Searching 3.0: OPM and Figures of Speech

I found an interesting query under last week’s Search Terms:

My OPM favorites post has a few examples but it doesn’t explicitly state which lines count as personification. Hopefully the kids who were searching still found it helpful — I bet you they were actual kids cramming for an assignment. 🙂

Anyhow, I decided to do some further digging and write about the different ways figurative language has featured in OPM lyrics. I initially wanted to explore at least 10 figures of speech but because I tend to get way too chatty about these things, I eventually narrowed them down to three: simile, metaphor, and personification.

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10 of my favorite OPM lyrics

First, a disclaimer: these lyrics are by no means the best of the best of the best. And, more importantly, I am in no way an expert on OPM.

In fact, as I was writing this list, I realized that I barely listen to OPM anymore. The only new releases I’m aware of are those from Viva Records and Star Music. But beyond those tried-and-tested pop hits, my playlist holds no recently released music in Filipino or — for those who aren’t as pedantic about the language vs. dialect distinction — Tagalog. 

So the following lyrics are from old OPM favorites. I considered including songs written in English but eventually decided against it. (Let’s save those for another list, maybe?) And if you have any OPM recommendations, you’re more than welcome to enlighten my ignorant, overseas ass.


Palayain ang isa’t isa / kung tayo, tayo talaga

Session Road’s “Cool Off” deserves a spot in one of each of those #hugot playlists that proliferate pop websites these days. I noticed those lists are mostly laden with ballads or pogi rock sludge but — since when did it become cool to openly admit liking Cueshe anyway? Hm.

Continue reading “10 of my favorite OPM lyrics”

Umuwi na tayo dahil wala nang sense ang ating mundo

N’ung Sabado, halos buong araw kong pinakinggan nang paulit-ulit ang Parnaso ng Payaso, ang tanging album ng Pan sa pagkakaalam ko. Ang sakit sa puso. Hindi naman malungkot at malakas maka-“aray naku” ang tema ng album. Sadyang may kakayahan lang talaga ang musika na manghikayat ng lungkot at mag-udyok ng pangungulila.

Kaninang umaga, naligo ako sa saliw ng “Nakauwi Na” ng Ang Bandang Shirley, isa sa mga paborito kong banda. Naadik ako sa kanila noong nasa Pilipinas pa ako at paulit-ulit ko ring pinatugtog itong “Nakauwi Na” sa opisina ng dyaryo. Minsang pinuna ng ilang kasamahan ang lyrics ng kanta dahil may mali raw sa grammar. Mali raw ang tense ng “nakauwi na” dahil inconsistent ito sa tense ng ibang linya. Siyempre ipinagtanggol ko naman. Katumbas kako ng “I’m home” ang “nakauwi na.” As in: “I feel like I’m home whenever I’m with you.” E wala sa mood makipagtalastasan ‘yung dalawang kumag kaya ‘ayun, nauwi na lang kami sa a basta.

Hindi ako super fan ng Rivermaya pero lolokohin ko lang ang sarili ko kung itatanggi kong natutuwa ako sa mga kanta nila. Kung batang 90s (o early 2000s) ka sa Pilipinas, mahirap iwasan ang Rivermaya. Laging nasa radyo ang mga kanta nila noon. ‘Yung mga kakilala kong nag-aaral maggitara, inaaral at tinutugtog lagi ang “Hinahanap-hanap Kita.” May tatlo kaming party noong hayskul at laging may Rivermaya para sa slow songs — You’ll Be Safe Here, If, 214, at iba pa.

Sa totoo lang hindi naman ako masyadong malungkot na watak-watak na sila. May “Rivermaya” pa rin naman pero hindi na maibabalik ‘yung dati. Sabi nga ng isang kasamahan sa dyaryo, “Buti na lang talaga marami silang naimbak na magagandang kanta.” True, true.

At siyempre, ang quintessential angas song ng mga OFW (kahit hindi naman ako OFW): “Balikbayan Box” ng Eraserheads. Ewan ko kung bakit hindi ito simpatok ng iba pang kanta ng ‘Heads. Ang husay/ganda/sarap sa puso ng buong Sticker Happy.

Hay. Nami-miss ko ang UP, mehn. Nami-miss ko ang Pilipinas. Oh well. Kibit-balikat na lang. At buntong-hininga. Isang malalim at payapang buntong-hininga.