Dimanche Gras , or The Message in the Music

Beyond the sweet music – catchy lyrics and musical hooks , there is a reason that the song “Full Extreme ” dominated Trinidad’s carnival in 2017.
As an alternative to any of the many calypsos decrying the social and political atmosphere in Trinidad , this soca calypso reflected the yearning of the people to feel good about themselves , and to have a positive outlook for the future.

The group Ultimate Rejects tapped into the yearning of a people for some positive energy , especially at carnival , traditionally a time of celebration and emotional release.
Yes , we know times are tough and , we have problems , but we’re still hopeful , still fighting the good fight.
“We jamming still”

The fact is , calypso and soca needs to re-marry.
It seems like there was a split up within the calypso art-form , with all the rhythm , joy and excitement going into soca , leaving the lyrical content to the calypsonians.
Make no mistake I have no problem with social commentary in calypso.
It has always been an important ingredient in the art-form , and can be delightful when done with sweet music, wit and humor.
However , in their efforts to be both lyrical and topical , calypsonians have become boring , making the calypso portion of Dimanche Gras more like a documentary than like entertainment.
A listing of all the ills of Trinidad society , with little of the joy that still exists within that society, seems out of place on Carnival Sunday night, Dimanche Gras.
My opinion is that the Dimanche Gras should be a celebration of the best of our culture.
The best singers , music, steelbands , costumes etc.
And above all , a joyful and exciting event
If there is any attempt to create a show in Trinidad to meet high quality ,international entertainment standards , the annual Dimanche Gras show , in spite of the fact that it has been around for decades , remains a colossal failure

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