Ubiquity is the surest way to kill a song,’ music critic Sal Cinequemani wrote, and in this era where songs are transformed through different iterations of their selves: covers, remixes, endless loops in cafes, some still catch us by surprise. If you’re the kind of person who looks up sad love songs to listen to at night, YouTube playlists present a treasure trove of choices, from the legit harana tunes to 90s favorites.
Here are five songs, originally consigned to 90s jolog oblivion but, thanks to the aforementioned YouTube playlists and cab rides (where the radios are always tuned in to a station that plays these kinds of songs all day long), we get to re-examine and re-appreciate their glory.
1. Sana ay Mahalin mo rin Ako – April Boys
“Ito yung laging kinakanta ng kuya ko sa nililigawan nya noon, taz back-up ako, 5 yrs old palang ako nun,” the top comment in a YouTube videoke upload of the April Boys song. Its simple chord progression makes it an easy harana and if you’re up for singing it to your prospective jowa, it might actually work. While the song title gives off a bit of desperation, Vingo and Jimmy were actually singing about a plea for a lasting relationship.
Potential Facebook status: Kapag nakita ka, ako’y nahihiya/Kapag kausap ka, ako’y namumula/Sabi ng puso ko, ako’y in love sa’yo/Sana ay mahalin mo rin ako.
YouTube Level: Karaoke, personal photo slides, OPM playlists, covers, and lyric videos.
2. Alaala Mo – White Lies
Most listeners will probably associate the song’s hook with Dagtang Lason’s ‘Masarap Magmahal Ng Bakla’ which rewound White Lies’s paean to the enduring power of unrequited love. But beyond its videoke-worthy power chords, there’s something in here that echoes Barbra Streisand’s The Way We Were, but this time instead of conjuring up the past, White Lies sings for something that never was and never will be.
Potential Facebook status: Mga alaala mo’y kay sarap isipin/Bawat sandali’y kapiling/O kay sarap damhin
YouTube Level: Covers, Karaoke, official band videos, and anime tributes
3. Mahal pa rin Kita – Rockstar
Rockstar swaps the cheese out of despair and heartache for the all-consuming flame of desire. You can easily picture a guy, down on his knees, the wind baying in the background while the rain pours down in empathy. Love lost is always a good reason to forsake sanity but Rockstar also proves it’s a reason for writing a damn good torch song.
Potential Facebook status: Bakit ‘di maamin na wala ka na?
YouTube Level: Lyric videos, guitar and piano tutorials, covers, Karaoke, and slide shows.
4. Ikaw pa rin – Ted Ito
Originally ‘Saigo no iwake’ by Hideaki Tokunaga, Ted Dito, who is actually half-Japanese, translated the song into Tagalog, making it one of the most remembered songs of the early 90s. It’s a deceptively simple song but ‘Ikaw Pa Rin’ manages to let the ghost of his love flourish, slow and subtle like the progression of time. Because waiting for love to come back feels like never coming home.
Potential Facebook status: Bakit di magawa nitong damdamin /Ang paglimot sa mga nagdaan /Sadya nga bang ganyan/Pag nagmahal ay di matatakasan
YouTube level: Lyric videos, covers, remixes, and karaoke.
5. Kasalanan Ba? – Men Oppose
Before Ebe Dancel deployed his bombs of sadness through Sa Wakas, Men Oppose carried burned down hearts in the arms of their song ‘Kasalanan Ba?’ There’s nothing like a man scorned despite the magnitude of his love and commitment, something that sends him to the dark alley of self-doubt and history of personal woes. It’s always the best that gets hit by the worst.
Potential Facebook status: The entire song. Stick in a notebook or make a slideshow with photos of your ex and the lyrics glaring in red, angry typeface.
YouTube Level: karaoke, playlists, lyric video, slide shows, remixes, and covers.