Archive Page 2


东风破 – 周杰伦

I saw the new Green Hornet trailer for the movie coming out next year, and I was just floored.  While everybody else is confused whether or not this particular regurgitation of a previously used intellectual property of a major entertainment franchise will be successful — as in: Green Hornet – bad Batman rip-off, Seth Rogen – funny, Cameron Diaz – over the hill, gadgets and CGI – unlike, Diaz, doable — this just had me depressed. Jay Chou is in it starring as Kato.

The original Green Hornet was a star making vehicle for Bruce Lee, who made it so popular the show became re-named “The Kato Show” overseas.  However, the reason is pretty obvious: it was popular because Bruce Lee was in it.  Mr Lee could have starred in a piece of trash and it still would have succeeded.  Ladies and gentlemen, Green Hornet is that piece of trash.

While Jay Chou will now be seen as stepping into the role that made Bruce Lee a star, I think people forget Bruce Lee is a star because he just is.  Instead, people should see this movie for what it is: a movie and a story that succeeds on the back of a Chinese person carrying it.  Kato is the manservant that stereotypically serves his white master faithfully, even going so far as to be the better hand-to-hand combatant in both movies; on the other hand, the original Green Hornet fights like he looking for his keys while he juggles two bags of groceries outside his apartment door, and Seth Rogen is, well, fat and funny.  Also, while the original is solely memorable because of Bruce Lee, this current reiteration also has a Chinese person carrying more than his fair share of responsabilities: that is, Jay Chou is going to attract a lot of attention to this movie for being one of the biggest stars in Asia.

Yep, I’m not saying there isn’t other talent in this movie; this isn’t Jay Chou’s movie so much as it is Seth Rogen, who was funny in Superbad and 40 Year-Old Virgin and nothing else.  However, even if this is an astounding smash and breaks open the western market for Jay Chou, he’ll forever be known as Seth Rogen’s bitch.  Bruce Lee didn’t have this problem because he’s Bruce Lee.  Meanwhile, Jay Chou’s character in the movie is a motorcycling-kung fu-bad ass who is still loyal to some white guy he’s never met?  People are always going to remember you for being the yes-man to some fat funny loser, just as they are going to remember you Jay for being in that terrible Shaolin Soccer rip-off, Kung Fu Dunk.

(I’d honestly post the video here of the new Green Hornet movie to let yourselves decide, but as I just spent the last half an hour trying to learn how to embed video into a blog that seems fruitless, I’d just as soon not keep promoting a movie that doesn’t star me)

It wasn’t always so bad. Jay Chou is famous for writing really good songs like this one. This song brings back a lot of memories for me as I spent an inordinate amount of time learning the lyrics of this song.  I would be remiss to say that I honestly looked up every single word of this song in order to “crack open the hard outer shell ” to get at the “brains of soft, nougat meaning” within.  Yes.  Every. Single. Word.  Needless to say, it took me a long, long time to do.  As well, this was before I got savvy to using the internet to look up words (which is still actually not that great as compared to a book dictionary).

Compared to all the other songs that I was (am) still learning at the time, this song really had a lot of enjoyment and meaning to this.  I don’t quite completely understand all of the lyrics to this song (especially “荒烟漫草的年头”)but that okay – it a poem.  It’s up for interpretation.  This song alone gave me hope for Mandopop that there could possibly be some “art” to be had within the realm of modern popular culture.  I dug the way he kept a traditional Chinese five-tone harmonic scale and “jazzed” it up with a modern harmony with many chord substitutions (I don’t quite remember, but I think it’s a ii V of the seventh degree).

All the same, this is a “relaxing” song about how a man, once again, misses a woman because of a mistake he has done.  Traditional, you are here again.  Anyways, enjoy.

东风破 – 周杰伦





盏zhan3 a small container
离愁li2chou2 sorrow caused by departure
伫立zhu4li4 to stand still for a long time, motionless, stand still
游(遊)you2 to walk, to tour, to sight see, to travel for pleasure, to swim, to wander, to roam
烛火zhu2huo3 candle flame
苛责ke1ze2 criticize severely
漂泊drifter, wanderer
浪迹天涯lang4ji1tian1ya2 to wander all over the world
浪迹lang4ji1 to lead a wandering life
天涯tian1ya2 the ends of the earth, the remotest part of the Earth
喉hou2 the throat, larynx
弹奏tan2zou4 to play music
岁月sui4yue4 time, time and seasons
剥落bo1luo4 to peel off, to strip, exfoliate
犹you2 just as, just like, as if (also: 犹如)
幼you4 young, immature
幽幽you1you1 faraway, faint, distant
枫叶feng1ye4 maple leaves
将jiang1 FUTURE TENSE, to support, bring; to do sth, to handle a matter; etc
染色ran3se4 to dye to color
结局jie2ju2 ending, final result, outcome
看透kan4tou4 understand thoroughly, see through
荒huang1 desolate, barren; waste
烟yan1 smoke, mist
漫man4 unrestrained, free
草cao3 drafted, not final; grass

The East Wind Breaks

A container, sad from departure, stands still alone at the window sill
From behind the door I pretend that you haven’t gone yet
The old familiar place is as if the moon has roamed over it even more silently
At midnight the sober candle flame can not bear but to criticize me severely

A wandering pot that has travelled all over the world is hard to drink from
After you have left the wine has gotten warm and my memoires of you have become dim
When the water flows to the east it is difficult to steal
Once flowers bloom they are mature just once, I however have still done wrong

Who here is using the pipa to play the “East Wind Breaks”?
The years peel off the wall to reveal our childhoods
As if to remember that year when we were still very immature
But these days the instrument sound is very dim, you have not heard my waiting

Who here is using the pipa to play the “East Wind Breaks”?
By the way the maple leaves have used the story made up of dyes, I have seen clearly the ending
I held your hand as we walked down the old road outside the hedge
The desolate smoke and restrained growth of the early years has made even breaking up seem very silent


别爱我,像个朋友 – 周笔畅

There is a profound difference between mandopop and cantopop: the former is very literal, while the latter (besides having a tonal restriction on the melody as set by the lyrics themselves) can afford to be much more poetic.  The obvious contradiction in this is that Cantonese language has clear differences between the spoken word and the written word, while on the other hand there exists no difference between written and spoken Mandarin.

It then casts a long shadow on society when the language of Mandarin in art is often a literal one; that’s right, besides no difference between written and spoken languages, there also appears to be little room for metaphor and poetry.  Case in point: this song and just about every mandopop song out there.  There is no art, really: what she sings in the song is just how people feel in real life.  Only once does 周笔畅 utilize a simile, and that’s just once.

Yep, it’s sad.  It’s depressing.  A rock is rock and a smile is a smile and I loves you baby and that’s enough.

Not all mandopop is like this, but there certainly is an air of simpleness to mandopop.  The structure is simple, and lyrics are often repeated; in fact, as we saw with 爱我别走 (okay, it’s Taiwanese) most of the time they’ll just write a really short song and repeat twice to make up a normal-sized 5 minute radio-ready song.  This song is different, however, in that the lyrics change throughout (mostly), but the 别爱我 will definitely stay with you on the drive home; it’s as catchy as AC/DC’s “She’s Got the Jack”.

Anyways, I am cleaning out my repetoire of songs I have been learning over the past years, and so I have finally published this to teh internets.


别爱我,像个朋友 – 周笔畅








可曾为:”you may once before acted/served as”
可ke3 may, can [ho2]
曾ceng2 once, formerly, sometime ago [chang4]
为wei2 do, act, serve as, act as, become, turn into, be, mean [wai4]
悄然qiao3ran2 sorrowfully, sadly, quietly, softly [chiu3yin4]
悄qiao3 quiet, silent; sad, worried, grieved [chiu3]
为何wei4he2 why, for what reason [wai6 ho4]
澎湃peng1pai4 surging, racing (the sound of waves) [paang1 baai3]
忍耐ren3nai4 restrain oneself, patience; to endure, to be tolerant of [yan2noi6]
折磨zhe2mo to torment, physical or mental suffering [jit3mo4]
忍受ren3shou4 to bear, endure, suffer, stand [yan2 sau6]

Don’t Love Me, Be Like My Friend

Don’t love me, love me like a friend
In the middle of friendship and love, perhaps you once considered me so
We have both come to a grey area, you and I
It’s not wanted, and it’s love that can’t actually be give

Love, if it sorrowfully does not have any sound, why is there a surging of waves crashing in my heart? You seen it in your eyes
Perhaps, love is a beautiful mistake
Can you turn to me and say that you understand?

Don’t love me don’t love me, love me like a friend
Your silence is hard to endure, and it has arrived on my doorstep
Don’t love me don’t love me, won’t you please just say:
That I am the one girl in the whole world who can best understand you

Don’t love me, love me like a friend
In the middle of friendship and love, there should be a decision made now
Even though the pain in my heart torments me
I have already given you my love, and now I can’t take it back

Love, if it sorrowfully does not have any sound, why is there a surging of waves crashing in my heart? You seen it in your eyes
Perhaps love is a beautiful accident
So why not confront my love

Don’t love me don’t love me, love me like a friend
You have a new love, and now I don’t want to exist anymore
Don’t love me don’t love, won’t you please just say:
You can’t bear to lose me

Don’t love me don’t love me, love me like a friend
I’ve lost, I’m tired, and I can’t afford to wait any longer
Don’t love me don’t love me, please don’t ever say to me
Say to me that you have the same feelings as me
Don’t love me, don’t love me


小賈斯丁慘遭網友惡搞 – Internet Turns on Justin Bieber

Have you seen the Chinese Youtube video that illustrates all of Justin Bieber’s rumors come to life, but you didn’t know what they were talking about?  Well, internet friend, you’ve come to the right place because I have translated the entire short video from Taiwanese putonghua into English.

If you actually enjoy real news and objectivity, then this won’t be enjoyable for you.  However, if you are actually interested to find out how skewed a Chinese perspective can be upon popular culture, then this could be interesting.  “News organisation” NMA News answers the question “Do I honestly need to know everything outside the realm of good taste and morals?” with a resounding 百分之百是的! Here’s from their own description of the video:

“The Internet may have made Justin Bieber, but there are millions of people out there who want to knock him down just as quickly as his rise to fame. See Justin survive a car crash, visit an STD clinic, dance with Kim Jong Il and get beaten up by the Jonas Brothers.”

I don’t know of millions of people who want to knock down Justin Bieber, but I do know of a “news organisation” that loves to humiliate and destroy celebrities–you, NMA News.  Oh, and Apple Action News gets a worthy nomination as well.

Sure, the internet and the world at large don’t need to use their collective imaginations anymore to envision what Kim Jong-Il would look like as a back-up dancer (see 1:14) but this is trash; enjoyable trash, but trash nonetheless.  I suppose this is what happens when the free press of Taiwan meets the practical crass Chinese mentality to exploit every situation for material gain.  Myself, I don’t have an opinion on Little Justin as I don’t know him or his music, but it is universally accepted that he looks like an attractive lesbian.

Enjoy the translation.

小賈斯丁慘遭網友惡搞 – Internet Turns on Justin Bieber
Little Justin suffers from the evil meddling of online peers

Canada’s golden boy of singing Little Justin
is an undisputed internet star through and through
He can attribute his massive fame thanks to his mother
who had put his video up on Youtube at an early age
The fame of Little Justin
Grew and grew on Youtube
Not long after he was discovered by a talent scout
And signed a recording contract
The ubiquitous “Little Justin Fever”
Started to become fashionable all around the world with young girls

However, at the same little Justin was becoming
The favorite target for evil meddling
In June of this year a rumor spread on the internet
That said that little Justin had died in a traffic accident
His fans were distraught with their hopes dashed
But he was quick to appear and clear up this false rumor

A website that meddles in evilness called 4chan
had its members unite together to punish Justin
And made the phrase “the syphilis of Little Justin”
Into Google’s most popular search
And then there was another rumor that stated a men’s magazine
Offered Little Justin’s mom fifty thousand USD to pose for glamor shots
This rumor hurt him and also had to be extinguished

Some hackers opposed to Justin
Unexpectedly connected [searches for] his music video to receive [search links for ] a pornographic web site

Little Justin asked his fans
in an online questionnaire where they would like him to appear next to perform
Where he was pranked again (made to drink a coupon)
When five hundred thousand people asked him to go to North Korea to perform

Although Little Justin has repeatedly been targeted with evil meddling
He is still a confident young man
Just recently he unexpectedly taunted the three Jonas brothers
And said that he alone can completely defeat the three of them

惡e3(噁心) nauseated
e4 evil, ferocious
wu4 to loathe
貨真價實huo4zhen1jia4shi2 high quality at a decent price; through and through
多虧(多亏)duo1kui1 thanks to, owing to, fortunately, luckily
星探xing1tan4 talent scout
發掘fa1jue2 to be unearthed, to be found
合約he2yue1 contract
一般yi4ban1 same, ordinary
風靡(风靡)feng1mi3 to be fashionable
宅zhai2 residence
對象(对象)dui4xiang4 target, object, boyfriend, girlfriend
車禍che1huo4 traffic accident
欲yu4 desire, to want
澄清cheng2qing1 to clear up, clarify, make clear
成員cheng2yuan2 member
聯合lian2he2 unite
字串zi4chuan2 character string
熱門re4men2 popular, hot, in vogue
搜尋sou1xun2 to look for, seach, hunt
艷(艳)yan4 gorgeous, romantic, envy
滅火(灭火)mie4huo3 to extinguish
駭客hai4ke4 “hacker”
駭hai4 astonish, startle
連接lian2jie1 to link, to connect
接到jie1dao4 to receive
問卷wen4juan3 questionnaire
灌guan4 to irrigate, to force to drink
屢次(屡次)lv3ci4 repeatedly, frequently, time and time again113
喬納斯qiao2na4si1 “Jonas”
嗆(呛)qiang4qiang1 to peck; stupid foolish; to cough because of choking
打垮da3kua3 completely defeat, to rout

What is PO?  P.O.? Po?  The po-po?  It isn’t in the dictionary.



This has got to be one of the easiest songs I have ever learned; it is for this reason that this song is so immensely popular in China.  At first I thought this was a 周杰伦 song since it seems he writes them all, but no, I found out much much later that this is 張震嶽; you know, I don’t even know any of his other stuff.

Not much to say about this except it is too simple and straight forward.  No, it really doesn’t make much sense, but you know, those girls need to have their fantasies.

Bleah.  I’m busy working on another transcript, so I thought I’d get away with posting this meager offering.  Enjoy.


作曲: 張震嶽
作詞: 張震嶽




迎面ying2mian4 head on, in one’s face
身影shen1ying3 silhouette, one’s shaddow
漫无目的man4wu2mu4di4 aimless, without direction, to flounder
温柔wen1rou2 gentle and soft, affectionate

Whenever I come to this time I’m always the same
In the loneliness of the night it is easy to call me saddened
I don’t dare to think too much, because I’m just one person

The moonlight that hits me head-on in my face lengthens my shadow
Directionless, I flounder walking about these cold, cold streets
I don’t have any word from you because I still miss you

Love me, don’t go if you say you don’t love me
I don’t want to hear you say utter the truth, please give me a little tenderness again like before



This is the first Chinese song I have ever learned; you can say I’ve learning this song all my life.  It’s by the great 許冠傑Sam Hui,and for a Cantopop song this is basically perfect.

As many of you know, Cantopop music (Cantonese popular music from Hong Kong) is very different from many other types of music because the Cantonese words have a tonal quality and so dictate the kind of melody sung.  With this song, 許冠傑has made a perfect song in which every lyric matches the melody.  In contrast, Mandopop does not have this limiting feature.

I couldn’t have picked a better song to begin with, as after all these years it is still a good song.

I have the lyrics written out, a vocabulary, and then a translation.  Enjoy.





舉止[geui2ji2] behavior, manner, conduct (举止ju3ji3)
失常[sat1seung4] abnormal, odd
自禁[ji6gam3] self-control (zi4jin1)
見諒[gin3leung6] to forgive, to pardon (jian4liang4)
萬分[maan6fan1] extremely, very much (万分 wan4fen1)
皆因[gaai1yan1] only because, just because (国:not used)
音韻[yam1wan5] sound and rhyme (音韵yin1yun4)
飄揚[piu1yeung4] to flutter, to fly (飘扬piao1yang2)
撩動[liu4dung6] to provoke (撩动liao2dong4)
醞釀[wan3yeung6] n a disturbance (of a storm); to brew wine (酝酿yun4niang4)
撥[but6] to dispel, remove, transfer, distribute, set aside, set apart, stir up, arouse (拨bo1)
憂傷[yau1seung1] n upset, laden with sorrow (忧伤you1shang1)
失去[sat1heui3] to lose (shi1qu4)
暢[cheung6] freely without restraint, to one’s heart content (chang4)
彷似[fong2chi5] like, resemble (仿似fang2si4, 仿佛fang3fu2)
蘊藏[wan5chong4] to have in store (蕴藏yun4cang2)
依戀[yi1lyun2] 国 to be reluctant to leave (依恋yi1lian4)
相向[seung1heung3] face to face (xiang1xiang4)
結伴[git3bun6] 国 to go with (结伴 jie2ban4)
天際[tin1jai3] horizon (天际tian1ji4)
編寫[pin1se5] to write compose (编写bian1xie3)
動聽[dung6ting3] pleasant to listen to (动听dong4ting1)
樂章[ngok6jeung1] a composition of music (乐章yue4zhang1)
思量[si1leung4] 国 to consider (si1liang2)
永恆[wing5hang4] eternal, perpetual (永恒yong3heng2)

Who was it that night that made me misbehave?
It’s hard to control myself, you must forgive me
But I am very nervous because I have met you
Who is it that has caused me to be full of daydreaming?

Who has caused music to brew at the edge of my consciousness?
And has provoked the love in my heart, causing a disturbance?
For me to brush aside the sadness and and lost happiness
Who is it that has made me seem to experience my first love again?

In my heart I have stored alot of feelings of love
How can we depart? Forever will we be face to face
Together we will go to the horizon, like swallows flying
Together we will write a beautiful piece of music

Who is it that has made me consider bitterly from morning to night?
Long is my dream, eternally it will shine
And has made me guess many many times, not sure where to go
And has left behind a very deep impression


星空下 – 周传雄


I have great fond memories of this song and of this whole album because it was one of the very few things that kept me grounded when I got really homesick the first time I came to China because it was just one of the only things that I liked.  I can’t tell you what a wretched feeling it is to want to turn on the television and want it to be home, but you never can because it is across the ocean.  Thanks, 周传雄。

I must have heard this over a hundred times according to my iPod playlist count as well as wearing down the CD I bought at Carrefour, and through all of those 100 times I kept wishing that I understood the song.  Well, I can strangely stand at the end of that rainbow now and say I can.  It only makes it sweeter that it’s a well written song; the kids chorus in the middle is a great arrangement device, as well as that sweet synth run up that culmulates in a low bass punch.  It’s too bad the production values are garbage (the cymbal crash to the end of the intro to 寂寞沙洲冷 is 1980’s embarrassing), but this album is so much better than his follow up.

Honestly, this songs rocks, and not just because I understand it; this is one of the rare pop songs, from what I gather, in which a guy breaks up with a girl and he isn’t sorry.  Man, I can’t stand those, and those songs are everything in the mandopop world.  Sorry babes, if I break up with you I mean it and I’m mad; I not sorry and keep pining for your return.







说好 shuo1hao3 to come to an agreement or understanding
面对 mian4dui4 to confront, to face
考验 kao3yan4 n test, trial
逃避 tao2bi4 to escape, hide
厌倦 yan4juan4 adj bored, weary of
温柔 wen1rou2 gentle and soft
对待 dui4dai4 to treat, approach, handle
过问 guo4wen4 concern oneself with, take an interest in, get involved in
从来 cong2lai2 always, all along
欺骗 qi1pian4 to deceive, cheat
忽略 hu1lve4 to neglect, lose sight of, ignore
略 lve4 n summary, outline; strategy, plan
v to capture, seize; omit, delete
adj brief, simple
谎言 huang3yan2 lie, falsehood
利用 li4yong4 to exploit, use, take advantage
善良 shan4liang2 good and honest, kind-hearted
伪装 wei3zhuang1 to pretend, feign; to disguise, mask
记忆 ji4yi4 v to remember, recall
瞬间 shun4jian1 n in the wink of an eye, in a moment
回忆 hui2yi4 v to look back on, to recollect, to recall; n a memory, a reminiscence
揭开jie1kai1 to uncover, to open, to disclose
承诺 cheng2nuo4 to promise to do something; acceptance, acceptance of offer
灿烂 can4lan4 bright, splendid, magnificent
刺痛 ci4tong4 stabbing pain, prick, pricking
牵强 qian1qiang3 adj forced, far fetched, strained
借口 jie4kou3 to use as an excuse, excuse
伤痕 shang1hen2 n scar, bruise
孤单 gu1dan1 alone, lonely

We’ve come to the agreement we would face each test together, and agreed we wouldn’t escape or be bored
We’ve come to the agreement we would treat each tomorrow with gentleness
We’ve agreed that we wouldn’t concern ourselves with before

We’ve never wanted to cheat each other, and we’ve always neglected time
Lies have always exploited good-heartedness to disguise itself, and without sound or notice has already changed

Remembrance within a the wink of an eye has already grown stale, the feeling of love within a night has already dispersed
I stand underneath a lonely, single star,
not daring to to look and recall its faint starlight

In the middle of missing each other we have broken up
Let time expose the scar of of so many silent years
I stand underneath the empty stars that have broken their promise
Unable to count all of the many brilliant points of starlight that prick me in the night sky

You hold back the tears saying you’ve never loved me
That is such a far-fetched excuse
If you are like how you were before, then you should understand me
You should know how much this hurts me

巫啓賢 -《星空下》
This song has nothing whatsoever to do with the song I’m talking out, but man, it’s so upbeat I had to include it. What an antidote to an emo-glorified depressant.




演唱: 朱哲琴、黃耀明

This is a very famous song that is beloved throughout China. Basically, this guy 王洛宾 lived among the 哈萨克 people in 新疆 and learned all their songs and set putonghua lyrics to them all, so yeah, be basically stole their music. He is now a hero among the 哈萨克 people for appropriating their music.

This isn’t the first time that Mainland culture has taken something from another culture and “re-assimilated” it for its own use and purposes. This has been going on for years with Hong Kong and Cantonese culture of every kind; this basically ensures that Cantonese will remain a local and diminished influence rather than have any impact upon the mainland. Also, we get a lot of Western songs “with Chinese characteristics”.

Anyways, about this song in particular, when I first actually learned what this song is about, I just said, “What? S+M?” In other parts of the world, people pay good money to pretend to be a domesticated animal that requires discipline and punishment.

Here is the song and then my translation and then a brief vocabulary of the words I’m not sure about. It jeeves me that I had translated this but now can’t find the copy. I need to find a stress-relieving lamb…






In that distant, far off place there is a good girl
When people pass by the curtained window of her home, they all turn around to give lingering glances that are reluctant to move on

Her pink face is like the red sun
Her lively eyes that move other people looks like the brilliant moon in the night sky

I am willing to give up all my possessions just to be with her to herd sheep
And to see her pink, smiling face each day as well as her beautiful gold-fringed clothes

I am willing to become a little sheep just to be by her side
I am willing to let her take a fine leather whip and continually beat me lightly upon my skin

留恋liu2 lian4 reluctant to part
帐zhang4 curtain
张望zhang1wang4 look around
财产cai2chan3 property
衣裳yi1shang clothes


HKFYG Hong Kong Melody Makers


Singer & Chinese Pipa player: 宗婷婷 ZONG Ting-ting