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Entertainment

Martin Nievera’s Be My Lady & other songs for lovers’ playlists

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
Martin Nieveraâs Be My Lady & other songs for loversâ playlists
It all started nearly 40 years ago when Martin was given the song Be My Lady to record. Composed by the then fast rising songwriter Vehnee Saturno, it was one of the finalists in the 1983 Metromanila Popular Music Festival. What happened next is now part of Philippine pop music history. Martin rode Be My Lady to the peak of big-time stardom and has remained there ever since.

Balladeer Martin Nievera did not have much luck, or I should say, no luck at all on his first time out in the marital sweepstakes. But despite the painful experience, that did not prevent him from coming out with the most romantic sounds that have now become part of the playlists of lovers caught up in the joy of being in love.

I guess it all started nearly 40 years ago when Martin was given the song Be My Lady to record. Composed by the then fast rising songwriter Vehnee Saturno, it was one of the finalists in the 1983 Metromanila Popular Music Festival. He was not the interpreter though, Vehnee tapped a new singer named Pedrito Montaire.

The son of the legendary balladeer Bert Nievera, Martin had then just relocated to Manila from Hawaii to embark on his music career and was the hot newcomer of the moment. He actually made his debut in that same competition as the interpreter of Pain, written by Alvina Sy.  The song won the grand prize in the Amateur Division. Not a bad start for the kid following in his dad’s footsteps.

Be My Lady did not win any prize in the contest. However, the ballad caught the attention of Vicor big boss Vic del Rosario with whom Martin was under contract. He asked Vehnee to allow the young singer to record the song for his first album titled Take One. What happened next is now part of Philippine pop music history. Martin rode Be My Lady to the peak of big-time stardom and has remained there ever since.

Martin often mentions that he will never get tired of singing the song. This is not merely because of the Pinoy’s fabled quality of utang na loob. It is also a fact that to this day, Be My Lady remains the most requested number in his every concert. A hush accompanied by goosebumps happens each time the familiar intro comes in and the song usually ends with the entire audience singing along.

Not only that, Martin has also lost count of the number of lovelorn men who have asked him to sing the song to their lady loves as the background music to the all-important marriage proposal. Why not? Those three words “Be My Lady” say it all. “Be my lady, come to me and take my hand and be my lady…” and the females, flattered to no end by the invitation, find it difficult to resist and most of the time, say yes.

This must be the reason why the innately romantic Martin has stayed on the love song trajectory since then. He followed up Be My Lady with more songs that promise love of the forever kind. No not the tear-jerking big sellers Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin or Kahit Isang Saglit. But others, also immensely popular tunes which are now among the favorite sounds during engagement parties and weddings.

Martin even wrote the lyrics to some of them like You Are My Song, with music by Louie Ocampo. There are also Forever originally by Kenny Loggins, but which has since become one of Martin’s signature songs; Each Day with You, which he co-wrote with Franklin Kleiner and Benedict Say; Ikaw, his cover of the George Canseco and Louie Ocampo song originally recorded by Sharon Cuneta; The Promise (I’ll Never Say Goodbye) also a big hit for Barbra Streisand; Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin, which was first recorded by Basil Valdes; and others.

Martin’s latest single is Smile Again, which he co-wrote with Homer Flores. It is a light inspirational tune inspired by the Charlie Chaplin classic, Smile. It is about finding the hope of being able to smile again despite being faced with adversity. It is not the usual Martin love song but then at this point of his life, he is probably looking at things that go beyond the promise of forever expected of romantic love.

MARTIN NIEVERA

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