It’s the end of another busy week. This week, I had long work days, an extra work day, and a stressful examination. Now, I can sit back and enjoy the two days I have off with music. Different genres of music have been playing all day long, letting various melodies and notes freely flow around my apartment. As a Jem song once put it, music is magic: it stirs up multiple emotions, makes you dance or cry, and soothes you.
As I bask in the light of the hot sun setting under the horizon, I find peace by listening to “‘Di Na Muli” Never Again by The Itchyworms.
About the Song
I found this song by reading a blog post detailing the song’s music video on the site Janine Laddaran. The song first premiered in 2016 at the song contest PhilPop 2016, which helped the band to win the grand prize at the competition. Inquirer.net wrote an on-the-point summary about the song’s premise, which was:
““’Di Na Muli,” which delves on regret and wasted time, is inspired by today’s youth who gets too caught up with work and their fast-paced lives that they do not get to do what they really want to do or say what they really want to say. “
Now in 2018, the song has gained new traction as it has appeared on the soundtrack for the Pinoy film “Sid & Aya: Not a Love Story”. And with that, the group also made a music video for the song, which I linked below.
Behind the Musicality
“‘Di Na Muli” is a mid-tempo song, which you wouldn’t notice until a minute into the piece. The song instead spends the first minute with a beautiful old grand piano playing a chord then an upwards trill. After a few bars, the singer comes in with the first verse, setting the song’s mood with his high tenor voice. The combination of the old grand piano and the singer’s tenor vocals are soothing yet light. Yet, you can hear a little bit of the feeling of reminiscence within the vocals. A memory of life before being caught up in with the unnecessary things of life. When life was freer, happier.
One of the golden moments of “‘Di Na Muli” is the pre-chorus when the song starts to build the climax. The group brilliantly fuses together jazz, gospel, and acoustic rock pop to build the strong emotions behind the musical phrase. The backing chorus’ “oohs” help aid the vocalist as he sings the lyrics passionately, starting with “And dami daming bagay na hindi naman kailangan” And there are so many things that are not necessary. After this powerful climax, the singer gradually brings the song’s emotions back down from a powerful climax to the original soothing mood at the chorus’s concluding line: “Di na muli” never again.
“‘Di Na Muli” continues on with the same sequence as stated before, except for a strong electric guitar solo around the 2:32 mark. This song kind of reminds me of a slowed down Motown song or Spandau Ballet’s “True”, which is styled in a Motown fashion. Somehow, “‘Di Na Muli” has a certain musicality that you would only hear from a song on the Motown label or from the 60s.
Make It Your Own Story
Overall, this tune is such a gem as it is soothing, powerful (with the emotions), and beautiful. I have mentioned above that Inquirer.net wrote that the meaning behind this song is that young people are working too much and not realizing the beauty of sitting back and relaxing. But, the music video interprets the song in a different light as the music video presents a recollection of how Teddy Hilado — the very first technical and lighting director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and whom this music video is dedicated to — and his wife first met and fell in love. A beautiful love story.
One thing I read on Janine Laddaran’s write-up of the music video, which I highly recommend to read, is the comment made by director Juno Oebanda, which was: “Di Na Muli – is a gem of a song that comes around not too often. It’s a song that becomes yours, you own it.” Yes, I have talked about two different interpretations of the song. Yet, this song allows the listeners to make it their own by adding their story to this beautiful creation.
How did you incorporate your (personal) story into this song?
If you are like me and need a translation of the lyrics, I found one here.
About the Artist
The Itchyworms is a Filipino alternative rock band with members Jazz Nicolas, Jugs Jugueta, Kelvin Yu, and Chino Singson. The group formed in 1996 by playing at various school competitions and events. They would sing original tunes or covers of Beatles’ hits. Two years later, The Itchyworms released their first indies album, entitled Revenge of the Unsigned. This caught the attention of A&R manager Mike Dizon at Viva/Neo Records. He helped the band get signed to the label he worked for. Dizon also helped The Itchyworms put out their first major album Little Monsters Under Your Bed. It was released three years later after their indies album.
The band got their breakthrough in the mid-2000s with the album Noontime Show. They also had mainstream success in the late 2000s by writing and performing songs for various commercials, films, and TV shows.
 Policarpio, Allan. “Itchyworms’ ‘Di Na Muli’ Bags PhilPop 2016 Grand Prize.” Inquirer Entertainment Linkinpark Comments, Inquirer Entertainment, entertainment.inquirer.net/198053/itchyworms-di-na-muli-bags-philpop-2016-grand-prize.
 “Di Na Muli Music Video: A Beautiful Love Immortalized.” Janine Anne, 11 July 2018, www.janineladdaran.com/di-na-muli-music-video/.