02
Jun
08

That’s Just Ole Rum Talk…

This introduces a theme that will reappear this week, having to do with that lethal muse, that graceful killer, the best and last spouse, rum. (Having enjoyed many of the fine benefits of a variety of rums, as well as cane liquor, I am not sure why rum beats cane liquor in the marketplace. My only problem with cane liquor is that it is not served with a straw, or better yet, a funnel.)

The video below features Ravi Bissambhar singing “Rum is mih lover.” The Bookman, whose blog I link to on this site, and whose video channel can be found here, is one of Trinidad’s most interesting blogging artists and social commentators, in my view, a bit stern at times but always thought provoking. He has uploaded this video to YouTube, and notes some of the darker sides of its themes and visual messages. First, he notes how these songs are usually sung by and associated with people of East Indian descent in Trinidad — indeed, one can see two other YouTube music videos built on a rum theme, and I have already introduced these on this blog: Hunter’s “Bring It — Rum in de morning“, a chutney soca tune, and Adesh Samaroo’s “Rum till I die.” The notion that Indians have a monopoly on alcoholism is fortified by these videos — and what happy, suicidal alcoholics they are. The second feature Bookman notes is that there is a standardization of depictions of the Indo-Trini way of life in chutney soca videos: a big pot of bubbling curry, friends and family, drinking by a river or beach, foreign used cars (also known as “roll on, roll off”, usually straight from Japan), and classical Indian dancers.

My personal issue with this video is that I am not sure if it was meant to be funny. At one point, the singer states the following:

Rum kill mih mudda
Rum kill mih fadda
Rum kill mih whole family
Rum kill mih brodda
Rum kill mih sista
Now it want to come and kill me

Oh, is that all? I was worried this would be something serious. There is a tendency to laugh at everything and anything in Trinidad, one lamented by writers such as V.S Naipaul at times, although he himself was able to turn brutal beatings by cricket bat into something hilarious. There is something oddly abusive and mocking about this sweet and sour view of the world. I leave it up to viewers and commentators to decide what this video represents to them:

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0 Responses to “That’s Just Ole Rum Talk…”


  1. 1 White Bai
    July 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    but I don’t really care what people sayyy, I drinkin today and I drinkin forevaa!!!


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