Asia On Our Minds (Music for Mondays)

In this edition of MfM, we showcase some songs from mega-hit artists and from one-hit wonders. Superstars and no-name acts too. It’s all a big smorgasbord but all related to the posts we’ve been doing here lately. Last Saturday’s post on John C.H. Wu, picked up the journey were Wu Li left off. And yesterday the story of Lou Tseng-Tsiang hit the stands, as well as Allison’s post on the readings. And today, Allison’s prayer for a friend, who doesn’t even know she has a friend named Allison.

So the message is, all are God’s children. It’s a big world, and even if the gate is narrow, all are invited to enter through it. I hope you enjoy all these songs, because in some small way, they help reinforce the message. After all, Our Lord said “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” We few, we happy few.  First up, a one-hit wonder from the 1980′s!

Red Rockers, China. How many of you remember this one? I had practically forgotten it too. But taking a look at the lyrics, it makes me wonder if they knew about Wu Li, John C.H. Wu, and Lou Tseng-Tsiang too. What other mysteries and secrets about Catholicism abound in the Forbidden City? I’m starting to feel like Indiana Jones.

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Danced with wind and danced with fire
Killed the truth and called the liar
Bleeding in its mystery when the moon began to fall
Dreamers are not all they seem,
sleeping in her silent dream
She locks it all inside and hides it all away

China, China

Calling out to history
Is that the way it will always be?

China, China

Questions in my hand, and then
answers gone till I don’t know when

All you speak and all you hear
Hand that’s strong and voice it’s clear
An unforgotten memory when the moon begins to call
Called you right and called you wrong
Time, the shadow, sings your song
Don’t lock it all inside and hide it all away

David Bowie, China Girl. Written with Iggy Pop? I’m learning something new again. I dig this song, and always have for no particular reason except it sounds great. This live version is way better than the MTV video too, in my opinion. The bass player plays that instrument like a rhythm guitar too…sheesh!

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Because Catholics can laugh, right? Michael Jackson’s classic takes on a whole new meaning here, doesn’t it? Godless Communists? Or undercover Catholics? I look at people differently now, Thank God. Now, enjoy this, it’s heaven sent. Because Catholics can laugh.

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Selamat datang. Road Less Travelled. A Catholic High School choir from Malaysia, where the national religion is officially Islam, performing at the 6th World Choir Games, in Shao Xing, China. Sixth Annual? Again, I would have never believed it, without seeing it. As it is, this has only been seen by 85 people, but maybe a few more will appreciate it now.

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Same school, different song. Ave Maria. I couldn’t resist folks, because I’m a sucker for the Ave Maria, and for beautiful voices. I lived in Malaysia for 15 months back in the mid 1980′s when I was in the Marines and I love satay too. Bring on the peanut sauce and cucumbers.

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Another choir, this one from the largest Islamic country in Southeast Asia, Indonesia. This choir is from the Pashyangan Catholic University in Bandung, West Java, and performing in Austria in the video here. They are singing Jubilate Deo. We should, you know.

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Gloria! All I can say is, this next video just makes me smile. And feel all warm inside, too.

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Hear the angels from on high.
Tidings of great joy they bring.
From the mountains to the sky joyful praises swell and ring.
Gloria, gloria, gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria, gloria, gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo.

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains.
And the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Angels in a heav’nly chorus bring to earth a radiant sight.
All around we see the splendor on this wondrous night filled with light.

Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo, Deo!

And we will end this segment with another video from one of my favorite artists, Neil Young.  What the heck does Neil Young have to do with Asia? This is Harvest Moon, which ties in perfectly with the verse quoted above about the harvest being plentiful.  Take it away Neil (and we can sing along too)

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Until next week, Pax Christi.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14664864341946607447 Terry Fenwick

    Ok, the last two were my favorites! Not about content but I have sensitive ears – dog ears – and I tend to bark if the sound/tone/whatever is too high/shrill. I can hear a motorcycle start up (from outside in the drive at the hospital) when I am in a sound proof booth. I will tell you one of my favorite movies is when Isaac Stern went to China to teach music – and how perfectly trained the Chinese were but for generations emotion was not allowed in China – so they had perfect technical players – perfection plus but no heart in the music. He broke them – and by the time the movie was over (a small art theater in SF at Ghirardelli Square) people burst into a standing ovation – still dark in the theater – maybe 50 max people. We were wiped out. Well, the video was a long time coming and finally another video came out with an attached 10 years later to show what happened to the 10 best selected by Stern – and they had heart – they had it.

  • Sandy

    Ah, much love to Frank for all of the selections. May I also recommend Iggy Pop's The Passenger. :-)My love affair with all things Eastern started with Bowie with a little movie called Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, which contrasted Eastern and Western ideas on the military, honor, manhood, and God. We tend to turn eastward to understand many things that become muddied for us here.For those who don't have enough reading material, Pearl Buck also was fascinated with this dichotomy and wrote so many very good books based on the life of the Chinese with their folk gods and their rhythms of nature, etc. As a Protestant missionary, she saw the goodness and the yearning of the people to connect with God.it's ironic to me that China bans religion and emotion , but yet, it remains in all the things Frank shows us. I view it as another example of what we repress coming back up somewhere else. They can try to shove faith down but it will always return. It's a losing game. People of faith should truly take heart in this knowledge, for whatever people try to cast away will return stronger for that effort.The gate is narrow, and yet for those who do persist and walk through, the rewards are plentiful in so many many ways.PS. Yes, Gail Ann Dorsey is all that and a bag of chips. Thanks Frank! :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14664864341946607447 Terry Fenwick

    The movie about Isaac Stern going to China was FROM MAO TO MOZART and now it is in DVD. In 1979, as China re-opened its doors to the West, virtuoso Isaac Stern received an unprecedented invitation from its governernment to tour the country. This extraordinary experience became the landmark, Oscar-winning documentary FROM MAO TO MOZART

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    @Sandy, Great comment!Gail Ann Dorsey…the bass player for Bowie, I presume? @Terry: Thanks for your comment and I'll have to put From Mao to Mozart on my movie list.

  • Moses

    Hi FrankFor your info, the choir from the Catholic High School is from Petaling Jaya, behind St. Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya.It is by the highway headings west towards Port Klang.I ask the person who post the videos.Regards

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Moses, Thanks. For our readers, Petaling Jaya is only about 20-30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur, where I lived. In Malaysia, and Moses can vouch for me on this, they would say "Oh, PJ is 20-25 minutes from KL".

  • Moses

    Around there :-)Petaling Jaya is place for the "good people" ;-)Seriously though, it is the first township in Malaya then before we got Independence. Started in the 1955. Looking at some of the houses there, they looks like those in the American movie that I saw that portray the 50s, which I believe are the baby boomer years, right? In PJ case, a lot of well-educated professionals and those of the upper-middle class reside there.


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