldric Farrell) with “Magistrate Try Himself”.
The Mighty Spoiler won the calypso king competition of Trinidad on three occasions; in 1948 (with “Royal Wedding”), 1953 (“Bed Bug”), and 1955 (“Pick Sense Out of Nonsense”).
He was one of the best and most popular calypso bards of his era and had many hit songs , including a number of personal favorites.
My favorites include “Fountain of Youth “, in which he imagines the life altering possibilities if such a thing was discovered.
And another popular one was “Woman Police”, a somewhat unrealistic take on the woman in police that may have been more understandable in Spoiler’s time.
Spoiler was one of the first entertainers I truly loved.
Though a youth in those days I appreciated his wit and humorous take on contemporary life.
To me , he remains a major calypso star of his or any era.
Here , the Spoiler is taught the real meaning of “All Fools Day” by an unfaithful wife!
The Spoiler had so many hits in the 1950s, yet he passed at a relatively young age.
Theophilus Phillip , The Mighty Spoiler died in 1960 of an alcohol-related illness.
May he Rest in Peace
2 thoughts on “The Mighty Spoiler, one of the greatest exponents of the calypso art-form.”
Thank U so much Sir ! The quality captured along with the musicianship was exceptional. I was born in ’54 and grew up as a calypso fanatic like most Trinis and the music just makes one reminis and long for that time. Hopefully the younger ones will listen and appreciate what went into the making of our National art form.
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