Friday, August 15, 2008

Of "Bercumbu" and The F Word...

Two weeks ago (at 3pm on Thursday July 24th, to be exact), I was in Jusco department store, One Utama, when a song being aired over the system stopped me cold in my track. It wasn't even a memorable song; the melody was poppish and bland.

It was the lyrics that caught me. As I stood rooted to the floor, ears straining to make sure I heard right, I noticed a few other customers doing the same thing. One of them caught my eye and shook her head. Part of the lyrics went "That's why I like to f**k you", loud and clear, repeated over and over again, first by the singer, then by the chorus.

Now, I am no prude - far from it. Headscarf notwithstanding, I have been known to let loose a string of colourful invectives, especially in moments of frustration. Be that as it may, the F word isn't my cup of tea. I can think of more choice words to shock and offend than mere profanity.

The issue with songs with such lyrics is that they should not have been aired in a public place like a shopping mall because they offend public sensibility. That's common sense. I was annoyed enough to have written a letter of complaint to a newspaper, which published it soon after.

Some people think the F word is a non-issue. Many rap singers revel in profane lyrics, not to mention graphic descriptions of the sex act, in their songs. It is so commonly used these days that some TV shows don't even bleep it out anymore. Am I alone in finding the word offensive or what?

Way back in the 1960s, legendary P. Ramlee penned a song with 'daring' lyrics (by Melayu standard, that is) that still give me the hots each time I hear or sing it. I say daring because the song includes a word definitely not used in polite company, then and now.

I love the song and sing it all the time at karaoke, but I still can't bring myself to mention the word; instead I substitute it for another 'milder' word. That lovely tune is Tunggu Sekejap (Wait A While) and the word deemed sexy and daring is bercumbu (making out).

When I sing it, I always use bermesra (lovey-dovey). My kids say I am too 'olde-worlde' for being squeamish about saying bercumbu. I don't know - some words just don't seem proper when said out loud. What do you think?

Tunggu Sekejap (Wait Awhile)

Tunggu sekejap wahai dinda
(wait awhile my darling)
Kerana hujan masih renyai
(for the rain still drizzles)
Tunggu sekejap
(wait awhile)
Dalam pelukan asmara ku
(in my passionate embrace)
Jangan bimbang

(worry not)
Walaupun siang akan menjelma
(that dawn will break)
Malam ini
(for tonight)
Belum puas bercumbu dengan kau
(I need to love you still)
Tunggu sekejap wahai kasih

(wait awhile my love)
Tunggulah sampai hujan teduh
(for the rain to cease)
Mari ku dendang
(let me serenade you)
Jangan mengenang orang jauh
(forget her/him who's far away)
Jangan pulang
(please don't go)
Jangan tinggalkan daku sorang
(don't leave me alone)
Tunggu sekejap kasih
(wait awhile my love)
(please wait)

[my apologies for the haphazard translation]


Kak Teh said...

Puteri, I remember those days when the air in the newsroom would turn blue after four o'clock - F words flying in all directions.
When I first joined the newsroom, I was introduced to the word by old Allington Kennard. Some wise guy told me to take the typewriter from his room,and I duly took it to do my story. He then came marching and said: Who the F took my typewriter???
On seeing my face turning the colour of my syrup,he said: Why, have you not heard the word before? Have you not said it before or done it before?
Suffice to say, the colour on my face changed very fast.

Puteri Kamaliah At-Tarawis said...

Hahahahah...that incorrigible Allington Kennard! Just like Pak Samad and his p*****k..LOL

Kennard also took perverse pleasure in pinching the bottom of unsuspecting Kak Adib (Adibah Amin).. kalau today tu, dah kena sexual harrassment at work...LOL

But we all know that man was harmless, just nakai semacam..

Those were the days, Kak Teh. Now when you enter the editorial floor, macam graveyard..silence prevails. You can't even smoke anymore, let alone mencarut..LOL