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:
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
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
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?
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
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
Wo jiu shi ai ni sha hu hu shei zai hu
I love you being all silly, but who cares
Yin wei wo men yi yang de hu tu
Because we’re both just as muddle-headed
Jie yi bu lai zhi you pei he yan chu
I don’t mind only acting it out
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
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
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
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
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
Ni zhi shi ai de sha hu hu shei zai hu
You only love mindlessly, but who cares
Yin wei wo men yi yang de hu tu
Because we’re both equally foolish
Jie yi bu lai zhi you pei he yan chu
I only mind only acting it out
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