Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Theme from Wong Fei Hung

Recently I attended a public concert by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra at Clementi Woods. One of the tunes they played was the well-known theme song from the Wong Fei Hung (Once Upon a Time in China)movies made popular by kungfu superstar Jet Li. The conductor did a neat trick by dividing the audience into two groups, and asking us to shout out at the precise moment; Ooh! and Aah! just like in the movie version made popular by George Lam.

He – the conductor – referred to this tune as 男儿当自强. He did not dare to use the original and proper title because he was probably afraid that the young people in the crowd would not recognize it. Do you know what is its original title? I think among the oldies in the crowd, even if they did not know the title, they definitely knew that the original version which was used in the Kwan Tuck Hing and Shek Kin days sounded like this:

This classical piece incidentally is known as 将军令 or The General’s Command. I am sure the iconic intro of the drums and yangqin brings back nice warm memories for the oldies. Although the action sequences of the old black and white WFH movies are no match for today’s special-effects enhanced versions, it did not stop the kids of our era from having a good time then. Here’s a clip to rekindle your happy memories of those good old open-air theatre days.

PS – Although I belong to what they call the hung-mao pai (红毛派 or English-Ed brigade) I do enjoy Chinese classical music. In fact I have a modest collection of 华乐 cds; including the ones containing 十面埋伏 and 将军令. Friends who want to borrow are welcome.

Related posts:

1) To the movies
2) Special effects
3) Shek Kin - Thank you for the memories


JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Nice post... I enjoyed reading this... Especially reading Jet Li's name. He was popular in the philippines...


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