Still the one (who sings)


Bob Seger‘s still the same.

Shania Twain‘s still the one.

And at C’est Moi tonight, the owner/singer (Vietnamese back from France) still carried the show with her energy and charisma, as if she owned the place.

When you sing, you have to lift the audience out of the here and now.

If they are on their feet, all the better.

Time suspended.

Bodies transported to a windmill (Dans le soleil and dans le vent) or a party and back (Wonderful Tonight).

Male baritone and female alto, vocal or duet, and the silence of the prelude.

Then the loop from vocalist to audience and (feed)back which in turn validates the performer.

Forget reality and all its pain.

Just Do Re Mi in infinite variables, one breath at a time.

The Vietnamese taste for music ranges anywhere from classic Western,  Pop  to traditional songs welcoming Spring time.

Rooted in agriculture,  people here cultivate then celebrate.

The upcoming week is time to board “The Last Train” : time for migrant workers to get out of the smokestack and back to their village.

Spanking new $2 dollar bills in red envelopes; kids in new clothes and old folks rejuvenated by family reunion.

Spring not only brings hope but also brings back the familiar . Let’s say someone has died, on the first day of Tet, everyone goes out to the graveyard, as if trying to cross the chasm , to bring him/her back to the fold and festivities.

Call it “collective denial” but it’s entrenched here, unlike Greek‘s Alpha-Omega mindset of “one cannot swim in the same river twice”.

I got that feeling tonight when Thanh Hoa (the singer/owner) took my request for You’re Still the One.

I sat there a few years back listening to that same song, same setting.

She still carried the show as she had done before.

Which gave me that feeling of homecoming, of having a seat at the table.

On YouTube, you can choose to hear “Still the same” by today’s Bob Seger (older) or “Still the same” by Bob Seger of the 70’s. Still the same.

Still the one.

Still wonderful tonight.

Music transcends time and age.

Music for Spring time , bridging cultures and distance.

It connects people, links the generations and calls out for renewal and redemption.

Come home child! There is always a seat at the table. You are still the one.

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