Sunday, November 27, 2016

BERSAMA & DUA KALI DUA

Song lyrics often reflect the personalities of the writers. From their works one can sometimes sense their temperaments, emotions, and states of mind.

When conceiving works, writers are sometimes influenced by the environment, people and places. Hidden desires, inner feelings, hopes, disappointments, anger, and other positive and negative emotions are sometimes visible from the way the lyrics are written.

Most lyric writers and music composers are often critical of the works they churn out. They sometimes imagine themselves in a similar situation, so as to relate to the life experiences of their listeners. Good lyrics can touch the hearts of listeners, and may cause tears to flow especially when the words symbolize the listeners' life situations.

Many persons believe that creative works, ideas and inventions are inspired, and I am one such believer. I believe that quality work cannot be forced out or extracted upon at will. It is best to let go until such time when the mind is relaxed to produce the work at its own pace and momentum. Such works would be well worth waiting for, would flow like a river, and be remembered forever.

"Bersama"
My mum was a Hindi movie fan. By coincidence, I was in Penang when I first heard this movie song-track "Yeh samma" sung by Lata Mangkeshkar. The melody is beautiful, and romantic and it caught my attention. It was common in movies then for stars to play hide and seek in the garden teasing each other whilst singing. I did not understand the Hindi lyrics, but felt that the song deserved a better treatment.

I then decided that I would definitely record this romantic melody in Malay for my next album. However, the idea was shelved, as the next scheduled recording had already been pre-planned. In any case, I had not even written the Malay lyrics. .

I then totally forgot about this melody. Many months later, I was all alone manning the small gift shop in Kuala Lumpur, that I owned. That day my staff had not turned up for work. It was a quiet day with hardly any activity in the complex, and I was feeling slightly low. Then suddenly this beautiful romantic melody that I had forgotten about, kept spinning in my head, and along with it came pouring-in the Malay lyrics without much effort on my part. Somehow the lyrics fitted in so beautifully with the melody, and even the title  "Bersama" sounded quite similar to "Yeh samma".

That certainly made my day, and I could not wait for the song to be recorded. I was most certainly inspired, and it did not end here. Believe it or not, there is more to this song. I've written about this unusual experience that I had, the night before the song was recorded

"Bersama" is currently the most viewed song on sarenafanclub09 You Tube channel.



Incidentally, I met Lata Mangheskar when I visited Bombay, and mentioned to her that I recorded some of her songs in my albums. She was particularly interested to hear my version of "Yeh Samma", and was later presented by EMI with a copy of my LP album, with the song in it.

Dua Kali Dua
2 x 2 - that's what it means. It reminds me of my childhood days, when I had to memorize my mathematics. Yes it sounds mathematical, but in Malay it also implies that "you are the same, no better than me". These words are often used to tease someone.


I liked the English song "kiss me honey, honey" by Shirley Bassey. It is a catchy song with cheeky lyrics. It never crossed my mind that I would one day be recording it in Malay.

One fateful day, I was alone in my car, heading towards KL city, and roads were empty then. The weather was bright and sunny, and I was feeling exceptionally happy. During such times, I often kept myself entertained with music from the car. However on that day, whilst driving, I sang loudly to myself all songs that came to my mind, including "kiss me honey honey".

Suddenly, I was struck by an idea to put whatever Malay lyrics that came into my mind, to this song. Being in high spirit I was then, cheeky lyrics flowed out from my mouth spontaneously. I then pulled the car to the side of the road, and jotted down what came into my mind. The lyrics seemed to fit in beautifully with the melody, and that day, "Dua kali dua" came into being.

EMI Producer the late Reggie Verghese, was excited by this particular choice of song. He knew exactly what I wanted, and provided superb instrumentation. In between the song, clapping sounds were inserted to set the mood for the cheeky lyrics, and vocal that followed.


The completion of the album coincided with my TV show. An unreleased copy of the album was rushed to KL, in time for the song to be featured in my 4th weekly TV show "Sarena in Saturday Night Entertainment"- (Hiburan Malam Minggu bersama Sarena". TV Producer, Helan Abu, had a good vision for sound and music, and predicted that the song would be a hit.

When the show was aired on TV, it was the first time that many heard the song, including my mum. She called me from Penang immediately and was so excited with the song. I am proud to know that my young fans who were then no older than 10 years old, remember me by this song to this day. Even more touched I am, to hear that they grew up with my songs and my songs brought back fond memories of their childhood days."Dua kali dua" became a sing-along, and according to EMI this was my best selling LP album.

Epilogue
Today,  I occasionally hear "Dua kali dua"  over the radio, including "Bersama". I'm happy and content knowing that my songs have made some people out there happy!

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