I love music, all kinds of music. From Bollywood songs about jingling jangling bangles, swaying hips and dia love flames, to soca songs about ramajay, rum and fête. From Motown classics to Coupé Decalé.
Even though I have a vast assortment to chose from, I’m still missing something when it comes to modern music.
What’s that, you might ask? Well that’s the talk of social injustice, the call to action, some political standpoint. Yes, there’s some of that in reggae music, but it’s still very general.
And I’m not just talking about injustice when it comes to race, even though a mainstream song about that in these times wouldn’t hurt. Where are the songs about corrupt politicians or flamboyant religious leaders who jetset around the world? Where are the songs about the rising cost of living? Or the price immigrants have to pay in order to move to the unknown?
Are most mainstream artist now only interested in getting paid? And too afraid to “alienate” part of their fan base? Or getting dropped from their record label? All I see is music “artists”, if you can even call them that, tap dancing around real life issues and proceed to sing about partying. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life, and expressing that through song. But life isn’t one big party for most of us.
One thing about old school Calypso artists is that they were not afraid to speak their mind. They had an opinion about everything. These three songs definitely don’t lack what I’ve been missing in modern music.
Capitalism gone mad by Mighty Sparrow
I love this song, and sadly it’s still relevant. Why is the Euro so damn expensive?
My favorite verse is at the 04:00 minute mark.
The cheapest coffin
Over three thousand!
Not even dying today easy!
You can say that again, mr. Sparrow!
Mock Democracy by Lord Cristo
Another song that’s sadly still relevant. Actually I can’t even imagine a song like this being played on the radio now. And this song was written in the 60tees! Amazing!
Part of the lyrics:
I’m so glad I was born here,
and not in Alabama, Alabama
I’m happy I was born here
I have nothing against the United States,
so listen carefully while I elucidate
Though congress passed the Civil Rights Bill
Alabama subjugating my people still
They profess to believe in a democracy,
yet refuse to recognize racial equality
Some people got together, formed themselves a klan,
Defied the laws of congress to press the colored man
So looking back it makes me so glad
to belong to Tobago and Trinidad.
I Plead The Fifth by Sugar Aloes
Wow… I can only respect someone who has the guts to sing a song like that for a prestigious national competition. Now I’m not that familiar with the political situation in Trinidad and Tobago, but mr Sugar Aloes was clearly fed up. “Should I compose a nation building song, or blaze them politicians?“, he asks in the first verse of the song. Well, he definitely did the latter. Not only did he blaze all the corrupt politicians (and their wives..lol), he also critiqued the public for electing them and some colleague artist who he accused of being “bought”. Now that takes guts.
Any recommendations for more music?
Disclaimer: I don’t own any copyrights to the music posted on this page. I don’t know who owns the rights. However, if you do know, please be so kind to let me know so that I can add the information on this page. If you yourself own the rights, and want the music and/or text to be removed, I will be happy to oblige.
I translated the text to the best of my ability. I’m sure there are some errors. Feel free to correct me..:-)
6 thoughts on “What I miss in modern music”
Hello Anaelrich, you are so right about this. I miss meaningful songs too. Likewise, I like the hit song from the 70s, from Motown singer Edwin Starr: “War”. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
Ohw, yes that’s a good song, too…!
great critique. love your site.
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