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Thursday, November 17, 2011

From Kismet, "A Stranger In Paradise"

This was an original post written in ITALKI.

This is a response for someone who posted his favourite lyrics of a current popular song. I could not help myself from smirking when I read the lyrics. Mostly are repeated as thus,

“I wanna to hold your hand. I wanna to kiss you etc.”

Crude and banal in my opinion. There is much wonder in the world and he chose that as his favourite. How sad. So in this essay, I am going to introduce to some of the gems in the music world and an English lesson.

Kismet is a Turkish word, from Arabic, “qisma” meaning fate or destiny. It is now an accepted English word because of a very famous American Musical of the same title. For those interested in this musical, here’s the Wikipedia link.

The setting of the musical is in some fabled land of the Middle East where the Caliph rules supreme. A delightful and uncomplicated story told in the simple times of the old. One of the more outstanding songs is “Stranger In Paradise”. For those interested seriously in the English language, here is how the language of love is expressed so wondrously and implicitly. The hauntingly beautifully melody is based on a classical music piece. For more info see,

Take my hand
I'm a stranger in paradise
All lost in a wonderland
A stranger in paradise
If I stand starry-eyed
That's the danger in paradise
For mortals who stand beside an angel like you
I saw your face and I ascended
Out of the commonplace into the rare
Somewhere in space I hang suspended
Until I know there's a chance that you care
Won't you answer this fervent prayer
Of a stranger in paradise?
Don't send me in dark despair
From all that I hunger for
But open your angel's arms
To this stranger in paradise
And tell him that he need be
A stranger no more…

As I am writing, I am listening to it. How miraculous the ink flows so easily from one’s pen (or in this modern case, keystrokes spewing out like a bubbling spring) when there is a background music to inspire. For those interested in the melody, here are some links for you convenience and enjoyment. The first one is from the original musical sung by Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel. The second one is a standard sung by Johnny Mathis and the third one, a more modern interpretation by Sarah Brightman who has a more ethereal quality and a tad less expressive than the older versions. The older ones have an introduction as in accordance to the musical. The main song starts from, “Take my hand…” For those in the Mainland, I am so sorry that you cannot access Youtube. Oh what fools those are in the top, denying wonders of the world to its people. Alas, you just have to do more work and google for them.

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