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.