When Quando Fails No Matter How Many Times You Say It

I was inspired by this video I saw on FB the other day about nursing home patients who reacted very positively to music from their era and decided to try it out on my father who is convalescing in hospital.

The trouble with doing that was that my father was never known to like music of any form. But last Saturday when we brought Kai to visit his Gong Gong, I suddenly recalled the only song I’ve ever heard my father sing in my whole life: Quando Quando Quando. I quickly downloaded the Engelbert Humperdinck version from iTunes and played it on my iPhone, waiting for the same excited reaction from my father.

He frowned, looked suspiciously at the phone, then at me, then around the ward. Then when the song ended and I asked if he liked the song, he mumbled as much as his Parkinson’s-gripped vocal chords could muster: “No”, three times.

Papa made up this song

I felt strangely proud this morning when I drove Kai to preschool. The car stereo had yesterday switched to The Hossan Leong Show CD (in the CD changer since 2009). When I started the car after strapping him into his kiddie seat, this song started playing, and Kai was mesmerized, and when it ended, asked what song it was, who sang it, and whether I could play it again.

Later at home, he recalled and sang the chorus, some bits of verses, and asked if he could listen to it again.

It’s called “No Outside Food”, Uncle Hossan sang it and Papa made up the words.

I forgot to tell him music arranger extraordinaire Elaine Chan made the music and decided it should be a reggae piece (there’s a Cantopop ballad version).

I’m just not sure if he should sing it to his friends in preschool though.

Two kinds of horror

I got diaper duty Sunday afternoon when we were at Paragon because Naomi was busy at some shop – so Kai and I made our way to the diaper change room at level 5 to get him cleaned up.

He knows the drill, and he’s familiar with the change room, which is small, functional, and quiet enough to keep your baby/toddler calm while you change him, except when it is on occasion invaded (there are no locks on the sliding door) by Paragon staff looking to get hot water from what seems to be the only hot water dispenser in the building. Apart from that, it’s kept pretty clean, and we like it.

However, on Sunday, when we were changing Kai’s diaper, a woman came in with her helper and baby, and went about trying to get her changed as well. She kept admonishing her helper for not being gentle enough with her baby – which is ok, cos you really want people to handle your child the right way – and then she asked if I was about to use the sink next to me. I said I wasn’t going to yet, because I was still putting Kai’s pants back on.

She then thanked me and then proceeded to put her now diaperless daughter into the sink SO SHE COULD WASH HER POOP OFF IN THE SINK!

Anyone else seen this happen? I was so horrified I didn’t know what to say to the crazy inconsiderate woman.

The other thing that’s made me cringe in horror is this CD they sometimes play in kids’ shops – a CD of songs sung by kids with very strong Singlish accents. I’m really sorry, and I know it’s just me and my snobbishnessness, and if I can accept that the old Ribena ad from the ’70s is cute, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the harmonious sounds of children singing:

Twinker Twinker Leeter Star
How I One Der Wa’ You Are
Upper Ber Der Were So High
Lai Ker Die Mern In Der Sky
Twinker Twinker Leeter Star
How I One Der Wa’ You Are

One Litre Two Litre Tree Litre Indian
Four Litre Fye Litre Sikhs Litre Indian
Seven Litre Eight Litre Nigh Litre Indian
Tan Litre Indian Boys

The music they play in hell

We had to go out to Paragon today because Kai had to see the doctor to get some medication for his cold.

We’re all a bit under the weather, but we managed to soldier on because Paragon’s common areas didn’t play that infernal racket known as Chinese New Year music. The individual shops and the supermarket were another matter. We had instantaneous severe migraine to add to our flu the moment we stepped in to pick up groceries for dinner.

President Obama, I give you the solution to the war in Afghanistan: just send your humvees and choppers into the mountains blaring this the music they play in hell, and I guarantee you, the Taliban will be flushed from their caves, surrendering in shock and awe.

Click here and bleed from your ears

Joe Augustin got what?

It was with shock and horror that I logged in to Facebook for the first time in yonks, to read amongst the hundreds of superpokes and superclittickles that Joe Augustin got fired.

I haven’t listened to radio for so long that I’ve never listened to 91.3FM (the station that fired Joe), much less known about his axing, even much more lesser known about the circumstances surrounding his axing, even though it’s been making waves on the ingterneck and other non-mainstream meejums.

The only inkling I had that something was going down was when a friend in the radio business texted in reply to my asking how things were, that things were “ok, except for upheaval in the radio industry”.

But, yeah. So if you want to listen to Joe Augustin in his new old former revamped radio show, tune in to Power98 (98FM) in the mornings, sit back, relax, and wait for the next upheaval.

Seriously Hossan

My best friend Hossan is going to perform at the Esplanade (again) on the 27th and 28th (and extra show on the 29th because of popular demand) of this month. So, even if you’ve something better to do (which I doubt, because it’s Hossan performing at the Esplanade), get your tickets fast, and book yourself in for a treat.

late-nite-hossan.gif

Now That You Got It remix feat. Damian Marley

I like Gwen Stefani, and I like Bob Marley. But Bob Marley’s um… not around, so it’s great that Stefani’s new single features one of his many sons, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley. Unlike Bob, Damian’s not a reggae artist. It says on wikipedia that Damian’s musical specialty is “Toasting“, which is the Jamaican style of rapping. That’s quite different from Microwaving, Steaming and Double Boiling, which is the Chinese style of rapping. Or something.

Here’s a 2 minute preview of the single’s music video:

“Now That You Got It” will be released September 17.

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Mr Loh’s national song

Mr Loh

As I rushed to find a wireless hotspot to sit down at and email urgent work to a client, I heard a familiar tune in one of our great city’s many underpasses, and so decided to trace the source.

But when I got to it, the busker had just finished his harmonica rendition of one of the tune. I rummaged through my pocket and produced some money to put in his basket, and said very nicely to him, “Uncle, can play that song one more time?”

“You like that song? OK, short one ah, I play one more time”, he smiled and said:

After he was done, he asked me why I liked that song, and so I explained that I lived in Australia for a period in the 90s.

“So did I”, he said, beaming, “but before you were born, probably”.

Mr Loh then went on to tell me that he went to Sydney in 1962, studied Mechanical Engineering at Sydney University, and moved to Melbourne for a while before returning to Singapore in 1972.

“Hmm… Lee ah? I don’t know any Lees there, but I have many relatives still in Melbourne”, added Mr Loh when I explained that my parents lived in Melbourne for a period during the 50s and 60s too.

“I would love to move there again, I can work there picking fruit in the orchards”, said the lively 73 year old as he checked to make sure his mic and amplifier were turned off.

“But I love doing this. It’s not for the money. You don’t have to give me money, as long as you enjoy my music, and I will play for as long as I am having fun”, he said as he told me about busking three hours a day, five days a week in the same underpass.

Before he packed his harmonica wheeled his basket and amp off home, Mr Loh and I stood in the underpass for another few good minutes, talking about other stuff that I’d like to keep between him and myself because he deserves it.

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