There’s a postcard that I picked up in Austria that I pasted on my loo door that says, “Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum” – a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche which means, “Without music, life would be a mistake”.
Growing up in late seventies and eighties, I got to listen to a lot of ballads and corny love songs. I have six older siblings in various stages of taste in music. One of the songs that has been with me from as long as I can remember is Una Paloma Blanca and Youtube says that the song was released in 1975 by Jonathan King so I suppose that song has been stored somewhere in my mental compartment all these years! … and to think that I was just 3-year-old at that time!
By 1978, my fourth sister reached her teenage years and I had become more aware of songs and music. The next song that somehow imprinted itself on my mind is Chic’s Le Freak – it was her favourite at that time. My second sister used to have a friend who hosted a children’s program on one of the local radio stations. She asked me whether I wanted to request a song – and I asked for Chic’s Le Freak. Haha. She replaced it with something more appropriate to my age. 🙂 The other song from the period that is forever placed in my memory is Daniel Sahuleka’s Don’t Sleep Away that was apparently released in 1976.
Those were the days when songs were still full of corny lines sung to good melodies. Although the dances looked silly, at least there were no shaking bon-bons on your face or age-inappropriate lyrics. As my fifth sister discovered music in 1980’s, I also discovered Rico J. Puno’s Together Forever – a one-hit wonder (at least in my limited knowledge and exposure) from the Philippines.
The song is also full of sickly sweet romantic lines that really make me shudder (not in a good way) now that I have become a jaded ex-romantic guy. I suppose Aussies do not really listen to love ballads thesedays and the local taste and direction has really rubbed on me as well.
From then on, I discovered The Police, Sting, Madonna, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, New Kids on the Block, and Johnny Hates Jazz on my own. I’ve never really been a fan of Michael Jackson – I don’t know why really since I really should have liked his music, growing up during his era. My mum has always been a musical person as well, so her taste in music kept me grounded – I also listened a lot to the 50’s and 60’s music when I was a boy, which introduced me to Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Jim Reeves, and Frank Sinatra – among others. So yeah, while other boys or girls listened to nursery rhymes or local children’s songs, I slept to Skeeter Davis’ The End of the World or Patsy Cline’s Tennessee Waltz on the radio. My dad is not as musical as my mum as he used to prefer the local dangdut music or some Mandarin Chinese songs that he really didn’t understand (mum speaks Mandarin Chinese better).
I don’t know what triggered me to go down this memory lane – but I’m glad it’s made me think and reminisce. I am thankful of the musical influences that I have received from my childhood. I had known about The Righteous Brothers even before their Unchained Melody was re-popularised in the movie ‘Ghost’. I knew about Bonney M when I should still be singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ *grin*. I’m glad that everybody in the family introduced me to music from such a young age and even though I can’t play any instrument, I grow up to appreciate music and all of its variations. So don’t be surprised if I tell you that I listen to Katy Perry as well as Celtic music, or Coldplay and Kings of Leon as well as Rihanna and Chopin. 🙂
Life’s too short to be narrow-minded!