Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Gordon Robinson | Riddle of the Trinity Shuffle

Published:Monday | April 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Audley Shaw
Nigel Clarke

So, after months of speculation, guessing and spelling, the long-awaited reshuffle of political Heaven has finally taken place.

Riddle I dis;

Riddle I dat.

Guess I dis riddle

and paraps not.

Some ascended; some shifted. Others were cast down. During all this, father and son appeared indistinguishable as if each was within the other. Heavenly stalwarts Robert and Audley, also an unsuccessful challenger of the son, were tossed from seats that brought them respect and high marks from one source or another. But banishment came with a simultaneous recall to alternative seats seemingly of lower status but heavenly spin doctors turned what resembled 'cut-and-bring-back' dominoes into the best use of experience.

(Solomon was the wisest man)

Um hmm!

Ah, riddle I dis and a riddle I dat.

Ah, guess I dis riddle and a paraps not!

Ah, ah!

Ah, two little blackbirds sat on di wall.

Ah, one name Peter and one name Paul.

Fly away Peter and fly away Paul!

Ah, come back Peter and come back Paul.




Into their seats slipped loyal angels, Horace and Nigel. Now we understand the urgency to find a particular seat for Nigel. Ancient campaigners Karl and Mike were summoned to be angels with nothing to do (oops, sorry, 'without portfolio'). In this divine game of musical chairs, Audley and Robert were sent to sit where Karl and Mike once sat.

Room for rent; apply within.

When I run out, you run in,

Wow! Uh-oh!

A nuh roll on riddim, roll on.

Some who might've expected to shuffle into Heaven may've been disappointed. Pearly gates remained closed to the Capulets, although neither was seen sleeveless in any house. Are we being taught to exercise our constitutional right to remain silent? Or does this confirm material used to pave highways to Hell? Do agents provocateurs succeed where the manipulated fail?

(Girl, leave soul alone).

Um hmm! Because what?

('cause I'm a big man in this town!)

Would there be imminent revolt? No, the son played beginning and middle games perfectly so could confidently move pieces around without danger. There'd be no mutiny. Heavenly father had guided his son well. Sankies would be sung. Candles lit ...

Now listen!

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep

and I don't know where to find dem.

Leave dem alone and dey will come home

Wow! Wagging their tails behind dem!

Disciples not disowning the son were untroubled. They remained steadfast.

Wow! Let di riddim roll on again!

Roll on now riddim!

The divinely inspired chess game that appeared to start four years ago, when, to pundits' surprise, the son survived attempted blasphemy and coup, continued through national trials and tribulations until actions resulted in majority worship. Not even the rise of eastern faiths to which one was made to swear allegiance deterred the son who persevered even where family dynasties threatened to derail the middle game. One dynasty surrendered to the angel Nigel while another was swerved by transfer to a heavenly second-tier seat divorced from influence on earthly community.




Finally, checkmate! Father and son are united with national spirit so son can roam highways and byways and honour the father as Father. That's what you call a Trinity Shuffle!

In 1971, Riddle I Dis was recorded by Derrick Harriott's Musical Chariot to include a sampling of Derrick's 1967 hit Solomon with added commentary from singjay sensation of the time, the late David 'Scotty' Scott. Scotty was a member of singing groups the Federals and Chosen Few before Harriott switched him to solo artiste.

Riddle I Dis became a massive chart success for Scotty and Derrick (himself a high-class singer known as 'the man with two voices') but also dominated 1970s sound-system and house-party scenes. Any disco finding itself in trouble needed only to resort to Riddle I Dis to instantly 'ram' dance floors.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to