Camellia

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

People say, well, men say, that when they love someone, they would go even to the end of the world in order to catch them. That’s cheesy, indeed, and crazy, of course. However, I myself have witnessed some of my male friends do that kind of thing. They were falling head over heels for a girl, and they had done literally almost everything they could in order to steal that girl’s heart. They didn’t even care whether that girl was taking them for granted, or even worse, ignoring them. They even got more curious when the girl was ignoring them. No matter what we, their friends, told them to stop, they just wouldn’t. Love is irrational, isn’t it? As today’s song for Male Special Part 2: Ways of Being A Man, I have a classic titled “Camellia II”, performed by Indonesian legendary singer-songwriter Ebiet G. Ade. This song is probably the best in depicting, in a poetic way, how a man can’t be stopped easily when he’s already started to chase a woman he loves.

A cluster of beautiful days with you, Camellia, reviving my longing again, inviting me there. I want to run after your thousand shadows, Camellia. I don’t care; I’ll catch you, even if I had to pierce the grassland.” –Ebiet G. Ade, Camellia II

First released in 1979, “Camellia II” was the title song for Ebiet G. Ade’s second studio album of the same name. It was the second song of four-part songs in which mention the name Camellia for the title. Ade wrote the song himself. “Camellia II” is the most well-known one from the Camellia series; more than the rest of other: “Camellia I”, “Camellia III”, and “Camellia 4”.
Lyrically, “Camellia II” tells a story of a man who falls deeply for a woman named Camellia, yet the love is unrequited. That’s in particular. In general, it speaks about an unrequited love; a blind one, a crazy one, an irrational one. It’s a one-sided love that somehow, can force people to chase after shadows, though they already know that it leads to nothing but emptiness. “A cluster of beautiful days with you, Camellia, reviving my longing again, inviting me there. I want to run after your thousand shadows, Camellia. I don’t care; I’ll catch you, even if I had to pierce the grassland.” Yet there’s nothing rational about love, isn’t it? Until at some point, we hear they tell us, to stop chasing after mindless dreams. Love is only an illusion we build inside our hearts. “Suddenly my footstep is stopped; a million hands have held me back. I want to curse, they say, you don’t need to run after an uncertain dream. Today is a dream too, so let it come into your heart.”
Both my mother and father are huge fans of Ade. As I mentioned on the previous post, my parents have given so much influence in my taste of music. During my trip to Penang last May, I heard “Camellia II” performed by a band in the Universiti Sains Malaysia campus. At that time I was thrilled and excited; turned out I’m not the only young generation who love this song.

Suddenly my footstep is stopped; a million hands have held me back. I want to curse, they say, you don’t need to run after an uncertain dream. Today is a dream too, so let it come into your heart.” –Ebiet G. Ade, Camellia II



“Gugusan hari-hari indah bersamamu Camellia
(A cluster of beautiful days with you, Camellia)
Bangkitkan kembali rinduku mengajakku kesana
(Reviving my longing again, inviting me there)
Inginku berlari mengejar seribu bayangmu Camellia
(I want to run after your thousand shadows, Camellia)
Tak peduli ‘kan kuterjang, biar pun harusku tembus padang ilalang
(I don’t care, I’ll catch you, even if I had to pierce the grassland)

Tiba-tiba langkahku terhenti, sejuta tangan telah menahanku
(Suddenly my footstep is stopped, a million hands have held me back)
Ingin kumaki mereka berkata, tak perlu kau berlari mengejar mimpi yang tak pasti
(I want to curse, they say, you don’t need to run after an uncertain dream)
Hari ini juga mimpi, maka biarkan ia datang di hatimu, di hatimu
(Today is a dream too, so let it come into your heart, into your heart)”

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