BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Shame and Scandal in the Family”


I think I would have remembered at some point that it was Battle of the Bands day, anyway, but I got up this morning and found that one of my favorite YouTubers, Matt the Saiyan, had posted this to his channel: a clip, from the Australian TV show Bandstand, of French pop singer Sylvia Penzes lip-synching her hit record “Shame And Scandal In The Family.” (This version is not a contestant, so please don’t vote for it.)

Wikipedia, Blogger’s Best Friend ™ that it is, has this to say about the song:

“Shame and Scandal in the Family” is a song written by calypso singer Sir Lancelot for the movie I Walked with a Zombie in 1943 and originally titled “Fort Holland Calypso Song”. Sir Lancelot issued his recording of it in the late 1940s. The Sir Lancelot version was covered by folksingers Odetta and Burl Ives. In 1962, Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Melody wrote new lyrics for the verses while keeping the melody and the chorus. The Historical Museum of Southern Florida said of Lord Melody’s version that “No calypso has been more extensively recorded”.

“Extensively recorded” tells me the song is ripe for a BotB. So, here are two versions of the song, done 40 years apart, for you to listen to.

Trini Lopez

From 1967, it was released as a single but didn’t chart. It was included on his 1968 album It’s A Great Life.


From their 2005 album The Dangerman Sessions Vol. 1. It was released as a single and reached #12 in France and #38 in the UK.

OK, it’s time to vote: Do you prefer Trini Lopez’s version of the song, or Madness’s? Let your voice be heard by leaving me a comment with your preference, and maybe a little about why you prefer that one. Then, visit Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog, where he has his own battle going (and be sure to vote in his, please) and where he has a list of everyone else who’s a part of this blog hop, visit those blogs and cast your vote in them as well.

The results of this battle will be announced in my The Week That Was post next week, April 22, so be sure and get your vote in by then, The lines are now open. Best of luck to Trini Lopez and Madness!

9 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Shame and Scandal in the Family”

  1. JOHN, I don’t recall having heard this song before.

    Trini sounded tinny… at least compared to MADNESS, which had a richer sound and seemed to be having more fun with the song.

    Interesting how Trini came right out of the chute with the first two votes but every single vote since then has gone to MADNESS.

    ~ D-FensDogG


  2. I vote for Madness because they seemed to have more control over the song. Trina Lopez was good but I felt it wandered around a bit. The lyrics are funny!


  3. This is a new to me song. Loved it. It brought a smile to my face. I think I’m going to vote for Madness. Not sure why, but I feel more drawn to that one. Fun battle today!



  4. I’m not familiar with the song. After listening to both versions, I’m giving my vote to Trini. For some reason, his version seems is simpler and compliments the song itself.


  5. For the life of me, I don’t remember this song. And I even saw I Walked with a Zombie not so long ago–don’t remember any music in it, but I guess since I’m not familiar with the song it might make sense that the song in the movie didn’t reach out and grab me.

    I’ve liked most everything Madness has done, but I don’t care for their version of this song. I’m going to go old school and vote for Trini Lopez. His version just works better for me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out / Battle of the Bands


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