Thursday, August 03, 2006


Rey's post about his appreciation for country music reminded me of a repartee I once had with Melai on the subject of loneliness.

Told her in jest how the American country music genre has notoriously earned the dubious distinction of being habitually morose if not outright sorrowful.

And that most of the stories they depict are laden with multiple subplots of nothing but a life of sheer agony (e.g., a dog was hit by a truck while running after his master’s car on his way to a funeral of a friend who got shot while in a drunken stupor at a bar after his wife ran off with another guy whose wife recently died of breast cancer).

This was a joke, of course, to make Melai laugh and perhaps, make her snap out of feeling melancholy. But then again, just recently while listening to the radio, the song that came on reminded me that not only country music but pop as well has hit songs romanticizing a wretched happenstance.

Take for example this miserable song (but a big hit no less, staying as number one on the charts for six straight weeks) which opens with a young man’s deliberation to commit suicide by jumping off a tower after his fiancé stood him up at the altar — while the cold-hearted attendees were quick to decide on going home without so much thinking of keeping the poor guy company. The incident also left the young man questioning the existence of God; if not outright blaming Him for his pitiable life. This, in turn, led him to conclude that the whole world has more broken hearts than realized. And the song’s final verse reveals the young man’s dysfunctional family whose father died and left his mother unable to deal with it. Whoa!

Do you remember this song? Can you fill-n the blanks? Here are its lyrics:

In a little while from now,

If I'm not feeling any less sour
I promised myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower,
And climbing to the top,
Will throw myself off
In an effort to make it clear to whoever
What it's like when your shattered
Left standing in the lurch, at a church
Where people 're saying,
"My God that's tough, she stood him up!
No point in us remaining.
May as well go home."
As I did on my own,
_____ ____, _________

To think that only yesterday,
I was cheerful, bright and gay,
Looking forward to, but who wouldn't do,
The role I was about to play
But as if to knock me down,
Reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch,
Cut me into little pieces
Leaving me to doubt,
All about God and His mercy
For if He really does exist
Why did He desert me
In my hour of need?I truly am indeed,
_____ ____, _________

It seems to me that
There are more hearts
Broken in the world
That can't be mended
Left unattended
What do we do?
What do we do?

(instrumental break)

Now looking back over the years,
And what ever else that appears
I remember I cried when my father died
Never wishing to have cried the tears
And at sixty-five years old,
My mother, God rest her soul,
Couldn't understand, why the only man
She had ever loved had been taken
Leaving her to start with a heart
So badly broken
Despite encouragement from me
No words were ever spoken
And when she passed away
I cried and cried all day
_____ ____, _________
_____ ____, _________


If too young to remember it, click here for title.

Recently, Neil featured a pop song, though it has a catchy dance beat, the lyrics are just so sad?

Maybe it’s time to listen to some happy tunes by Abba?


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:01 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

...alone again, naturally.

am old, i do remember the song.

August 03, 2006 10:18 AM  

Blogger Rey said...

Alone again? I used to hear this song in the 80's. I didn't knew who sang it though.

August 03, 2006 10:46 AM  

Blogger Rey said...

Ah... Gilbert O'Sullivan pala. Hindi ba siya yung kumanta ng "Stranger in my own backyard"? I heard that here in Singapore in a short-lived run around 2004.

August 03, 2006 10:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep.. I remember the song. It was a hit in the late seventies. Isn't this guy a Brit?

August 03, 2006 11:24 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

I don't know the song period. hahahaha...

August 03, 2006 12:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

alone again is from 70's correct me if I'm wrong ... i love the sounds of 70's

Alone Again, Naturally ..... nakadikit na ata sa buto't kalamnan ko yang kantang yan.......

August 03, 2006 1:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can do this quiz anytime. That's "Alone again, naturally" on the blank lines. Actually, when I first heard this song being sung by Vonda Shepard from the comedy TV show Ally McBeal, I couldn't get enough of it and started playing it on my guitar. What a melody I started to ponder at that time and the hooks are just effervescent. Absolutely, this is one of the greatest pop song ever written and one that every soul should wish he or she had written...

August 03, 2006 2:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did the quiz before really reading the whole post(I thought it was a different and earlier post entirely)...By the way, though I liked this very melodious song, I didn't really realize the somewhat sour note on its lyrics; looks very tragic to me....Geez, what a way to find out...

August 03, 2006 2:13 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Joaqy -- you and me both, huh? LOL! But seriously, heard it on the radio again recently and then I couldn't keep it off my mind -- ended up humming it all day. :) And then I searched for a videoke CD with that song in it in Quiapo. Learning to sing it made me appreciate what a great song it is, although so sad :)

Yes, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Rey. It was originally a big hit in the 70s as claimed by BW.

Yes, he might be a Brit, BW, but then, I know none other music by him. Was he a one hit wonder?

That was so unexpected, which only enhanced even more the hilarity of your response, Senorito Ako!

It made me laugh uproriously ... and boy, I needed to laugh that hard today! Thanks! Great timing :)

August 03, 2006 4:14 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Korek ka dyan, Melai! Sikat na sikat ito noong dekada 70 kahit na pagkalungkot-lungkot pala ng lyrics nito.

I agree, Major Tom! While learning to sing it recently, I couldn't help but appreciate the fine melody and the phrasing of the lyrics, but it's just so sad.

There are many others that were seemingly upbeat but upon closer inspection, the story behind it is sad. Another example is the Motown classic "This Old Heart of Mine" originally recorded by The Four Tops or Temptations which was a big dance song in the 60s. But when Rod Stewart did a cover of it during the 8os -- a slow version (ballad) -- the sadness of the story became so apparent.

August 03, 2006 4:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of American country music, but I sure love the music of the Dixie Chicks. They're one awesome group.

August 03, 2006 6:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Dixie Chicks are quite amazing, indeed, Jhay.

BTW, I'm glad they're able to rise above the anti-Dixie Chick sentiment which stemmed from their having voiced out their anti-war stance.

August 03, 2006 6:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't recognize the song from the lyrics until that clue for the title. I do remember this song. Didn't Tirso Cruz III sing this in a movie? Don't ask. Okay, I was a Noranian. But I could be wrong.

August 03, 2006 8:55 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not sure about Tirso's cover, Niceheart, I was already in NYC when this song came out.

Yes, it's tough to pinpoint this song just by reading the lyrics, because who would expect that such a fine song we've all heard before actually contains a very sad story.

August 03, 2006 9:03 PM  

Blogger NeiLDC said...

My loneliness causing a big blog disturbance now.
I like the song really...
I heard Vonda Sheperd..."Baby dntyou break my heart slow"...
Dixie chicks. "loving arms"..

---sr enrique.. Darren Hayes pop was real sad.. they say SAD SONG SAY SO MUCH-- elton john..

Im still on my sad phase.. im trying to move on!

August 04, 2006 3:44 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sorry to hear you're still feeling under the weather, Neil.

May I suggest singing. Yes! Singing. Grab a friend and go to a karaoke/videoke bar and sing your heart out. That's what I do whenever under some funky mood. I get it out of my system by singing.

And if you can't find anyone to go with you, be adventurous and go by yourself. You'd be surprised who you might meet while crooning some love or sad songs, really!

What have you got to lose but the blues?


August 04, 2006 6:35 AM  

Blogger houseband00 said...

Just avoid singing My Way in public. =)

Great post, Eric.Songs really have a hold on our emotions.

August 04, 2006 9:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

So I've been forewarned upon my arrival in Manila about the perils involved in singing that song publicly, Houseband00 ... lol!

August 04, 2006 7:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! Looks like I am a little late for this but the moment I read the first line I knew it was "...Alone again, naturally" and being a spinster (LOL, I like how I make some people uncomfortable each time I say that word ... as if it's evil), that should be my theme song. But I like Gilbert Sullivan's refrain not only because of its lyrics but also because of its melody. I wonder where he is now.

Anyway, I like the songs of our days better, Eric. The Motown sounds were especially good. Also those from the Friends of Distinction and the Fifth Dimension (who will ever forget glorious "Aquarius"?). I can write on and on and on ... because doing so brings back very happy memories!

August 05, 2006 11:01 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You are talking about fabulous dance music there, Bugsybee, especially with the Motown crew. Fifth Dimension ... another great group ... "Would you like to ride..." That was an amazing era and loved it!

August 05, 2006 11:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Nostalgia Manila! I've been visiting and enjoying your site since Sachiko let me know about it.

November 08, 2006 1:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Eric. Not done yet reading your past entries.

Alone again naturally.. indeed, a sad song.

I don't know why but whenever I hear "MacArthur's Park" (even the disco version by Donna Summer) - I feel like crying... Weird.

January 18, 2007 6:19 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Rhoda!

"MacArthur's Park" I happen to love to this day. Yes, Donna Summer's version is also a classic. I can understand why you get that kind of emotion from it; it is a sad song :(

January 18, 2007 7:39 PM  

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