Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sarbat Stall, Taj Cinema @ Geylang Serai: Part II

There are songs written in Bahasa Melayu (Malay) from Singapore and Malaysia that describe Geylang Serai in the 50's and 60's. Geylang Serai, which lies in Eastern Singapore, was a predominantly Malay area and people frequented the open street and wet markets to buy condiment and fresh ingredients for their home cooked meals.

Ahmad C.B., who originally came from Indonesia and lived in Malaya had been composing songs since the 40's. He wrote this one that re-lived the busy scenes of Geylang Serai in the evening.

The Taj Cinema he mentioned in the song was a rendezvous for many young Malay couples who frequented the place to watch movies. A parallel, among the more westernised Singaporeans, was a similar meeting place in the city - the Magnolia Milk Bar at the Capitol Cinema, near the junction of North Bridge Road and Stamford Road.
The YouTube video has been disabled. Click connection below to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWmK9AUbCM8

Geylang Waktu Petang (Literal translation in blue)

Di waktu petang di Geylang Serai: In the evening at Geylang Serai,

Terang benderang sungguh-lah ramai: Bright, cheerful and crowded,

Tua dan muda miskin atau kaya: Old and young, poor or rich,

Semuanya ada terdapat di sana: They are all there.

Begitu banyak orang jualan: So many people selling their wares

Sehingga sesak sampai ke jalan: Overcrowding on the roads

Bermacam barang terdapat di situ: Lots of things to be found

Kasut dan baju 'macam model baru: Shoes and clothes of the latest fashio

Kalau penat carilah bai serbat: If tired, look for the Indian drink hawker

Di dekat Panggung Taj: Near the Taj Cinema
Di situ tempat kalau nak buah: That's the place for fruits

Di situ memang murah: That's where they're cheap

Kalau nak kuih tak susah pilih: If you need cakes, easy to choose.

Berbagai bangsa yang lalu lalang: The many races that frequent the place

Sungguh lah puas mata memandang: Satisfy their eyes

Itulah kisah Geylang waktu petang: That's the story of Geylang in the evening

Sungguh cukup ramai di Geylang Serai... Very crowded is Geylang Serai.

Thanks to Ms Chang Soh Kiak, producer: Foodage documentary.
Image: Mr Johar Amir, YouTube and Screen Shots.


pop music said...

I always thought of rock music as having guitars and stuff. But a lot of pop bands use guitars, and so do some rap songs, and so did some classical music and jazz. So what separates rock music apart from those kinds?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Does rock music really separate "apart from those kinds", as you put it.

The term encompasses more than 50 to 60 sub-genres and is so diverse and common, it is difficult to pin down its exact meaning.

Wikipedia seems to explain rock music very clearly.

Sorry, not much help here but thanks for the visit.

Comment anyone?

Anonymous said...

From: sk, sittinginpictures:

shd do a more extensive piece on Ahmad Jaffar.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

He didn't write the piece.


Thanks for sharing Boss, this place brings back a lot of fond memories as my late grandmother used to reside at Block 1 Geylang Serai before it was torn down 😢

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Haffiz, I used to have many friends in that area, Joo Chiat and the Pachitan areas too. Glad it's bringing back some memories. (Not a boss but a blogger) Thank you sir.


As a chinese I used to watch Malay movie... The music was very smooth and relaxing capture the mood.. Just like Sunday morning at Changi Beach under a coconut tree.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Meng Tat.
I used to watch them too.
Good stuff.

It's an older posting but thanks to everyone who's reading it and LIKE it.
I just hope it gets a wider audience. Preserving a heritage is important, with a song or otherwise.


Geylang Serai In My Mind In My Soul...🐯...
Born & Raise In Geylang Serai...🐯...


Every picture must have a story of those days when life was simple but hard.

The song makes me feel like taking a little trip to the area.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to Sher and Hiroshi for your sincere comments.

If only more people could share their pictures; that would be nice.

facebook chats said...

thans to all who like this post.

Stephen Han
Hiroshi Deguchi
Denyse Tessensohn
Kevin Ho TC
Michael Manasseh
Kelvin Lee
Jaafar Yaacob
Haffiz Hafeez
Claudine Nalpon
Dino Loo
Calvin Fong
Jeffrey Lim