One of the most remarkable men in Trinidad is a thin, leathery mulatto known as Attila the Hun. Born in Port-of-Spain 58 years ago of a Venezuelan father and a West Indian mother, he claims, to have been singing calypso songs for half a century—"long before they took it out of the backyard slums and put it on Frederick Street." His Rover Calypso Tent, made of sheet iron and boards on Frederick Street, the town's main street, is the island's calypso center.

A master of satire and quick wit, Attila has made the calypso, often called Trinidad's "living newspaper," a...

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