Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busker Days: Reuben, "Anok", "Blowin' in the Wind"

If you were like me, when Flip-Side Central announced its first anniversary, you quietly clicked play, lit a single candle, listened with a grateful smile, then blew out that candle and wished for many more insightful posts. But, you were also acutely aware that Flip-Side West's Busker Day first anniversary fell on a different date (somewhere in December). Yes, this is the moment some of you were waiting for: Flip-Side's first anniversary celebration of street musicians everywhere as Busker Days turns one !
You may recall that in the very first Busker Day post I mention a busker singing a song in tagalog, the official language of the Phillipines. The busker's name is Reuben, a very kind man who, with harp braced and ready, puts his songs out in a wide arc and very emphatically. You might also recall that I mention in the comments to that post that I play harmonica with him on his rendition of Blowin' In The Wind. Well, today we reach deep in the archives to pull out each of those tracks.

The first track, whose title I've translated as Anok (accent second syllable), was apparently a very big hit in the Phillipines. It tells of a young man who has tried to stay on a good path but has gone astray, fallen to drugs and ended in prison. In total despair, all he can do is cry for his mother, and his mother cries in return. If anyone knows more about this song, please join in below.

Blowin' In The Wind needs no introduction. Avid fans will recall that I pulled my G harp out at Reuben's request and joined him. You might also notice that I'm with him on the chorus too.



  1. Happy Birthday Busker Posts. I love that Anok song. Great progression and wonderful atmosphere. The language is almost incidental. Thanks for sharing. Keep 'em coming.

    PS, great artwork on this post too!

  2. catching up on my blogs - I'm a little behind. another winner, here. thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for checking in! I like it too. To Morgan's point, I like the way the language fits in with the music, very different from English. Stay tuned to a more recent recording of the Human Condition, this time a two part song of sorts.

  4. I saw Reuben in the BART station yesterday morning. Hadn't seen him in awhile, I think since that first recording. It was pretty early for me, so maybe he's in a different time slot. He was playing Feliz Navidad, one of the coolest holiday songs, and one of the simplest. As I was passing through the station in the evening a young kid on ukelele was offering a falsetto Little Drummer Boy. Even the buskers aren't waiting for Thanksgiving to pass.