Farewell Robin Gibb

by Patrick Liew on June 4, 2012

Robin Gibb, 62 passed away after a long battle with cancer on 20 May 2012. He was one of the three brothers that formed the musical sensation, the Bee Gees.Among all the pop stars from the English-speaking world, the… Bee Gees made one of the strongest impressions on me. I literally grew up with the Gibb brothers.

When I was in Primary School, one of the first few songs I learned was ‘Massachusetts’. I could sing ‘To Love Somebody’ and ‘Words’ line by line and they were some of the favorite songs during campings and other gatherings.

Later, I was taken up by ‘To Love Somebody’ and ‘I Started A Joke’. I think I can still sing with the guitar the last song if I can get the lyrics and the chords.

But then again, if I sing, my friends will tell you I have a mellow voice. What they are trying to say is I have a voice that is ripe – almost rotten.

When I was a kid, one of my favourite movies was Melody, a movie about puppy love. That movie came on the silver screen round about the time I ‘discovered’ girls and the movie fired up all my puberty-driven chemicals.

I had one of the theme songs, ‘First Of May’ running through my mind for quite awhile without quite realising at that point in time that it was sung by the Bee Gees. In the same album, ‘Odessa’ there were other haunting songs like ‘Words’.

Just this morning, I was singing a few lines from ‘First Of May’ to my youngest daughter,

‘When I was small and Christmas trees were tall
We used to love while others used to play…’

They don’t write songs like this anymore – simple, melodious, and haunting right to the soul. It can bring tears even to an old man who jokes about puppy love. My favourite, If you marry out of puppy love, you will live a dog’s life.

Then disco fever swept over young people in the 70’s. I was then a ‘goody religious boy’ and was not caught up by the dancing craze.

However, I caught the movie, Saturday Night Fever. Obviously, you couldn’t sit still listening to the sound track of the movie. Who of my songs-crazy generation could forget ‘Night Fever,’ ‘More Like A Woman,’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, and ‘Stayin’ Alive’.

When I was 27, after a heart wrenching break-up, I joined a group of friends dancing almost nightly at the now defunct West End at the Goodwood Park Hotel. The sound track from the Saturday Night Fever was still a big thing on the dance floor.

Funny enough, we were doing bad copies of John Travolta’s snake-like gyrations. We were ‘combing’ our hair and pointing to the sky like he did in the movie.

I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it. You will laugh until you die of stomach ache if you ever watch me do the dance again. I shall spare you the pain forever. Lol!

The Bee Gees also wrote many chart-topping songs for the other singers. I never knew that until much later.

Most ladies would have heard of ‘Woman In Love’ by another of my favorite singer, Barbara Streisand. Another great song was ‘Island In The Stream’ by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

The Bee Gees songs will live on.

Know why? Karaoke. They are some of the more common oldies you will hear In Karaoke and other lounges.

Certainly, they will live on in my mind.

Thank you Robin and the rest of the Gibb brothers. You have played a big part in entertaining me throughout all these years.

I may not miss your songs because they are still around but I will miss you – your unmistakable voice and the special touch that only music can do to my heart, my soul and my being.

RIP, Robin.

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.


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