Monday, October 13, 2008

I Hope You Sing - You've Got A Friend

These few days as I travelled from Jl. Kartini (where I stay in Medan) to Tembung (where I work) in the early mornings and back from office after working hours in late afternoons, the familiar song “You’ve Got A friend” was on the air every now and then as my driver tuned on the car radio. Suddenly it seems that the Medanese (listeners of English songs) are fanatical and passionate of this beautiful song originally sung by Carole King.

This reminded me the 1st time I heard of this song was when I'd enrolled myself into Wye College, University of London, in Kent County, England in the Fall Semester of 1971/1972. There were only 6 of us, all foreign students, attending the M.Sc. course in Applied Plant Sciences. Beside me from Malaysia, there were one from Thailand, one from Egypt, one from Nigeria and two from Ethiopia. I was staying in the “Old Flying Horse” hostel. There were another three Malaysian students but doing different courses. Coincidently, there were three other Thai students too. Since we were of small number, we got quite close together and became friends. But the one most close to me was Richard Yip from Hong Kong. He was on OGS’s scholarship (OGS: On Government Service) whereas I was on MAPA’s scholarship. (MAPA: Mama & Papa).

Once Richard Yip got acquainted with me, as I could speak Cantonese dialect, we started to cook and share our foods for dinners. It was quite convenient for us since he had brought along a rice cooker and he could afford to travel to London more often than me during weekends. Thus, he did the buying of most food stuff and ingredients from the grocery shops in Chinatown. I did more cooking than him and he used to wash the plates and bowls after meals. But he was only in Wye College for a semester. Soon he returned to Hong Kong to resume his duty as Senior Agriculture Officer.

True enough for us that we had come a long way to a foreign country to further our studies and we wanted more friends to keep us company and care after each other. We spent about a year in Wye College, and then we were parted and returned to our home countries after completed our courses and obtained our degrees. Even though our time of togetherness was short, but I had treasured the friendship we had in Wye College. These friends had indeed added sweet memories and richness to my life.

Coming back to Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend”, I liked it because the lyrics were so meaningful and touching. A true friend will never hesitate to tell you, “I’ll be there for you.” Now will you be there when your friend is down with troubles and needs a helping hand?

I wish to share the lyrics with you and I hope you sing along:

When you're down and troubled
and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
and you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby
to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
all you got to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
and soon I will be knocking upon your door.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
all you got to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don't you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there,
yes I will. You've got a friend.
You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.

Click on to watch and listen to Carol King singing 'You've Got A Friend' on YouTube.

1 comment: said...

As they say, " A friend in need is a friend indeed ". We always need friends. No man is an island. No one likes to be a hermit, except very exceptional people like some very holy men. We have many friends during school and college days. When we start working, we have working colleages, but they are not close friends - just lunch break mates. Close friends are usually childhood friends where we have been friends for many years during our younger days and shared a lot fun together. I remember we used to play marbles and kontikontar ( long stick and short stick game ). We used to catch spiders and made bamboo pop guns. Those days we seldom buy toys, we made our own toys. We also played chi fan chai ( children's cooking). Now as an adult, I still play CFC, but this time it's for real. Every morning after my round of breakfast and chitchatting with friends, I would do some marketting and go home and do some woking round the kitchen with golden oldies as background music( courtesy of Lite FM Astro).
I remember when I used to visit Ipoh last year when my son was doing his 1 yr housemanship in Ipoh Hospital, I usually stayed in the YMCA Hotel in Ipoh. I used to call up my old classmate Ganesan and he would come immediately to see me and he would take me round Ipoh. We would have breakfast or lunch together and talk of the old days. That's what I call a good friend. When an old friend calls, we must respond immediately and not giving a lot of excuses bc he/she may have wrong perception of us being unfriendly. Fortunately, I 'got a friend' in Ipoh and Segamat/ Medan.