Bee Gees On Mum’s Birthday

Bee Gees One Night Only DVD
Bee Gees One Night Only DVD cover.

If Mum were alive, she would turn 84 today. I do miss her a lot still. One of the odd things about her that struck me today was her fondness for Bee Gees. It all happened one day in the year 2000 when I played the Bee Gees One Night Only VCD. It was after lunch. She sat down and watched together with me.

Who would have expected my 75 year old mother becoming a fan of Bee Gees then? She did not complete her primary school education. She did not speak English and understood only basic greetings. She sat there watching. No words were exchanged between us. I could see that she thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

After lunch a few months later, she asked me to play the VCD again.

“Pang ha leh hor chiu eh hee lai kua.” (Play that show with the bearded man. She was referring to Barry Gibb.)

Another few months after that, she asked me to play the disc again. All in, we must have watched the show together at least five times. I am a big fan of Bee Gees too. I used to play Words, I Started A Joke, I O I O, Massachusetts and Too Much Heaven on the guitar in my teenage years. My all-time favourite song is definitely How Deep Is Your Love.

When I read the news about Maurice’s death, I told her that the guy with the hat had passed away. Maurice wore a hat throughout the entire concert. I played the VCD and we watched together, in silence. It was a wonder that we never got bored watching. Although Mum could not understand a word in the lyrics, she must have enjoyed Barry’s falsetto voice and the music of the group.

On one of the last few days of Mum’s life, when she had become unresponsive, I moved the hifi set to her room and played the disc – just the audio – and sat there listening with her. For an hour or so, I stopped grieving. It was as if we were watching the show like how we used to.

About a year ago, I bought the One Night Only DVD. Wuan and I have watched it together once. I have watched it alone a few more times. Truly, the music of Bee Gees has been a constant companion throughout my entire life. It was there when I was growing up. It was there when I was happy. It was there when I was sad. Today, in memory of Mum’s birthday, I am watching it again. I am sure Mum would not have wanted it any other way.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

One thought on “Bee Gees On Mum’s Birthday”

  1. Its amazing how in the inner recesses of our mind, we are able to link certain events in our life with a smell,sight or sound.When I hear a familiar song, it transports me to a moment in time which remains indelible and allows me the pleasure to reminisce and be in the company of the people frozen in time in my mind.Some melancholy some happy.Bee Gees “First of May” reminds me of the time when I first started getting acquainted with my guitar.Songs from Saturday Night Fever was a period of youthful exhuberance,courting and the carefree single life! John Denver’s “Annie’s song” was the first song I picked on my guitar with easy chords.I could never sing “How Great Thou Art” without choking as it brings back painful memories of the passing of my father.”A bicycle built for two” was the song my dad used to sing to my mum.It brings out a sense of melancholy and wasted opportunities of basking in the love of family bonding.

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