Monday, September 03, 2007

Ahh, the Power of Words In Music

Spinner has compiled a list of what they think are the Best Opening Lyrics in a song and, to balance it out, their Worst Lyrics Ever.

I know some people more than a dozen years my senior who break into smiles whenever they hear V.S.T. and Co.'s "Haaah...awitin mo, at isasayaw ko...Ohohah". They sing along and move their bodies to it, though surely not as vigorously as when they were younger, and they also don't get out of their seats anymore. Can you imagine someone dancing while sitting down? Is that my future? Is that all our futures? Oh wait. I don't know how to dance. I'm safe.

And then a few years ago, I remember feeling creeped out when I heard and saw my 13-year old niece and her friends singing and "shaking their groove thing" with so much enthusiasm to "My humps, my humps my lovely lady lumps, in the back and in the front". My skin crawled. Something felt very, very wrong.

As for the time when I was growing up, "Time, like a clock in my heart" seems pretty obviously redundant now, more than twenty years later. And what the heck is a Karma Chameleon? And what does this mean? Is it poetry?
“You've gone too far this time” but I'm dancing on the Valentine
I tell you somebody's fooling around with my chances on the danger line"
Well, maybe...maybe it is. But to be certain, go ask a real poet.

Full disclosure: I humbly admit that I sang and tried to shake my groove thing to this stuff way back when, along with everyone else I grew up with. I'm looking back with older eyes, and yes, I'm smiling widely right now. Partly from embarrassment.

In the late 1980's (or it could've been the early 90's), a very sentimental man who was then about 65 years old told me that they don't write lyrics like they used to (in different variations, I recognized this statement of his as the endless lament of the aged who consider their youth the best of times, and that in their opinion the current is deplorable because "things just aren't what they used to be").

"Take this example," he said to me. "How poetic, meaningful, and beautiful can these lyrics be: 'Love is a many splendored thing', by Sinatra. What does your generation have?"

Being younger then, and less respectful, at mas walang takot, humirit ako.

"'Love is a battlefield', by Benatar," I answered him. He wasn't amused.

Some lyrics though have stuck with me over the years, and still mean just as much now, if not more. When I'm 65, I wonder if I'll corner some poor soul in his 20's, recite these lyrics to him, and tell him "What does your generation have?" I hope not. And I really should listen to more of the newer songs.

Ahh, the power of words in music.

But for today, my smile is at its purest whenever I see my kids dance, with all their energy, while singing "We're all in this together".

Since Spinner's list is for songs that were hits in the U.S., I wonder which O.P.M. lyrics would fall into which side, best or worst.

"Don't touch my birdie"?

"Humanap ka ng pangit, ibigin mong tunay"?

Haynako, "Ewan".


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was just wondering if you're still accepting submissions to your Christmas edition? If so, when's the deadline?



12:09 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi Andi. Yes we're still accepting submissions until Oct. 5, 2007. Thanks!

12:47 PM  
Blogger banzai cat said...

Major LOL on the Pat Benatar thing. Though does it show my age that I know what you mean? ;-)

Seriously, I don't think that songs of different generations can be rightfully be compared, given the different issues each generation has to focus on. For example, I really don't get what emo is all about but hey, that's what kids all want to hear.

However, on the other hand, I do think that people (whether young and old) should be more open-minded on what to listen to.

And as a concluding sentence, I remember reading the same account about a young girl singing and dancing to a rather lascivious song. The song itself? Rod Stewart's "If you want my body and ya think I'm sexy..."

Some things change and some things stay the same...

2:28 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi banzai! On that Rod Stewart thing: LOL! You're right! You're definitely right! And since you pointed it out, I'm now glad that I didn't say anything to my niece about what she was doing! Years from now, she's going to know what it was all about!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Der Fuhrer said...

Hey, I liked High School Musical too. As a matter or fact, I'e uploaded two of the songs from the recent HSM release in my Multiply. :D

3:42 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Well, I suppose HSM is for your generation, der fuhrer. My generation (and those around it)went through Grease. And those older went through West Side Story. Before that, they had Elvis, I suppose. :)

8:47 PM  
Blogger Vin said...

Haha! Like bc I also enjoyed the Pat Benatar thing. My age is showing...

I love HSm though, and most of the Lit Critters are big fans. It resonates across generatiopns. Or we're just still young. (At heart.) :P

6:25 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi Vin. Because I know we don't share a love for the Jefferson Starship's songs, I'm glad that Benatar is something we share. :D

7:51 PM  
Blogger exie abola said...

Hi Kenneth.

Give this to that old fogey:

I don't believe in the sixties
The golden age of pop
We glorify the past
When the future dries up.

-- U2, "God Part II"

I'm old enough to have seen Pat Benatar's videos as a high school kid. There was lots of great music being made in the eighties, and there's lots being made now. The best songs aren't necessarily the ones getting the attention. Listen to a songwriter like Aimee Mann and you'll understand.

Oh, and "Whole lotta shakin', whole lotta shakin' goin' on" was considered pretty raunchy in its time. Everyone knew what Jerry Lee Lewis meant by shakin'.

8:39 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi Exie!

Thankfully, I haven't seen that old man since. At that time we just happened to frequent the same place, and when we got stuck there due to rain, he struck up a conversation.

But if I do see him, I'll quote him that U2 song! ("From Mr. Exie Abola, sir! You can find him at...")

If he's still alive...

Benatar is someone I still like from the 80's, but I cringe at some of the songs from that time (like Air Supply--my apologies to all Air Supply fans--Brrr...).

And I'll check out Aimee Mann! Thanks! I really should get up-to-date.

9:08 PM  
Blogger banzai cat said...

Torrent downloading is your friend. :-) And I second the Aimee Mann recommendation.

12:42 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Thanks, BC. My brother is more of a music aficionado than I am. I plan to ask him if I can borrow his Aimee Mann cd's, if he has any.

8:32 PM  

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