Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Rainbow Journey

Why are there so many songs about rainbows,
and what's on the other side.

It started when I came across a video somebody posted on Facebook in the morning - a cover version of one of my favourite song. A song that had slipped from my mind for too long - Rainbow Connection.

Jason Mrat and Paul Williams.

(By the way, if you get the song writer to sing a song he wrote, is it still considered as a 'cover version'?)

It's morning, the song slowly pulled my yet-to-be-up mood with its jazzy tempo back to the depth of my mind.

As the song ended, I was left swirling in the song still for a good thirty seconds. Being in the age of internet and all, I then googled (is this an official word yet?) the song. Not surprisingly (although I was surprised), there are numerous cover versions of the song.

Sarah McLachlan.

Sarah McLachlan represents one of the artists whose songs fell into a period of my life where I was slightly detached from the world of entertainment and pop culture. So, her version didn't hit a resonance in me. But Willie's did.

Willie Nelson.

Perhaps it was how the song was told, maybe it was the presentation of the video - how it interspersed between colours and black and white, present and past, youth and age, innocence and wisdom, or the worn out instruments; Willie's lined face, his white beard and his age-scarred voice which painted a hue of melancholy over the song, brought out the harshness of life and expressed the futile and never ending search of what lies beyond ... I was moved.

But not as much as the next version that I found to my pleasant surprise.

Karen Carpenter.

That was the first time I heard her voice over the song.

I grew up with The Carpenters, hearing my elder cousins playing their tapes and records. But their songs didn't endear themselves to me then. And although I vaguely knew about Karen Carpenter's death back then, I felt no sadness.

Years later when I was studying away from home, Karen's voice slowly etched into my heart. And later when I read back about her untimely death, sorrow overflew.

Hearing the Carpenters-like opening, the introduction by the toy piano (and I thought the off-key was an especially nice touch), the familiar arrangement, the filling-in of the flutes, the horns, the strings and the piano, and her voice open the door to a spectrum of familiar and mellow emotions. As soon as she sang, I was immediately drawn into the song. The way her voice carried the words of the song, and how she strung them together kindled an intimate warmth within.

By the end of the song, I was almost in tears. The sentimental fool that was me. Like they said, I hope she found her rainbow.

Although, if the song is not sung by a muppet, my journey would not be complete.

Kermit the Frog.

Childhood. Innocence. Carefree thoughts about what were beyond milk and cereals, playgrounds, books and studies, lunch, friends and laughters, schoolmates, fights, showers and soaps, dinner, bedtimes and stories, and sleeps and dreams.

A rainbow is a rainbow. That's the seven thick lines of different colours magically painted across the sky in a perfect half circle after a rain. Rainbow.

Although, what DO lies on the other side? What's a vision? Illusion? Who painted it? The lovers? The dreamers? Or, me? And yeah, why are there so many songs about rainbows?


Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.

I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

La La La Li La La Lu,
La La La La La Li La Lu ...



Tommy Douglas said...

I always liked Karen Carpenter's voice. Thanks for sharing.

Vera said...

Thank you so much for sharing these versions. I've always loved Rainbow Connection and listened and sang to it as a kid. I must say I love both Sarah's and Karen's versions. Karen Carpenter's version sounds like it would be perfect sang by a choir :)

Buzzing J said...

Tommy, Vera:
Glad that you guys like the songs. As a cover version, I like Karen Carpenter's the best. Her voice will always resonate within me.

Daria said...

The dreamers can paint anything, so can lovers and one of them had to invent the perfect rainbow that we can now all enjoy - in nature and through beautiful songs that help us expand our dreams further yet... :)

Daria said...

Oh, and thank you for stopping by my blog - in my world... :)

Buzzing J said...

beautifully put ...


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