In One Place: A Groovy Jam About Settling Down?

I can hear the voiceover guy’s voice: “He was faced with an uncertain future, and the love of his life flying away from him yet again. Will he succeed in convincing her to stay? This summer: the saga of one man wearing his heart on his sleeve. Featuring a pop song with multiple pop culture and literary references set to a jangly groovy ’60s beat. Discover what it means to stay… in one place.”


In 1994, right after a year of volunteering as an English teacher for college students in the boondocks of the southern Philippines, I was unemployed, and being asked the inevitable questions: “So where are you working now, and how much are you making?

The only thing I knew is that I had a girlfriend who was about to go off (again) to the hinterlands for another year as a volunteer teacher. And I was stuck wishing she could just… stay in one place with me.

Boom. Instant song.

According to my fraying notebook, I finished composing it at 9:25 AM on a Thursday. So you know I was definitely jobless. (Also, I was back in my parents’ house.)


The only other recording I have of this song was a crappy-sounding demo done in 1999 which we included in our wedding souvenir giveaway. Because yes, we gave out CDRs of us singing. Bring down those raised eyebrows. This is the first time I’ve actually put more thought into the musical arrangement however. Also, it’s the first time I recorded it properly.

Here’s the original recording from 1999. Apparently when I transferred it from my 4-track cassette recorder to hard drive, it was sped up for some reason. So I sound like a throaty chipmunk. Also, it looks like I took out the wedding theme interlude before the final chorus. And you HAVE to love that chaotic rock-n-roll ending.

So, long story short… she eventually DID marry me and DID stay in one place with me. Happy ending!


Photo of the original lyrics for the song

In One Place
Words and music: Lionel Zivan Valdellon
Date: June 30, 1994. Thursday 9:25 AM
First recorded for: Wedding album

She changes plans like a president
Or Agamemnon back at Troy.
And I can’t seem to influence her
I’m a helpless little boy
Selling apples to a goddess.
Yeah, the idea is absurd.
I am the tired prince
Caging this beautiful but dangerous Adarna bird.

She moves like lightning.
Maybe I should be thankful that
She just doesn’t replace me.
Although she could at the slightest bat
Of her long eyelashes!
She’s doomed so many boys that way.
And I should know because I’m here
Still wishing she would…

(Stay in one place) Stay…
(In one place) Stay in one place with me.
(Stay in one place) Stay…
(In one place) I’ll serve you for eternity.

If this were Bridge Across Forever
She’d play a wonderful Richard Bach.
And if this film were Basic Instinct
I’d be the first victim of the attack —
Stabbed in bed amidst the passion,
After the credits fade away,
Clinging to my sanity,
Hoping that my heartbeat would just …


If you’re suggesting that I leave her,
I will amputate your leg.
Like Captain Kirk in Star Trek,
I’ll work this out though I don’t wanna beg
To have some say in her decisions.
Although it really is her life.
And though our script is all revisions
At least I’m sure one day she’ll be my wife.
If only she would…


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