SO MANY PEOPLE ASK: JOBLESS & PENNILESS, BUT RICH IN LOVE

So Many People Ask: Jobless & Penniless, But Rich in Love

In 1994, after returning from a year as a volunteer English teacher in the boondocks of the Philippines, I was a year out of college, with no money, no job, no career to speak of, and an uncertain future.

Inevitably I would meet up with classmates and contemporaries who would end up asking the usual questions: “Where do you work now?” or “What keeps you busy?” or “What are your plans?” And I didn’t have an answer apart from “Living the life!”

Ha, what a slacker this guy.

Not having a job while my peers were beginning their rise up corporate ladders was maddeningly frustrating. Mostly because I wanted a lucrative paycheck myself. But I realized I had opted for the road less taken by volunteering for a year.

And despite everything, I did have one valuable treasure to my name. I came out of the volunteer year with a girlfriend whom I met because she too had taught English for a year in the same program I was in. This very woman would, many years later, foolishly choose to become my wife.

“So Many People Ask” was written as a response to all those questions from my peers. There’s a little nod to Stephen Bishop in the lyric and melody construction. Or maybe I’m just imagining it.

I did get to record a very rough version of this song for our wedding giveaway. Because yes, dear friends, my wife and I put together several songs – all of them original compositions – as gifts to our wedding guests back in 2000.

So there you go: think twice before asking someone fresh out of college what their plans are. They may end up writing a song about it.

Here’s the song:

The Lyrics

So Many People Ask
Words and music: Lionel Zivan Valdellon

1.So many people ask me where are you heading? And right now are you still staring at nothing?
Do I look like I have a crystal ball? I don’t have answers at my beck and call.
But I guess I never really knew ’bout anything until I met you.

2.”So are you working?” and “What are your plans dear?” Superficial questions in my ear.
When will someone ask if I’m in love? Or what I think about peace from above?
But I guess they don’t know better ’cause they’ve never ever really known you.

CHORUS:
Oh yeah, everything’s fine, so fine, you see I’m unemployed but happy.
Tell them that my whole day is bliss ’cause I know
That you’ll be there with me.

3.So many people ask me where I am working. And do I feel that I’m amounting to nothing?
Well many seem so discontent with their lives. They don’t have joy and they’ve got nagging wives.
Well, I guess I’ll take my time ’cause I’m just fine enjoying these days with you.

BRIDGE:
After a while their questions naturally fade away.
Because I just smile and then they ask me if I’m okay.
That’s when I know deep down inside that I’m right:
Because with you there my future definitely seems bright!

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