The State of Independence Margharita Fernandez - Phuket, Thailand
It’s monsoon season in Phuket and it rains almost every single day. It can be quite depressing at times as we cannot do any out door activity without getting wet. We often joke that it’s almost like we’re living in England when it’s always dark, cold and wet. During this season sometime we only have one good day in a week where we could see the sun.
Last Sunday was one of those nice days we rarely get so we took the full advantage by going out on a boat with a bunch of friends. On that particular day we went to one of our favorite place called Koh Roi. We spent a few hours there kayaking and then we were off back to Phuket. It has become a habit that we always end up in Koh Naka for a swim before heading back to the marina which is only 10 minutes away from that beautiful island. The weather was glorious and everybody was enjoying them selves. Soaking up the warm salty air and embracing the sea breeze that came by every now and again. I was lying on the front seat listening to the music from the local radio station which is something I like to do after a lovely swim.
Those of you who are close to me know that I just lllovve… music. And I’m one of those people who can get really emotional just by listening to a great song. I can smile, cry or even feel sexy from it. This might sound silly to some but it’s true, I’m quite sensitive that way.
I was about to fall a sleep when I heard the radio played this beautiful song I had never heard before . At that time it sounded to me like it was a very dreamy love song and really took me to another place. It has that nice catchy beat which I love. The kind of beat that made me want to sway yet soft enough to just listen to it and be lazy.
I tried to pick up the words she was singing but I couldn’t because people were having conversation and the sound of the waves in between didn’t help either. The singer’s voice somehow sounded very familiar to me. I couldn’t figure out who it was, but all I know that she has this amazing voice, haunting yet beautiful. I was so mesmerized by it especially when I heard the back ground choir that made the song sounds more like a gospel song. And then there was no more singing and on went the instrumental for quite a while. I thought that was the end of the track, but I was wrong …. There came another famous voice from the past which blended beautifully into the music arrangement. And no, he wasn’t singing, he was talking. By this time I was really moved and I even got goose bumps all over my body. The way he delivered his speech was so full of passion and hope.
“It’s Martin Luther King Jr !“ I shouted.
“Yes. It’s his “I Have a Dream “speech “said Paula.
“Oh , what a beautiful song,“ I said
“State of Independence “ originally sung by Donna Summer in the early 80’s “ my Sayang added. Where have I been all this time to miss such a beautiful song?
When we got home I couldn’t wait to search for the song and the lyric. It’s been a long time since I heard a song which is not only beautiful but also very inspiring. And the fact that the musician added Martin Luther King’s speech only made me even more curious about it.
I found out later that day, that the one we heard from the radio was a version sung by Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders. Aha! No wonder her voice was familiar to me. The Pretenders was one of my favorite band . But on this song she was singing for the band called Moodswings for their Moodfood album. I didn’t know that this version was actually featured on the AIDS campaign in the 90’s and also played at the title credit for the movie Single White Female. Well, the later was obvious as I haven’t seen the movie myself, LOL. Anyway, the song was written by Jon Anderson. He was a member of a progressive rock band called Yes which has an international hit called Owner of a Lonely Heart some years ago. He then let Donna Summer to cover it and the song was released in the 80’s . In her version , the interpretation of the song was more from the spiritual point of view , almost religius. Probably about the liberation of human spirit , redemption perhaps . Like I said earlier on here the song sounded more like a gospel song in some places.
I had that same interpretation when I first learnt about the lyric too. Donna sung it just like the way it was written while Chrissie and Moodswings removed some of the lyrics and began from the middle of the song that goes:
Sounds like a signal from you
Bring me to meet your sound
And I will bring you to my heart
Love like a signal you call
Touching my body my soul
Bring to me, you to meet me here
Home be the temple of your heart
Home be the body of your love
Just like Holy water to my lips
Yes I do know how I survive
Yes I do know why I'm alive
To love and be with you
Day by day by day by day
Time, time again, it is said
We will hear, we will see
See it all-in his wisdom-hear
His truth will abound the land
This truth will abound the land
This State of independence shall be
This State of independence shall be
In this album they made this song into 3 different parts and called it Spiritual High.
In their version, the interpretation of the word “independence“ was more about the freedom for the human being in general. Or at least that’s what I saw on the video clip anyway which featured Martin Luther King’s ordination (probably, I’m not quite sure) as well as his assassination but the bullet went back into the gun instead. They also highlighted their interpretation by adding MLK’s famous speech, I Have a Dream, in Spiritual High Part 3. As we all understand that the word independence has different meanings on different situation and to different people. As for MLK, he had achieved his dream of independence to a degree. But racism is still happening here and there. Not just in America but all over the world. I’m sure that we’re all aware that in some places race equality is still just a dream.
No one knows what was on Jon Anderson’s mind when he wrote the song. Was he trying to send out a spiritual message or race equality? You know you’re free to have your own interpretation of this beautiful song he wrote.
I was listening to the song over and over again as I’m typing this when all of sudden I was thinking about our Zeve. I know she doesn’t like us to discuss about it but I couldn’t help to wondered how she is at this time. Does she miss Koki? I bet she does! It’s her baby after all. Somehow I could find the connection between the song and the meaning of independence for all of us here . Yes, Koki is the kind of independence that she and we all believe in. That everybody has the right to write about anything and to speak their mind up. It is about the freedom of speech.
Zeve, I hope all is well with you. We all know what you’ve been through and how you had to put up with all the sticks you get for your idealism of Citizen Journalism. You stood up for what you believe in and I admire you for that. Here we are now, free at last. But this not the end, we haven’t achieved anything yet . This is just a beginning of a long journey (I do hope so), and God only knows what kind of challenges that lie ahead of us. Let us hope that this will be a beginning of something really good.
I’d like to dedicate this beautiful song for a very special lady like you.
Get well soon. We all love you and miss you.
"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Martin Luther King
Chrissy Hynde and Moodswings
Spiritual High Part 3
ILUSTRASI FOTO-FOTO DOK REDAKSI
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