Only Lyrically

Month: May, 2010

Paul, my Knight


[fifth life-in-music post]


Was supposed to write this last night, but one of the kids here, my big boss, one of them who says “love never lasts” (and, as I’ve written in 36/52, one even says “there is no love”), caught me –

I have a friend, Althea-the-poet-who-insists-she-is-not, she insists Paul is not cool. She says that Paul is not cool because Paul is saccharine and cheesy. And consciously saccharine and cheesy. Choosing to be saccharine and cheesy. Which is why she so loves him.

I remember in high school, I saw the lyrics of Eleanor Rigby printed in a hardbound, glossy, American literary anthology. I remember hearing Eleanor Rigby played live at the cocktail for the Free Press literary awards at the Manila Peninsula in 2007, while all the young literati talked their drunken talk and the drunken ignoramus that was I stood in the midst of it all and all the lonely people. I didn’t feel cool.

And to this day, I still don’t know whether “into the light of the dark black night” is an irony, paradox, antithesis or oxymoron. Either I’m just really ignorant or the line is simply cool.

You ever saw how those girls in the 60s screamed at the sight of disarming, baby-faced Paul? I used to squirm at the sight of those footages, thinking how silly those girls were and how the whole swooning-over-a-cute-rockstar is uncool.

12:56. Today is May 21, 2010. I am 31 years old.

Last week, that fellow Paul-lover friend of mine sent me a message saying that for the first time, she’s seeing how I Will is actually about love that scopes the past, present and future.

I had to suddenly sing the song, to check:

“Who knows how long I’ve loved you?” – past

“You know I love you still.” – present

“Will I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to, I will.” – future

Oo nga ‘no?

I’ve been hearing the song since I was young, in my I-want-to-be-cool days of acid and gall. I never saw that past-present-future love embedded in all that saccharine cheesiness.

In about three months, I will be 32. If I could swim into hearts through goo, I would.



dedicatori, to the tune of Little Earthquakes


[fourth life-in-music post]



This is about Tori. This is about love.

Stay! It will make sense, you’ll see. It will make sense by not making sense. If we could only stop from desperately looking for sense –

Today, I stood up against three twentysomething kids in the workplace who insisted that “love never lasts” –

There, Tori just sang, “castles are burning in my heart” –

Actually, only two of them said that “love never lasts”, the two girls. The boy said “there is no love”.

There, Tori just sang, “I got twenty five bucks and a cracker, do you think it’s enough to get us there?”

My stand is that “love can last”. That was actually me already being diplomatic. What I truly wanted to tell them was “there is love and it lasts, always, because it is the beginning and the end and it is in your bones, kiddos, it’s in your blood, love is our very lives lived for the good”.

Of course I never got to say that. Because one of them pointed out that in a romantic relationship, it never works that way, and that I’m not even in one, and that I’ll get their point if I’m in one.


I went back to my cube and shed a sappy tear.

It’s funny how these kids can say sweeping things like that… “love never lasts”… “there is no love”… I guess they are empowered by the fact that they are actually in relationships, and have been in previous other relationships, and that gives them the license to assert. And to dash the hopes of those who choose to believe otherwise.

Tori right now is singing, “how can I, when you build the great wall around you?”

I was in love when I first heard Tori sing China. It was my first. It was not a perfect love. It was even questionable. It was unrequited. I was eighteen.

And while I spent days months years putting down the torch, staring at it from afar, digging the hole, and burying it, Tori sang for me the dirge.

Who knows what could have happened to me if I had to do all that in deadening silence?

It was not easy, but I wasn’t alone, I had a grace of a song that cooed, it will be alright, don’t lose your faith in love!

Tori has loved me through the song, and she doesn’t even know. Or maybe she does know that she can love strangers through songs.

I love her too. Thank you!

And I love these kids. I really do. So I’ll just pour out my little hurts here and no longer argue with them ever again about love.

These kids, in their glistening acid and gall, which I used to have too in my not-so-distant past, these kids, they don’t know the power that they have.

Just like Tori sang.




On Pink Moon

[Third life-in-music post for Project 52.]

Election day. I didn’t go. I am readying myself for all the criticism I know I’ll soon hear from friends who did vote.

I guess the good side to this, if there is, is that from this point on, I won’t have the right to complain against the lucky leader who’d be elected.

Whenever did choosing not to choose become criminal?

Take this guy singing “pink moon is on its way”. He made a choice. He acted on his choice. He’s dead now. Can’t blame him, really. He wanted to go, he went.

I can only guess.

Maybe, this was how it felt: he just wanted a little peace and quiet, but the neighbors next door were partying so hard he couldn’t rest. And torn between running away and keeping his ground, he found a way to compromise.

I first heard Nick Drake from Serendipity, then from The Royal Tenenbaums, then from The Lake House, then from The Blind Side.

Neither of the Nick Drake songs there appeared here in Pink Moon. This album is his swan song.

What an idiot.

Well at least he’s Nick Drake with three treasure troves of tunes that more than justify his going the way he did.

Meanwhile, I’m the idiot who was too lazy to choose. Listening to Pink Moon.

Actually, the record now is at the song Parasite, which goes:

“…Dancing a jig in a church with chimes
A sign of the times today
Hearing no bell from the steeple tall
People all in dismay
Falling so far on a silver spoon
Making the moon for fun
Changing a rope for a size too small
People all get hung

Take a look you may see me coming through
For I am the parasite who travels two by two…”

It’s always criminal not to care.

Last song, From The Morning.

I can’t find any clue from this record that he’s planning of escaping.

Hey, there I go again, not escaping – going. Saying escaping’s like saying he’s a cheat. He is not.

His time’s just up.