Plaque: A tribute to mum

Friday, May 25, 2012

Classic song: Gu Xiang (Home Village)

Hi All,

Mom loved songs, she would record the lyrics in a notebook.
Anyway, this is a little story I want to share. There was a song that she like named Gu Xiang, I managed to find this song on youtube. Its from a 1953 Mandarin film entitled: Father Marries Again. I wonder if mom watched the film in the 1950s, she liked to watch films also. Anyway, I read a feedback on youtube that this song was banned during the Emergency period in Malaya; it may seem nonsensical but it was a time of turmoil with the cold war in earnest and China was in turmoil and communist insurgency were happening in many parts of the Third world. Many Chinese still have links to China and the Malayan colonial government thought this popular song could have propaganda effects on Malayan Chinese. Anyway, this song sing praise of the ancestral home village. 

I think in the late 1980s, mom & dad went to China for a visit and one day, dad introduce his favorite song to our relatives and sang it for them. The song is "Ni Chen Mei" (You are so beautiful) was from a classic Mandarin film of the 1950s (Chui-Chui: the name of the girl). Dad wasn't much of a singer as mom observed and his tune and keys were off and the song came across as monotonous and flat! Then mom offered to sing a song for them... a song competition! She sang this Gu Xiang which was warmly received and she came up as the winner against dad and his offering. 

Anyway, I have below the original song with some stills from the film but the quality is not so good with much statics. I got another video recorded in 1972 which is much better. This song has became a staple in Chinese classic songs. I heard it many years ago but was glad to see it on youtube after searching for it. If mom if still alive, she would appreciate youtube and would learn to use the computer and the internet just so to watch offerings such as classic songs and films. This is a very well written and beautiful song and inspirational to boot.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dedication of two wonderful songs to Mom during this Qing Ming period.

This coming Chinese All Soul's Day or Qing Ming; I would like to dedicated two songs to Mom. The first one was written and sung by Hong Kong's famous Beyond: Really Love You. This famed band was a phenomenon in 1990s Hong Kong until the lead singer died in an accident during a concert in Japan. Anyway, this song was about the love and appreciation for the mother of the writer whom did not agree with his career path as a musician but still gave him unconditional love and kept encourage him to try again after setbacks. This song was really inspired as a tribute to the mother of the writer and also to all those who owe so much to their moms; they will appreciate the genius of the writer for coming up with such a beautiful and powerful song:

The second song is a personal favorite of mine. It was the signature song of Taiwan singer-Fong Fei Fei who unexpectedly died from cancer at the relatively young age of 60 this year. She was such a gifted and fine human being. The name of this famous song is sometimes known as Applause or Here Comes the Applause. Its a wonderfully sentimental song that always brought out the tears to Fong Fei-Fei when she sang it during her concerts; she sang it with great emotion as this song refers to the struggles and hardships of a singer as she stand on the stage. I remember well how the elderly wife of famed US Air Force General Chennault appeared in a TV show several years ago commemorating the (?) anniversary of the Flying Tigers during the war against Japanese. Anna Chan weared gaudy makeup but seemed a nice person who was still active in US government circles; having known many US Presidents. It was said she played a key role in the election of President Nixon by getting the South Vietnam leader to pull out of a peace talk with North Vietnam at the eleventh hour. She acts as a bridge between US and China. Anyway, during the TV show featuring surviving members of the legendary Flying Tigers pilots (who are bona-fide heroes); the host asked her questions and near the end of the show; the grand old lady who was still sprightly suddenly mentioned a song she like which helped to expressed her emotions about the heroics of the Flying Tigers and she sang several lines of this song which she found so moving.... Here Comes the Applause which I specially dedicate to dearest mom who is like the spirit of Lincoln that still dwells in the hearts and minds of the people; so does the spirit of mom still dwell in our minds and hearts. How lovely Fong Fei Fei looks as she sang her most famous song and see how the tears flow so freely as she lets her emotion fly with the song... there is also a lady musician who played this melody via an ancient Chinese musical instrument; and how well did she play an up beat version... very talented indeed.