Wednesday, March 01, 2006

TA Background History of Pizzicato Five’s “Sweet Soul Revue”

One of TA’s all-time party tunes is “Sweet Soul Revue” by Pizzicato Five. Released back in 1993, this song has survived batches and remains popular more than a decade later. What makes this song a TA party tradition is the way it has evolved into a particular “dance number” and the sung-out-loud lyrics of “Ola! Sambahin si Satanas!”

But how did it all start?

It officially began at the birthday party of Faye Roxas in Cubao back in 1995. Even before that fateful party, Akong Bongcaras had wondered out loud, in his inimitable Akong way, what the lyrics of the song meant. “Sayaw tayo ng sayaw sa kantang ‘to, pero baka malay natin Satanic pala yung kanta! Malay natin, ang ibig sabihin pala ng chorus eh, ‘Sambahin si Satanas!’” he mused (or words to that effect). It became a running gag during parties.

When the song was played during Faye’s party, Akong, Ron and a few others started singing out loud “Ola! Sambahin si Satanas!” during the chorus. Pretty soon the whole TA group was shouting along during the chorus, much to the consternation of Faye and—we assumed—her parents. That was the last time TA ever had a party at Faye’s house.

It was also during that party that the “1-2-3-4!” strike-a-pose tradition was born. 3 minutes and 53 seconds into the song, the singer goes, “1-2-3-4!” I have no idea what possessed who, but someone thought of striking a pose for each number. When more people joined in, it evolved into a group effort. Originally the people formed four groups; each group had 3 minutes and 52 seconds to decide what pose to strike. After “4” everyone whooped and continued their dancing. Back then there also were cries of, “Again! Again!” even before the song was finished. So the DJ would scan the CD back, and the group would repeat the whole process. Usually there were three to four repetitions until people got tired and moved on.

Last Feb. 25 the group changed the tradition by dividing into three groups, and by “4” everyone jumped up at the same time. Personally I don’t mind this variation on a TA canon, since theater is really all about build-and-destroy.

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