Lord Kitchener

Aldwyn Roberts (18 April 1922 – 11 February 2000), better known by the stage name Lord Kitchener (or “Kitch”), was an internationally known calypsonian.

Roberts was born in Arima, Trinidad, the son of a blacksmith, Stephen, and housewife, Albertha. He was educated at the Arima boys’ government school until he was 14, when his father died. His father had encouraged him to sing and learn to play the guitar, and he became a full-time musician. He won the Arima borough council’s calypso competition four times between 1938 and 1942.

He found further success in the UK in the 1950s, building a large following in the expatriate communities of the West Indian islands. His prominence continued throughout the 1950s, when calypso achieved international success. Kitchener became a very important figure to those first 5,000 West Indian migrants to the UK. His music spoke of home and a life that they all longed for but in many cases couldn’t or wouldn’t return to. He immortalised the defining moment for many of the migrants in writing the Victory Calypso with its lyrics “Cricket, Lovely Cricket” to celebrate West Indies cricket team’s first victory over England in England, in the 2nd Test at Lord’s in June 1950. This was one of the first widely known West Indian songs, and epitomised an event that historian and cricket enthusiast C. L. R. James defined as crucial to West Indian post-colonial society.

London is the place for me by Lord Kitchener

London is the place for me,

London this lovely city,

You can go to France or America, India, Asia or Australia,

But you must come back to London city.

Well believe me I am speaking broadmindedly,

I am glad to know my ‘Mother Country’,

I’ve been travelling to countries years ago,

But this is the place I wanted to know,

London that’s the place for me.

To live in London you are really comfortable,

Because the English people are very much sociable,

They take you here and they take you there,

And they make you feel like a millionaire,

London that’s the place for me.

At night when you have nothing to do,

You can take a walk down Shaftesbury Avenue,

There you will laugh and talk and enjoy the breeze,

And admire the beautiful scenery,

Of London that’s the place for me.

Yes I cannot complain of the time I have spent,

I mean my life in London is really magnificent,

I have every comfort and every sport,

And my residence is Hampton Court,

So London, that’s the place for me.

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