Moon River & Home

The usual meeting of the bloggers at Cafe 14 today. Normal suspects were there, Rocky, Kak Ena, Zorro, Bigdog, A Voice, Tony & few others. They left early and headed for Ijok the hotspot for the election this week. I was home early after the meeting. Outside heavy rain was mercilessly beating the windows and thunders were roaring in the sky. The whole of Bukit Setiawangsa was grey and solemn. I have always loved the rain. It just calms me down. Must have been the soothing effect of the water.

When I was in MRSM Kuala Terengganu many many years ago, I used to wait up for the rain, especially at night. Then amidst the rain, from my room – Cempaka 54 – I can see a tower from the neighbouring maktab perguruan. I loved that tower in the rain. Sometimes late at night, we could hear the waves crashing onto the shore of Pantai Penarek from Wisma Pelajar. Ah, Kuala Terengganu was indeed a beautiful place. Everything was a lot simpler back then.

My late father dedicated a song to me when I was away in MRSM. He sat by the organ, slotted a cassette (yes, you heard me right, mana ada CD lagi masa tuh!) in his old radio/tape recorder and subsequently recorded himself singing Moon River. Later, he mailed it to me and words could not describe my joy to have received that cassette from him. The song remains my favourite song until today. It goes like this –

Moon River, wider than a mile,
I’m crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you’re going I’m going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end–
waiting ’round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

This song was originally composed for the motion picture Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 and Ayah sang it beautifully. The last time I heard this song was in one of Sex & the City episodes. Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big were dancing to the song on the eve of Mr. Big leaving New York for California. The scene was ultimately romantic as it is that no lines were needed between the two. The song bespoke a thousand meanings.

As I was thinking about Moon River, a dear friend of mine emailed me a questionable kind of song. Professionally forced to practise medicine in a forgotten land somewhere, she is feeling utterly lonely. In her honour, I will look up for a melody of this song and play it on the keyboard, tonight.

Another summer day
has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
but I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by
a million people I
still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters
that I wrote to you,
Each one a line or two
I’m fine baby, how are you?
I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane, another sunny place
I’m lucky, I know…
but I wanna go home
I’ve got to go home

Let me go home

I’m just too far
From where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living
someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
when everything was going right
And I know just why you could not come along with me
This was not your dream
but you always believed in me…

Another winter day
Has come and gone away
in either Paris or Rome
and I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
still feel alone
Let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know
Let me go home

I’ve had my run
baby, I’m done
I’ve gotta go home

Let me go home

It’ll all be alright,
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

Ah, music – it brings the best out of a person and as I said earlier, music is the language of love. Good day folks.

19 thoughts on “Moon River & Home

  1. Salam to elviza.

    I was musically blind( not the S.Jibeng blind lah or the Stevie wonders).We had no radio at home.Most prbably Bapak couldn’t afford to buy one.what with his mearge income as a soljar and 8 children to feed.We had our black and white singer TV in 73 after my younger brother got 1st place in his exams. In 75 I was packed to Alor Star to continue my education.Stayed with my Makcik at a kampong by a mountain(Gunung Keriang).So dad bought me a transistor radio at RM 10.00. The radio would be in Makcik’s kitchen. Only on saturdays the radio would be mine during the LPMI(Lagu popular minggu ini).So the songs that I knw back then were malay songs.There’s J.Mizan with” Cik adik manis..bolehkah abang tumpang bertanya..dimanakah rumah cik diana…” or A.Ramlie with Intanku Liana.Or Boneka dari India by an Indon group(?Favourites group).And there zaleha Hamid with her version of Panasaran. And sakura singing Malay numbers.
    When I stayed in the hostel I left the radio at makcik’s.Tak sampai hati nak bawa ke hstel after she took good care of me for several months.

    In the hostel we were not supposed to keep radios.(Only the prefect can do that).On later we were allowed to keep it but it must be a pcket transistor in 77. That was when I had my exposure to the limited English songs. Earth wind and Fire’s fantasy was our favourite but being kampong boys ,most of us doesn’t understand sepatah haram pun.That was the disco era. There were Anita something Ring my bell.There was Kung Fu Fighting and off course Boney M and that swedish quartet( tak ingat nama).But the fav for us was Black Dog Bone, carefree and Alleycats. Not to forget Hail Amir,Latif Ibrahim,Uji Rashid and Othman Hamzah.

    And we heard Hotel california, Stairways to heaven,Black Night and other deep Purple songs throuhg the radios(masih tak paham sepatah haram).
    our sabahan friends(of yayasan Sabah) were the lucky ones. They could afford the walkman. We the kampong boys dropped our jaws in awe the first time we saw a walkman. Hati teringin sangat2.

    After going to UM( where I met CGOPD) did my musical scope developed. Was suprised when many could sing english songs. UM exposed me to lots of musical genre.My first liking was folks and country rock. CGOPD’s mates introduced me to Jackson Browne,Joni Mitchell,Emmylou Harris,Gordon Lightfoot,Bob Dylan,America,Simon and Garfunkel, crosby Stills and Nash,England Dan and John Ford Colley.
    Friends from Klang valley introduced Pink Floyd, Queens,Police,Chicago,Earth Wind and Fire,Mark Knopfler and Commodores.
    They too inroduced me to Fusion jazz.I started tolisten to David Sanborn,Spyro gyra,Tom Scott, Grover washington,the Beckers,Miles Davis,Dave gruisin,lee rit etc.
    My Johorean friends iintroduced me to Search,Sweet Charity,scorpions and other rock bands.
    Suhaili the geologist made me like blues. So I listen to Eric Clapton,BB King,Muddy Waters,John Lee Hooker.My younger bro who went to RMC furthet extend my liking of the blues. I became fan of johnny winters the Albino bluesman.

    Then came Kembara helm by M.Nasir. that is my all time fav.With their folkish songs I began listening to Indonesian folk singers.Ebiet G Ade,Iwan fals and Doel Sumbang touched my heart with their honest songs.

    Unfortunately, after the varsity days, and running away from KL my choice of songs dwindled. Thre’s nothing much you can get in Perak or Jebatville.
    So I am trapped in a time zone of the 80’s.

    Sorry to take up so much of your space with my ramblings.
    Oh! by the way..now I prefer Dikir Barat.Pelik kan?

    I wonder what our CGOPD liked? My guess : DANGDUT!!

  2. Elviza,

    My dear….Andy Williams popularised “Moon River” in the 70s.. he had a TV show “Andy Wiliams Show”…that was his signature song.
    You are so right….. music is a balm for many, a panacea..it soothes the soul., it transcends barriers.
    I grew up on music. I enjoy all kinds of music, though I have my favourites.
    I do not discriminate, or have prejudices…EXCEPT, techno and its ilk give me a headache and if i listen to it long enough, i think i could turn homicidal and then, suicidal. But, to each his, or her own.

    To brother Tokasid: i can relate to your musical experience and journey. I am wondering, you left out Ramli Sarip and Sweet Charity. Ada sebab ke atau TERlupa?
    And I so can relate to CGPD’s faves. CSNY, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell…
    when people ask me what my favourite kind of music or my favourite musicians — i always say i can’t answer because i have a smorgasbord of them….

    .

  3. Music has always been a part of my life. My mom was a singer for radio, and I have always enjoyed singing myself.

    My favourites are songs in the genre of Moon River🙂 and my all time fave is Nat “King” Cole. I can’t stand Elvis for I think he was an American propaganda to show that whites can sing too (sounds much like a country I know; maybe it will be a superpower?).

    Anyways, music is a perfect blam, although many people listem to sad songs when their sad and make them sadder.

    One day, I’ll cut my album.

  4. YES! my favourite topic.
    mmm…but better not write about it here. Takut terlebih tulis daripada you.

    I hope my english campur malay tak berjangkit kat you all. When I stumble on your
    ‘slotted a cassette (yes, you heard me right, mana ada CD lagi masa tuh!) ‘

    and tokasid’s
    ‘most of us doesn’t understand sepatah haram pun.’

    i feel so at home!

    My mother kalau tau I tulis macam ni, sure i kena marah punya. Dia Colonial sikit! eee… tak baik mengumpat mak.

  5. My songs that I treasure the most is from the album called ‘Winelight’ by Grover Washington and Bill Withers sung ‘Just The Two Of Us’ …it was the song I repeatedly play when I miss my girlfriend ,currently the mother of my five kids….me being obsessive and all ,I think she despised it now as I can be very irritating at times to say the least hehehe.

    This I gather fr Wikipedia:
    A string of acclaimed records brought Washington through the 1970s, which culminated in the signature piece for everything Washington would do from then on. 1980’s Winelight was the album that defined everything Washington was about. The album was smooth, fused with R&B and easy listening feel.

    The highlight of the album, and a main staple of radio airplay everywhere, was his great collaboration with soul artist Bill Withers, “Just The Two of Us”. It was also the final step away from Motown, landing him on Elektra Records and into a new era of jazz excellence. The album went platinum in 1981, and also won Grammy Awards in 1982 for Best R&B Song (“Just The Two of Us”), and Best Jazz Fusion Performance (“Winelight”). “Winelight” was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

    I believe TA was a Jazz fan too,he could do Al Jarreau ‘ Masquerade’ very well….of course I cant tell him that ,you know Tokasid by now,I hope.

  6. Elviza minta tumpang lalu sikit ye.

    Mis NAS: Yes Ramli Sarip and Sweet Charity. How can I forget them.I meant to put them in but must have forgotten.
    During varsity days I read lots of reviews by your bro Hamed and was influenced. Most of his reviews esp on the Fusion Jazz during those times was my ‘guide’ of what to purchase. So I knew Al Jarraeu, Michael Franks,Spyro Gyra,Chuck mangione,Earl Klugh,Pat Methany from Hamed’s reviews.

    CGOPD: Masquerade was by George Benson not Al Jarraeu. Recently I bought an album colloborating Al Jarreau and G.Benson. Fuh! Berdengung betul.
    Now Hafiz pun dah berjangkit dgn Al Jarreau.

    Terima kasih Miss Elviza kerana memberi laluan.

  7. Dear Miss Rite’ Away Ma’am,

    Aaah Music, this one I could just go on and on (ah, itu pun nama lagu by Stephen Bishop). Like both TA and CG, musically I’m still trapped in the 70’s and 80’s…

    It’s a good thing technology this (NOT “techno” – macam Mees NAS kata, buek poning ajo). So my 8GB Ipod that I take offshore with me is full of stuff that I suspect you all can relate to.

    Good music is Timeless. So I have been ordering back catalogue stuff kalau takde di sini (ini dah kene penyakit “campur” Madam Accacutiara) I order thru’ CD Now (Amazon) ke apa. I’m still building up the collection (8GB is a lot to fill). The beauty is a lot of these old albums dah kena re-mastered and will sound a lot better than what we heard back then or cassette or 8-track… ada yang ingat tak? hehe..

    For Country Rock Folk Blues type out there I just discovered some wonderful early stuff by John Hiatt, Kim Richey, Linda Thompson, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. These are all “thinking” singer-songwriters. Linda’s story is a harrowing one. She was one-half of the 70’s Richard & Linda Thompson duo before succumbing to a rare disease that left her totally unable to speak for some years. Her husband left her and when she was finally cured she made a wonderful comeback after 17 years of recorded silence, with an album in 2002 called “Fashionably Late”. Most critical reviews – Time, Rolling Stone etc has rated it the “Top 100 albums of all time”. Ironically her former husband played on one track, with now-grown-up children Teddy and Kamilla backing her. It’s so melodic and intelligently written and tells about relationships. It’s so heart renderingly wrenching that whenever I hear “On the Banks of The Clyde” – a track on the album – with the haunting Northumbrain smallpipes I can’t help but “menangih”. It tells of an early last-century young woman who travelled to London only to find herself “ruined”. And how she missed to be in the bosom of her mother’s arms…hey prostitutes are people and have feelings too you know. Eh apasal I’m drawn to these themes I don’t know. But I’m always drawn to the wrteched, the poor and the underdogs. That’s just me. Now time to fire up that Ipod again. . .

  8. Sorry Miss, can’t help but menyampok again. Eh, BTW this is not peneyakit “Monty” ok? . . .You have really opened the floodgates here. I forgot to mention Dear, – your late Father was WAY COOL! It’s memories like this that we retain of a loved one…

    Eh TA, way back in ’78 masa Pom Por kat Kuala, aku dah berdengung ngan Jazz dah. Anti-Disco pulak tu. Bukan apa, dok hostel balak semua, penda nak Disco2? Mana ada tea dance kat KK tu. Hehee. . . so lepas kuar Kuala bila masuk U, jadi socially incompetent lah – tak reti campur ngan pompuan – sampai lah ckarang. I guess part tu regret masuk all-balak hostel. Pasai tu kahwin pun lambat, lopeh tigo-puloh…

    Now when you mentioned Chuck Mangione – masa Pom Por tu, aku nyer giler laa kat dia sampai I wrote and klentong him kata aku president of “CM M’sian Appreciation” society. And caya tak he sent me a booklet duly signed “To All My Malaysia Fans, CM”. My batch ingat aku giler. I tried the same tactic to GBenson but no respong…

    CG – Winelight tu pon tak abih-abit berputar di Ipod ambo…

  9. EM, i’ve beeen quite busy recently – a SAHM pun boleh busy, one wonders? Well, thanks to you I’ve managed to meet up with Azura. She came to our house. And she met Azrina S. (also Kenangarian) the day after. We had a great time giggling to our good old time in MRSMKT.

  10. Mat Salo:

    Sorry to menyampuk but would you believe that when I was in pom por kat Kuala, my brother Kasim and I won the kolej talentime? We sang P. Ramlee’s “Kisah Rumah Tangga” in two-part harmony and I believe we were way ahead of our time then.

    You will also never guess who the MC was… Sanusi Junid. Yep, same guy.

  11. Dearest Pak Ngah, Tokasid, Kak Ena, Freespace Nerd, E, Raden Galoh, Clark Gable, Mat Salo, K’ron & Ancient Mariner….

    Thanks for the memories jotted, thanks for the music shared… it did bring the best out of every one isnt it?

    Iesta brother,
    I still love iklim. The one suci dalam debu I like most. But not enough to make me go and sing it on stage like you lah kan!!!! Ha haha ahahahhahaahha! I still have the pictures bro….be afraid, be very afraid

  12. I really gotta come here more often.

    *dittt…bookmarked!*

    Hey, you guys are really bringing back very fond memories with all the names of singers/musicians, etc.

    One of my personal fave (and there were tons of it in every conceivable genre) was Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” but a couple of years back, I heard Laura Fygi sang a cover version which totally blew my brains out.

    Elviza, one of these evenings, do drop by at NPC with hubby and I’ll attempt to sing “Moon River” for you both. The ‘K’ machine there is a bit crappy so I won’t be any worse.

  13. Dearest Shar,

    Hey, dont bookmarked me, blogroll me in your blog (which I dont see that coming as promised).

    Sadly Shar, Jefree doesn’t share my kind of music. It apparently too old-fashioned for the modern man (as if!).

    I ll drop by NPC to hear you sing minus my other half okay? I am after all, a golf widower. Sigh sigh sigh…..

    I am sure despite all the faulty machine you would sound like an angel nonetheless!

  14. That last song really made me miss home. I want to go home! No matter where I go, what I do in this world, Malaysia is still my home. My family, my friends. sigh..
    Songs do a lot to people. It stirs a lot of emotions.
    When I hear “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, it reminds of me of my late dad. Another one is “O Holy Night”, a Christmas song, which he always sang solo in church and during carollingrounds in our residential area. 13 years later, our family friends still remember. When this song is played, we all pause and smile. We know that was my dad’s song.

  15. I love all the groups and individuals you’ll mentioned. A strange thing happen to me when I hit my 30s, I found myself making a journey into Jazz.

    My first exposure into jazz was those george benson, chuck mangione, grover washington type – pop and grammy winners. That was more to have something for the girrls to listen to when they come over to my apartment.

    My journey then brought me to myriad sub-genre of jazz starting from rock fusion as started by miles davis’ bitches brew alumni, weather report alumni, al di meola, pat matheney (a regular at our campus).

    Then I went into went into ethnic jazz fusion like mahavishnu, zakir husin, santana’s blues for el salvador, hugh masakele, airto purim, tito puente, not to leave out some asian like john kaizen neptune, asiabeat, eugene pao of hong kong, etc.

    I got myself to listen to hard bee bops like john coltrane, ornette coleman (damn I missed him playing when I went to tokyo), sonny rollins, etc and slowly edge into bee-bops like charlie parker and trads (traditional).

    Along the way, I picked up those free jazz or avant gardes and surreal works of john zorn, marcus miller, eberhhard webber, jan garbarek, jaco pastorius, and I wud say even rocker jeff beck, and one avant garde rockers, frank zappa falls into this sub genre. Not many fit my preferene for structure and distinguishable genres.

    As time pass by, I began to find the works of count bassie, elington, sarah vaughn, ella fitzgerald, sinatra, billie holidays, bing cosby … lovely to listen. My my … do they make beautiful music.

    These days with the claimed “police” state condition of “kami sokong”, “mari berbaik dengan singapura” and anwar conspiracy, I’m reverting to the vietnam protest era songs. Jimi Hendrix and the whole woodstock concert album is my daily feed. The repeated expression of richie haven “freedom freedom freedom …” really brought out my youth, at least in the mind and soul if not the body.

    Anyway. Elviza,

    Moonriver is such a lovely song and beautifully expressed in harmonica or as the bluesmen would call a harp. Now that reminds of toot thielmen and janggo rienhard, two great harmonica men from europe. I got to see toots abroad.

    By the way, it seemed we were fed from the same nasi kawah but of a different era and location.

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