Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Eraserheads: Ang Huling El Bimbo

Ted recently told me that he doesn't know any Filipino songs. I'm no great shakes with them either, to tell you the truth. My husband despairs of me ever remembering song titles, lyrics, artists and tunes! I don't listen to music at home or at work (I like silence) though I do enjoy live performances tremendously. So I told Ted that I'll ask around and post some especially for him. Here's my first: "Ang Huling El Bimbo" by The Eraserheads.

I know that most of you won't understand the lyrics because it's in Tagalog, so here's the synopsis of the song from Wikipedia's entry on Ang Huling El Bimbo:

    The first and second verses tell about the narrator's youth, when he would frequently visit his childhood friend, a girl, by hanging around in her huge house after school. The girl was a good dancer, but she was at her best when dancing the El Bimbo. The boy would often visit the girl after school to learn the dance, and always felt awkward doing it. It was at this point that the boy realized he was in love with the girl.

    The third verse fast-forwards to the present, after the narrator and his childhood friend had not met for a long time. The girl, according to gossip, became an unwed single mother and apparently earned a living as a dishwasher in the then-seedy district of Ermita, Manila. Finally, the narrator reveals that his childhood friend had died after being hit and run by an unnamed vehicle.

    At this point, the narrator regrets not being open with his feelings. He ultimately realizes that his feelings will remain forever unrequited and that the only time he'll be able to dance with her again will be inside his dreams.

    The events of the narrator's childhood seem to be set before or around the 1960s or 1970s, as he mentions that his childhood friend looks like Paraluman, a Filipina actress popular in the 1940s.

Song lyrics | Ang Huling El Bimbo lyrics

You can read a short biography of The Eraserheads in AllMusic and a longer one in Wikipedia.

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