Sunday, October 23, 2005

Pinoy Big Lemon

For songwriters, technical virtuosity can either be the greatest of all the gifts or a stinking albatross around the neck. If you are given the rare ability to get any song down pat with a deadly note-for-note accuracy, then it is very easy to get all smug and lazy and uncreative. Next thing you know, you're already believing the lie that playing "plakado" is better than being original.

Which is probably what drove Orange and Lemons to take the
obscure song Chandeliers by the 80's Brit group The Care (which they, being dang good instrumentalists, could probably play blindfolded while hanging upside down) tweak it a bit, slap on some feel-good Pinoy lyrics and then pass it off to ABS-CBN as an original song titled Pinoy Ako ready to be used as theme for Big Brother.

The band has claimed that far from plagiarizing the hell out of the obscure song, they were merely influenced by it. Some apologists have also pointed out that the song did not violate the 8 consecutive similar notes rule which constitute plagiarism.

Q-Tips emergency.

Click on the song titles above to download the two tracks and hear why the line "Pinoy tayo....ipagmalaki mo" now kinda rings hollow. But it's all probably too late now. The masses have already turned the song into some sort of an anthem, whose patriotic strains and swells possess a balming effect on nerves frayed by prices gone amok and a president gone bananas.

And by golly, they won't be too pleased to know that they've been sucking on a lemon, after all.