8 Lines From Ang Bandang Shirley’s ‘Themesong’ Album that Screams Poetic Allusions

Maria Romero
PUBLISHED November 14, 2018 06:50 pm
Art By Dani Elevazo

Making an album that would stay with your listeners isn’t just a question of whether you whacked out in putting a bunch of songs together as impeccably as possible or not. Because to get people hung up on your music, you must have all sorts of juvenile quality in it to take them to their most treasured adolescent memories; to an evergreen experience.

And the reality is, it’s very rare that music gets better with age.

This 2018, if we’re to go a decade back, Ang Bandang Shirley’s “Themesong” album is surely at the leading spot in the best debut albums ever released in the history of OPM. It’s a 2008 album unruffled by the past, a collection of songs that sail you to a simpler time. Now ten years later, its poetic meanings still make us bustling for reasons only our hearts can understand.

We have grown to appreciate the band’s poetic melodies because it remarkably made loss somehow bearable. It’s as if the song is our imaginary companion on trying times.

Kasi sa aking pag-gising
ang araw ay sisikat din
at ako'y mawawalan
ng mapapapaniwalaang

-“Kagabi Nanaginip Si Morrissey Na May Nagmamahal Sa Kanya”

It swiftly tells a story that reminds us of our innocent childhood days when all we wanted to do is play with our crushes, not with our feelings.

Tao po
yayayain sana
kitang maglaro
kahit sandali lang
kung gusto mo
pwede tayong mag-piko
pamato mo ang aking puso
at wag mong aapakan ‘to.

-“Patintero / Habulan / Larong Kalye”

And on times when we’re too tongue-tied to profess our long overdue feelings to the ones we truly love, where do we draw strength but from their songs?

Sa madaling salita
ikaw ang puso ko
dahil sayo
ng dugo.

-“Sa Madaling Salita”

Their lyrical metaphor sets their songs apart from the others because they easily gave out a breath of fresh air to a threadbare subject such as jeepney drivers.

Barya lang po sa umaga
ang 'yong pag-ibig ay kalsada
mapapasakin din ang puso mo
sigurado kasi
basta driver sweet lover.

-“Ang Pag-ibig Alinsunod Sa Karanasan Ng Isang Karaniwang Jeepney Driver AKA Tsuper Duper”

The breezy winds of the holiday season make us long for someone to keep us warm. But while “the one” is delayed by whatever reason, Ang Bandang Shirley’s poetic songs are what keep us believing.

Habang nalalagas
itong disyembreng walang wakas
aking mga mata'y nahahalina
ng liwanag at
ikaw ang aking naiisip.

-“Xmas Lights

The band’s lyrical talent really turns their songs to something we never thought we needed that one night when all we could think of is our distant lover.

Kanina pa walang kasama
iiyak nalang muna
at pagdating mo'y ngingiting parang tangang merong

-“Sasamahan Ka Pa Rin”

Life may challenge us in the oddest way possible. Sometimes we feel victorious about it while sometimes we feel that the defeat pushes our brave heart to explode. But thanks Ang Bandang Shirley for keeping our pain and stress at a bare minimum with your songs.

May hinihintay akong mangyayari
Tapos sasabog ako
Unti unti na madudurog
Ang puso kong bato.
Bakit ang bigat bigat ng bato?


Above anything else, this album allows us to uncover the mask of bravery we’re all dread wearing to masquerade our love troubles. Because maybe, all that’s left to do is sit down and wait for faith and destiny to do their magic.

Maari ba kitang makasayaw?"
o di kaya kahit
"Upo lang muna tayo?"
habang inaantay yung ating
magiging theme song.


It’s amazing how ten years ago, the “Themesong” album that used to be the background song while we write our diary entries just before bedtime now plays while our puny feelings fade along with each song. And it’s even more astonishing that all the years that passed only made the album more at home, in our left chests.



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