It is easy to be depressed. It is easy to be mad. It is easy to just meet fire with fire. But the harder thing to do is to just sit down and let the fire burn till it dies…Today, I am reminded that you cannot teach others new tricks when they don’t want to learn using their hearts. I am not perfect, but I know I try to be the kind of person I have to be, not just the kind of person I want to be.
I’ve had the draft for this for daaayssss…Anyway,…
Let’s talk about THEME SONGS. Not just any theme songs from movies or shows. I mean those that currently define, describe, and/or I, hopefully, will follow in the years to come, maybe in my lifetime. Basically, these are songs that help bring me back to my senses and make me push through with life and push on.
So, let me share to you now…
My Five Theme Songs to Live By
1. Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel
This also serves as my LSS or Last Song Syndrome fave. I play this in the office practically every work day, and play it non-stop a lot of times, too (you can ask my officemates). As I shared in my WICKED post, the song is from the musical. Maybe I am ten years late in really appreciating this song, but I have fallen in love with it now. Maybe because it holds more meaning to me now, too.
The song speaks of breaking free and flying high, escaping from things that hold you back or down from becoming the best and happiest you can be. As Idina’s Elphaba says, it’s time to defy gravity. Below is Idina’s album version of the song:
I’m through accepting limits
‘Cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
…I’m defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down!
I guess Idina’s Elsa’s “Let It Go” is in a similar vein (not really the same), but I can relate more with “Defying Gravity” and identify more with Elphie. I know you most probably have heard the song already or seen the movie — I’d be surprised if you haven’t yet — but if you just want to compare, I’m posting the other song, too, and this one’s got sing-along lyrics on it:
2. The Journey by Lea Salonga
Not to be biased or anything because Lea is Filipino and a favorite stage performer, but this song is one of the best songs I have ever heard. It’s not just due to the melody, which may not be the best, but how the message is conveyed. Just watch the video and maybe sing along with the lyrics…
I may be in love with song #1 right now, but this remains as Top 1 in my list of theme songs. It serves as a reminder for me to keep being positive and keep going, to enjoy life and love the journey. Does my blog’s name tell you anything? Forward, always forward, onward, always up, we must go 😉
From what I know, this song was recorded as part of a concept album for the Little Tramp musical that is based on the life of the great Charlie Chaplin. Incidentally, he originally composed the music for the next song for a movie he was making, the words added later on by lyricists.
3. Smile by Nat King Cole
How beautiful! I am not sure about the first time ever that I heard it in my life, but I remember when I actually took notice. That was when I was a kid and my sister and I used to watch old shows on TV (for some reason, we were fond of watching shows that were even way beyond our time) and one of those was the gag show of Jerry Lewis. He would always sing some parts of it at the end of every episode. I immediately understood and fell in love with it.
It is something that anyone who has ever felt sad and lonely can relate to. There is a certain sense of melancholy in it, yet there is the positive message as well that we can hold on to.
4. For Good by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth
Alright, it’s still WICKED and Idina, but you can’t blame me. It just so happens that the show has really good songs in it. And since I am someone who values friendship very much, this duet by Idina and Kristin really spoke to me. The best thing is, it doesn’t necessarily have to be simply about friendship; rather, it can be about relationships in general.
I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives
For a reason, bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those who help us most to grow
If we let them and we help them in return…
It well may be that we will never meet again
In this lifetime so let me say before we part
So much of me is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart.
When it was sung live onstage, I noticed how quiet the people from the audience were. Not a few hearts were touched by this song. Every time I listen to it, I can’t help but feel a lump in my throat and want to cry. You should have seen me the first days I was listening to it — I did cry. Then I tortured myself and played it over and over. Crazy, eh?
Those first two lines of the second quoted stanza gets to me every time! I am reminded of friendships lost due to distance or falling-out, reminded to be thankful for the great people in my life, and especially reminded of my parents to whom I was not able to say “so much of me is made of what I learned from you” (oh man, I’m tearing up right now..sorry…).
This song has become my most favorite friendship/relationship song and I think it will be hard for any similar song to dethrone it from my list.
5. You Gotta Be by Des’ree
Last but not the least, we have this perk-up song, at least that’s what I’m calling it. Ever since I learned and memorized it, I have regarded it as a self-advice song. Depressed, worried, anxious? Sing it. Simply enjoying the moment? Sing it. Apply it anytime, anywhere!
Basically, it’s about keeping a positive outlook, being courageous in the face of hardship, and believing in the power of love.
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day.
In fact, on the few times I get to sing in front of a videoke machine, I almost always sing it. It’s like my default song or something (well, along with song #2).
That’s it, the five theme songs of my life. In other words, guide songs. Do you have yours? What is it or what are they? I invite you to share 🙂
This is my belated “T” post for…
NOTE: Technically, it’s still February at the other side of the world. Also, technically, I heard that in the lunar calendar, it’s just the 29th of January. So technically, the Love Month isn’t over yet, and if we follow the lunar calendar, it hasn’t even begun. That said, here’s one of the things to share for this month’s special theme, which is love 🙂
If I were made to choose between being able to write and being able to sing, what do you think would I have chosen? If you said writing because I am a writer, well, you got it…
Hands down, I would choose to retain my ability to sing, regardless of whether I could carry a tune or not. I may not be able to write, but I’d still have my imagination with me, which was how I started my stories in the first place. Also, telling stories is not confined to writing alone. Since I’d still have my voice, I could either dictate my pieces to someone who’d write them all down, or do either live or recorded storytelling.
Now singing! No, I wouldn’t be able to do that without the voice, nor could anyone else. Unless I just hummed, which is not really singing, is it? Even if I attempted to do some beatboxing, that would still require sounds that I would not be able to make. Writing is my expression of my thoughts, but singing is the expression of my soul.
I LLLOOOOOVVVEEE SINGING…
I really was the shy, silent type when I was a little kid. To say “extremely shy” would probably be an exaggeration already, but that was enough to make me ashamed of singing out loud. I loved music, but except for the few times I was in the mood to perform for my only usual audience — my mother — and during Music class in school that I secretly enjoyed, no one could make me sing. Not that anyone actually asked, with the exception of my mother, in which case, I am not even sure if she did ask or I volunteered.
I really did love singing. When I was young, I would sing just a tad louder than a whisper when I was alone. But whenever somebody came into the room or went near me wherever I was, I would immediately stop singing, act matter-of-factly and pretend I was doing nothing of the sort seconds ago. Imagine, I would even react this way at home and around my family. Why this was so is still a mystery to me. Did I suffer some kind of trauma or ridicule when I was much littler that this affected me the way it did? I cannot remember a thing about it, and if ever it did happen, what was it? or who was it?
The only thing I know is it was also myself who decided that if I wanted to sing, I would. Why would I bother about what they thought? So by fourth grade, I allowed myself to express more freely. I would be singing at the terrace and then someone would pass by and I gathered a lot of courage just to keep from stopping or keeping it down. This certainly had its benefits because I started realizing that I could, kind of, actually carry a tune.
Inspired by this realization, I found myself saving my daily allowance and buying “song hits” (referring to song magazines). Soon, I was the most updated in class when it came to new songs and, weirdly, I knew many of the featured old songs as well (some songs even came from much older eras like the 30s). This became my hobby until the sixth grade, collecting song hits that I still actually have in possession.
As I got older, I fell in love with singing more. I was never the best, I know, and had never really joined anything musical. I kept the singing to myself most times. I dabbled into some songwriting, too, but not one of my songs have any actual music till now, mainly because I have never learned to play any string or percussion instrument. That’s why they’re not so good, anyway. Meanwhile, I developed an eclectic taste in music. I came to like almost any music genre, old and new, local and foreign, pop and classic, instrumental and otherwise.
The only ones I never ever liked were hard metal stuff because I could and can never understand why all the hard growling and shouting that do not sound anything like words and are hurtful to the ears are considered singing. I don’t mean just rock. Legitimate rock, I like. But there are “songs” that sound anything but songs. Before you go all-Rambo against what I said, though, I am not judging you. This is personal opinion and taste. In fact, if I tell you now that I love show tunes, you are welcome to hate them. They are not me, the person, such as heavy metal songs aren’t you.
While we’re on the subject of show tunes, I was a junior in high school when I developed an interest in musicals, thanks largely to our Music teacher. Actually, I came to really appreciate music because of what she taught us. I remember she had a certain theme every year that all students experienced in class. I said all because in school, she was our only Music teacher and, thank goodness, there were just four sections per year level. Still, that’s a lot of kids to handle. Anyway, Broadway musicals was the theme that year.
I had long-before seen The Sound of Music (too many times to count!) and Annie on TV. That year, I appreciated show tunes more. (There’s really a side story to this involving Les Miserables and batch unity, one I will save most probably for a separate post.) Our teacher let us watch the West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Sound of Music (I think), South Pacific, and The King and I. I may be forgetting some more, but you get the idea. Whenever it was movie time, I was a very serious, very willing student.
This love for show tunes grew that when I was working already, I began watching actual shows if the budget allowed it or when I had time to save up. I’ve also been buying my own copies of movie musicals. Never mind that neighbors think me weird watching those and singing loudly along. People do tend to judge what they don’t understand; they probably don’t understand why I could love rapping at the same time either.
I have never been an actual theater person and I don’t get to see every thing that’s played on stage due to budget constraints, but that didn’t stop me from creating a Broadway-themed group in Multiply called HERE’S TO BROADWAY!!! It slowly grew into the musical-lovers’ group with the most members in Multiply-land. Unfortunately, we all know what happened to Multiply.
Now here I am. I love to sing, definitely, even when there are people around. Just don’t approach me and actually ask me to sing or I’ll clam up. I’m okay with people hearing me, but when they let me know they’re listening, I get all…EEK. Don’t ask me why because I can’t even explain it myself. The only reason I sang for my friends’ weddings were because, well, they’re friends and I didn’t want to disappoint them by turning down their requests…aaaand because I’d rather sing a song and get it over with in three minutes than be a bridesmaid, HA HA HAAA!!!
So, to sing or not to sing? That is not even supposed to be a question. Sing, absolutely.
Lastly, I guess I’ll share these only-a capella samples I did around four years ago. I recorded these while in the bathroom so I could hide and that’s why I was in a hurry. I could have done better but, oh well. The first is originally by Lea Salonga so if you want to hear that, I’m sure it’s in YouTube. It’s quite a videoke favorite here. It’s also my blogs theme 🙂 The second is from the animation film version of The Little Mermaid, which I haven’t really seen yet because I am mad they murdered classic literature. Anyway, because I don’t have copies in my laptop of these, they will open a new tab and direct you to my Facebook video posts instead.
Hate the singer, not the songs, please 😉
Do you love to sing? Share it to us! We have to take dares sometime 😉
By the way, I have certain “project” so I urge you to please ask me any question in the comment boxes below. THANKS!