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Songs that define your life

By Willie Jose
July 21, 2017


One morning while I was navigating Facebook, I saw an entry posted by a close friend of mine, Joey S-- it was a music photo   Frank Sinatra, entitled Cycles, with a little note that says ikaw nagpakilala sa akin sa Cycles”

I really could not remember the time when I introduced him to Sinatra’s songs, possibly, it could be during our good old days at the press corps in the late 80s when we were having the time of our lives, frequenting various Cafes and watering holes and the memorable Remembrances to de-stress ourselves after a day’s hard work of gathering news.

Being a music connoisseur himself, Joey is still busily spending his life these days writing and he’s been going around some music stores, rummaging shelves to get hold of some must-have albums.

Anyway, let’s go back to my story, when I saw his Facebook post, I simply responded, ”I'd like to share with you these 2 songs--That's Life and That's All--by Sinatra and every time I hear these songs, lots of memories come to mind. “

Well, I don’t get tired listening to these Sinatra’s songs because it’s my way of reflecting my own life; these songs always remind me on how I’ve lived through life despite its numerous ups and downs. Also, I’ve been inspired to move on with some hope, as the song Cycles goes, “after winter comes the spring”

So, life is like the seasons, it keeps changing, so we have to remain positive and hopeful, knowing that by not giving up, we can always look forward to a bright future.

Listening to Sinatra’s songs in some quiet place is one good way to reflect our life. Away from the humdrum of the city life and the deepening and sickening noises of politics and gossips, Sinatra’s songs would surely calm our nerves.

Once these songs become part of our lives, we usually find ourselves instinctively and silently singing or humming these songs wherever we may be whether we are on the bus, train, jeepney, malls or even while waiting for our wife in the parlor while she’s having some haircut, hair coloring and manicure etc, etc.

I remember a story many years ago when in one brainstorming session, some friends and I were planning to put up a   community paper and they asked me what could possibly be my column’s title.

Well, without hesitation I simply said,  “That’s Life”

I was waiting for them to ask me the whys and wherefores of my chosen title, but they didn’t bother so I kept my silence. Had they asked me, I could have told them “ well that’s Frank Sinatra song and since I like his songs, that’s why”.

Actually, my favorite is Sinatra’s “Cycles” because it best describes my whole life particularly the line that goes ” life is like the seasons after winter comes the spring… So I keep my head up high and see what tomorrow brings….”

I’d normally say “ that’s life “ when I’m at loss for words to explain and rationalize some going-on in this world -- things I can’t control and change; myriad problems I can’t solve and understand or some mysteries I can’t unravel.

 And I don’t even have to rack my brain to solve these life’s puzzles simply because, I know, they will always be here in our midst to tickle our existence. So at my wits’ end trying to find answers to these problems, I’d just say,  “ I think that’s life.”

With my “That’s Life column, for years, I have been writing about the less serious stuff— things that will surely buoy the readers’ spirit, make them laugh, and give them some respite from your daily backbreaking chores.

Tackling these mundane things is my way of conversing with them and like any kind of conversation; it should always be a two-way process – writing my pieces and then, reading on their feedback.

Oh, before I forget, another song that comes to mind is That’s All, it’s another Sinatra’s piece about love. And I would rather not expound it because it would only drain me emotionally as I reminisce those unforgettable moments that I’d experienced in a real game of hearts. I’d rather quote Benito F. Reyes' poem:

"Read! read the answer in my eyes And in the quiverless muteness of my lips. For there are things that are voiceless And would be told only in the silence.

And now, let me just drop into my favorite Tim Horton coffee shop to sip my favorite double-cream-double sugar large coffee. It’s my way of letting go life’s cares and enjoy life’s little pleasures.

Yes, Frank, That’s Life.

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