Saturday, July 09, 2005

SONGS OF THE HEART

It is now past 9:00 pm on this eighth July day of Two-zero-zero-five...

Nothing significant really, thank god for that, except that yours truly had just turned forty seven and still rolling...

Update: Just received an email birthday wish from Fish Fish... San Kyu beree machi!!

Am now listening, repeatedly... to an oldie called リンゴ追分 (literally, Chasing the Apple?) by Misora Hibari while I recall receiving an email from a fellow Kedahan living in Melbourne...

He was fond of listening to 'old' Japanese songs...

'Chasing the Apple' belongs to a genre called 演歌 'enka', or Japanese popular (country) songs.

Throughout my years in Japan, I have grown to love this type of songs which I think represents very much, 'the heart of Japan', 日本の心 or 'Nihon no kokoro'.

Most enka songs are sad songs, focusing on perennial themes like unrequited love, separations, or heartbreaks, interspersed with generous references of sake, seagulls, tears, and lonely nights at the harbor...

Besides Misora Hibari, I am also a big fan of the Japanese grand old man of rock, Eikichi Yazawa.

He preaches about love and about having a good time while you can...

Lately, I have been enchanted by the counter tenor Yoshikazu Mera...

He has an operatic voice that is almost angelic... and he sings so gracefully and beautifully...

I don't listen much to English songs as much as I did before hitting the shores of Japan...

Except for that wonderful duet of Ella and Louis whose melodic voices are described as 'the mating of honey and molasses'...

But then, Earl Klugh has always been our all-time favorite...

How could he not, when we had only his music accompanying our wedding reception ages ago?

The Carpenters and Deep Purple helped me managed my teenage nights...

Lionel Richie and Queen, among others put me on track during my somewhat rowdy twenties...

The thirties saw me a pretty lost man, oscillating between J-pop and 'E-pop'...

Songs of the heart... I can't live without them...