That Was Not What I Meant

A post by friend on Facebook shared a link of Sandy Sandhoro singing "Kompor Meleduk", a song originally sung by the late artist Benyamin Sueb or Bang Ben. My first impression of listening to a piece of my want-to-play-it-badly song being composed badly was making me a harsh comment about the song being played wrongly.

I said, the original song is more complicated than that song. Then, he said it was about time of me to judge a song not because it was a hard piece. Yeah, he was right. We were planning to play God Bless songs on stage where the crowd just plebeian listeners who wont even know what song we would play.

I might sound judgmental, but honestly I don't like that composition. What on earth was that song? The composer really don't get it. My other friend noted that I should have been listening to him when he sang the song in Rolling Stone Mags show. Well, sorry I wasn't there. Sandy Sandhoro might nailed it, but this song was not.

It felt like robotic with influences from many other songs. I can hear the Simpson ost. there, at least. I felt its playfulness in the beginning. But that was it. It was repetitive and to make it worse the composer suddenly lumping some Jazz soloing part in there with no depth in it. Not in a way that I, a mediocre listener with limited amount of music knowledge, felt like it should be there.

There is no way the original song is more complicated than that piece played by Sandy Sandhoro in term of musical notation. The cover was more rich and complicated. It was full of skill. But that's it. If it was the way the song played, I wouldn't want that to be sung by me badly. This song is special for me. It is one of the secular song that stays as my fave.

The emotion was gone. The playfulness of the song was gone. The song lost its meaning.

That's what I thought after I hear the song again. If you hear it closely, the original song was played with the emotion of a man who did a wrong doing. Bang Ben sung it like a man that was jokingly trying to not get panic. You know, when you are in a pinch then you have that one solution that you just laugh out of it. Not because it is the right thing to do, but it's just that it was the best solution you could think of.

This song tries to capture that. At least that's the way I interpreted the song. I don't know from what film this song was, but I can imagine that Bang Ben was panicking when suddenly the fire was getting out of hand. In that way, he then tell how he felt about the fire.

The gibberish poem about Jakarta's flood and the nonsense of something like cleaning your waterways. It's like the person knows he screwed up and in vindicating his pride, he play the role of a man with higher standard. Suddenly his morality becomes noble. This cheeky man suddenly playing saint. In a playful way, Bang Ben nailed the picture of man trying to have his way on this cruel world with becoming what the society held high.

Who would want a blame to himself? This man is already full of guilt. This man already panic. There is no way he could shoulder more blame. Can he be accepted by his family when that accident happens? Getting attentions was on his mind. He needs to shy away from the guilt.

To me a song is a story and this song is so deep that it moved me. I like how Bang Ben depicting humanity in a playful way. Particularly in this catchy song. I think he was expressing his agony about the world in a cheerful way. Joking about your bad life and have a laugh for it is a way of enjoying life.

That's why this song is so great. I want to sing it so that I might be able to capture this song whatabouts. It's not easy, I know. But I love challenge and this song challenge me to capture the emotion and play it well with joke. This is a fun song to play with. Not because it was a hard composition, but it was because it has its own charm of saying life is good no matter what.

I don't like music that just played, I want to play a song that have soul in it. I want a song that engraved with emotion, not just a plain chords. It should be engraved with the wish of the musician. May be it wasn't the author's feeling, may be it was someone else's feeling that get captured by the musician. Either way, there is something there to share and to connect to the listeners.

But, then again, it is just me of saying how music matters to me. It's alright to have a different point of view. Nevertheless, I have made my point.


  1. If you mean 'the soul', then I agree. It doesn't matter what genre you choose to play the song, you can still have the soul. Well, Bang Ben soul with jazzy composition sounds great! *teteup* :P

    1. Ah, I am not a purist in music. I open to progress, but music without a soul is nothing than a noise. :)


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