From Vancouver to Beijing, Chinese pop music betrays infinite love sickness

Too many gushing Chinese love songs leave The SinoFile desperately searching for Faye Wong on YouTube.  She wasn't afraid of boredom, being misunderstood, or loss.

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zhiyou ni tingdong wo xiang shenme

You're the only person who understands what I'm thinking

 

没有没有... 你一脸沉默

meiyou, meiyou... ni yilian chenmo

No, no... now, you're totally silent.

 

什么,我没说什么

shenme, wo mei shuo shenme

Nothing, I never said anything at all.)

 

of death and loss,

 

(In this song, 不变 – bubian, don't change – she sings:

你走得好遥远

ni zoude hao yaoyuan

You've gone so far


 

消失在我生命的地平线

xiaoshi zai wo shengming de dipingxian

Disappeared on the horizon of my existence


 

今生的喜与悲

jinsheng de xi yu bei

The happiness and sorrow of this life


不再有滋味

bu zai you ziwei

Have lost all their flavor

These lyrics meant all too much to me after the death of my beloved grandfather, who acted as my father until I was 16 and inspired me to educate myself and eventually write about ongoing movements for political, social and economic development in his home, the Arab World.) 

of willing subservience,

 

(In this song, 你快乐所以我快乐 – ni kuaile suoyi wo kuaile, you are happy, so I am happy – Faye Wong sings about taking care of her own newly born child. This is an altogether different kind of love song – not about romance or sex, but about truly adoring something so much that you can finally be perfectly selfless.)

a desire for freedom and meaning

(In this song 誓言 – shiyan, vow – there are elements of the love song, but a lot held true about life in general, as I traveled from city to city in my early adulthood, looking to start my career in journalism:

 

前面的路也许真的并不太清楚

qianmian de lu yexu zhende bingbu tai qingchu

It may be that the road ahead really isn't that clear

 

放心地走了以后,也许会觉得辛苦

fangxin di zoule yihou, yexu hui juede xinku

After traveling it calmly, sometimes we may find it tough


也许会想停,也停不住

yexu hui xiangting, ye tingbuzhu

We may want to stop, but can't.) 

As we see in this last song, Wong sang, but just as often howled and moaned her way into a track.

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