Monthly Archives: January 2012
Back to me, I know that it comes
Back to me, doesn’t it scare you
Your will is not as strong, as it used to be
-John Mayer, Back to You : ending verse
A happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to all!
I loved this song back in elementary school. After growing a little older, I understand a little more what I was actually singing about, but I didn’t know much of the history of the song until I looked it up online just now. Originally written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, it was set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson five years later. Just like most Christmas carols, I only have the first verse memorized:
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
My favorite lyrical part has been bolded (though melodically, I like the opening notes). Also didn’t realize there were so many great renditions!
故事的小黃花 / the small yellow flower from the story
从出生那年就飘着/ has been drifting since the day it was born
ㄖㄨㄟ ㄙㄡ ㄙㄡ ㄒ一 ㄉㄡ ㄒ一 / re so so ti do ti
ㄌㄚ ㄙㄡ ㄌㄚ ㄒ一 ㄒ一 ㄒ一 ㄒ一 ㄌㄚ ㄒ一 ㄌㄚ ㄙㄡ/ la so la ti ti ti ti la ti la so
從前從前 有個人愛你很久 / Long, long ago, there was someone who loved you for a long time
-Jay Chou, 晴天 (Clear Day) / interlude, chorus
It’s a sad day for Taiwan… Let’s all listen to a little Jay and hope that artistic liberties and freedom of speech will be allowed to continue. Grr.
One of Jay’s best songs, hands down. In words and music, an unbeatable mix of poetic + unassuming + charming + nostalgic. No wonder it’s one of his most heavily covered songs. Cute MV as well, though you might want to ignore the cello-in-the-rain part.
Back to Taiwan in regards to the Chinese language – I’m glad we’re still on traditional characters, even if we have moved to the pinyin system. I don’t mind pinyin romanization at all; it’s super convenient for international learners and with the English-based keyboard. It’s just that the “bopomofo” alphabet (symbols in the middle two lines of excerpted lyrics) is a lot more innate to the language. I learned “bopomofo” when I was a kid, and the way the sounds fit together through that system actually helped me navigate some of the weird parts of pinyin.
Anyway, a lot of the lyrics I find online are in simplified Chinese though, so I’ve resorted to using this handy dandy converter.
Translated lyrics here.