Friday, February 23, 2018

A Backpacker's Dream Trip? By A Wayfarer: Part 2

A new writer for this post, A Wayfarer, was teaching with me in the same faculty at one of the universities in Singapore. Here's her take on the Chinese song, The Olive Tree by Qu Yi which I posted last week. 

This song is so popular that it is even sung by singers all over the world, regardless of race. The YouTube video is by Sara Niemietz

Thanks so much A Wayfarer.
橄榄树 (Olive Tree) - Vocals and Video by Sara Niemietz. Thank you, Sara.

"When I played the clip, the first strains of the melody and lyrics made me realise this is a song from my youth, from my past. I cannot recall when I first heard it. The movie? The radio? Perhaps sung at a karaoke session?  It is an old song and an old style song. Is it still played often?

Regardless, when I heard it for the first time and again now I cannot help but be struck by the haunting melody and the sense of longing and loneliness; of a person adrift. He is far from his homeland and his home, its beauty, the warmth and all that is good.

The beauty of the landscape and the olive tree is distant - a land far, far away and a memory from long ago. Is this his actual homeland, or as he believes he remembers it to be? Was it so, or is it his idealised vision of it?  

A permanent migration, going adrift and far from their homeland, is sad indeed.

Whichever be the case, the reality is he is far from it. He wants to go back to it, he wants to attain this, but the reality is he wandering and a wanderer, alone, and lonesome.

The lyrics are simple, the music uncomplicated but so sad.

We who live on this tiny island and who have the means to travel at whim may find it difficult to appreciate vastness, vast distances and the feelings of separation. This song speaks to those who have experienced this. 

And that is the reason the multitudes of those who had left their hamlets, their villages, their towns and even their cities to wander elsewhere, heed the siren call of the Spring Festival and the Reunion to make their way "home".
Animal migration in Africa as suggested by 'A Wayfarer' in this article.

When you compared the return home of the workers from wherever they are to return home as a "migration", there cannot be a more apt word. I immediately thought of the great migrations of the wildebeest, the caribou and the salmon. The long, arduous and definitely perilous journeys they make to go "home".  

Brings to mind the news article about the old, Chinese man who queued so hard to buy a ticket home but was unsuccessful and couldn't buy it online because he was both illiterate and worse, computer illiterate, until he kneeled in front of the station master to beg for a ticket.

What do you think?"

You can read Part 1. Click below:

The annual trip home for the Chinese to meet for their family reunion.

Article: An original by A Wayfarer.
Images: Google.
YouTube Video: Acknowledged.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Andy 60's Music: 60,000+ Monthly Views

Thanks very much to all readers.

This blog has surpassed the 60,000+ monthly readers currently. It has been holding steady with 30,000+ viewers for some time. Since February 2018 it has doubled in readership.

Understandably the statistics will drop again but hopefully, it will go higher to 70,000 monthly viewers without any help from anyone except my regular readers, friendly writers, and readers from all over the world. Again thank you. 



Start your journey here. Click any one below to connect: 


Or you could just browse through the blog. You might take a week or two
if you start from today. Click below   ðŸ˜Š

Monday, February 19, 2018

Chinese New Dog Year Pops 2018 中国新年的狗流行歌曲

Pop Songs With the Word Dog

My elder grandson was born in 2006 and will be twelve years young this year of the dog. Like him, most of us love dogs and appreciate this year's Chinese Almanac bow-wow and woof-woof zodiac sign. 

The Rooster has already left us after saying goodbye to the dog; so here's a tribute to man's best friend with a list below of songs about dogs and canine-related themes. There are hundreds of these songs but here's a short list of 33 which are from the 60's to the 80's. 

The exceptions include a tune from a classic Walt Disney cartoon called Lady and The Tramp (1955) and the other from a movie called, Rugrats in Paris (2000) with a song by Baha Men. Both are hilarious. I just could not leave these two songs out from our Doggie List.
Dog saying goodbye to Rooster during a solemn and respectful day at the farm.

From Little Red Rooster which I used last year to Walking The Dog this time around, The Rolling Stones has never failed to please as both songs are sung by them. I could not leave out the latter.

Here's the rest of my selection:

Dogs - Pink Floyd 
Hot Dog -  Elvis Presley
Hot Dog  - Led Zeppelin
Bird Dog - Everly Brothers

Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog - Johnny Cash
Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
Walking The Dog - The Rolling Stones

Lady And The Tramp - Dog Pound Scene from Susie Harrison.

The Dog - Otis Redding
Dog Eat Dog - The Toasters
Dogs In The Mid Winter - Jethro Tull
A Salty Dog - Procol Harum

Dogs of War - Pink Floyd
Payback Is A Dog - Stylistics
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
I Wanna Be Your Dog - Stooges

Walking The Dog: The Rolling Stones: They covered Little Red Rooster too

No Dogs Allowed - Jose Feliciano
I Love My Dog - Cat Stevens
Me And You And A Dog Name Boo - Lobo
Gonna Buy Me A Dog - Monkees

Dogs On The Run - 1985 - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Poor Dog Who Can't Wag His Tail - Little Richard
Dog Eat Dog -AC/DC
Sick As A Dog - Aerosmith

Hot Dog - Elvis Presley from movie Loving You. Video by 

The Dog Pound Song - Lady and The Tramp.
Hey Bulldog - The Beatles
Dogs On The Run - Tom Petty
Eat Your Dog - Bad Religion

Atomic Dog - George Clinton
Rain Dogs - To Waits
Mad Dog - Deep Purple
The Dog Breathes Variations - Frank Zappa

Who Let The Dog Out: Baha Men Video from

Any comment guys?

Images from Google and A Personal Collection.

2018 Chinese New Year of The Dog Get-Together @ Tan Soo Khoon's Mansion:
(Standing L-R): Dominic, Larry, JT, Soo Khoon, Andy, Henry, John.
(Sitting): Eddie, Mrs JT, Mrs Lai, Mrs Lim.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Blog Statistics: Chinese New Year Dog Zodiac 2018

Singapore Had Great Music Before Cliff Richard came:

A big thank you for reading my music blog. It has reached about 60,000 monthly readers today (20 February 2018) and I am glad to have interested some of you in our local music and its influence from around the world.

The 60's was huge for Singapore's music boys and girls. But please don't forget that we really didn't start from there. Way before that we had a lot of imported influence internationally. People from all over the globe visited our port to trade and bring in goods, services and of course, music. 

Many of us had radios that we listened to every day and night because we had neither television nor computers or even Rediffusion to entertain us. A few had 78 rpm records to play on their gramophone grinding machines. And the most famous dog of all famous dogs was listening to His Master's Voice on this machine.
The most famous music dog of all, HMV or His Master's Voice which started in England.

The three entertainment Worlds, The Great World at Kim Seng Road, The New World at Kitchener Road and The Happy World at Geylang Road brought in international entertainment that most Singaporeans in the 50's could enjoy. 

There were singers and musicians at these Worlds. The Happy and Great World cabarets had Chinese artistes, the Happy (Gay) World stadium had Xavier Cugat with Abbe Lane and Pasir Panjang's West Point had Filipino musicians. 
Xavier Cugat with wife Abbe Lane was in Singapore in the 50's.

The Flamingos combo band and the first vocal group ever to have cut a vinyl, The Crescendos, were already singing their lungs out. Singapore music came way back when, before Cliff Richard and The Shadows hit our trail. 

On the other hand, the vibrant music scene in some of our hotels, like the Raffles and Goodwood, the nightclubs, divas from our surrounding countries were already engaged at the microphones and stages to provide live entertainment, backed by some of the finest professional musicians around.

And so on.

 You can read these stories from this blog. Bits and pieces but all in place. 

Check the CONTENT bar on the right column of this page or just hit your mouse or finger on the MOST POPULAR to start (images above).

Just browse along...

Article: A nostalgia trip.

Daily Page View (19 February 2018)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gong Xi, Gong Xi (恭喜恭喜) Composer Chen Gexin (陳歌辛) Happy Chinese New Doggie Year


Up to 5,200 readers
in 4 days. A record   

My Lunar New Year Posting 2018 

The Song:

Like the fun Christmas song, Jingle Bells and other festive oldies played during the season, Chinese New Year (CNY) welcoming Spring songs have fallen into the same collection of a totally commercialised cacophony of chorus vocals, digital keyboard music, clashing cymbals and gong sounds.  

As we usher in the Lunar New Year, the once warm and spirited melodies have now become part of the brash lion dances, red-coloured buntings, lanterns and pussy-willows we find everywhere. And the melodies are played non-stop for three or more weeks.

Like the common ang-pow*, collected during festive time, the song Gong Xi, Gong Xi like other CNY melodies, is just as common and sung extensively during the period with other ones. Sweet melodies have become a ruckus. And sometimes we cover our ears.

姚莉,姚敏 恭喜恭喜 Yao Li, Yao Min 'Congratulations Congratulations' by cdman88.

The Composer:

But here's the punch-line. Gong Xi, Gong Xi isn't a CNY song at all and if you know its origin perhaps you will appreciate this composition with more respect.

In Chinese, Gong Xi doesn't mean Happy New Year but Congratulations or a wish for your happiness and prosperity. It was composed after the second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 to celebrate and honour the freedom China achieved after their victory over Japan.

Famed and accomplished Chen Gexin who introduced Rose, Rose I Love

YouShanghai Nights and The Blossom of Youth to the world, penned Gong Xi, Gong Xi and composed the music in Shanghai in 1945 with much patriotism and fervour. 

During the war and Japanese Occupation, he had been jailed and tortured for writing such songs. Because of his imprisonment, this particular melody was written in a minor key which, according to many musicians, gives the tune a melancholic edge, a tinge of desolation. 

Composer Chen Gexin. (陳歌辛)
The Singers:

But famous Shanghai diva Yao Li, one of the seven respected divas in pre-war China, recorded it with her brother Yao Min and gave it the sparkle. This version doesn't carry the joy and merriment like later versions do but rather a quiet celebration of achievement and freedom (YouTube video). The words echo the sentiments:

After much difficulty

Experiencing so much discipline
How many hearts are looking forward
To the news of Spring
Congratulations (X6).

I had learnt it from my mother but in tune only with its easy refrain. She was a gentle lady who also taught me other Chinese goldies, especially the ones composed from the 1940's and earlier.

Appreciate the song when you hear it now. And don't take CNY for granted.

A Happy Lunar New Year to all.

Yao Li (姚莉)

The Language

Chinese script


Gong Xi Gong Xi. (恭喜恭喜)
Rose, Rose I Love You (玫瑰玫瑰我愛你), 
Shanghai Nights (夜上海) 
The Blossom of Youth (花樣年華)


Chen Gexin. (陳歌辛)


Yao Li (姚莉)
Yao Min (姚敏)

*ang-pow (red-packets with cash).
'Rose, Rose I Love You' composed
by Chen Gexin. (陳歌辛)
This article is an original post and information is derived from my own background and from the Internet.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

My Funny Valentine: Alice Fredenham New Love?

Alice Fredenham, Matt Dusk, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Striesand, Chet Baker.

Another Valentine's Day Posting 2018: 

The Song:

Strange that this popular jazz standard is relatively unknown in our part of the world. Ask anyone to sing Fly Me To The Moon and the person will immediately hum or sing the tune. Similarly, with other familiar ones like Summertime, The Lady Is A Tramp or even Misty. Known factors.

But ask about My Funny Valentine and the response, "Yes, I've heard of it but I don't know the tune." Even our local 60's music pop stars today never batted an eyelid when I mentioned the title. The only people familiar are the jazz musicians around. 

The 600 Plus Covers:

The song, written by composer Richard Rogers and lyricist Lorenz Hart, has been sung by more than 600 artistes and recorded on 1,300 plus albums. It was one of the show tunes for Babes In Arms, a musical that appeared in 1937. I wasn't even born then and those babes in arms who know the song are probably gone by now.

Sarah Vaughn, Linda Ronstadt, Kim Novak are favourites that can carry the song well.

Since hundreds of artistes have put the song on vinyl, lovers of this tune have a wide choice. I love two covers, one is an earlier recording by Sarah Vaughn and the other by Linda Rondstadt in 1986. But Frank Sinatra's classic, Pal Joey recorded lovely Kim Novak (she resembles Charlize Theron) singing it. 

Others who covered it, sometimes for a performance only, included Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Chaka Khan, Sting, Boy George, TC Carson, Angela McClusky, Lubelle Rose, Michelle Pfeiffer, Anita Baker, Nancy Wilson, Carly Simon, Bjork, Etta James, Melinda DoLittle, Ann Hampton Callaway, Nat King Cole, Michael Buble and many more.
The Latest Version:
Lately, in 2013, an unknown, bashful, tearful singer called Alice Fredenham (You could sing the phonebook, says Simon Cowell) gave a beautiful rendition. With 43 million viewers on YouTube, she became an overnight sensation but not without controversy because a media has mentioned she appeared in another show different - like she has had a make-under. Ah, my funny Valentine. 😉

 Britain's Got Talent Recording: My Funny Valentine by Alice Fredenham.

For me, I am taking the above video as it is because at last, a song so delectably charming is rendered so truthfully, by a lady so breathtakingly beautiful. 

My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine 
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you're my favourite work of art...

A Happy Valentine's Day to all lovers. ðŸ’–

Article: Andy Lim Copyrights Reserved.
Images of vinyl covers from Google.
Information from the Internet.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Wedding: A John Cher Exclusive 💖

Mr and Mrs John Cher walking down the aisle during their wedding in 1977.

This  post   has
1,300+ viewers
since published.

This posting is a Valentine's Day Special 💖💝💘

There are more than 300 'likes' on Mr *John Cher's Facebook page when he posted his wedding pictures with beautiful Betsy.  The couple looks so refreshingly charming and I asked if he could write his experience for this blog.  As usual, he obliged.

Thanks again John and Betsy. And a Happy 41st Wedding Anniversary to both.

The Wedding (La Novia) by Julie Rogers. Video from Chen Daniel.

In  1969  I went to McGRAW-HILL F.E.P. for the first time for a job interview.  This 19-year-old simpleton from U.S.A. (Upper Serangoon Area) was completely blown away by the size of this factory/office.  

The landscaped garden in the centre of the complex complete with cascades, fish ponds and the works looked exactly like a 5-star hotel. I got the job!  What I didn't know then was that within the parameters of this beautiful gigantic workplace with hundreds of employees, was my future wife!

She was introduced to me by a mutual colleague.  On our first date, my colleague with his girlfriend and us went for a movie at The Capitol.  After that was supper at Albert Street.  Together with taxi fares,  I went without lunch the following week!  Be that as it may, after this initial outing, the dates became weekly, graduating to any day also can...

After 4 or 5 years, it was time for wedding plans. I was honestly quite horrified by the thought of meeting her mother whose facial features never fail to remind me of bulldogs!  That was not the only issue.  My friends, who were all older as well as married guys, kept telling me that I was still young and should wait a few more years.

The 3 RINGS.

I am sure with the best of intentions,  in various ways they kept telling me about the 3 rings!  These are nothing to do with the Lord of the Rings.  They are  1)  The Engagement RING,   2) The Wedding RING and 3rd) The SufferRING!   Well, love knows no boundaries and on 5th February 1977, Betsy and I were married at The Church of the Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary. 

On our wedding morning, would you believe the make-up girl was no way to be found at the appointed time?  All hell broke loose and I was right in the firing line as she was proposed by me!   In an instant, I understood what my friends meant by The 3rd Ring !!!  And we were not even officially married yet!
God in His infinite wisdom wanted man and woman to be married and multiply.  By His grace, everything went on smoothly for the rest of the day and night.  The wedding dinner was pretty good (that's what everyone told me and I took it at face value).  My only regret was that there was no band to provide music.  Should have known The Silver Strings then!

We went to The Philippines for our honeymoon.  When we arrived at the Silahis Hotel (In later years THE PLAYBOY CLUB was at this hotel) we were really hungry and so-called room service for a dozen sandwiches.  

Baby Face by Bobby Darin. Video from:

I think it took about an hour and then finally the doorbell rang.  When I opened the door I nearly fainted.  There were 3 waiters with 2 carts with 12 beautiful trays of sandwiches !!  It cost about S$150.  That was 41 years ago!  And $150 could have been dinner for about 10 people.  OMG!!!

Thanks Andy for asking me to share my wedding story.

BTW  those who are planning to get married, please don't be unduly concerned, for the benefits and fun far exceed the third "Ring".

Cheers everyone!
Through the years with Mr and Mrs John Cher from the U.S.A. (Upper Serangoon Area).😉

*John is happily retired and plays the drums with The Silver Strings. He has a very popular Facebook account that draws hundreds of readers. You can also check him out under Labels below and read his many articles on this blog.

Images and Article: A John Cher Collection (Copyrights Reserved).
Sihali's Hotel from

Silahis Hotel in Manila Philippines, where the couple stayed for their honeymoon.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Valentine Day: Love Songs, Wishes, Messages

Your short-cut:

The Valentine connection through the years. Check it out. Just scroll down and read about one dozen stories, articles and love songs about 14th February since 2010.



Image: Google.