The musical evening starts like a slow chord,

Played by an offbeat artiste on the  stage,

The tune is not well known though,

The artiste wants to make his mark on the crowd.

How will it be?

Will the sleepy audience with half-closed eyes,

Bother to lend an ear to the song?

Or will they just while away their time,

Softly cushioned in the snug seats of the hall?

The band waits almost impatiently,

The artiste looks at the guitar,

And then at himself and then the crowd;

He smiles sadly at those who have come,

To hear him and his songs;

He knows that in this hip-hop age of Gangam dance,

There will be hardly anyone present out there,

In the audience, to hear him sing,

His favourite song once sung by Frank Sinatra,

The artist strums his string softly and inaudibly,

For anybody else to hear but him.

Who will listen to Frank Sinatra's "Pretty Colours";

Or "Strangers In The Night" from this young man?

He looks at all those in the hall,

And then gets up and leaves,

He wanted to sing the best of the old masters,

But he could not find anyone who would have,

Liked to listen to him sing those old favourites.

The artiste waves the band to leave the stage,

As he too rises, looks once more sadly enough,

At those half-closed sleepy eyes,

He walks away from the stage with a sad nod,

This is not the age for songs like "Pretty Colours",

Or even for "Strangers In The Night".

Yes, the artiste mumbles to himself at the timing:

"This is the age of Gangam dance and such,

"No emotions, no sentiments, no passion, no style,

"In this new Gangam style of singing and dancing.

"It is all shake and move, sing out of sync"....,

And still win the appreciation of the listeners.


Then the artiste stops and strums his guitar,

Singing like almost to himself:

"As Time Goes By".

Who can ever remember this classic song,

Sung by Frankie for "Casablanca" the movie?

All freaks have gathered at the hall,

To hear classics from a well-groomed singer.

But it is not the is Gangam time.

No pathos, no feeling, no romance, no rhymes.

It is as the artiste's voice fills the void hall,

Of dreamy listeners who are just there,

As if they know the classic songs of yore.

Ah, "As Time Goes By"; "Anyone present here?"
The artiste yells to the crowd from the mike: 

"To come and join me for this brilliant song?",

Taken from the movie "Casablanca",

But there is not even a nod from the crowd.


There is only silence...complete silence,

There is not a soul out there to respond to him,

And join him and sing the entire song...

"As Time Goes By".........

Ah, how time goes by!

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Inspired by watching a news item on television portraying the "wonders" of a new type of dance from the Far East known as the "Gangam Dance". I feel sad as I turn on my own stereo player and listen to Frank Sinatra singing "Pretty Colours"; "Strangers In The Night" and of course the unforgettable "As Time Goes By".....I heave a sigh and my lips start singing: "Ah, How Time Goes By!"

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