Saturday, February 23, 2019

Andy's 60s Music Wax Lyrical: Simplicity of Songs

Paul Anka with Diana Ayoub. He composed his big hit and writing the lyrics about her.

Lyrics of bygone days are simple and easy to remember. Nearly every pop-song enthusiast can remember the innocence of Paul Anka's infatuation for 'Diana', his babysitter:

I'm so young and you're so old
This my darling I've been told
I don't care just what they say
Cause forever I will stay...

Oh please stay by me, Diana.

It has an easy, upbeat calypso rhythm associated with the blossoming appeal for the newly loved to 'stay by me'. Such songs are common with first love themes and the joyful, innocent union. For Anka it is genuine.
Shirley Nair with her other hits on Philips backed by The Silver Strings.

Then there's the other extreme, as our local 60s boys and girls get into the song-writing act, so whether it's encountering first love or lamenting the loss of one, the same heart rendering devotion of innocence is projected. Shirley Nair's, 'Come Home To Me' reveals this phase as she pleads in all seriousness:

Oh my darling I miss you so
Please please try to understand
I never meant to hurt you
So please come home
Come home to me...


The rhythm is different with a pleasant rhumba beat and as the tears trickle the innocence of love prevails.
It was originally by Ben E. King, this classic became a big hit here in Singapore but covered by The Quests.

I can still remember The Quests who backed Keith Locke (image) with the song, "You Lied". The repetitive lyrics using these two words made the composition so simple to remember and enjoy. No angry tones, no messages and no unpleasant words.  
Sung originally by Ben E. King, this classic became a big hit here in Singapore, even today and still carried by many local artistes. I remember it is the favourite of Patrick Chan (image above) who sang it during our gig at Boys' Town and Orchard Road in 2015.

Like life, lyrics written in the 60s were like stars in the sky, exposed. Are present lyrics just as straight-forward? Is life just as simple too?
Patrick Chan sings 'Don't Play That Song For Me'. Video by Fabian Foo. Thanks Fabian.

Image: Quests Collection
YouTube Video by Fabian Foo Jong Fook.
Original Article: Andy Lim

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