This morning, I woke up to the sweet sound of distant thunder. After a day of sweltering heat and a night of suffocating humidity, this sound was (pardon the cliché), music to my ears. It reminded me of a piece of Chinese classical music that I used to enjoy. The title was; 旱天雷, or Thunder in Dry Season. This piece was in my first Chinese Classical LP record by (I think) the Singapore Chinese Orchestra which I bought in 1969.
旱天雷, as you can probably guess from the title, depicts the excitement and elation which farmers felt when they heard the distant rumblings of thunder during a time of drought. I believe this piece originated in Guangzhou in Southern China; and we used to know it by its Cantonese name, “Hon Tin Loi”. Here’s a version performed by the China Broadcasting Traditional Orchestra (中国广播民族乐团). Please listen to the end to see the sudden switch in mood brought on, no doubt, by the thunder.
Interestingly, this tune was also used to accompany the programmes by the famous Redifussion story-teller, Lee Dai Sor. I remember there was a very funny Cantonese song version titled; “Ping kor wah ngor sor” – "Who says I am stupid?" Maybe that was how Lee Dai Sor got his nickname of Big Fool Lee.
Yesterday, I posted this photo of a cloudless sky on my Facebook page with this description; Not a cloud in the sky. But with temp at 33 deg C, nobody is singing; "I'm on the top of the world". (Top of the World is a famous song by the Carpenters)