SG Music: Charlie Lim – Blah Blah Blues

Charlie Lim only became known to me last month. Following a friend’s recommendation, I searched for and found his TIME/SPACE album on YouTube. My first reaction was to gasp. Since when did such a musician exist in Singapore? This has to be on me, since Charlie appears pretty well-known within our local circles, and has been featured in mainstream news articles. I’m ashamed.

Muse of a Lay Listener

The second track Blah Blah Blues was the first with lyrics I heard, and its immediate start swept me instantly. The blend of jazz, swing, and big band atmosphere reminded me of Michael Bublé’s Great American Songbook covers. I adore Michael Bublé. Charlie doesn’t sound anything like him of course, but his voice carries an angsty charm which shows throughout the versatility of his album.

These are the lyrics which caught my attention even before I referred to them:

“It makes more sense to stay underwater
Itʼs not that hard to sing about being hurt
Itʼs kind of lucrative to write a love song
Because everybody else just canʼt get enough

Hard truths from Charlie, haha. Years back I might have resisted this idea and defended the potential virtues of diving into the waters, even if one takes a long while to emerge. But gratefully I have learned to distance from my emotions since, and Charlie’s lyrics speak to me well, at the right time. Staying underwater doesn’t make us any more “true to ourselves”. It might well be the opposite. I hope Charlie’s message finds you well, too.

Now Charlie’s fans, show your love! Would you like Charlie to write a feature essay for this song?

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Review the best of Charlie Lim and Singapore indie music on my playlist!

Blah Blah Blues [Lyrics by Charlie Lim]

(Well) I wasnʼt exactly alone when she left me
Figured I wasnʼt unhappy to live with my own world
I tend to make my mountains out of molehills
Iʼve always made my goddesses out of you girls

And Iʼve always had the chance to say
That I never got to scream when I drowned in your sea
You know Iʼve always been lonely so I guess I just got used to it
But I guess I got used to dragging you down with me

So my sandcastle has been waiting for the waves
I carry lost love like some tragic disease
And I wonder why she never came back to put out the flames
But when I called her this was what she said to me

“It makes more sense to stay underwater
Itʼs not that hard to sing about being hurt
Itʼs kind of lucrative to write a love song
Because everybody else just canʼt get enough

Itʼs always easier to be victimised
Always blame the one who got you burnt
Itʼs kind of funny how things turned out for ya
Because everybody knows
The truthʼs just not enough for the show
Because everybody knows
The truthʼs just not enough for the show”

Well I’m aware I’m gonna die someday
So I might as well go down crashinʼ and burninʼ
Oh my Lord, can you help me out here?
Oh my Lord, why didn’t you just pick up the phone?

Oh my Lord, why did you forsake me?
You know I carried my cross, I was bound in sin’s chains
Oh my Lord, you just not listenin’
But when I was on my knees this was what He said to me

“It makes more sense to stay underwater
Itʼs not that hard to sing about being hurt
Itʼs kind of lucrative to write a love song
Because everybody else just canʼt get enough

Itʼs always easier to be victimised
Always blame the one who got you burnt
Itʼs kind of funny how things turned out for ya
Because everybody knows
The truthʼs just not enough for the show
Because everybody knows
The truthʼs just not enough for the show”

SG Music: Charlie Lim – Blah Blah Blues
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Socio Empath

Hi, my name is Eugene. I am a Sociology graduate from the National University of Singapore. This blog is an invitation: To see our selves as colored by cultures, and to brighten the colors of our society. I seek to help you create freedom in everyday life, with empathy and the sociological imagination.

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