Looking Back

jessica larsen

This may not be the most romantic post for valentines, but I want to talk about The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.

This song was released in 1979. Five years before I was born but I loved it from the first time I heard it when I was around six years old. I clearly remember what I was doing when this was aired in the radio. I was climbing out of my window and Kenny Rogers started singing just as I sat on top of our bamboo hut home back in the Philippines.

I didn’t understand a word he was singing but there was something magical about the song that draw me into it. Fast forward when I was nine, by then I was hell bent to get better in English and understands quite a bit. It was around then I that I became interested to listen to any English song carefully and try to understand them.

Back then, and for a long time, I listened to The Gambler and misheard him. Instead of “train bound for nowhere” I thought that he said Norway.

I grew up in a small rural baranggay (see note below) and had no knowledge of the world so hearing Norway makes no sense. The thought did occur to me that maybe he actually said “nowhere” but I never touch a computer before I was 18 and at that time all I did was stare at the screen like an idiot. (That’s a topic for another time haha 😀 ) What I’m saying is I had no way to know what the lyrics really said. Norway or Nowhere?

When my family move to a bigger city that’s when I met my future husband. After I heard him say him say that he came from Norway it was then that I assured myself that I did not misheard Kenny. I thought what a wonderful story, hearing about my husband country before even knowing he existed. So I imagine how my hopeless romantic heart broke when I learned internet and read “Nowhere” instead of “Norway.”

When I got past the disappointment, however a new excitement wrapped my heart. Don’t you think it’s amazing that I heard “Norway” without even knowing what it was?

As I said, it may not be most romantic, but to be in a Ferry now from Norway with my son combined with the memory of this song just warms my heart.

Happy Valentines everyone!

From Wikipedia: A baranggay, formerly referred to as barrio, is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward.

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