Too much alcohol in the chutney, is what some people have been saying for the past few years. Yet, every year there are more what we refer to as rum songs being released and
becoming hits. Now we have not only the chutney-soca blend, but also a lot
of rum songs from the hardcore soca artistes. As a matter of fact, a couple of them even have shares in distilleries. Creative merchandising you may call it.
George Singh, CEO of Southex Promotions, producers of the International Chutney-Soca Competition went so far as to ban the performing of any rum songs in the competition. The artistes competing don't seem to have a problem with that, as long as he does not ban drinking backstage. Singh himself commented at the recent launch of the competition that in spite of his ban, there are more chutney rum songs, "And even the soca artistes doing rum songs now."
Although songs about alcohol consumption were always around, Adesh Samaroo is the man credited with really popularising the subject matter when he sang, "Rum Till I Die" several years ago. Ravi B of the band, Karma also had one of the big rum songs back then, "Rum Is Meh Lover" and he continued to enjoy success with that style since. This year Ravi B again has a rum song, "The Prescription", which, as senseless as it is, stands as one of the overly popular releases.
The selection of rum songs feature songs that are even more nonsensical than the above mentioned. American-based soca artiste, Yankee Boy and some of his cohorts from the AHTIK Rum Drinkers Association did a cover of, "Gangnam Style" that they titled it, "Drinking Style". "We getting drunk in here, doh gih meh no blasted beer," sings one of the characters.
Yankee Boy himself has a solo project titled, "Rumours" in which he sings, "They say if ah drink white rum ah go dead, look ah still here. A man drink water, crash and now he dead, look ah still here. "The song's video is played several times daily on local television as well as on the Tempo network. And they say people are fed-up of rum songs.
Even Kees Dieffenthaller and Kes the Band have uncharacteristically jumped into the liquor business with their song, "Rum And Soca." The song is produced on the "Single Barrel Riddim", which has apparently been designed for Angostura Ltd. This riddim also features Blaxx singing, "Hold Meh Liquor", in which he sings, "From since ah born, I've been drinking rum, know how to drink and nah act dumb." Hmmm, I wonder. Also on the riddem is Destra with, "Wassyness", but she focuses more on women getting on bad than rum.
When you're liming there is always a fella in the lime who can't hold his liquor, but more greedy than everyone else. And he want to hold the bottle right through, but he's so drunk the bottle always ending up falling and breaking. Bunji Garlin and Slammer Cutter team up to address this in their song, "Doh Break The Bottle", in which they sing, "All the drunk yuh playing drunk in here, just doh break the bottle,"
Fay-Ann Lyons too has gotten into the rum song thing with, "Rum Please", a duet with Fya Empress from St Vincent. The song was originally recorded solo by Fya Empress and she and Lyons did a remix for Carnival 2013.
Raymond Ramnarine of Dil-e-Nadan and Blaxx have also collaborated on, "Not Milk (Ah Drinking)". The smooth groove takes an interesting spin on the rum song style with the duo assuring listeners that they are fine, just not sober. "So if I in town lying on the ground, not milk ah drinking. Hold meh head and bawl and nutting eh wrong, not milk ah drinking."
Reigning International Power and Groovy Soca Monarch, Machel Montano has a love song of sorts to rum in which he professes adoration to the liquor. "Now I want to embrace you, never will abuse you, you're so divine. Some wish they could erase you, but they're gonna lose cause I'll make you mine," croons Montano.
There are other new rum songs out there with more being released every day, but I really can't explore all of the here because my head is already beginning to spin. The question is, just how safe is it to have so many rum songs playing in the fetes? Would people hearing such a message all night long be tempted to drink more than they usually do?
A representative from Alcoholics Anonymous told the Express one can be on dangerous ground being in a fete where many songs about alcohol is being played. Even a person who is not alcoholic will likely consume more than the usual amount of liquor if he is hearing so many rum songs, so one has to be very careful and aware of what one is doing. The idea these songs create is that over indulgence of alcohol is a fashion and enhances a good time.
So, while liming through Christmas and feteing for Carnival be very aware that too much alcohol at a time is dangerous and also that there will possibly be people in your group who should not be drinking at all, even if the music makes you fell like drinking more than milk.