Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The sounds of applause

If William Shakespeare was correct when he said that all the world is a stage, and men and women merely players, then guys like me, who have stood on this stage for three score years or more, would certainly have experienced the thrill of hearing the sounds of applause at one time or another in our lives.

Perhaps it is for this reason that the news of the passing of Taiwanese songbird Feng Fei Fei brought on a certain sadness even though I am not a particularly big fan of hers. If I am asked to name some of her songs, I can only come up with these three, 我是一片雲, 一顆紅豆 and this one which I really like; 掌聲響起 (Here comes the applause).

Here’s a video clip of this beautiful song. You will notice that it brought tears to the eyes of both singer and audience.


17 comments:

Thimbuktu said...

Chun See, thank you for a moving tribute to 鳳飛飛 with a 掌聲響起 video on your blog. The lyrics of this song is most touching and meaningful to bring tears of emotion to the singer and audience at a "live" concert. Rest in peace, 鳳飛飛.

peter said...

Taiwanese music like this good for bedtime (seriously I mean like a lullaby). If u are alone ina lounge, you start thinking of your sweet heart.

jade said...

When these good singers pass on, we still have access to their songs via cds, vcds, radios, tv, youtube, etc,.
That was not the case years ago before man invented these recording devices. I wonder how many good singers perpetually disappeared without a 'sound' simply because they did not record.

I am thankful that Whitney Houston has left behind so many good songs. I must have listened to "I will always love you" a dozen times already.

Lam Chun See said...

Peter. You are making sweeping statements again. There are many types/genres or Taiwanese song. Your comment maybe more more applicable to Teresa Teng's music; which by the way, I like very much.

Do you recall that the late President Ong Teng Chong played Teresa Teng's song at his wife's funeral on the piano?

Edward said...

Very emotional song. Although I cannot understand a word of it, I can sense the raw emotion from the tune and Fei Fei’s expression. A few months ago I met a PRC Chinese who recently returned from a brief trip to Singapore. When he learnt that I was from Singapore he reverted to Mandarin in our conversation. I told him that I cannot speak Mandarin and his reply was, “Everybody speaks Mandarin in Singapore. Even the Indians in the food centre speak Mandarin.” I thought this was an exaggeration; perhaps some Indians can speak basic Mandarin, sufficient to get by in their day to day business transactions. I explained that in the early years Mandarin was taught as a second language (in English schools) but it wasn’t compulsory to pass the examinations. Apparently the focus has since changed. Not only is Mandarin universally spoken in Singapore but it has taken precedent over local dialects, to the extent that the younger generations are losing touch with their mother tongue. This is all so surprising to me.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes. He is definitely exaggerating. But it is true that most younger Sporeans have lost touch with dialects. All my 3 children for example, cannot speak Cantonese; even though both my wife and I are Cantonese.

Hence in my book, GMY, I deliberately used a lot of dialect names of the past to educate them; and also let them know the old names of many places in Spore e.g. Ang Sar Lee, San Ko Chio and Hoi Pei (Esplanade).

Sadder still is that although many young Sporeans speak Mandarin, their Mandarin is mixed with lots of English. But I see the same problem with the Malays and Indians :(

jade said...

Looking at my kids, nephews and nieces, I realised that those who could undersand and speak some dialects at this time, are the ones who were under the care of the grandparents or other relatives who spoke dialects and no English. Our generation were so comfortable conversing in English that we totally neglected our dialects and failed to induce dialect speaking in our kids. Personally, I wish I had put in the effort to teach my kids some Teochews. more than what they are able to utter, namely phrases like 'chia pah boey','ler haw bor', 'Ah Ma, wah ai thng' and the CNY wish 'Sin Chia Joo Ee'.
I think that campaign, 'Speak English and not dialects' year ago can be declared immensely successful.

household name said...

nice

Edward said...

The first time I heard a taxi driver in Singapore speak English was in a 60 Minutes program in Melbourne. George Negus (a journalist from the Australian 60 Minutes crew) was in Singapore to report on the APEC conference in 1990. He was trying to gauge the level of awareness of regional politics amongst local Singaporeans. George was sitting at the back of a taxi when he asked the driver, “Have you heard of Paul Keating?” (Paul Keating was then the Prime Minister of Australia). The driver looked puzzled and replied, “What is it?”

Anonymous said...

Another favourite song of mine from Feng Fei Fei. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ccKOjzuiKE&feature=related

peter said...

aiyoh talking about dead singers, my next door Filipina maid cannot stop singing this Whitney Houston songs. One moment i hear her spinnin the CD, next moment the maid sings. Now my Filipina also fill the empty time slot when the CD and my next door filipina maid "not working". Behind my house anothe filipina maid also singing same song. Now I can be the judge for "Which filipina maid got talent".

Chun See
Music can impact people different ways. When I presto your music clip, the first thing that came to my mind was lullaby for the bed........(btw must be imaginative also lah).

jade said...

Just to illustrate how little English the older Singaporeans know in the 60s, I would like to relate a true incident that took place when I was a kid.
A neighbour of mine, dialect-speaking and illiterate, took a small child she was babysitting to the clinic to see the doctor. When she was asked for the child's name, she realised she had forgotten to bring the birth cert. She racked her memory and told the clinic assistant the child's name was 'Mee Rebus'. And the actual surname of the child? ...De Mello. Can't remember if they got to see the doctor that day but it became a joke in our kampong.

James Tann said...

Forty one years ago in Feb 1970, SG lost one of our own superstars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03Q4ejz90dM

Edward said...

I first heard the voice of Susan Lim in the mid 60s, during a Sunday night stroll along the pasar malam at Old Upper Thomson Road. Her records (and those of the other local musicians) echoed through the warm evening air as shoppers chatted, bargained, laughed and soaked the festive-like atmosphere. The song that stayed with me all these years was “Silver threads and golden needles”. In the beginning there were rumours that her death was suicide. More likely this was an attempt to dramatise the tragic event that cut short such a young and promising life.

Jade said...

Wow, didn't I just relate the mee rebus/De Mello incident a while ago in almost the same words? Outsources Bookkeeping must have lived in the same kampong as I. I am curious....how did that incident become a 'scam'?
For the record, there were no Indians or other non-Chinese in our little humble kampong/

Lam Chun See said...

Jade. I think all those meaningless comments by Outsources Bookkeeping are spam. I have deleted them all.

Jade said...

Thanks Chun See,
A little annoying but no worries lah...