Ang Relos ng Lolo Ko (My Grandfather’s Clock)

Aya loves to sing. She learned her very first songs from us – Bahay Kubo, Leron Leron Sinta, among others. We made it a point to teach her Filipino folksongs and lullabies which we had also learned when we were children.

We even taught her to sing “Bayan Ko” (My Country) – just the chorus, though, the one that begins with “Ibong mang may layang lumipad…” Yes, really, seriously! Quite surprisingly, she learned to sing that song when she was only about 2 years old! Unfortunately, now she has difficulty recalling some of the words in that song, probably because she has learned many other songs, most of them from the daycare where she attends. I guess we should sing that song more often so she would never forget it.
One of Aya’s favorites is “大きな古時計 Ooki na furudokei,” which is the Japanese version of the popular song “My Grandfather’s Clock.” Actually I was not even familiar with this song – this is not popular in the Philippines at all. But Aya loves singing it at home, and would even sing it to herself at times (just don’t call her attention because she would immediately stop if she notices that people are listening to her).

So I wondered about the origin of this song, and I found a rather interesting background here. According to Wikipedia:

There are two competing theories as to the origin of the song. The most common relates to a wayfarers’ inn in Piercebridge on the border of Yorkshire and County Durham called the George Hotel. The hotel was owned and operated by two brothers called Jenkins, and in the lobby was an upright longcase clock. The clock kept perfect time until one of the brothers died, after which it lost time at an increasing rate, despite the best efforts of the hotel staff and local clockmakers to repair it. When the other brother died, the clock stopped, never to go again. It is said that in 1875 Henry Clay Work visited the hotel and based My Grandfather’s Clock on the stories he heard there. It is said that the song is responsible for the common name “grandfather clock” for what are properly called “longcase clocks.”

Touching, isn’t it?

Anyway, without further ado, here is Aya’s version of “Ooki na furudokei.” In this audio clip, first you would hear her talking to me in Tagalog, then she would sing the song in Japanese. Towards the end, she said, “Thank you very much for Aya’s sing.” 😛 Ooops. I have yet to train her to speak grammatically correct English. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the song. She did a pretty good performance! But of course, I’d say that because I’m her mom. :)

[podcast: “uploads/Podcast/1-28-07.mp3”]

Here are the lyrics in English.
My grandfather’s clock
Was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half
Than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn
Of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

In watching its pendulum
Swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent while a boy;
And in childhood and manhood
The clock seemed to know,
And to share both his grief and his joy.
For it struck twenty-four
When he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride;
But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

My grandfather said
That of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found;
For it wasted no time,
And had but one desire,
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its place,
Not a frown upon its face,
And its hand never hung by its side.
But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

It rang an alarm
In the dead of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb;
And we knew that his spirit
Was pluming his flight,
That his hour of departure had come.
Still the clock kept the time,
With a soft and muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side.
But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Sphere: Related Content

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Ang Relos ng Lolo Ko (My Grandfather’s Clock)

  1. verns says:

    awwwwww…like mommy like baby! aya’s voice is sooo cute Kathy :)

    I would love to hear her sing Ang Bayan Ko or Lupang Hinirang :)

  2. niceheart says:

    That is so cute. :) It’s good that she can talk and sing in Tagalog. My kids understand Tagalog and can say a few Tagalog words but they converse mostly in English only.

  3. Leica says:

    Bravo, Aya! Kathy, this is one of my fave and i just luv ken hirai’s version of it. thanks for posting!

  4. kathy says:

    ehem, ehem, hehe. thanks a lot verns! 😀
    we would love to record Ang Bayan Ko for you – praktisin muna namin ha para di kami mapahiya hehe. :)

  5. kathy says:

    Thanks niceheart. Glad to “see” you again! :)
    My husband and I feel more comfortable speaking to my daughter in Tagalog, so we really made it a point to make her fluent in the language. I just hope her Tagalog won’t be affected when she attends grade school. :)

  6. kathy says:

    Thanks Leica! :) I’m glad you liked it. Talaga, Ken Hirai has a version of this song? How different is it from the kiddie version? BTW do you have an MP3 of the song? I would like to listen to it, too. :)

  7. dimaks says:

    Hmm, Aya has a future in the singing arena :)

  8. Belle says:

    Wow, she sings good! Keep it up mom! I taught my kids to sing just about the same age as Aya. I would play guitar and they would sing. ABC was their favorite and would pronounce L M N O P as MINO MINO P>

  9. verns says:

    awwwww that is so cute hehe cge I’m excited na to hear her voice :)

  10. bw says:

    Your daughter is so cute :) That clock legend is very interesting. FYI I am a clock fanatic. I have 21 clocks in my house 3 of which are built-in in kitchen appliances and I own 8 wrist watches :)

  11. kathy says:

    Thanks! Playing a guitar as accompaniment makes it all more fun! That’s a good idea. I might try it sometime with my daughter. :)

    Same here with Aya, she often sings the alphabet song with some confusion at the LMNOP part. 😛

  12. kathy says:

    uuuy hehe may fan na si Aya ko. :)

  13. kathy says:

    Thanks bw! 21 clocks, wow! You must live in a very big house hehe. I own…let’s see…only 2 wristwatches, and only one of them is working. :) I’m curious to know: do you also synchronize ALL your watches and clocks?

  14. kathy says:

    thanks dimaks! naku, pano na lang ang pangarap ko na maging astronomer ang anak ko? :)

  15. bw says:

    It’s hard labor to sync believe me , let alone adjusting ALL of them when the time shifts to DST ( Daylight Savings Time) and back :) The answer is – I dont :) Replacing batteries of my wrist watches is also a drag, effort and cost-wise :(

  16. Prab says:

    Ang cuuuute! After hearing that I wanna hear the “Ang Bayan Ko.” :)

  17. kathy says:

    Haha, this reminds me of an episode of “Friends” where Monica with a manic expression on her face excitedly told Chandler (?): “Let’s go synchronize the clocks!” or something to that effect, as if it was a delightful thing to do. That would be such a pain in the a** with DST!

    BTW, I have been trying to access your site a couple of times, but for some reason I couldn’t. I always get an error message from Blogger. Why is that?

  18. kathy says:

    Thanks Prab! :) Coming soon. Naku, dalawa na kayo ni Verns na naghihintay.

  19. herb says:

    yay! dapat isama na namin si aya sa karaoke! here’s the link to Ken Hirai:


  20. bw says:

    Every room in my house has a wall clock
    and sometimes a table clock too. In my bedroom I have wall clock an a red digital clock which is the only thing I see when I wake up in the middle of the dark night :) I once had an atomic table clock ( syncs up via radio to the trasmitters in Colorado and Japan) and I gave it to my brother in Pinas :)

    Blogger has a problem Kathy. Hopefully they’re resolve it soon ( crossing my fingers) :(

  21. dimaks says:

    pwede naman syang singing astronomer eh, wehehehe.

  22. kathy says:

    karaoke? actually i think she will like that hehe. we brought her to karaoke a couple of times, inaagawan kami ng mic niyan. :)
    thanks for the link, herb!

  23. kathy says:

    bw, now i know exactly what you mean when you say that you’re a clock fanatic! A clock that syncs with the atomic cesium clock – that’s so hitech! I WANT ONE! :)

    Say, looks like Blogger is up and running again.

  24. kathy says:

    kahit saan, kung saan ba siya masaya, “suportahan ta ka bay.”

  25. Abaniko says:

    Aw! Your girl is talented to have learned how to sing a serious song at the age of 2. Don’t you think she’ll grow up to be a professional singer? Puwede.

  26. kathy says:

    Thanks, Abaniko! Maybe she will.

    Actually, I have a video record of the Ang Bayan Ko (when she was 2) on my cellphone. It would be nice to upload it here, but I don’t know yet how to convert the file.

  27. Leica says:

    hi kathy, it’s in my multiply account. got the english translation too. anyway, ill try to upload some of his songs when i find the time.ingats!

  28. Warren says:

    Great performance Aya. I just bought a granfather clock to commemerate our first grandchild Natalie. Looking up the song I have heard versions by Johnny Cash and Grandpa Jones, but Aya’s is by far my favorite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook