"Shame & Scandal" is a song originally written by Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Melody and by calypso singer Sir Lancelot and performed by the latter in 1943.[1] The song is a calypso and reggae classic, and was written for the movie I Walked with a Zombie in 1943[1] and originally titled "Fort Holland Calypso Song".[2]


 [hide*1 Lyrical content

Lyrical content[edit]Edit

The lyrical content of the cover versions are much the same as Lord Melody's 1960s version, with a few word changes. The story follows a young Trinidadian man in search of a wife.[1] In each of the verses, the young man asks his father for permission to marry a different woman, only to be told he can not marry the girl as "The girl is your sister, but your mamma don't know".[1] However, the tables are turned during the last verse, where the young man's mother tells him that "Your daddy ain't your daddy, but your daddy don't know", clearing the path for him to marry any of the girls.[1]

Famous covers[edit]Edit

  • In 1962, the Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Melody used the song as the basis of his song "Shame and Scandal", although he titled it "Wau, Wau".[1] This version used the same chorus as the original 1940s song, but with new verses.[1]
  • In 1964, Shawn Elliott released it as a single
  • In 1965, the British comedy actor, Lance Percival, reached number 37 in the UK Singles Chart with his cover version, under the expanded title of "Shame and Scandal in the Family".[3]
  • In the mid 1960s, Jamaica's Kingston Hilton Hotel resident mento band, The Hiltonaires, also recorded it as "Shame and Scandal".
  • In 1965, a ska cover version was recorded in Jamaica by Peter Tosh and The Wailers on vocals, backed by the Skatalites and released on the Studio One label.
  • In 1972, Australian singer, Johnny Chester's version with Jigsaw called "Shame And Scandal (In the Family)" peaked at No. 13 on Go-Set National Top 40.[4]
  • In 1977, American vocal group The Stylistics released a cover version titled "Shame and Scandal in the Family" from their album, Sun & Soul. The single reached #87 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.
  • In 1983, Clint Eastwood & General Saint released a reggae cover version
  • In 1993, Skatalà released a cover version titled "Skandol Dub" in the album "Borinot, Borinot".
  • In 2003, David Lindley and Wally Ingram recorded a version of "Shame and Scandal" on their album "Twango Bango III".
  • In 2012, the South African band Dr Victor & the Rasta Rebels released a cover titled "Shame and Scandal" featuring South African singer Kurt Darren.[1]

There are known versions by Trini Lopez, De Maskers, King Bravo with Baba Brooks & his band, Bobby Aitken and Blue Beat, Odetta, Freddie McGregor, Laurel Aitken. Instrumental versions were also popular, most famously by Caravelli and by Franck Pourcel and his Grand Orchestre.

Language versions[edit]Edit

The song has been translated to a number of major European languages:[5]

  • French: "Scandale dans la famille" performed by Sacha Distel, by Dalida and by Les Surfs in three separate versions all in 1965. French translated lyrics were by Maurice Tézé
  • German: "Schande Unserer Familie" performed by Harry & Ronny in 1965
  • Italian: "Un Grosso Scandalo" performed by Dalida
  • Portuguese: "O Escândalo" performed by the Portuguese Renato e Seus Blue Caps in 1965 and later on by The Supersonics in Brazil
  • Spanish: "Escandalo en la Familia"

Madness version[edit]Edit

"Shame & Scandal"
Single by Madness
from the album The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1
Released 25 July 2005
Format 7"


Recorded 2005
Genre Ska/Pop
Length 2:52
Label V2
Writer(s) Lord / Pinard
Producer(s) Dennis Bovell
Madness singles chronology
"Drip Fed Fred"


"Shame & Scandal"


"Girl Why Don't You"


The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1 track listing
  1. "This Is Where"
  2. "Girl Why Don't You?"
  3. "Shame & Scandal"
  4. "I Chase the Devil A.K.A. Ironshirt"
  5. "Taller Than You Are"
  6. "You Keep Me Hanging On"
  7. "Dangerman A.K.A. High Wire"
  8. "Israelites"
  9. "John Jones"
  10. "Lola"
  11. "You'll Lose a Good Thing"
  12. "Rain"
  13. "So Much Trouble in the World"

British ska/pop band Madness covered the song having previously covered several Prince Buster ska recordings, including the songs "Madness", and "One Step Beyond". The band began performing the song at a series of low-key performances as 'The Dangermen' in 2005.

Madness later recorded the song for their cover album The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1,[6] and released it as a single later that year.[7]

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Shame & Scandal".

  • 7" Single
  1. "Shame & Scandal" (Lord/Pinard) - 2:52
  2. "Shame & Scandal [Dub]" (Lord/Pinard) - 2:56
  3. "Shame & Scandal" (Peter Touch (Tosh) and The Wailers) - 3:03
  • CD Single
  1. "Shame & Scandal" (Lord/Pinard) - 2:52
  2. "Skylarking" (Hinds) - 3:02
  3. "Dreader Than Dread" (Galnek) - 3:04
Chart performance

The Madness release did not fare well in the UK, only spending two weeks in the charts, peaking at number 38.[7]However, the song did better in France, where it peaked at number 12 and spent 19 weeks in the charts.[7] The song also made an appearance on the Swiss Singles Top 100, spending 8 weeks in the charts and reaching a high of number 69,[7]and just made the Dutch Singles Top 100, hitting number 100 and remaining in the chart for a single week.[8]

Chart Peak


French singles chart 12
UK Singles Chart 38
Swiss singles chart 69
Dutch singles chart 100
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