Song Lyric Sunday 9/11/16 – One Night in Bangkok

Before I get into this post, I just want to reflect briefly on what happened this day 15 years ago. I remember it like yesterday – I was in my math class when it happened and when that class let out and the whole school was abuzz. I had no idea what had happened until I got to my next class and then it was like “OMFG!!!” Those who lost their lives in the wreckage, those who lost their lives on the line of duty and those who put their lives at risk at the present day. May we never forget.

OK, now onto more happy stuff. This week’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song that refers to some city/town/state. Well, being from Abilene, Texas I could have gone for the obvious choice, but that song is actually about Abilene, Kansas so I didn’t want to use it.

Instead I chose this song from the musical Chess called “One Night in Bangkok.” The verses are rapped by actor Murray Head, the choruses sung by Swedish singer Anders Glenmark and the song was written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA (go figure!) with the help of English author Sir Tim Rice. A true collaboration effort and somewhat of a catchy song. Though the song is not about Bangkok directly (rather a massive chess tournament) it makes several references to life in the city.

Anyway, here we go!

Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner

Time flies doesn’t seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change don’t you know that when you
Play at this level there’s no ordinary venue

It’s Iceland or the Philippines or Hastings or
or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One town’s very like another
When your head’s down over your pieces, brother

It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town

Tea, girls, warm, sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite

Get Thai’d! You’re talking to a tourist
Whose every move’s among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha

And thank God I’m only watching the game controlling it

I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you

So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage
parlours

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me
Source:  Murray Head – One Night In Bangkok Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Yes, I know, I have a habit of taking very loose interpretations of the themes. Oh well, I think it makes things more interesting. Anyway, hope you all enjoyed!

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