October 2012

A Love Song & an Anthem for Union Solidarity

October 9, 2012 02:27

Some old high school classmates were talking about filipino american history and reminded me of this classic filipino tune written in 1938 "Dahil Sayo". In english, the title means "because of you"...and the lyrics go on to say things like, "because of you I laugh, because of you I smile..." According to my friend Allan Aquino, a professor of filipino american history this tune was not only "a transnational kundiman (romantic ballad) transcending time and distance" but also "a melodic source of solidarity amongst filipino american workers during their revolutionary heydays. AWOC/UFW founders famously sang this during their rallies with mexican and filipino farm union workers.

With all of the current attacks on union musicians in American orchestras these days,(as a refugee from the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra I have experienced first hand the war going on in the orchestral world these days) this old filipino has found renewed significance for me. In honor of all or our brothers and sisters fighting labor disputes in orchestras around the country, here's a tune for all of us.

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