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Malaysia

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

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Malaysia

 

Written: 1983

Writers: David Jenneson, Alan Hovden

Status: Unrecorded and unpublished

Genre and Style: Historical Pop Ballad

Comments: Dave: Malaysia is one of those rare songs that focuses on a tiny slice of history and tells it from the point of view of an anonymous witness living it as it happens. In this case it is a traveler caught in a hotel room in Singapore when the Japanese air force attacked on December 7, 1941, the same day they attacked Pearl Harbor. It is similar in approach to Mark Knoffler’s brilliant song, I’m Done With Bonaparte, about Napoleon’s winter retreat from Moscow from the point of view of a freezing, unknown and suffering soldier. Nevertheless Malaysia predates the Knoffler song by at least twenty years. The verse has vivid imagery and the huge chorus has a grief for a gone world disintegrating in front of the traveler’s eyes. When it was first written in 1983 I played it for people in their 70’s. Some were almost moved to tears that such a relatively young writer could have such empathy for what they experienced during the World War II.

Comments: Al: This song scares me… it’s so emotional and huge… but it’s not a love song. I guess it’s an anthem of sorts. Is it politically incorrect now? I guess we took a time machine back and got wrapped up in all the emotions of the day. It was a time for creating myths and larger than life sentiments to try and grasp the scale of what was happening to the world then.

 

 Malaysia 

       Vocals - Al Hovden

 

December 7

Across the heavens

Rising sun across the pearly harbor

Diving faces over smoking water

Wake up to war

The giant was sleeping

 

Room 11

The era ending

Headlines spread out on the bed this morning

Wireless crackles with the warning

Through Singapore

The shadow is creeping

 

Malaysia

Malaysia

We lost you today

But all the young men

Are ready to go to

Malaysia

Malaysia

You’re so far away

But all the young men

Are ready to go to war

 

Grab my suitcase

Run to someplace

Crowded shelter under yellow awning

Puffs of black above the jungle morning

From far away shores

The waves will be reaching

 

Malaysia

Malaysia

We lost you today

But all the young men

Are ready to go to

Malaysia

Malaysia

You’re so far away

But all the young men

Are ready to go to war

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