Yoga Lin’s “Forced Happiness”

Yoga Lin.

If you haven’t heard of him, shame on you. Okay, I’m joking. You probably haven’t heard of him unless you listen to contemporary, Chinese-language music, but I hope I made you feel just a little bad. Yoga (yes, very original name – I approve even though he probably got it from his Chinese name, but way better than Fish.. no offense intended as I do like some of her music) is a Taiwanese singer who began his singing career in 2007 and he’s only a year older than me. This is when I think of what I’ve accomplished in my life so far and ultimately decide that I really shouldn’t. What makes me like him is how he dabbles a bit in various music genres, not limiting himself to just one, including the usual hip-hop all the way to rock and even swing – not to mention his voice. I’ve always found it unique and soothing. In short, he’s awesome.

His new album, English title of Fiction (大小說家), is actually coming out this Friday, June 22nd, and the following song [music video] from the aforementioned album was released yesterday. I’ve been getting a lot of new Korean songs, so this is a nice little change for me.

When I first listened to the song, the first thing I thought was, “it’s different.” This isn’t something out of the ordinary; he tends to surprise me with what he comes out with. The melody and everything was really nice. Then I got down to reading and understanding the lyrics. After 4 years of not taking Chinese classes, failing to keep up with it on a regular basis, and living abroad in a different, non-Chinese-speaking country took an immense toll on the Chinese language stores within my head, but I finally got it down. Even then, picking out reasonable but random meanings from things isn’t a strong point of mine; here’s the real reason why I can’t stand classic literature other than how they’re all unnecessarily long and slow. Now, if the assignment was to make up answers that sound believable, then I could do it; this, in turn, is the reason why I got A’s in those classes. No offense to English [literature] lovers. So, lo and behold, I found this amazing “synopsis” from a youtube listener:

買水果、請橘子、慶祝生日、聽音樂、跳舞,幾幕情節是同一段時期­發生的。

女孩和前男友分手後跟男孩在一起。女孩心裡仍有點想念前度的,不­捨得放下前度送的指環頸鍊就很明顯吧。

他們開始不久就到了男孩的生日。蘋果是前度喜歡的,而橘子現任喜­歡的,拿起了蘋果又放下,揀了橘子,代表了女孩挺明白現在經已和­別人一起了,不過心裡面可能有一點點的想念前度吧。

她和男孩慶祝生日,給他做了蛋糕,送了黑膠唱片做生日禮物。男孩­一看到黑膠唱片表情就僵硬了,因那不是他喜歡的類型,也難怪吧… 他們也是當開始不久,只是男孩好奇為何女孩會選這黑膠給自己呢?­難道她前度喜歡麼?在那開始,男孩心裡大抵明白/懷疑女孩仍想著­前度。二人吃過生日蛋後便到閣樓聽女孩送的黑膠。男孩聽著女孩送­的唱片,一直懷疑那是她前度喜歡的音樂,心情越聽越下沉。不過女­孩未有察覺,陶醉在樂聲之中,更伸手去拖男孩的手。還未收拾好心­情的男孩很愕然,忍不住拒絕了女孩的手。男孩知道女孩心裡有不確­定的想法,他也很難全心全意的投入其中,只能很努力地飾演一個好­男朋友。而剛剛這樣拒絕了女孩的手後,二人相處會更僵吧。所以很­快便調整好心理,一起在閣樓跳舞嬉戲。

女孩又到男孩家中去了,這次她沒有再掛著前度送的指環頸鍊了。她­在花園忐忑地把前度的相片燒掉,証明她真的很有決心要忘記前度了­。男孩在旁邊偷偷看著這一切,心情很複雜。男孩躲在一邊調整表情­,希望待會再看到女孩的時候,可以快樂地笑,不想女孩知道他不快­樂,讓她安心。

在火苗慢慢熄滅時,女孩在一旁睡著了。因為準備入秋了,男孩怕女­孩著涼便為她蓋上毛毯。因為她睡著了,所以她沒有想起誰。男孩看­著女孩一臉無知的睡相,很安心地吻了下去。男孩是愛女孩的,只是­怕女孩醒著時會想起別人,心裡才會覺得很不安定。

男孩一直害怕女孩是為了忘記前度而和自己在一起,現在女孩確定要­把前度放下了,他怕自己的價值也會失去(也擔心這就是他唯一的價­值),怕女孩會離開自己。男孩對女孩的愛一直也存有保留的。但只­有在女孩睡著時,他才可以放開自己去愛她。

一個下午過去了,女孩要回家了,男孩送她出門。秋風吹來,有點涼­,但陽光好溫暖,女孩抬起臉感受這一切,明白到她終於放下了前度­。轉過身看著現在的男朋友。男孩看到女孩溫柔但有點憂傷的表情,­便跑上去擁抱她。一抱住,心底湧出了許多回憶。

MY ROUGH TRANSLATION:
Buying fruits, offerings of oranges, celebrating a birthday, listening to music, dancing, these events all happened within the same period of time.

After the girl broke up with her ex-boyfriend, she got together with this guy. The fact that the girl still has lingering thoughts of her old flame, reluctant to let go of him and his hold is quite obvious!

The guy’s birthday came not long after they got together. The apple was what the old flame liked and the orange is what the current one likes. How she picked up the apple and set it down, then took hold of the orange represents the girl’s realisation that she’s now with someone else. However, perhaps her heart still misses the old boyfriend a bit.

She celebrates the birthday with the boyfriend and made him a birthday cake, giving him a record for his birthday present. Once the boyfriend laid eyes on the record, he freezes, because it isn’t something that he likes and no wonder… not longer after they became a couple, it’s only that the guy got curious as to why the girl would choose that record as a gift. Is it because the ex liked it? Starting from that, the guy begins to realise/suspect that the girl still thinks of her ex. After the two finishes eating the cake, they go up to the attic to listen to the record she gave him. While listening to the record the girl gave him, he keeps on wondering if that was the kind of music that the ex liked and he gets more and more subdued. However, the girl doesn’t sense it as she’s immersed in the song, even inching her hand over to hold his hand. The guy who’s still struggling with his emotions is shocked and he couldn’t help but refuse the girl’s hand. The guy knows that the girl’s heart is still wavering and uncertain and it’s also hard for him to fully throw himself in (-to the relationship), so he can only try hard at being a good boyfriend. Now, since he had just rejected the girl’s hand, they’re both reserved, which is why they both adjusted their mindset and they both danced and played in the attic.

The girl enters the guy’s home once more, but this time, she’s no longer displaying what her ex left her. She’s in the garden, burning the pictures of her ex in a conflicted manner, attesting to how determined she is at forgetting him. The guy is at the side, secretly watching everything, his mind and emotions everywhere. He hides behind a composed expression, hoping he can give a happy smile when he sees her, having no desire to let the girl know he’s not happy and making her upset.

When the flames are slowly dying out, the girl falls asleep. Because of the arrival of Fall, the guy was afraid the girl would get cold, so he covered her with a blanket. Also, because she was asleep, she wasn’t thinking of anyone. The guy gazes upon the girl’s face as she sleeps in ignorance and he contentedly kisses her. The guy loves the girl, but he’s afraid that she’ll think of other people once she wake up, which is why he feels so insecure.

The guy is always afraid of the girl being with him in order to forget her ex, so now the girl is set in letting go of the ex. He is afraid that he would lose his own sense of worth (and worried that this was his only value), afraid the girl would leave him. The guy would always keep the girl’s love, but only was it when the girl was sleeping that he could allow himself to love her.

An entire afternoon passes and the girl wants to return home, so the guy walks her out. The autumn breeze flows by and it’s a little cold, but the sunlight is warm. The girl raises her face (to the light) to feel it, realising that she’s completely let go of her ex and so she turns around to look at her current boyfriend. The guy sees her kind yet vaguely distressed expression so he runs over to embrace her. Once in his arms, a rush of countless memories rushes out of his heart.

Interesting recap and interpretation. It’s just one of those stories that sort of leaves a strange amalgamation of emotions behind; I can’t seem to just pick one to settle on. That aside, I love how the song actually recounted the story and supported it, sort of like a narration, but from the guy’s point of view… This is also where I put up a disclaimer on how my Chinese sucks and everything’s to be taken with a grain of salt – I did my best.

林宥嘉 – 勉強幸福
Lin You Jia – Mian Qiang Xing Fu
Yoga Lin – Forced Happiness

感謝妳記得我的生日 卻好像忘了為誰慶祝
Gan xie ni ji de wo de sheng ri que hao xiang wang le wei shei qing zhu
Thank you for remembering my birthday, though it seems as if you’ve forgotten who it’s for
那些唱片他可能喜歡 妳是否送錯禮物
Na xie chang pian ta ke neng xi huan ni shi fou song cuo li wu
Perhaps he would’ve liked those records; did you give the wrong gift?

妳問我要多少支蠟燭 還想要什麼樣的祝福
Ni wen wo yao duo shao zhi la zhu hai xiang yao shen me yang de zhu fu
You asked how many candles should be put up and even what kind of wish I wished for
這蛋糕那麼甜 妳一定做得很辛苦
Zhe dan gao na me tian ni yi ding zuo de hen xing ku
This cake is so sweet; you must have put in a lot of effort

我就是愛妳傻乎乎 誰在乎
Wo jiu shi ai ni sha hu hu shei zai hu
I love you being all silly, but who cares
因為我們一樣的糊塗
Yin wei wo men yi yang de hu tu
Because we’re both just as muddle-headed
介意不來 只有配合演出
Jie yi bu lai zhi you pei he yan chu
I don’t mind only acting it out

所以我只能笑 不能哭
Suo yi wo zhi neng xiao bu neng ku
That’s why I can only smile, unable to cry
難得妳不覺得屈辱 陪我一起 品嚐這勉強的幸福
Nan de ni bu jue de qu ru pei wo yi qi pin chang zhe mian qiang de xing fu
It’s hard that you don’t feel shame being with me, getting a taste of this forced happiness

享受著他鍾情的音樂 欣賞著妳一臉的滿足
Xiang shou zhe ta zhong qing de yin yue xin shang zhe ni yi lian de man zu
Sharing his beloved music, appreciating your expression of content
妳說我神情有點恍惚 我說聽得太投入
Ni shuo wo shen qing you dian huang hu wo shuo ting de tai tou ru
You say that I look a little absentminded and I say that it sounded too absorbed

在這終身難忘的生日 不知道誰更銘心刻骨
Zai zhe zhong shen nan wang de sheng ri bu zhi dao shei geng ming xin ke gu
During this unforgettable birthday, it’s unknown who would have it most embedded within themselves
我還真捨不得 結束這浪漫的錯誤
Wo hai zhen she bu de jie shu zhe lang man de cuo wu
I even can’t stand the ending of this romantic mistake

妳只是愛得傻乎乎 誰在乎
Ni zhi shi ai de sha hu hu shei zai hu
You only love mindlessly, but who cares
因為我們一樣的糊塗
Yin wei wo men yi yang de hu tu
Because we’re both equally foolish
介意不來 只有配合演出
Jie yi bu lai zhi you pei he yan chu
I only mind only acting it out
不管多勉強只能笑 不能哭
Bu guan duo mian qiang zhi neng xiao bu neng ku
It doesn’t matter how forced it is; I can only smile, unable to cry
難得妳還沒弄清楚 陪我一起 品嚐這勉強的幸福
Nan de ni hai mei nong qing chu pei wo yi qi pin chang zhe mian qiang de xing fu
It’s odd that you still don’t understand, being with me, tasting this forced happiness

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2 thoughts on “Yoga Lin’s “Forced Happiness”

  1. Simple but very interesting blog. You have an unique words which make me want to read, read, read again your blog. ^^ keep blogging Clouds

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