Thursday, March 15, 2012


R.I.P Rasum Shallow

It's late in coming but I must pay tribute to the late Gerard "Rasum" Shallow who died on 4th March, 2012. He was small in stature but a colossus on the Vincentian cultural landscape. In fact his contributions were not limited to culture as he also an educator and a former parliamentary senator. A prolific songwriter he wrote for many calypsonians before he decided to enter the calypso ring. Prior to that he was a lead vocalist for the band XADUS.

His songs were poetic demonstrating his mastery of words and imagery. Some critics complained that his songs were too wordy but I found them compelling with an added bonus being he could sing. In 1994, when he decided to enter the world of competitive calypso we were introduced to his signature song "Perseverance"- arguably one of the best written songs in Vincentian musical history. He placed 1st runner up but in the minds of many he was the monarch. I am not sure if that was his only shot at the monarchy preferring instead the band scene to competitive calypso. However, following his death a family member revealed that Rasum was planning a comeback in the 2012 Calypso competition.

In one of Rasum's more poignant songs "Take me" he sang:

"Take me ah beg you take me.Where we all can party as one big family
with no need to worry. As man continue to fight a war that cannot be won.
I want to be with you in music-land"
So when I was awoken in the wee hrs of Monday morning with the news of his passing I instantly thought he had gone to music-land. Monday the 4th, was a sombre day as Vincentians wrapped their minds around the news and took to the airwaves to give tributes. I couldn't help but think how we do not celebrate our artistes when they are alive, when they can hear and feel our appreciation. We must do better! Play on Rasum,play on. No doubt music-land is exactly as you envisaged it.

Take a listen to Rasum performing "Perseverance" at Vincy Homecoming in 2009

Big man..Big loss

RIP Rassie
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