Foreword: The blog post was first published on the Blogger/Blogspot version of this blog on January 30, 2016. Today is the 19th year anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album Westlife.
Westlife: lasting memories
I may have heard the song “Fool Again” by Westlife way back in 2000, during the summer afternoons, everytime I boiled hot water for next morning’s milk. I thought the title of the song was “Born Again”.
Late that year, everyone at (high) school was singing “My Love“, another song of theirs. I didn’t care much about popular music then. I was heavy into trading cards and toys: I collected Dragon Ball Z, Digimon, and Pokemon cards from my classmates, and also bought a set of tiny Digimon toys from my history teacher.
After the Yuletide break, a classmate brought his Christmas purchase, the first album of the record-breaking Irish vocal group. I would buy that cassette months later, after I bought a bootlegged copy of British group A1‘s third album “Learn To Fly“.
At the school’s Valentine’s Day program, some bloke from the sophomores performed a solo rendition of “If I Let You Go“. I don’t know what hit me or took hold of me, but the song instantly became my last song syndrome (LSS). It would eventually land in my top 100 favorite songs.
Westlife’s 2nd UK chart-topper off the first album was my ultimate LSS in the first quarter of 2001. In what was one of my favorite summers, their rendition of the Billy Joel classic “Uptown Girl” took over as LSS.
14 years has passed, but “If I Let You Go” remains my most favorite Westlife song, my most favorite pop song. It was the catalyst for my great interest in music, one that fueled my attraction to Britney Spears, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, AKB48, and Nogizaka46.
Like every other song that I like, “If I Let You Go” brings back certain memories. While writing this post, I suddenly remember my former crush (a sophomore) and another schoolmate (a classmate’s boyfriend) who always played the song (on his guitar) at my request. May God bless them wherever they are now.
And how could I forget when four other classmates and I sang the song ala-Westlife during the convocation program, when my class hosted the event? Days later we would sing “Flying Without Wings” at another school program.
Too bad I can never turn back time to relive those memories. At least, I can enjoy those moments in my memory, with the song playing in the background.