Sun, 20 May 2001

Guess What? James F. Sundah

It never crossed musician James F. Sundah's mind that Lilin- lilin Kecil (Little candles), a song he composed 24 years ago, would become popular again due to AIDS, which started to hit Indonesia only in the second half of 1980s.

Over the past number of years, Lilin-lilin Kecil has been used as the theme song for every candlelight vigil held to mark the annual World AIDS Day commemoration that falls on May 21.

The song was selected because it fitted the message that the AIDS campaign was meant to convey to the public: Hope. There is hope in desperation.

"Every year, local AIDS campaigners sing my song so I think it is better if I give my personal consent. It's really an honor for me," James said during a media briefing on Monday.

James was only 16 years old when he wrote the song which was popularized by Chrisye. The song won him first place in the 1977 Prambors youth song festival. (emf)