Performance by Sunway University Choir, conducted by Lai Suk Yin
- Lenggang Lenggang Kangkung
- Jong Jong Inai
- Geylang Si Paku Geylang
Arranged by: Geneviene Wong
Art work by: Lucien Tetard
Voicing: SAB Choir & Piano
Malay Medley comprises of three traditional folk songs from across the Malay Archipelago – it was first written in 2002 for the Young KL Singers. Initially arranged for SAB Choir & Piano, it was later revised in 2006 for SATB Choir & Piano and expanded to include two other folk songs from Borneo. It is currently published under the title, “A Glimpse of Malaysia”.
The first song, Lenggang Lenggang Kangkung – originally from Indonesia, is set in the paddy field of a village. It pokes fun at the villagers for their idyllic lifestyle, swaying (dancing) like water spinach by the paddy field. After a day’s work (or play), they have only rice to eat.
The second song, Jong Jong Inai, from the eastern state of Terengganu, is sung as part of a traditional children’s game and tells of a lady (Mak Ipong) from Rajawali on her journey to see the Sultan of Terengganu.
Finally, Geylang Si Paku Geylang is a traditional folk song from Singapore, calling all of us to “Return home, return home together”. There IS no place like home.
It is important to note that certain forms of Malay poetry (in particular, the pantun, which is used in these songs) and folk songs traditionally follow a format where the first two lines of a four-line stanza called the “pembayang” (shadow) are written more for rhyming effect. These shadow lines have little logical connection with the latter two lines called the “maksud” (meaning) and more often than not, they make even less sense in the English language. The lesson or message lies in the latter two lines.
Folk songs and pantun were traditionally passed down through the generations via word of mouth and the lyrics were frequently improvised. Hence there could be multiple variations of the same folk song.