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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

(2) Indonesian Folk Music Influence And Sexual Symbolism In 30s Lyrics - 'Impian Semalam'



Impian Semalam - The Dream Last Night



Jangan bimbang 'dek, jangan risaukan,
Don't worry dear, don't be too concerned
Itu hanya mimpi, cuma khayalan,
It's only a dream, just an illusion
Bila malam datang, bulan pun terang,
When night comes, the moon shines bright
Bintang pun bersinar, kelip-kelipan,
The stars too shine with twinkling lights
Kuntum yang di taman, sedang berkembang,
One flower in the garden, is in bloom now
Harum baunya aduh, sungguh menawan
Fragrant smelling, oh, it is most attractive
Dicium dipetik, bunga di taman
Kissed, then plucked, this flower in the garden
Itulah ertinya, impian semalam.
That's the meaning of your dream last night.
Version sung by: Uji Rashid.

The symbolism is obvious. The song depicts the deflowering of a pretty young maiden within the confines of flora and fauna. In her dream, the snake appears, bites her and disappears. As she relates her dream to her mother, lover or friend, depending whether it's "bu" ("ibu" - mother), "bung" (brother/lover), the interpretation is clear. A maiden's plucking a rose in the garden and pricks her finger on a thorn. She utters, "Adu!" (Oh!) and bleeds.

Out of a list of about 77 Indonesian composers found on its *website, one name stands prominent because Oei Yok Siang wrote three of the Indonesian songs blogger is familiar with. They are Impian Semalam, Aksi Kucing and the very well-known Gambang Semarang. The other two are Idaman Gadis Teruna and Djaka Lodang. Comment anyone?

*Reference: Pt. Penerbit Karya Musik Pertiwi - Katalog Komposer. It is a music publisher at Jalan Kebon Jeruk No. XV. 13, Kelurahan Maphar, Kecamatan Tamansari, Jakarta Barat 11160.

Image: Indonesian singer Anggun, who does not sing this song. http://discover-indo-tierranet.com/

Original article: Andy Lim Collection.

2 comments:

BC Teoh said...

Andy, this version of Impian Semalam sounds like the answer to the original version of Impian Semalam in the previous post, right?

It reminds me of Jim Reeves' "He'll Have to Go" and Skeeter Davis' "He'll Have to Stay"

Andy Young* said...

Yes it is BC. But it is ONE song, as both verses are usually sung by the same person. Not like Reeves and Skeeter.

There are versions where the 1st part is sung by a female and the 2nd by a male. Ideal.

Thanks for clearing the air. I now realise that I should have just put the two verses together.