Swing Out Sister

Aside from the company of friends and family, music has been there for me during the best and worst hours of my life.  Like many people, I’d turn to different songs, depending on my mood, depending on what I would contemplate on — be it relationships, success, failure, love, hope, faith, etc.  Cheesy as it sounds, I would say that I’ve managed to come up with several “theme songs” for my life.  Maybe I could even come up with my own compilation album of these songs!

There are, however, a very small number of songs — maybe just one or two — that have not just become favorite songs, which I’d listen to relentlessly on my iPod. Some have even become my own anthems — like how Barbra Streisand has Somewhere, My Way for Frank Sinatra, or Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas for Sharon Cuneta. I’d even dare say that these anthems have made a difference to my life and how I view it.

But my life’s anthem is not a ballad. It’s not even a dramatic song. It’s “Breakout” by British Group Swing Out Sister.  Released in 1986, it’s SOS’ most popular song. 

WWWHHHYY? For me, it’s a song that encourages you to take charge of your life, to break barriers — to be brave, and to dare.  Stretching it further — perhaps to my own interpretation — it’s a song that just looks life at the positive, and getting success in one’s own terms. And of course, these messages, come with a backdrop of well-composed instrumentals! Simply put, for me, Breakout perfectly captures my viewpoint on life.

Strange as it may perhaps sound, the song in a way helped me deal with one of my most trying times almost a decade ago when I was dealing with some stuff, and was feeling very bad.  I wanted to bounce back.  But during those times, almost nothing would cheer me up and practically nothing would get me motivated enough.  So I tried escaping how I felt, and music was an anesthetic one way or another. 

I already had a compilation of SOS’ hits, which I enjoyed more for the upbeat melody.  But when I paid attention to the lyrics of breakout more attentively, I was challenged.  And I began to be a little bit more motivated. And with the greatest power of prayer later on, I really felt better and out of the woods.

Since then, I’ve been SOS’ loyal fan.  Haha, I’d even like to claim that I’m their biggest fan in Manila.  Naturally, I have all their albums. I enjoy listening to many other SOS songs like Somewhere in the World (from the Shapes and Patterns Album), plus their own interpretations of well-known songs like Stoned Soul Picnic, You on My Mind, etc.

I’m glad that SOS is releasing their latest album in a couple of days.  It’s entitled Beautiful Mess.  And how wonderful of SOS to have released a video of the track Something Everyday already. 

Before I went to the US in January, I regularly checked the web if they had any performances in any state.  There was none.  But what a real surprise when I found out that they’re coming to Manila on April 7.  Oh, I just can’t wait!

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