At the back of the hill

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Thursday, May 17, 2018


The other night at a karaoke bar (NOT the place where everyone is a stuck-up dysfunctional bitch, but a different one), the bartendress sang one of my favourite songs, originally by Teresa Teng (鄧麗君 'tang lai gwan'), who passed away at age 42 twenty three years ago. And, while she was beyond a doubt a supremely talented artist, it took me a long time to learn to like her.
Reason being that I preferred Zhou Xuan (周璇 'jau suen'), who did many of the songs that Teresa Teng covered when she started singing Mandarin.
But to my ear, she did them better.
Disagreement on this is likely.

Zhou Xuan never sang 'ni zenme shuo' (你怎麼說). The classic rendition of that song remains Teresa's. Same goes for 'yue liang dai biao wo de xin' (月亮代表我的心), which I once in a fit of madness sang in that bar.
In all honesty, people like me should not sing.
But leave that to the experts.
Anybody else.

I should point out that when Teresa Teng was in her teens, and still singing her plaintive Hokkien ballads, she was the cutest little round-faced dickens.
The videos are still out there, but the number of people who understand Minnanwa is, comparatively speaking, small.

Sometimes I can understand Hokkien.
But quite often not quite.


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