Pitch for regional folk songs (2)

Pitch for regional folk songs (2)

Column: Thoughts by Armenio Manuel

The Kalingas also have their “Dang-dang-ay,” another traditional song that became popular during the second world war.

Kalingas say the guerrillas sang this song while they bade goodbye to their sweethearts, the women not wanting their lovers to go away while the men were promising they would return.

Part of the lyrics: Ading di ka agsangit/ Agsubliyak mabiit/ Ading di ka agdanag/ Mabiit a mabayag/ Urray innak mabitay/ No diak gasat a matay/ Kastoy gayam ta ayat/ Pangkitaan ti rigat…//

The English loose translation: My young one, don’t weep/ I’ll be back before long/ Don’t worry / It’s not that long/ I might be hanged/ If it’s not my fate to die/ This is love after all/ Mirror of difficulties.//

One is reminded of the “Ballad of the Green Berets, ” a patriotic song in the ballad style about the Green Berets, an elite special force in the US Army.

It is one of the very few songs of the 1960s to cast the military in a positive light, yet it became a major hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard charts for five weeks in 1966. It was also a crossover smash, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s Country survey.

The song was written by Robin Moore and Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, while the latter was recuperating from a leg wound suffered as a medic in the Vietnam War.

The lyrics include: “Back at home a young wife waits/ Her Green Beret has met his fate/ He has died for those oppressed/ Leaving her this last request/ Put silver wings on my son’s chest/ Make him one of America’s best/ He’ll be a man they’ll test one day/ Have him win the Green Beret”//

In the lahar-devastated province of Pampanga are several folk songs, but one, according to patriotic minds, particularly stands out. This is the song titled “Capampangan Cu” whose lyrics include Ing balen cung Capampangan/ Sale ning leguan at dangalan/ Paraiso ne ning cabanalan/ Luclucan ning catuliran/ Mibait la qng candungan na/ Ding bayani ampong biasa/ Balen co uliran ca/ Lalam ning bandera.//

Sources from the province say this is a patriotic song that elevates Pampanga, described as the place of the righteous, religious, and law-abiding citizens.

Those in the Queen City of the South have their “Usahay” whose lyrics, partly, say: Usahay magadamgo ako/ Nga ikaw ug ako nagka higugmaay/ Nganong damgohon ko ikaw/ Damgohon sa kanunay…//

A loose English translation puts some graphic image: Sometimes I am dreaming/ That you and I love each other/ Why are you the one I dream of/ And always dream of my loneliness…//

The Tausugs of Sulo have their “Unu In Hi Langan” whose lyrics include: Unu in hi langan/ Sin hidlaw kan jungjungan/ Ayir bajanggang/ Sukkal banding di kapasangan/ Hi ula katumbangan/ Bang maisa kulangan/ Dayang in pagngnnan.//

The loose English translation: What can I sing/ (To ease my) yearning for my beloved/ (Her) incomparable presence/ cannot be matched/ (My) dear idol and lover/ When lying in the chamber/ I utter the name of my beloved.//

Culture aficionados say there are other regions rich in folk songs that need wider dissemination and appreciation by the younger generations– if only for the message of patriotism, love for kin and what the songs say of the community, the aspirations of the people, their laughter, their grief, and their dreams.

Many ordinary Filipinos agree. (ai/mtvn)

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