Thursday, January 2, 2014

Life Story Told Through Hit Songs

A few days ago, my good friend, David Paraiso, sent me a copy of his book.  According to him it “started as an alumni memorabilia project which morphed into #1 Best Seller in the Family and Parenting category of”

The title of the book, which is also available in, is: 

Growing Up and Parenting:
Two score and Four Years Ago

Collected by David Paraiso
Copyrighted (2013)

This is not a book review. I will do that another day. After reading most parts of the book, I sent David this message:

“I like the use of multimedia in delivering the messages - most especially, the hit songs in a given era reflecting the noblest emotions of a given generation embodied in the lyrics.  It reminds me of what I wrote in the "Lessons From My Father" which can be read in this link:  

For this column, let me illustrate how David effectively used some hit songs in depicting one’s Life Story:

As a Toddler, life is captured through the song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.


As an adolescent, love expectations are captured by “It Must be Him” by Vicki Karr

             I tell myself what's done is done
 I tell myself don't be a fool
 Play the field have a lot of fun
 It's easy when you play it cool

 I tell myself don't be a chump
 Who cares, let him stay away
 That's when the phone rings and I jump
 And as I grab the phone I pray

 Let it please be him, oh dear God
 It must be him or I shall die
 Or I shall die
 Oh hello, hello my dear God
 It must be him but it's not him
 And then I die
 That's when I die
· Then, heart break is captured by “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis:

Why does the sun go on shining?
Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
'Cause you don't love me any more

 Why do the birds go on singing?
 Why do the stars glow above?
 Don't they know it's the end of the world?
 It ended when I lost your love

· Then, dreaming is captured by “Over the Rainbow” by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole:

 Ooh, ooh, ooh
 Ooh, ooh

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
 Bluebirds fly
 And the dreams that you dream of
 Dreams really do come true

Someday, I wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Oh why, oh why can't I?


The post-adolescent experience is captured by “Sunrise Sunset” from the Fiddler on the Roof

Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older; When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday; When they were small?
Sunrise, sunset; Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days; Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze


Holidays and family get together are captured in “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
 Where the tree tops glisten
 And children listen
 To hear sleigh bells in the snow

 I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
 With every Christmas card I write
 May your days be merry and bright
 And may all
 Your Christmases be white

 I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
 Just like the ones I used to know
 Where the tree tops glisten
 And children listen
 To hear sleigh bells in the snow


Each time a loved one fades away, the following music and lyrics resonate among us -  “Going Home” by Dvorak:

Going home, going home
I'm jus' going home
Quiet like, some still day
I'm jus' going home

It's not far, yes close by
Through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more

Mother's there 'specting me
Father's waiting, too
Lots of folk gathered there
All the friends I knew

All the friends I knew

I'm going home


The collective message in his book is best captured in “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole:

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
They're really sayin......I love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
They'll learn much more.....than I'll never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself .......what a wonderful world.


I assure you the book is more than just this illustration.  There are specific narratives by David and his batch mates at the University of the East High School Class 1969, and there are links to references, movies/videos, and famous passages.  Reading it would make you a learned, cultured, romantic that you already are, and of course, a cool, hot and trendy dude.

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