Archive for January 19th, 2011

About a year ago,  I was tagged by a friend at Multiply to share the songs that have somehow made some marks in my life. These are not really arranged according to the songs I like most (since I have several favorites) but I am posting them as they come to mind and as I remember what they meant to me back then.  The list has changed of course  but I wanted to keep this blog just so I could remember. Somehow in some way, I learned something from this list.

1. The Cradle Hymn(Away in a Manger) – I was in preschool when I learned this poem from my mom. I thought it was just that, a poem  until I heard Johnny Mathis sing it. I love the version of Gunter-Kallmann though. This song made such an impact on me that I also taught my daughter to recite it when she was around four or five years old. It’s a Christmas story and it’s about Jesus’ birth. So touching!

2. Just You– It was the first song that I learned on guitar, no, it’s the only song that I know how to play on guitar. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure now if this is really the title. Fancy those high school crushes. I now find the lyrics a bit tacky.

3. Desiderata–   It’s a Latin word that means “things you desire. “Back in the seventies, this was a sort of mantra for me and my high school friends until the time I reached college. It is not actually a song but the narration goes with the background music. I can still remember some of the lines: Go placidly amidst the noise and haste And remember what piece there may be in silence As far as possible without surrender Be on good terms with all persons Speak your truth quietly and clearly And listen to others Even the dull and ignorant, They too have their story. And it ends up with the lines: With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams It is still a beautiful world.

4. Absolutely Free, Absolutely Beautiful– It was sung by the group Magic. It’s my background music at Friendster. It’s also a seventies song and I simply love the haunting melody.

5. Color My World– I wish I could play the piano. It’s one of the best songs of Chicago and I am in high heavens every time I hear it. Color my world anything you like and I still would be here for you.  High romance. Broken dreams.

6. You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor with his guitar. One of my high school crushes singing the same song long way back. I’ve always admired people who know how to play musical instruments and know how to read notes. The lyrics just go deeper every time I hear this song. Through thick and thin, you’ve got a friend. It simply touches the heart and uplifts the soul.

7. Bato sa Buhangin – I can still remember the Cinderella version which they recorded in 1976. For some reasons, the words and lyrics of this song never fail to affect me. Can you imagine yourself alone in a seashore, thinking about life in general and about love in particular? It’s an old, old song. And it goes like, ” kapag ang puso’y natutong magmahal, bawat tibok ay may kulay ang buhay.” Need I say more?

8. You Raise Me Up–  Josh Groban. I love his voice, I love the lyrics and melody. It’s that kind of music that you would simply love to listen to all the time. It lifts me up, and I usually feel such a big lump in my throat every time I hear it.  This comes vivid in my mind, the first time I saw the video on my Dad’s funeral, this was one of the background songs  and every time I hear it nowadays, I think of Dad.

9. Two of Us – Who wouldn’t know  the Beatles, most of their songs now are still being revived . I like almost all the songs of the Beatles but I love this most of all. I belong to the era of the baby boomers and they say that the 60’s and the 70’s were the most productive years in the music world. The British Invasion was one such period where you could find a treasure trove of fine music.

10. Misty–  I love the version of Johnny Mathis. In fact, I simply adore Johnny Mathis. It has the most romantic lyrics I’ve ever come across.

11. Seasons in the Sun – I love this song for the simple reason that I love the composer Rod McKuen. He is one of my favorite contemporary poets and I have his book in my collection, with the same title, Seasons in the Sun. I wish I could find some more of his books. I just love the way he writes.

12. All the songs of Dan Fogelberg Love them all especially Longer and Leader of the Band. Too bad, he is now in the great beyond.

13. Right Here Waiting – A very popular song back in the nineties. Richard Marx is a very gifted artist. I remember that one of my friends, a DJ used to play this every night in his regular program. He said that the best written songs were the songs of the 60’s and 70’s – songs that you can’t just forget and love to play in your mind and it’s like oh my – it evokes memories. haha…

14. Fire and Rain–  Another James Taylor hit that catapulted him to fame in 1972. Back then, (I think I was in third year high school) I thought JT was the best guitarist I’ve ever known. JT’s guitar style, like his singing was subtle, distinctive and easygoing. I was in love with his music. I even painstakingly bought and collected Jingle chordbook magazines just to be updated. I was even jealous of Carol King who wrote for him that ‘71 hit You’ve Got A Friend. I had a particular name for him – James D Great – the quirks of a high school kid!

15. Reason to Believe– It was recorded by Rod Stewart. Another song which I tried learning on guitar – simple chords, simple melody. The few lines I remember were “If I listen long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true”. I think Karen Carpenter also recorded this song.

16. Cherish – I love David Cassidy’s version of this song.One of the signature songs  by the group Association but it was the Sundance kid’s version that I liked. David Cassidy – teenybopper singing idol, boy-next-door, crush ng bayan. I looked him up in YouTube a few days ago, he has grown older of course but still has that captivating smile.

17. UST Hymn– Do I hear reactions there? Well, it’s just that this has been a part of my teenage and growing-up years. I spent nine years of my life in UST – the Royal, Pontifical, oldest Catholic University in Asia – The high school years –  we were made to memorize it then we sang it for the last time during our college graduation.  Memories of high school and college life. I am proud to say that I still know every word and line of the UST Hymn.

18. Bahay Kubo–  I think I’ve memorized this even before I learned to write my name. It was the first song that I learned even before I sang other nursery rhymes. I can still remember now, every time we were asked to sing, it was always Bahay Kubo. Come to think of it, Bahay Kubo is really an ideal place – no worries, plenty of fresh vegetables, no pollution, no nagging thoughts about a stressful 9-5 job. It is a representation of a typical Filipino provincial life – rustic and unsophisticated.

There you have it guys – the soundtracks of my life.  You might think they are a bit outdated but they still evoke lovely memories.  The music of the seventies of course are still top on my list and I like to listen the sixties songs now and then.  Hmm, let me see, I love Jason Mraz  too!


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