All Will Come To Pass

Time heals all wounds. All tears will dry up, one way or another. I avoided the pain you brought. Soon, I can even joke about how we broke up. I’ve been so happy for you. we’ve been through thick and thin, I’ve embraced you, depended on you. I thought I couldn’t let go. I thought I would break down, but it was at the most painful moment that I gained clarity.

The pain is still very much alive – in the past. The forever we’ve lost stays in my heart forever. Can it really come to pass? Are the lies that others tell us worse than the lies we tell ourselves? It takes a second to fall in love but a lifetime to get over it.

Below is another song that has a similar theme. It’s much older and dates from 1993. Meeting up with old friends ought to be a pleasant or even delightful experience. But it could it also be a painful thing, especially if you’re keeping a secret, especially when you miss someone more than friends miss friends and especially when that someone rubs it in and asks you how you’ve been.

不要問我過得好不好 was actually written by 周治平 and not 刚泽斌 as indicated in the video.

There is a cuter version of the same song by then child star 吴淑敏. Of course, the 15-year-old 吴淑敏’s vocals were not as accomplished as Nanfang’s, but she gave the song the unique flavour of a precocious teenager’s pain. She later made her mark in the Hokkien music scene, earning her great success. Born in 1981, she is currently 38.

https://youtu.be/GaTbzYfvxs4

In this case of 不要問我過得好不好, the protagonist is saying “do you need to ask?”. It’s obviously not meant to be said aloud, making it a sad, squandered situation. The lucky guy doesn’t know.

Talking about first loves, Fish Leong has another song that expresses regret on the part of the one who didn’t know that she was being loved. Could things have turned out differently if she had known?

Perhaps she wept because she sudden realised and felt his pain back then. But is he still feeling the pain? Had he moved on and found happiness with someone else? If she is happy in her current situation, why should she regret or even bother to feel sorry for her lovelorn classmate?

Perhaps as the first song says, all will come to pass.


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The Most Beautiful Love Stories

How often we leave things on the back-burner due to a lack of courage and/or motivation. But a disappointed traveller in China once said to me, 不去会遗憾终生,去了又终身遗憾. To not go for it and regret the missed opportunity or to go for it and be disappointed with the results. If you were to procrastinate, you might as well forget about it.

And perhaps there is nothing for this lady to cry about. The most beautiful love stories are the ones without an ending.


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醉相思 by 湯茜

This is a rare China-produced song that has universal appeal. The lyrics are simple, but the melody is haunting and goes very well with the emotions being expressed. When something we want has left us, the yearning cuts and burns, delivering pain and melancholy. The natural thing to do is to get oneself drunk, but drinking only transforms the pain into a vision, a blurry image that becomes even clearer and more glaring when the alcohol wears out. An excellent companion during a drinking session.

By the way, the woman in the video is not the singer Tang Xi, a Sichuanese who looks somewhat plain. With music and poetry, it’s all about imagery.

風吹雲兒走 情在心中流 往事一去不回頭 夜深的時候是想你的時候 點點滴滴在心頭 明月幾時有 愛在心中求 乾了這杯相思的酒 心醉的時候是想你的時候 舉杯消愁愁更愁 誰能解開這相思的愁 誰又能把這紅塵看透 人世間的情來去匆匆 誰又能不讓愛隨波逐流 誰能解開這相思的愁 誰又能把這紅塵看透 楓葉翩翩飛 又是一個秋 片片相思湧心頭 明月幾時有 愛在心中求 乾了這杯相思的酒 心醉的時候是想你的時候 舉杯消愁愁更愁 誰能解開這相思的愁 誰又能把這紅塵看透 人世間的情來去匆匆 誰又能不讓愛隨波逐流 誰能解開這相思的愁 誰又能把這紅塵看透 楓葉翩翩飛 又是一個秋 片片相思湧心頭 誰能解開這相思的愁 誰又能把這紅塵看透 人世間的情來去匆匆 誰又能不讓愛隨波逐流 誰能解開這相思的愁 誰又能把這紅塵看透 楓葉翩翩飛 又是一個秋 片片相思湧心頭 片片相思湧心頭


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Romance In The 70s

While I was on having a holiday with my kids in Malacca and waiting for the river cruise, I overheard an old man talking to his friend.

“In the past, we didn’t have many places to go to when we went on dates. Now, they have cleaned up the river, built footpaths, installed lights and placed benches on the riverbank. It would have been wonderful if we had all these back then. Now, we’re old and the youngsters only go to shopping malls.”

Such a pity. I believe many people have such regrets. When they had the energy and opportunity, they didn’t have the time or money. When they have the time and money, they don’t have the energy or opportunity. Some have spent the greater part of their youth on the paper chase or careers that required total commitment. They missed the chance to be wild, virile and silly – even if there had been clean rivers and park benches around back then.

What was romance like in the 1970s? Let me help this Malaccan uncle relive those moments…. watching the sunrise or the sunset by the beach… running on the sand and kicking the waves in slow motion… holding hands while scrambling up rocks… accidentally embracing or kissing… mesmerising each other with long stares. Yes, this is the stuff of romance in the 1970s. Let’s have Chelsea Chan and Liu Wen Zheng to help us visualise.

Above is Chelsea Chan’s version. The unusual thing about this movie is that both the lead actors were singers. That’s why Liu Wen Zheng had a go at the theme song too.

Many youngsters would find these videos puerile, but they capture the mood and spirit of a long-gone era. When the older fogies look back, they will certainly bring back sweet memories or fantasies of how things that could have or should have turned out.


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Romance Is For Those Already In Love

This is one of my favourite songs by Taiwanese rock singer Zhao Chuan 赵传。It puts many people in a sweetly melancholic mood, especially those who can feel for the singer through personal experience. Not a looker by any standards, Zhao Chuan suits the part of the pitiful, jilted man desperate for a clue to make a miracle happen. I’m sure that was Zhao Chuan’s experience before he became famous. So what can one do when he has no looks, no money, no wit or magnetic personality? Who are cruel ones who keep propagating the myth that sincerity and perseverance are all it takes to move someone? Perhaps romance is for those who are already in love. Perhaps the poet’s magic works best when he plays ghostwriter for someone already validated.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


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Broken Dreams & Missed Opportunities

I wonder what might have inspired this writer of this song. The fact that it touches so many people shows that we all have our broken dreams and missed opportunities caused by a variety of factors from procrastination to pragmatism or pandering to social norms. Going back to a place that brings back fond memories, we know we can’t relive the past. Some things have changed – permanently. It’s so soothing to think of the wonderful things that could have happened, but would it still be as soothing if we had actively pursued and made things happen? Perhaps it’s better not to know. Just wave, smile and say, it has been a while.


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Busking Rules

I’ve seen able-bodied young people like him (not just old and disabled ones who couldn’t have passed any free and fair audition) performing on the streets in Taiwan. Many of these young Taiwanese buskers are very talented. Some even write their own songs – like this. In the video below, our very own JJ Lin stumbles on a young busker singing one of his songs and decides to join him. It’s so wonderfully spontaneous. Ironically, something like this would have never been allowed in Singapore.

Is it any wonder that our artists and musicians seek opportunities overseas?


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Starting Young

近日在中国爆红 来自马来西亚的11岁小朋友,唱响全中国~~汤晶锦加油,你是我们大马人的骄傲。

Posted by Kuso联盟 on Thursday, 17 September 2015

Listen to this 11-year-old girl from Malaysia. She sang a Chinese song about Ulan Bataar, the provincial capital of Inner Mongolia. Her voice is so powerful that you won’t believe that it’s a child singing if you don’t look at her face. I think the judges would have fallen off their chairs if this programme were The Voice. Talent at such a young age give older fogies like us much hope for the future.


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An Old Love Song

Years after you’ve settled down to a lustreless routine, you suddenly found out that somebody cried on your wedding night. How would you feel if not even in your wildest dreams could you imagine that this old friend had been secretly admiring you? What if decades later, when all your youthful fervour has burned out and you feel your life amounting to a pile of ash, you discover a piece of work – a touching song, a poem, a story dedicated to or inspired by you? You are shocked beyond words. Your heart had not beaten so fast for a long time.

What if this person is still contactable? Would you call him/her to talk about the good old days and then spend sleepless nights wondering how things might have turned out if you had known?


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Looks Like Nothing Changed

Our love wasn’t strong enough to conquer the opposite directions we took. You pursued your dreams in the corporate world. I renounced a world of riches and frolicked in the arms of Mother Nature.

It has been years. I know you have fulfilled your dreams. Success sparkles in your eyes but loneliness discolours your cheeks. You look languidly at my images captured in the worthless wilds; my clothes bearing the signature of the earth, my hair fluttering in the untamed wind. You no longer deride my choice of poverty over wealth. You have learned to admire my passion with fake interest.

I have not changed. My heart is still with the hills and fields. And I know that nothing has changed for you either – except that you don’t want to be alone. And that is all. Yes, nothing has changed and just like years ago, we should still go on separate ways.


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