The Timeless Music of MJ
My parents loved music. When we were still in Cavite, we had this turntable that played vinyl records. My sister, Lina, who was around 4 or 5 years old then, loved impersonating Karen Carpenter singing Stop, Mr. Postman, waving her hand in front of her face. She also impersonated the young Michael Jackson singing Happy, turning around while she sang.
This was the picture I had in mind while I was listening to Happy in 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Michael Jackson CD. I loved this song and I still know the lyrics by heart. I just wonder why it has sort of a sad melody when it is about Happy.
Sadness had been close as my next of kin
Then happy came one day, chased my blues away
My life began when happy smiled
Sweet, like candy to a child
Stay here and love me just a while
Let sadness see what happy does
Let happy be where sadness was
Some of my favourite songs in this CD are Ben, One Day in Your Life, and Music and Me.
I bought The Best of Michael Jackson CD and Michael Jackson Greatest Hits History Volume 1 when Michael Jackson was all over the news due to the child molestation case. I’m keeping my opinions on this to myself. But I remember Ryan, who was about 9 or 10 at the time, couldn’t look at the TV when MJ’s face is on the news. MJ just looks too scary to him. My youngest son, Ryland, would keep asking me if he was a girl because he had long hair. “No he’s a boy,” I would say. “He’s ugly,” he’d say. “Hey, you shouldn’t use that word,” I’d say.
These two CD’s were on the music rack and I couldn’t help it but buy them. I grew up listening to his music. They just bring back memories. And in order not to confuse my kids, I explained to them that it’s MJ’s talent that I admire, not the person that he has become.
Between the two CD’s, I enjoy listening to Greatest Hits History Vol 1 better. I know most of the songs, some of which became popular during my high school and college days – the days when I discovered love and heartaches. Besides most of the songs in this one are more upbeat than the former.
The slow rhythmic beating of the drum in the intro of Billie Jean always makes me shake my bum even while I sit in my desk. And he gives us a couple of advice in the lyrics.
People always told me be careful of what you do
And don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts
And mother always told me be careful of who you love
And be careful of what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth
And I like the catchy refrain.
Billie Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son
The faster beating in the background of The Way You Make Me Feel makes me move my shoulders back and forth. The lyrics remind us how it feels when we are attracted to somebody. I love it when he says…
Go On Girl!
Go On! Hee! Hee! Aaow!
Go On Girl!
The creaking sound of a door opening, the foot steps and the howl at the beginning of Thriller is very clever. I didn’t see a video of Thriller until I came here in Canada in late ’89. I didn’t own a TV in the 80’s and I had to rely on my imagination for the visuals of his songs. Beat It is more upbeat than Thriller. And I think this is the reason why I like the former better than the latter.
All I can say about Bad is that it makes me tap on the keys of my keyboard faster. I pretend like I’m tapping the keys of a piano instead. No, I don’t play the piano.
I used to sing along whenever I would hear She’s Out of My Life on the radio. I was still pining then for a love that I have lost. I could relate to the lyrics.
So I’ve learned that love’s not possession
And I’ve learned that love won’t wait
Now I’ve learned that love needs expression
But I learned too late
I could just feel the pain when his voice quivers at the end of the song.
Damned indecision and cursed pride
Kept my love for her locked deep inside
And it cuts like a knife
She’s out of my life
And don’t you just love the lyrics of Man in the Mirror.
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
And also that of Heal the World. I like the timber of his voice here and the melody.
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.
In Black or White, he sings …
It don’t matter if you’re black or white.
Why then, oh why, did his skin colour turn from black to white?
I think he really did want to make the world a better place but he just got messed up for some reason or another.