Sunday, 4 November 2012

The origin of the ever popular song “The moon represents my heart”

With her sweet look, Teresa mesmerised her fans and followers with her evergreen love songs.

The immensely popular song月亮代表我的心 - The Moon represents my heart’ (It could also be translated as: The moon stands as witness for my love to you) was made popular by sweet looking, demure songster Teresa Teng 丽君when she first sang the catchy, melodious song in the late 70s. The Chinese communities all over the world were overwhelmed by the songs popularity for it touched everyones heart to the extent that everybody could sing or hum along when the song was played. It remains one of the most frequently played songs at the karaoke KTVs. Teresa began her phenomenal singing and recording career when she was just a 14 year old teenager.  Her cherubic, pretty face enchanted her fans like a magical charm with her renditions of romantic ballades tinged with melancholic senses bewildered the audience when she performed in concerts. It needed hundreds of pages of writings just to relate how successful she was during her growing up years till her prime. Innumerable accolades were bestowed to her in recognizing her achievements in the entertainment field.

Teresa was known as a fearless advocate for human rights. She joined thousands of protester in Hong Kong to denounce Beijings oppressive clamp down on students demonstration during the June 4th 1989 incident whereby hundreds (maybe in the thousands) were killed by the draconian Chinese regimes police and military force. She boldly announced that she would never step foot on Chinas mainland soil so long human rights and democracy were not observed in China. China in return banned her songs in broadast. Some years later musical critics from China lamented that (after attended her concerts in HK in 1982, 83 and 84) it was a great loss for the mainland Chinese people for not able to witness Teresa Teng performed live in person in China itself.

It was a great loss alright for the Chinese people all over the world when they learned that their sweetheart singer artiste Teresa Teng had died suddenly in Chiangmai, Northern Thailand on May 8th 1995 of respiratory sickness at age 42.

I translated the article about the origin of the titled song from a Chinese text published by Sin Chew Press on Sept. 30th 2012:

Multi-talented musician composer Onn Qing Xi @ Tony (1936-2012) was indignant that he was sidelined and not given the due recognition he so deserved for the composition of the song 月亮代表我的心. Tony taught himself to play saxophone, trumpet, piano, clarinet, violin, harmonica and the guitar. He spent many years in the US over three trips to enroll in universities so as to master his skill of playing the musical instruments, mainly for his zeal in Jazz. He was known as God Father of contemporary pop of Taiwan.

The moon represents my heart 月亮代表我的心was first sung and recorded by Taiwanese singer lady芬兰   in 1972; few people knew about this fact. Composer Onn Qing Xi who goes with his moniker as “Tony 汤尼” was then studying in Boston, USA. The aspiring composer always found his inspiration for his creations while lying and relaxing on the park's grass field near his university. He recalled: 'during the time when I composed this melody, I was studying in Boston. I was always lonely ad homesick. I found my solace at the park where I loitered for hours, watching those young Americans courting and having fun on the grass fields. Being already 38 year old, I was reticent and too reserved to approach others for chats. Feeling the ambience of romance of togetherness and sad parting, I managed to have the tune of the melody taken shape in my mind before penning it on paper.'

Chen Fen Lan  芬兰 was the original singer for the song 月亮代表我的心

The following year Tony left for home country Taiwan and sought the assistance of well-known lyrist Soon Yi for the lyrics of some of his compositions. Among the few Tony was prepared to discard, Soon Yi found a number that was particularly catchy, outstanding and readily acceptable to listeners. Thus a complete song of “The moon represents my heart” was created, sung and broadcasted soon over the radio by Chen Fen Lan 芬兰, a local famous singer. After the release of the song’s album, the recording company did not work hard to promote the song and that resulted few people in Taiwan had ever heard of it. Chen Fen Lan could not present the song in the TV shows too as she shortly after left for Japan and was married there. A budding singer named Liu Kuan Lin 劉冠霖 sang the song in 1973 under the same recording company but did not cause any sensation. Instead the song The moon represents my heart 月亮代表我的心recorded by Chen Fen Lan found its popularity prevailed in the South-East Asian countries, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. Eventually the trend returned to Taiwan and was well liked by folks there. Teresa Teng found the song melodious, soothing and was tempted to do a recording with her own style of rendition. It tuned up to be a great success and they rest was history. At that time of Teresa’s recording, she was not aware the song was originally Taiwanese creation, and not from the Far East. 

There was a stark change in her looks when she turned middle-aged. Still she displayed a stunning, elegant disposition. One tends to sigh: Beauty is transient.
Teresa Teng @ Teng Li-Chun 鄧麗君Born 1953 Jan 29th-Died 1995
May 8th at age 42. Her demise broke many hearts. She was given an official state funeral ceremony by the Taiwanese government for her great contribution in providing popular entertainment to her people.
Teresa Teng Forever. She was laid in eternal peace in her grave at Jinshan, Taipei.

The composer Onn Qing Xi @ Tony was not pleased that his work was not given proper recognition as his name was not listed as the composer on the album cover Teresa recorded. He was really upset and vexed that he was not being respected as he did not received any remuneration for the patent right as well. Later when Teresa Teng chanced upon Tony at the backstage of a concert, then only she realized the latter was the rightful composer and needed to be awarded by her recording company for what he deserved. She apologized to Tony profusely and she went a step further to explain to her audience in her concerts when she sang the song, that Onn Qing Xi @ Tony was the brainchild of this super hit: The moon represents my heart月亮代表我的心. Tony went on to compose more songs for Teresa to sing and she deemed Tony as her mentor for her musical career.

The lyrics of the song in Chinese:

     你問我愛你有多深 我愛你有幾分
     我的情也真 我的愛也真
     你問我愛你有多深 我愛你有幾分
     我的情不移 我的愛不變
   *輕輕的一個吻 已經打動我的心
     深深的一段情 叫我思念到如今
   #你問我愛你有多深 我愛你有幾分
     你去想一想 你去看一看
     重唱 *,
     你去想一想 你去看一看
With Pinyin lyrics, please log in this URLfor your listening pleasure:
For Chinese lyrics and with English translation:

For Three in One (Chinese, Pinyin and with English Translation) 
this should be most rewarding:
Happy listening!
Alan CY Kok

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