我家在那離 — A Taiwanese Song

June 6, 2017

[English speakers, see text below.]

愛上台灣本省土生土地的樂曲並欣賞台灣歌手唱法的老美現在2017年應該就有了,但30多年前卻比較稀少. 不知為何,本人對台灣歌曲的浪漫與悲哀,歡喜與痛苦感觸深刻.  當時準備出社會當歌手做表演的我,背誦不少台灣歌詞,包括洪榮宏,齊秦, 羅大佑,歐陽菲菲,蔡琴等歌手的名歌.

因為某些因素,我並沒有實現這個願望,沒有認真地在台進行追求. 這我一向認為可惜的誤會早已經變成歷史了. 反正讓我抱佛腳而自我提醒老歌詞道:”不知過了多少年惦記模糊的,我的心不變…”之所以,儘管時間很晚, 我就趁這此刻錄下一首老國語歌曲.

30多年前在台北市林森北路靠近國寶飯店曾有一家好萊塢餐廳(就在2樓要爬樓梯沒有電梯).吃鐵板燒可以聆聽現場音樂.我第一次在台音樂會就聽到劉家昌.當時對他本人不熟.沒想到台灣創作界會有一個音樂的楊傳廣. 因為當時台灣的音樂可以說很純樸.台灣人經濟興旺時沒時間也沒有興趣在藝術界發展. 所以,看到劉師傅聘請了一組三人弦奏團陪他唱, 讓我非常激動. 嗓子好聽的不得了.我就買下卡帶學一學.  “我家在那裡”就是我第一首能唱的國語歌曲.後來在上海表演時,認識到施鴻顎師傅,第一首給他唱就是這首.

 

In 2017, there are likely at least a few Americans who love the popular music of Taiwan and who admire Taiwanese singers.  But 30 years ago, I’m sure they were few.  I don’t know why, really, but I felt a deep attraction to and was moved by the romance, the sorrow, the joy and the hurt expressed as only native Taiwanese singers can.   As a young man in the 1980s, desiring to become a performer and singer, I learned many Taiwanese lyrics, including songs sung by Hong Jung-hung, Ch’i Ch’in, Luo Ta-You, Ouyang Fei-fei and Cai Ch’in, among others.  [Pronunciations at the bottom of this post.]

For many reasons, I didn’t pursue this inner desire to sing or perform in Taiwan.  But mistakes of the past are history, as I’ve come to learn with a bit of age and a lot of experience.  In any case, perhaps I am hoping against hope (clasping the feet of the Buddha, as Chinese say) that, as the old song puts it, “The vaguest of memories persisting for who knows how many years, but my heart hasn’t changed.”  Thus, even though it may be late, I thought I’d take this opportunity to sing one of the oldies.

30 years ago, on Lin Sen North Rd in Taipei, just down the block from the Ambassador Hotel, was a club called the Hollywood Cafe, up on the 2nd floor (and you had to walk up), where you could eat the Teppanyaki on a sizzling hot metal slab that was the rage at the time and listen to live music.  The first time I ever went, I saw Liu Chia-ch’ang.  At the time, I had no idea who he was.  I couldn’t at the time imagine that in the Taiwan of that period, there would be anyone in the arts the caliber of the Taiwanese decathlete champion and Olympic medalist, C K Yang,   But I think Master Liu was precisely that.

Taiwanese music back then was, shall we say, simple.  People were more interested in building businesses and making money than in devoting time to the arts.  But there, at this little supper club, was a string trio backing a singer with a world-class voice.  Naturally, I was excited.  I purchased as many cassettes as I could lay my hands on.  This song, My Home, is the first Chinese pop song I ever learned. When I came to perform in Shanghai a decade later, this is the song I sang for my Master instructor and dear friend, Shi Hong-e, the great operatic impressario, may he rest in peace.  He loved it and I hope you do as well.

PRONUNCIATION GUIDE
Hong Jung-hung — Hoeng Roeng-hoeng
Ch’i Ch’in — Chee Chin
Luo Ta-You — Luaw Da Yo
Ouyang Fei-fei — O-yang Fay Fay
Cai Ch’in — Tseye (ts + eye) Chin
Liu Chia-ch’ang — Lyo Jya-chang

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