Home » Essay » On Lelaki dan Rembulan

On Lelaki dan Rembulan

A man looks at the full moon atop a hill in Sydney June 14, 2003. REUTERS/David Gray

A man looks at the full moon atop a hill in Sydney June 14, 2003. REUTERS/David Gray

It’s been so long since the last time I reviewed pop art. I know that some people will call all pop art products as kitsch. However, its unsure for what kind of parameter an art can be listed as “inferior” or pop. Now, modern artists and philosophers find bunch of difficulties to define whether, for instance, pop art is kitsch or not. Over the debate, I’d like to recall one of many kind pop art products; a song.  This song mustn’t be concluded as kitsch since it has the beauty and the complexity. This song has something that keeping me re-interpreting it. And, I am sure that those modern artists and philosophers will be on my side saying this song is definitely a fine art.

It’s “Lelaki dan Rembulan”, written by Franky Sahilatua. Here is the lyric:

Rembulan di malam hari The moon by night.
lelaki diam seribu kata A man has no words; in silence.
hanya memandang He is looking
hatinya luka hatinya luka at his wounded heart.
hatinya luka His heart is wounded.
Udara terasa berat The air feels so thick;
karena asmara sesakkan dada love thickens it
ketika cinta terbentur dinding when love hits the wall,
terbentur dinding hits the wall.
Bukalah pintu hatimu yang selalu membeku Open your cold heart
agar ku lihat lagi rembulan di wajahmu so I can see, the moon on your face
jangan sembunyikan hatimu padaku Don’t hide it from me
Lelaki dan rembulan A man and the moon
bersatu di malam spend the night together;
angin sepoi-sepoi there is a slow wind.

Let’s take a look at rembulan di malam harirembulan di wajahmu, and lelaki dan rembulan bersatu .

Rembulan in rembulan di malam hari must be translated as the moon.

Rembulan in rembulan di wajahmu has two possible meanings. It is the moon, the literal meaning and happiness, the metaphoric meaning.

If, we assume that rembulan in rembulan di malam hari as “not only” the moon then we may generate another interpretation. Taking another meaning of rembulan, which is happiness, the first verse will drive us into an ironical picture. The picture will be like this:

Happines

VS

Sadness

Lelaki diam seribu kata

Rembulan di malam hari

VS

hanya memandang

hatinya luka hatinya luka

hatinya luka

This interpretation comes because in the third verse of this song, there is a sentence which says:

…agar ku lihat lagi rembulan di wajahmu.

Yes, it’s true that this is a sad song but it’s a good one. It deploys a unique way of confronting two possible interpretations of the moon.

Another thing I note and emphasize upon this song is in the last verse. It reads:

Lelaki dan rembulan

A man and the moon

bersatu di malam

spend the night together;

angin sepoi-sepoi

there is a slow wind.

I always get mixed up whenever coming into this verse.

Is it the man and the moon get unified first that night and then the wind blows? or

the man and the moon have become one from the first verse? or

Is it from the beginning the moon (happiness) and the sad man are portrayed in the first scene and the blow of the wind is just to close the curtain; like in a play on a stage?

Rembulan di malam hari

The moon by night.

lelaki diam seribu kata

A man has no words; in silence.

hanya memandang

He is looking

hatinya luka hatinya luka

at his wounded heart.

hatinya luka

His heart is wounded.

Creative Commons License
On Lelaki dan Rembulan by Dipa Nugraha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at dipanugraha.blog.com.

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