Wednesday, 3 February 2010

..six iron bars and the birdman of alcatraz..







 ..in 1962, even movies from Hollywood were in black and white..and Burt Lancaster stood tall among the lead actors of yesteryears..alongside the likes of Kirk Douglas..with the love scene with Deborah Kerr in 'From Here to Eternity' forever etched in this oldster's mind..scene of them kissing as the waves hit them was something that gave an impressionable young boy like pakmat difficulty sleeping...

..but it was the theme song of Birdman of Alcatraz that this old man remembered....the pathos and ethos of the lyrics somehow escaped me as a youth..but I remember the lines..'..for the rest of my life  there will be six iron bars..six iron bars..between me and the stars..' as intoned by Lancaster himself..

..listening to the song again on Youtube and reading the lyrics, make me realised that, at some point or other, there was always that  six iron bars that shackled pakmat from reaching out to the stars..for I have imprisoned myself in the cell of my mind...preferring instead to just 'hear from far, far away..the sound of a bird from an old yesterday'..

..and so I told my children..do not be afraid of the unknown..take that step into the dark..and follow whatever is in your heart..don't be like pakmat..who didn't know he  could fly simply because he never tried..shatter that six iron bars in your mind..just spread out your wings..for you do not really know what you are capable of..until you really try............

..click comments for lyrics..






13 comments:

pakmat said...

He sits in his cell and he stares at the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the bars on the door.
And at times he can hear far away far away the song of a bird from an old yesterday.
A bird that he found unable to fly
alone in the cold almost ready to die.
A man who once killed,a man who must dwell for the rest of his life all alone in a cell.
Oh the poor little bird he took back to his cell and held it and nursed it until it was well.
For the rest of his life there will be six iron bars, six iron bars between him and the stars.
But the poor little bird didn't know it could fly and much too afraid too fearful to try.
And the bird drew strength from a man who was strong.
And soon spread its wings and it burst into song.
He sits in his cell and he stares at the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the bars on the door.
And at times, he can hear far away far away the song of a bird from an old yesterday.
At times, he can hear far away far away the song of a bird from an old yesterda

Freddie Kevin said...

Dear Pakmat,

Just read your comment at Rockys on his confernment. My Dad also received the PPN from HR Sultan Pahang. Yes, it maybe the lowest among the honours but the medal sits proudly on the mantle! I am sure yours is too.

Anyway, the PPNs, AMNs and KMNs are just rewards for many in the civil service in recognition of their devotion and contributions to the country.

Regards to you abang (Im 54)
Freddie

Cat-in-Sydney said...

PakMat dear,
Ooh...someone's being nostalgic. Ok, I understand. It's the full moon.... purrr....meow!

hazeleyed lady said...

the lyrics are too deep to understand...but somehow i understood and got the message well...
You will always be a somebody to me...
Good day Pakmat.Take care

Snakebite said...

ahh so refreshing. i want to say the same thing to my sons but i dunno how. my mind is so ingrained by what my parents told me, jangan buat itu jangan buat ini, tak payah nak cuba buat itu ini nanti jadi gitu gini, jangan panjat nanti jatuh and i never learned how to climb a tree.

i opt to just let my sons explore the world around them and only reminding them of pitfalls but not stopping them. i guide instead of telling them what to do. let them explore their capabilities.

tapi kalau melampau sangat kena campoq gak la. kita dulu ada scene takat cium cium dalam ombak ja, depa la ni ada porno hujung jari. setakat a peek tu takpa lagi but kalau nak jadi obsessed with it tak leh biaq la

note to lady hazel:

if we know the life story of robert f stroud aka the birdman of alcatraz, the lyrics are easy to understand

pakmat said...

.dear Freddie Kevin..and I got mine from the late Sultan of Kedah..DYMM Tuanku Syed Jamalulail..he was the Agong then..even tho I was no stranger to the Istana grounds..(uncle was his private secretary)..I still remember the pride that I felt..it was indeed, a shining moment of my life..and I have read your blog..that led to Gopal's..your r one fine gentleman, sir..and I think for as long as there r Malaysians like you, Malaysia will be alright..no matter the mess the politicians had led us intdo..cheers and best of regard, Freddie, at a youngish 54..:)

rizal hashim said...

PakMat, hazeleyed lady is right...you are somebody to all of us, to those who frequent your blog for the depth, wisdom and substance only you can express! As we are all aware, you've gone through a lot, have attended investitures, married more than once (haha) and real good in words...a wordsmith! So always count your blessings, PakMat, I know you do...

Burt Lancaster...hmmmm...I love those black and white movies too...

dari zaman VCR haha.

My late mum used to rent videotapes from nearby video shop...used to enjoy all of them. Now Astro satisfy my cravings...

Salam PM...

pakmat said...

..my dear cat..as always..the silvery moon..looking down benignly at us mortals and cats..:)

salam hazel..thankyou, hazel..you r kind..it is a story of a convicted murderer, Peter Stroud, whose anger was pacified by a wounded bird that strayed into his cell..

pakmat said...

salam snakebite..and there are people condemning themselves to be forever earthbound..simply because they never tried to fly...they never know their true potential, afraid to let their imaginations take flight..and your analogy on climbing trees is so apt..cheers..

ah..lc..the gentleman who not only flew..but jetted around with the World Cup..for you r one who was not afraid to try..and not content to just listen to the birds..but fly with the birds..and some of the birds are darn sexy..cheers..

Anonymous said...

Oh Pakmat I can relate to this.I had a very sheltered upbringing ... as a result as an adult I was afraid to venture beyond my comfort zone.Im allowing the children more freedom....in the hope that in the future they would not hesitate to explore the unknown
And reading this also reminded me of my nephew who was reluctant to enter UITM because he told me there are too many Malays. I think I know what he meant...not the UITM...not being among your own...its ..the danger of the mind being imprisoned. Correct me if Im wrong here


Aini

pakmat said...

salam aini..your nephew is kind of rare..and knows his mind..willing to break away from the mould..I wished him every success..

mekyam said...

so poignant, dear pakmat!

in return i'd like give you, richard lovelace...

stone walls do not a prison make,
nor iron bars a cage.
minds innocent and quiet take
that for an hermitage.
if i have freedom in my love,
and in my soul am free,
angels alone that soar above
enjoy such liberty.


this is one of the poems i had to memorise as a kid. till today i still remember how, when reciting it, i tripped many times on "an hermitage" until my teach told me that the "h" is aspirated and she said to say it thus: anAIR_meeTAGE.

isn't it wonderful how the flights of our minds can take me from my AIR_meeTAGE in crazy manhattan and you from yours in sane bachok... :-)

pakmat said...

.yes, that was a classic from Lovelace..should have quoted him, too in my blog..:) and it is about time the one in crazy Manhattan starts blogging..seeing the template is reading and raring to go..and I am sure you will enthrall many with your tales...and pakmat awaits the day..with trepidation and a smile..:)