Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baby, Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me....

The other day I had a go at Carpenters' timeless classic "For All We Know", the first time I had sung that song in over 30 years. I was pleasantly surprised to find I could still recall the lyrics with ease.

Way back in the late 60s and early 70s, that song, along with a few other hits by Carpenters and Anne Murray, was a staple in my meagre repertoire as a teenage vocalist in a small-town
band in Dungun.

We sang a lot of Malay numbers then, only because our most frequent gigs were weddings. It was only when we had the occasional opportunity to perform on stage in public, usually as a prelude to some government-sponsored concerts, that English numbers, mostly those by The Beatles and Bee Gees, saw the light of day.

I remember only too well why I quit singing "For All We Know"; it was the ex's "theme song" with his Aussie girlfriend, the one he had harboured hopes of marrying. Circumstances saw that hope dashed, and he returned home alone upon completing his studies.

He came clean about it, but only when I found her photograph with the lyrics scribbled behind it, while sorting out his piles of books and things. Long after we parted ways, I still balked at singing that song, until last week. Perhaps it was a closure of some sort.

I am pretty sure we all share similar experiences when we were young and carefree and madly in love. Many of us would have had our own special songs, usually those saccharine-sweet, sentimental love ballads that had the innate ability to turn the best of us into blathering fools.

And then, when for some reasons the relationship came to grief, we found that we just couldn't bear to hear that special 'our song' anymore without feeling like strangling the erstwhile suitor or the singer, or both.

All through my colourful life, only two songs had affected me so, and for markedly different reasons. Besides "For All We Know", there was a pointed reminder in the form of Mac Davis' somewhat selfish "Baby, Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me."

Here's an interesting take on that second tune; I met the one-time steady again two years ago after a lapse of 36 years (we dated briefly at the tail end of 1973). It was a chance meeting at a golf club; I was attending the wedding of a niece and he was checking out the club membership with a view of becoming one.

A recently-retired army general, the Datuk, now with grandkids, looked as spiffy as ever. We had a good laugh over our brief and completely innocent courtship. He was then my eldest brother's best buddy, thus toed the line religiously (or risk bodily harm, I'd think!)

Come to think of it, maybe that was why he finally called it quit; that friendship with the brother had left him with no room for 'creative maneuverings' with the sister! Dumped me he did, for "Miss Chinatown" no less (and I kid you not).

Months before giving me the boot, however, he started playing "Baby, Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me" each time we got together. A good strategist he was; at 21, he was preparing my 19 year-old heart for the inevitable breakup.

This may sound laughable by today's standard, but our courtship was conducted almost entirely under the watchful eyes of his parents and two sisters. They were extremely nice people for sure, and I guess they wanted only the best for their only son and brother.

We would sit together and play his records on the turntable, and I would join them for meals before he sent me home to my aunt's at the prescribed hours, and not a minute longer. That was how chaste the whole courtship was; small wonder he felt so stifled.

Being dumped was not a pleasant thing to happen to anyone and at any age, more so if the 'dumper' was your brother's best friend. But losing out to a pliable beauty queen proved to be a lot less painful than I had imagined; perhaps because I wasn't ready to be a 'big girl' any time soon....


NanaDJ said...

Sentimental journey into the past? Those were the days...but am not that brave to tell all like you. Its not the case of 'luka lama berdarah kembali' but adalah parut sikit sikit. But the trouble with exes, some are not as handsome as you once thought others make you wonder why you go with them in the first place.
Would love to hear you sing again especially songs by the Carpenters.
Do watch MJ's movie, you'll love it (i.e if you are a fan)

Kak Ezza@makcik Blogger said...

Kak Puteri,

Semua lagu Carpenters ni kesukaan suami saya...saya tanya apasal you suka Carpenters ni, dia jawap sebab sebutan dia clear..itu saja... :)

Saya pun tak berani nak tulis pasal EX bf, sebab my other half ni sensitive sangat...boleh perang lama tu...

Take care kak....
luv yr entry

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Awww Puteri, now u got me all mushy about me sentimental journey back to the past. Yes, ‘Lovers & other strangers’ was a great movie, I can still sing ‘For all we know’, holding hands at the back row of a cinema.

Big softie in me will cry watching, ‘Love Story’, Romeo & Juliet but the favourite was S.W.A.L.K, yah, who is the girl with the crying eyes..’Melody Fair’ lah…heheh. Then u got, ‘You light up my Life’, so inspirational & I tell u Debby Boone’s vocal on that song really melts my heart.

Ahh I tell u hor, those were great days love, peace & so care free, unlike the scenes today.

Betcha u can sing this one well,& oso look at those dressing, girls in pinafore always make my knees weak lah?

Staying groovy,


P/S - Say, is this your mid life crisis symptom ? :)Soli just asking mah.

Zaza said...

whenever I think of the ex (which is rare these days), i cringed...wondering how on earth did i fall for him before? tu lah orang kata, young and foolish.

Pak Zawi said...

Putting all the ex tales aside, I can never forget Mac Davies' Baby, baby don't get hooked on me. I was in Johor then and life was fun back then :).


NanaDJ..salam from Heritage Art Gallery, Pasir Mas, Kelantan.


Kama said...

NanaDJ - me too bear some 'parut' but exes are part of life, they contribute to our maturing, and I am one of those ppl who could pick themselves up after a fall and quickly move on. And I'll check out that MJ movie..

Ezza - yr husband has a good ear for music. kalau spouse kita ultra sensitive fasal kisah2 silam, baik kita diam kan.. buat apa nak upset dia..

Tommy - no crisis for sure, Tommy. I am well and truly beyond midlife I'm just worried about my expanding middle.Wah, didn't know you got very sensitive heart...

Zaza - it's true that sometimes we wonder why we fall for the type that we did. Then again, itulah the spice of life..

Kama said...

Pak Zawi - indeed, life was so much fun back then. I am now learning how to download video footages dalam blog.. progress very slow la Pak, maklumlah lambat tangkap, dah tua..

Zendra said...

kama, at 19 I wasn't planning on getting hooked myself, so the song worked the other way too.

Another 70's song in a similar vein is "I'm Not In Love" by 10cc. Used to be fascinated by the point-blank straight-forwardness of the lyrics, especially when all we heard those days were soppy gooey songs.

Feeling 55 aren't we now?

mamasita said...

Awwh..sedapnya cerita you!

Pak Abu jugak yang untung badan at the end of the day to get his very special and gorgeous Mak Abu!!

mamasita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kama said...

zendra - oh, I remember that song well. the lyrics are rather daring, eh... indeed, we are feeling 55, but it's a good feeling..:-)

mamasita - kadang2 rasa macam barangan kitar semula or 'hand-me-down'

Zihan said...

Dear Kak Puteri.
This entry is oh-so-bittersweet:)Love it.

Zendra, in the 80s I used to like "I'm not in love" as a song but never quite know the lyrics. Now got to go and look it up..


─╣aptop™ said...

Thre was this "Just as I am" by The Strollers. I suppose ladies don't quite tuned in with this number. Some guys do. :-)

AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

Salam kak Putri,

I tak boleh dengar lagu "Mimpi Sedih" by Emilia Contessa....sedihhh sangat mengenangkan kisah lama....!!!

Anonymous said...

Kak, Dari dulu sampai sekarang kalau perang besar dgn DH mesti ada ex yg terjumpalah kat mana-manalah, yg call out of the blue lah, yang e.mel lah.. etc, etc... Dugaannn.....


Kama said...

Zihan - the longer one lives, the more memories to reminisce... only too happy to share some with my fellow readers..:-)

Lap - I need to go check out that song. Can't recall..

Auntie Yan - waaaa, ini sah jiwang kau-kau punya masa zaman

Ani - Tuhan tu kekadang nak duga kita kan? Terjumpa macam2 'sisa' zaman dolu-dolu, yang boleh mampu menyakit dan melukakan hati.. Tapi jangan dibawak berperang dik oi..tu kan kisah silam... hehehe

Oldstock said...

Love this entry Kak Kama. The days of growing up and falling in love.

I loved to listen to Karen Carpenter because she had such a mellow voice. Back during student days, when most other friends have albums of rock bands, I have a near-complete set of The Carpenters records.

Aaah... We've Only Just Begun.

Naz said...

Salam Kak Puteri,
I've just listened to the song. Awwww!
But then again, I believe that things happened for a reason.
When I was beginning to pakto-pakto, the hit then was Michael Jackson's *Beat It*. So was it strange that I end up knocking him (the ex) on the head with my handbag everytime we met?!
Have a good weekend with Pak Abu and the kids, Kak Puteri :)

mekyam said...

hi hjh princess!

yep, popular songs certainly have more uses than for enjoyment and/or to gyrate to. my anthem during those going round the block years was cyndi lauper's "girls just want to have fun"! ;D

i finally slowed down and marked time with seal's "kiss from a rose".

yg sedap tu, i have since learned that the song wasn't anything special pun for him. it just happened to be around because a buddy left the cd at his apt and when he thought we needed a background tune, he just lit on the first disc he saw. :D

Kama said...

Oldstock - agree with u wholeheartedly about Carpenters... their songs withstand the test of time..

Naz - "Beat It" became popular when my two boys (now 34 & 32) were in their primary school. MJ was the all-consuming rage, then..

Mekyam - Ahh, cyndi lauper, she of the multi-hued streaked hair..! a real cili padi :)

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Puteri, for your young readers, this might give them a rough idea of the way we were;

Yes, Most of us would have kids like Sandi Thom too by now.


P/S – Were we that ‘carefree’? Hmmm..I hope I had moved on since, or have I?

─╣aptop™ said...

The Strollers were a famous Malaysian band during the 70's.
Listen Just as I'm by The Strollers at