Posts filed under ‘Music’

The hit songs when I was 18

I was tagged by supermom Earth Ember [ sorry ange, can’t help it 🙂 ]  to name the hit songs of the year I turned 18.  Oh what a trip down memory lane.  The year I turned 18 was one of the most turbulent years of my life.

I ran away from my auntie’s house where my mother left me and my sister when she went abroad.  I went to live with my paternal grandmother because I missed my father.  But my father didn’t live there and would only go there on the weekends.  After my first year of college, I left Centro Escolar University and transferred to the Philippine School of Business Administration because, I would explain to people then that, PSBA had the best accounting courses and they produce the topnotchers in the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Board Exams.  But here’s the fact.  My boyfriend, who stopped seeing me, was enrolled there.  I know.  How pathetic was I?  I guess I followed him there.  It’s a long story and maybe I’ll blog about that another time.  You wish.  He he he.

Well, anyway, Return of the Jedi (Star Wars) and Superman 3 were released on that year.  And it was also the year when our Philippine hero Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino Jr. was shot at the tarmac of Manila International Airport, now known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  I was there at the overpass at Lerma-Espanya to watch his funeral procession with my buddies Tess and Lyn.  Right at the exact moment when the coffin that was surrounded with yellow flowers came right below us, rain started to pour.  And I came home soaking wet.  How’s that for a memory?

Does that tell you yet how old I am? 🙂

The Rules:
1. Go to www.popculturemadness.com
2. Select the year you turned 18
3. Get all nostalgic over the hit songs of the year
4. Write about it
5. Pass this tag onto 5 others

Thriller

Billie Jean and Beat It – both by Michael Jackson.  His Thriller album went #1 and stayed #1 for 37 weeks.  I didn’t see the video of Thriller until I came here in Canada in late ’89.  And I had to rely on my imagination for the visuals of his Thriller song.  The creaking sound of a door opening, the foot steps and the howl at the beginning is very clever, I think.  I have a CD of MJ’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 and wrote about it in my post, The Timeless Music of MJ.  And as I’ve said before, it’s MJ’s talent that I admire, not the person that he has become.

Flashdance (What a Feeling) – Irene Cara.  I enjoyed this song not just because it was sang by my namesake but also because of the upbeat tempo.  I haven’t seen the movie but don’t you just love the dancing scene?

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics.  This was the theme song of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, one of the shows she started on her comeback after her ordeal with the law.  Just look at these lyrics: “Some of them want to use you  Some of them want to get used by you  Some of them want to abuse you  Some of them want to be abused.”  So fitting for her.

Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton. I like his duet with Sheena Easton, We’ve Got Tonight better than this one.  There were quite a few songs then that are duets of big music stars.  My favourite Kenny Rogers’ song of the 80s is Lady.  Remember, I was pining for my “knight in shining armour.”  🙂

All Night Long – Lionel Ritchie. I didn’t care much for this song.  My favourite Lionel Ritchie songs were Endless Love and Truly.  The lines “two hearts that beat as one” and “I’ll have your heart for always” got me.  I know, I am so baduy.

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club.  Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?  Remember Boy George?  Their song Karma Chameleon became a hit the following year.

Every Breath You Take – Police.  Was it Senor Enrique who pointed out that people neglected to see the real meaning of this song?  “Every move you make Every vow you break Every smile you fake Every claim you stake I’ll be watching you.”  It’s actually about stalking somebody.

Air Supply

Making Love Out of Nothing at All – Air Supply. This song only made it to Number Two but it was one of the greatest hits of that year.  I love Air Supply and I also have a cassette tape, later on replaced by a CD.  I was in my first year at PSBA when a classmate in Social Science and I discussed what the title of this song means.  How do you make love out of nothing at all?  Obviously, we both had not experienced making love yet. We were still talking when our professor called her to share a story and she related to us how her boyfriend died, I can’t remember exactly the details now.  And then she told me that there’s this guy who looks like the handsome Vic Sotto and he has shown an interest in her and he would sing her this song.

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler.  This is the song that kept Making Love Out of Nothing At All from the top position, but they both stayed up on the charts for six months.  Don’t you just love this lyrics:

“Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I’m only falling apart
There’s nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there’s only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart.”

I guess that was just me hurting from an unrequited love.

Okay, enough of my pathetic life back then.

I’m tagging these five people:
1. Teacher Julie
2. Ipanema
3. Pining
4. Annamanila
5. Gypsy

Both Ipanema and Teacher Julie tagged me for the 7 songs meme.  Ipanema, some months ago and Teacher Julie, a couple of weeks ago.  But I wasn’t able to name 7 songs that I am currently listening to because, as I explained to them, I am not up to date with the current songs.  I’m stuck in the 80’s. 🙂  So I’ll understand if they’re not up to doing this tag. 🙂

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June 11, 2007 at 9:58 pm 28 comments

The Concert

It is 3:05 p.m. and there are only three girls left in Room 1206.  They are busy at work at their respective computers.  They will be leaving in an hour.  Isabel gets up to use the phone.  She wants to check on her kids at home. Eric Clapton at the MTS Centre

He answers instead. 

Why are you still there?  She asks.  

I’m not going to work, he says. 

Why? 

I’m watching a concert. 

What concert? 

Eric Clapton, at MTS. 

There is a pause.  She starts to get choked up. 

Why didn’t you tell me? 

This is the only time I’ll be watching a concert. 

Who are you going with? 

Rico. 

Why didn’t you ask me to go instead? 

She hangs up the phone.  Her eyes start to well up, but she tries to hold back the tears.  She needs to let the pain out from her chest. 

My good husband is watching the Eric Clapton concert tonight, she blurts out. 

The two girls look up. 

I didn’t even know that Clapton’s here, she continues. 

He’s going without you?  Gigi asks. 

Yeah, he didn’t tell me that he was going. 

That’s not fair, Heather chimes in. 

I know, here I am slaving away at work and he’s playing hooky and didn’t ask me to go. 

If that were my husband, I’d smack him on the head, Gigi says. 

He’s like that, he would go off to somewhere and I wouldn’t know where to find him. 

My husband couldn’t do that to me.  He knows I’d get mad at him, Gigi says. 

It’s not like I don’t get mad at him.  He’d just do whatever he wants.

That’s not fair, Heather says again. 

Isabel goes back to her desk to let the two girls finish their work. 

Why does she put up with him?  It’s not like she always let it go.  In fact, they always have heated discussions about this kind of behaviour.  She just wants him to bring her out also once in a while.  When was the last time they went out on a date?  Before they were married.  And that was what 18 years ago?  Then the children were born.  He thought it was such a hassle to bring along the kids to eat out or watch a movie.  Money has always been tight and they were not really willing to pay for a babysitter just so they could go out.  But the kids are older now to be left home alone.  And she’s been really craving to have date nights once in a while.  But he’d always say that he’d rather eat in or watch DVDs at home. 

Why then would he go to a concert without telling her and asking her if she wanted to go?  She would love to see Eric sing Wonderful Tonight in person, even if that’s the only Clapton song that she knows.  She just wants to feel that excitement of going out with her husband and feeling special.   And when was the last time he told her that she’s wonderful?  Oh it seems such a long, long time ago.

Photo courtesy of www.mtscentre.ca

April 9, 2007 at 9:09 pm 21 comments

The Music and Passion of Barry Manilow


Her name was Lola,
She was a showgirl

With yellow feathers in her hair
And a dress cut down to there
.”

Barry Manilow sang Copacabana when he made a guest appearance at Dancing with the Stars during the Samba and Salsa week of Season 2. My kids also watched the show with me and my two younger boys were making fun of Barry. They said that he looked like a bird with his hair ruffled like that. I know that Barry is not the macho kind of guy. Actually, he looked kind of geeky. But hey, I have been a fan of Barry’s music since the 1980’s and I was hurt when my kids laughed at him.

There, I said it. I am a fan of Barry Manilow. But I don’t know if I can call myself a Fanilow. I didn’t even know that this word existed until I saw that episode of Will & Grace a few years ago.

According to Wikipedia,

“A Fanilow is a name for someone who is a big fan of the singer Barry Manilow. The name originated in the 1970s when Barry Manilow was in the height of his popularity. It takes the “F” from Fan and the “anilow” from Manilow and makes a catchy nickname.”

Unlike Cheryl and the other characters in that Will & Grace episode, I don’t spend the night waiting in line for tickets to a special Barry Manilow concert. I haven’t even been to any of his concerts. And the only memorabilia I have of him is an old, almost worn-out cassette tape of Manilow Magic – The Best of Barry Manilow.

At a recent inteview, Barry said that it took him only 15 minutes to write Copacabana. Barry won a Grammy for this song for Best Pop Vocal Performance for 1978. Another reason my kids were making fun of the song is because of the name Lola, which is what they also call their grandma. (Lola is grandmother in the Filipino language.) They’re probably trying to visualize their grandma with yellow feathers in her hair dancing the merengue and the chacha.

Before Barry became famous, he was a commercial jingle writer and singer. Then he worked as a pianist, producer, and arranger accompanying Bette Midler. And did you know that, although he was known as a songwriter, he didn’t write most of his songs? Ironically, one of them being I Write the Songs.

I write the songs that make the whole world sing
I write the songs of love and special things
I write the songs that make the young girls cry
I write the songs, I write the songs

But it doesn’t matter to me. I still love his voice and the songs he sings.

My all-time favourite Barry Manilow song is Mandy. At first, I couldn’t understand why Barry was singing about Mandy until I realized that unlike in the Philippines, Mandy is actually a girl’s name here in North America.

I never realized
you made me so happy, oh Mandy
Well you came and you gave without taking
but I sent you away, oh Mandy
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking
I need you today, oh Mandy

Another favourite is Weekend in New England. It talks about a very recent break-up and a yearning that’s still fresh.

And, tell me when will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again
I feel the change comin’
–I feel the wind blow
I feel brave and daring!
I feel my blood flow
With you I can bring out
All the love, that I have
–With you there’s a heaven
So earth ain’t so bad

I also like Looks Like We Made It. Barry sings about old lovers who are now in other relationships. The sight of her stirred old feelings in him.

There you are
Lookin’ just the same as you did,
Last time I touched you
And, here I am
Close to gettin’ tangled up
Inside the thought of you
Do you love him as much as I love her
And will that love be strong
When old feelings start to stir
Looks like we made it
Left each other on the way,
To another love
Looks like we made it
Or I thought so, till today
Until you were there everywhere
And all I could taste was love
the way we made it

Trying to Get The Feeling Again is not that popular, but I like the lyrics.

Doctor, my woman is comin’ back home late today
Could ya’ maybe give me something?
’cause the feelin’ is gone and I must get it back right away
Before she sees that I’ve been
Up, down, tryin’ to get the feeling again
All around…. tryin’ to get the feeling again
The one that made me shiver, made my knees start to quiver
Every time she walked in

Barry recently released a new CD titled, Barry Manilow The Greatest Songs of the Fifties. In that episode of Dancing With The Stars, he sang one of the tracks in his latest CD, Unchained Melody, which is another favourite of mine. My two younger boys started to giggle when Barry was singing. I told them to keep quiet and when they wouldn’t, I sent them out of the room. I’m sorry, no one messes with my Barry.

Oh my, am I a Fanilow, or what?

March 10, 2006 at 10:44 pm 12 comments

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.

January 11, 2006 at 10:20 pm 17 comments

The flatter the land, the harder the rock

I watched the Junos only because it was held here. I like the host, Brent Butt, comedian and star of Corner Gas , and who appeared first in a KISS-like outfit and played a double-necked guitar. He later changed to a tuxedo. And isn’t that cool to see the red carpet on Portage Avenue. I don’t usually watch the Junos. I am not familiar with Canadian artists except for a few such as Celine Dion, Diana Krall, Avril Lavigne, K.D. Lang, Alannis Morissette and Shania Twain. Two years ago, I only watched Shania’s opening number.

I enjoyed the performance of the barefoot K.D. Lang of “Hallelujah,” accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra. I was surprised that she wore a dress/skirt. She got a big applause from the audience and she said, “Thank you, thank you. Much too kind here in Winnipeg.” She then followed it with “Helpless,” which she dedicated to the absent Neil Young, who’s still in the hospital recovering from surgery.

It was also cool to see Kalen Porter, the current Canadian Idol, play the violin. Or is it the viola? The show ended with a tribute to Winnipeg with Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings (both from this city) performing “Taking Care of Business.”

April 3, 2005 at 11:16 pm 2 comments


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