One of the many tantalizing subplots in the “Rum and Coca-Cola” saga is the part played by The Roaring Lion and Atilla the Hun, the “publishers” of the souvenir booklet.

This account is not for the casual reader. It bushwhacks through a thicket of detail and wades into a swamp of conjecture. If you just want to know the story of Lord Invader and the Andrews Sisters and the litigation that followed the theft of the song, go back and read "Calypso on Trial" and leave it at that.

To save the reader some time and agony I will give you my conclusion up front: it is my educated guess that Lion and Atilla, having traveled to New York to press their claim in the spring of 1945, received a lump sum payoff to quit the case and go back to Trinidad. The payoff could’ve come from Feist, Inc., the defendant in the lawsuit, but more likely it came from Emil Ellis who was pursuing the competing claim of Mohamed H. Khan. If Lion and Atilla played their cards right, they could’ve received payoffs from both sides. Wherever it came from the payoff probably included a non-disclosure agreement.

There is no proof of this. The truth has been lost to history. The amount of the payoff will never be known. The only thing that is known for sure, through U.S. immigration records, is that Lion and Atilla arrived in New York on March 14, 1945 on a Pan Am clipper in the company of the mysterious Cecil Voisin.

On that day “Rum and Coca-Cola” was still the #1 most popular song in the United States . . .

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According to Lion he met Atilla on a street corner in Port of Spain in 1931. Two years later the two of them found themselves singing in the same calypso tent, the Salada Millionaires Syndicate at 47 Nelson St. But the tent was having a tough time; there was an overall lack of excitement so Lion and Atilla decided to try something new - singing as a duo. The song was an exercise in double entendre called “Doggie, Doggie Look Bone” about a hard-to-satisfy woman from Grenada. Atilla, singing in falsetto, took the part of the woman. According to Atilla (who tended to exaggerate) the crowd loved it and the fortunes of the tent were revived.