Tennessee Waltz-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Monday, January 14, 2013
AN IMPORTANT singer of the ‘50s died January 1. She is Patti Page of “Tennessee Waltz” fame. It is one of my most memorable songs.
Whether at work, in leisure, or just plain loafing by, the song never fails to move me to sweet distraction.
It has a poignant quality of sweet betrayal like “my friend stole my sweetheart from me.” Stealing someone’s loved one was true yesterday, so it is true today.
The song is about a girl who introduced her old friend to her beloved during a dance. The friend “stole” the boy in a night of betrayal. This alienation of affection is resonant of a truth that is at once universal.
I like Tennessee Waltz because it reminds me of a stage in life when dancing in the dark is a sinful moment whether in a ballroom or inside a cabaret.
Indeed the past is not a good place to live in but it is wonderful one to visit.
Music to me is the fastest way to a remembrance of yesteryears. Tennessee Waltz has the wings of magic to fly senior citizens to the romantic past. It could transport them back to the memories of childhood.
On that summer after graduating from Grade V1 there was the annual Parents-Teachers Ball at the school. For a small sleepy town like ours, a social event of that kind was a celebrated affair. Any public dance was a spectators’ sport as the crowd behaved like it was watching a basketball game. Here it was the play of breasts and legs.
For a newly circumcised boy, it was not the best of time to watch the school’s loveliest teacher dancing with her amorous suitor in a tight embrace.
With his hurting little wound yet in the process of healing, the young boy felt a certain disturbance in the groin. The sensual awakening was inchoate, vague and undefined. The ache would lead to early discovery.
As the pretty maestra and her partner clinched almost motionless, her apple bosoms pressed in tight embrace, the other couples shuffled dreamily to the languid tune of the Waltz. Newly married couples hurried home in early twilight to create their own happy hour, I learned.
This is the recollection of the young boy who agonized as he trembled while watching the young teacher and her partner romanced the afternoon.
I remember the traditional junior-senior prom in high school. My partner was a cute shapely girl from the junior class. She heaved a sigh as I sniffed the fragrance of dama de noche in her hair while dancing to Patti Page’s song.
Some years later and in many dancehalls in other places, it would be the haunting strains of that familiar song that followed the young man as he waltzed the night away. It was his transition from teen-age to manhood.
Now the growing aches in the groin are more definitive, urgent and certain, especially when someone stole your sweetheart as they play the beautiful Tennessee Waltz.
On behalf of my fellow columnists: Max, Rox, Bernie, DP, Arnel, Jaime and Malou, “Happy Birthday” to Sun Star’s ETHEL GARCIA, charming and hardworking staff executive. Ethel was once nominated to be Miss Porac in her younger days. Next time we shall greet her will be on her wedding sooner than later.
The family of City Mayor and Mrs. Edgardo Pamintuan, relatives, and support groups in the US, express their gratitude and appreciation to the following who composed the core group in working for and building up the “Worlds Best Mayor Award” to the Mayor: Dan, Kirk, Alex, Noy, Bishop Briones, Ed Mayrina, Deo S., Archie, Jay, Fe, Jet, Willy, Jun M. and all department heads at the City Hall. The Award has spotlighted Angeles City in the world map again.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 14, 2013.