Keroncong Kemayoran

The week before we buried our dad, Alfons took it upon him to compile the music for the funeral, that is from beginning to end. I think I was asked about my preferences, but decided to leave most of the stuff to the ones who wanted to take part of this process of mourning. For the compilation, Alfons relied on my Dad’s iPod and picked out the music that Dad (literally) liked the most. One of them ended up to be the traditional Indonesian Keroncong Kemayoran (sample 40+seconds). I remember that many funeral attendees were surprised to hear the tunes of the Kemayoran during the lowering of the casket1.

That said, the web has pretty much nothing to tell about keroncong: there’s this (nifty) Google book about the ‘Music of Malaysia’, which (indeed) covers the chord progression of the typical Indonesian and Malaysian music styles. Or this (recently) uploaded video at YouTube featuring young Indonesian musicians2 playing the song during an Indonesian Night in Tempe, Arizona (the irony of the name of the city, if you’re familiar with the Malaysian language).

When I was a younger person, I didn’t understand my Dad’s mixed feeling towards the nation that gave birth to him, but chased him away ‘like a dog’ (as he frequently joked about). One can only assume that this particular Kroncong Kemayoran was the silver lining in his life: from the careless young kid hanging around with the native Indonesians, the Japanese occupation, to the Bersiap (the Indonesian independence fight).

Bitter, but sweet nonetheless.

1 I’m actually not sure if it was played during or after the lowering of the casket.
2 Courtesy of

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3 Responses to Keroncong Kemayoran

  1. Walter says:

    darimana jatuh cinta..dari mata nya turun ke hati..

    Keroncong song as played at the furneral of dad is about life,love. Above mentioned sentence has the following meaning:

    From where starts love(when you fall in love)..from your eyes and then it goes to your heart..

    The song also tell us his 2 loves of his life my mother and indonesia the country he left and never has have the oppertunity to see it back.

    The Same as my younger brother ,also I didn’t understand my father’s culture. After my marriage with an Indonesian woman, it became more clear to me. Visit the Sugar plant at Skragen (middle Java),were he grew up as child, young kid. All before the Japanese occupation,and the Bersiap.


    AH: Slightly edited.

  2. Arthur says:

    We discussed this song (the text) over at your place, I remember. That seems like a long time ago.

  3. Walter says:

    it is Art…time flies,
    But nice you find the link at youTube!

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