The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Saturday, April 23, 2005

My life has always been musical

My whole life I consider not only a fantasy-fiction novel—which has its own maps, worlds, characters and creatures, history, languages and cultures—but more so an epic movie—which runs on a backdrop of diverse landscapes and has a soundtrack of its own.

Since childhood, my life has already been musical; I can still remember sonically the artists that constantly played on the phonograph in my family’s first home (The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, The Cascades, The Hollies, The Monkees, The Zombies, Johnny Mathis, and Matt Monro to name a few)—I still listen to them to this day, with fondness and with yearning to return to the particular moment each song automatically conjures. Sometimes all I need to do is close my eyes and take a deep breath, and the melody begins to play in my mind, recollecting bittersweet memories that keep the child in me alive and forever curious about the world.

For me, listening to music is plucking golden leafs from the lush tree of my childhood, picking fruits that have long been ripe.

And, yeah! we had a jukebox at the restaurant (Atin-Atin on F.B. Harrison Street in Pasay City) we used to own—that wonderful sound machine that transformed many a tot’s night into magical moments. I remember the days when I would insert one coin after another into the machine, press the combination of letters and numbers, and listen in bliss as the songs played one by one ("Honesty" by Billy Joel and "Knife" by Rockwell were the most unforgettable).

These were perhaps the main reason music has always been a part of me. My life has always been musical—from my childhood through my youth to where I am now and who I have become.

Songs will always remind me of various emotions and memories—the sadness and solitariness on many days, my lullabies on many sleepless nights; the joy and innocence of childhood and youth, a source of inspiration; the fears and uncertainties amidst high hopes and expectations.

However, New Wave is the genre of music I love the most. I will be grateful forever for The Cure, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, The Lotus Eaters, New Order, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Smiths, Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears, The Wild Swans, and the endless roster of New Wave artists whose songs have made and continue to make my life melodically documentable. They comprise the soundtrack of my life. Their songs shall grace my wedding day. They will be the music that shalt one day be played on my wake and funeral march.

And, in case I haven’t told you this yet: My father said he got my name from a song; yes, from that Burt Bacharach song—the song which, I believe, perfectly describes the path I’ve long chosen to take; a song I would like to believe had been composed just for me.

...When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day, Alfie

My preferred version of the song "Alfie" is, of course, the one by the band Everything But the Girl, included in the compilation album Under the Covers (1988, WEA).

*For supplying the artist's name behind the '80s pop ballad "Knife," thanks to Betrayed's drummer Manny "Pagz," a fellow member in the newwave101 yahoogroup.

On the newwave101 mailing list:

Sun Apr 24, 2005:

The artist's name slipped my mind...who sang the '80s pop ballad "Knife"? Not the "Cuts like a Knife" by Bryan Adams. Was it Billy Joel?


Pagz's reply:
same guy who did that
Michael Jackson–soundalike
hit "Somebody's Watching Me."
Uber-mellowtouch ballad 'yun ah.
I think I have the local vinyl lying
around here at home. Hehe.

pagz (collecting the weirdest vinyl since the '80s)


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