Songs In The Keys of Life

I recently attempted to compile a playlist of my all favourite songs. Why, as some of you are wont to ask? Well, there is a saying ‘Those who can’t do, teach’, which is rather unfair to those who teach actually. And according to my wife, those who can’t sing, compile playlists.

Mind you, she said that to me after a session of karaoke where I mercilessly massacred many of our favourite songs. So don’t get offended, y’all.

eagles hotel california (yioutube)
The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’, one of the best-selling ALBUMS ever, by a group recognized the world over as a SUPERGROUP. The song ‘Hotel California’ remains one of the most memorable and recognizable opening guitar riff, which every guitarist worth his salt would just love to nail it. (image from

The truth of the matter is that I was thinking, like, would it not be nice to be able to plonk away on my notebook or pursue any other activity for that matter, with my favourite songs playing in the background.

Not to blow my own trumpet, whilst some of my friends have opted to retire in their mid-fifties for a life of no stress (so they say), I am still working away and trying to earn an honest living.

For the life of me, I cannot imagine myself retiring, just yet anyway, to live the life of a beach bum. Not that my friends retired and became beach bums. I mean, like have you seen them and the shape they are in?

The Hoff (
The Hoff, smouldering look et al. Enuff said. (image sourced from

First and foremost, I don’t live anywhere near the beach. And secondly, I am, physically at least, nowhere near being a fine specimen of a man, like The Hoff was when he was running around in his bright red shorts, saving damsels pretending to be in distress in the Californian waves. Heck, it was only three feet deep anyway.

That said, please note that I did not, at any moment, mention the age thing. It is after all just a number. As they say.

alfred neuman what me worry wiki
Alfred E Neuman’s famous words were ‘What, me worry?!’. Then again, he was one of the main characters from the satire magazine MAD. See the connection? (image from wikipedia)

But you know, deep in your still young heart, that it does not augur well for you when, number wise, the reverse of your age is greater than (and definitely not equal to your age) before you reversed it.

Yep, full-time retirement is definitely out. Well, at least for the moment. But semi-retirement? Worth considering, that.

But I digress. As usual.

At this age, some say it’s not a good sign. Signs of the onset of dementia, they would say. But say that about me to my wife and you will definitely regret ever knowing the word.

prince (wikipedia)
I know him as Prince, one of the most gifted musicians and song writers ever to grace the music scene. (image from wikipedia)

Worth every single beat (and lyric) of Prince’s ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World’, my wife is.

Now where was I again? Ah yes, the mother of all playlists.

rlj (
Rickie Lee Jones album cover with ‘Chuck E’s In Love’ as the pivotal song of the album. Big influence on the musical scene ever since she burst through. (image from

The playlist of all the songs that I would love to hear again, whether I am chillin’ to Edie Brickell’s ‘Good Times’ or Ms Jones’ ‘Chuck E’s In Love’, or pretending to be both Van Morrison and that ex-gravedigger Rod Stewart (Sir Rod to you ok?!), taking turns singing ‘Have I Told You’ (unplugged for course), whilst driving my battered old car whilst on an errands run, and hoping she (my car that is) doesn’t do The Sulk and stop by the side of the road somewhere.

Or even maybe when I am giving my car an overdue wash at the local car wash (can’t wash it myself anymore. Has been so for a long time. Bad back and all that, you know).

car wash (
A still from that 70s movie ‘Car Wash’. Hits from the movie included ‘Wishing Upon A Star’ and ‘Car Wash’. The song ‘Car Wash’ was given a re-make for the movie ‘Shark Tale’. (image sourced from

Now whether its Christina or Rose Royce, it does not matter cos ‘Car Wash’ is still catchy as hell. The thing is, those guys at the local car wash, they don’t even know the song, never mind moving to it.

The mother of all playlists will definitely serve as background music to my chaotic plonking on my notebook’s keyboard. And I am pretty sure, whatever that gets me at that moment in time, I will definitely have the music for it.

luther vandross (FB)
The late Luther Vandross, one of the best crooner of romantic songs if ever there was one. (image sourced from

Soul, R&B, Jazz, Pop, Rock, and whatever genre of music they came up with. Personally, I never did understand how you categorize what is what.

I mean, music is music. It comes from the heart.

I have, however, over the years, given up on heavy metal. I mean, all that head banging. What a headache. But I let you in a secret.

O Ye with The Golden Streaks. David Coverdale & Whitesnake. Still rocking, I gather. (image sourced from

My friends and I actually did some head banging during our college days. Not much but enough to know the difference between ‘headaches’ and ‘head aches’, and who is suffering from over consumption of the intoxicating beverages and who is suffering from overdoing the headbanging gig.

Now, I can’t be telling you who they are. I mean, we signed an NDA way before NDAs became fashionable. My friends are now highly respected architects, engineers and university lecturers.

Deep Purple (does not matter whether its Gillan or Coverdale, it’s still Deep Purple), Dio, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, David Coverdale’s Whitesnake (O ye with the golden streaks), AC/DC etc.

Fleetwoood Mac (Wikipedia)
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Like The Eagles ‘Hotel California’ album, Rumours is one of the best-selling ALBUMS by the SUPERGROUP. (image sourced from Wikipedia).

Their names still roll off the tongue, and we still listen to their music. But sorry guys, we are keeping whats left of our hair, thank you very much. And our grey cells.

As for our Saturday Night Fever couple, our partying days have been over ever since we left college. They have both went on their separate ways, not that they were ever together (just dancing, y’know).

Both are now recuperating after having to deal with a lifetime of work and family commitments. Diapers, medical bills and tuition fees can really have a sobering effect. A sign of the times, I’d say.

jackson browne (wiki)
Jackson Browne. Been in the music scene for a long time, with compatriots the likes of Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Carole King amongst others. Folksy sound with ‘Running On Empty’ album standing out (for me at least). (image sourced from wikipedia)

At the last count, I have already compiled a playlist close to a thousand songs. I do not know whether that is the norm, but as far as I am concerned, it just sort of grew and grew, to the point that I had to break the mother of all playlists into several mothers of all playlist.

And one each in a different language.

triolestari (
Trio Lestari, an Indonesian vocal group comprising of three equally successful individual singers in their own right. (image sourced from

That’s the trouble with us, who don’t speak English as their mother tongue. I have compiled a playlist of English songs, both American and British English and all other accents in between.

I also have a playlist made up of Malay songs, both Indonesian and Malaysian. Sorry, make that two separate playlists.

anuar zain wiki
When it comes to romantic ballads, Anuar Zain is a class act on his own. This Malaysian singer has been around the music scene for a long time. All his concerts are sold out events. (image sourced from wikipedia)

Why two? Yeah, well, there have been some really great songs in the language you know, and many more are coming onto the scene, with musical influences like R&B, Jazz, Soul making a presence in today’s music scene in this here parts.

jaz youtibe
Jaz from Brunei Darussalam. Sings with a jazzy feel with a bit of R&B influence, with a large fan base from the Malay speaking worlds of Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia. (image sourced from

Couple that with the sophistication in today’s music videos, I am willing to bet more and more will make it to my playlists.

tulus kerencom
Tulus, an Indonesian singer who took the Indonesian music scene by storm a few years ago. (image sourced from

I hate to admit it but I also have playlists of non-English and non-Malay songs.

I may not habla Espanyol but with Despacito, A Puro Dolor, and Entra En Mi Vida, and with the feel, the vibrancy and the harmonising in these songs, how could I not but create a playlist dedicated to the language.

Not as extensive but its ok for my listening pleasure.

But I guess therein lies the attraction. A playlist of songs that have brought us great pleasure throughout our respective lives.

despacito (
‘Despacito’. Memorable song. Infectious beat. Raw energy. Crazy dance moves. Enuff said. (image sourced from

Through childhood, through college, through heartbreaks (yeah, some of us mucho macho men do have them), through romantic moments (them too! There goes the mucho macho!), and through all what we collectively call LIFE.

As I write this, with Billy Joel’s ‘Leave A Tender Moment Alone’ playing in the background, I wonder, a year from now, how many more would have I add to my collective playlists.

Billy Joel (Wiki)
The Piano Man, Billy Joel. Had hits with ‘Honesty’, ‘Piano Man’, ‘Leave A Tender Moment Alone’, amongst others but most remembered for his ‘Uptown Girl’, a song he wrote and perform to woo Christie Brinkley. (image sourced from Wikipedia)

But I am willing to bet, they will all give me great pleasure and joy,  triggering fond memories of days gone by, as much as your personal playlist will.

Before the realities of life took over, that is.


Date : 9 March 2018




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