A Song in my Head

Lately, the song stuck in my head is “Beijing Beijing” (北京北京) by the Chinese star, Wang Feng.  It’s a song and a message you can feel, in any language.  Thought I’d share it with you today.

Video:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uau77-KKij4

北京北京  Beijing Beijing

dang1 wo3 zou3 zai4 zhe4 li3 de mei3 yi4 tiao2 jie1 dao4
When I walk on each of these streets

wo3 de xin1 si4 hu1 cong2 lai2 bu4 neng2 ping2 jing4
My heart never seems to be at peace

chu2 le fa1 dong4 ji1 de hong1 ming2 he2 dian4 qi4 zhi1 yin1
Apart from roaring of the engines and sounds of the electric

wo3 si4 hu1 ting1 dao4 le ta1 zhu2 gu3 ban1 de xin1 tiao4
I seem to hear its candlewick heartbeat

wo3 zai4 zhe4 li3 huan1 xiao4
Here I laughed

wo3 zai4 zhe4 li3 ku1 qi4
Here I cried

wo3 zai4 zhe4 li3 huo2 zhe
Here I’ve lived

ye3 zai4 zhe4 li3 si3 qu4
and here I’ll die
wo3 zai4 zhe4 li3 qi3 dao3
Here I prayed

wo3 zai4 zhe4 li3 mi2 wang3
Here I’ve felt lost

wo3 zai4 zhe4 li3 xun2 zhao3
Here I sought

zai4 zhe4 li3 shi1 qu4
and here I’ve lost
北京 北京
bei3 jing1 bei3 jing1
Beijing Beijing
ka1 fei1 guan3 yu3 guang3 chang3 you3 san1 ge4 jie1 qu1
The coffee house is three blocks away from the square

jiu4 xiang4 ni2 hong2 deng1 dao4 yue4 liang4 de ju4 li2
just like the distance between the neon and the moon

ren2 men zai4 zheng1 zha2 zhong1 hu4 xiang1 gao4 wei4 he2 yong1 bao4
In the midst of their struggles, people comfort and hug each other

寻找着 追逐着 奄奄一息的碎梦
xun2 zhao3 zhe zhui1 zhu2 zhe yan1 yan1 yi4 xi1 de sui4 meng4
Searching and chasing, grasping at shattered dreams
ru2 guo3 you3 yi4 tian1 wo2 bu4 de2 bu4 li2 qu4
If one day I have to leave

wo3 xi1 wang4 ren2 men ba3 wo3 mai2 zai4 zhe4 li3
I hope people will bury me here

zai4 zhe4 er wo3 neng2 gan3 jue4 dao4 wo3 de cun2 zai4
Here, I can feel my existence

zai4 zhe4 you3 tai4 duo1 rang4 wo3 juan4 lian4 de dong1 xi
Here, there are too many things that I long for

Songs for My Sister

This week, I’ve been listening to songs for my sister.  Some, we loved together.  Some, I think she would have loved.  All these years later, there are some I cannot listen to without too many memories.  Tears and guilt and a weight that will never be lifted.  My memories are snapshots of us under the eucalyptus trees, wandering through the pasture, fighting about chores, fighting about nothing and everything, and learning to fly in our own ways.  I miss her every day.

She was in love with Rick Springfield.  How did we not tire of “Jessie’s Girl“?  And she was in love with David Lee Roth – “Jump“.   “Every Breath You Take” made her want to play guitar.  I think we acted out the video for “Our House“.  “Dancing in the Dark“, Bruce Springsteen – Oh, how we wanted him to be her dancing on stage with him!  When Quiet Riot came along with “Cum on Feel the Noize“, hell yes, we rocked the big hair! “Rock Me Amadeus“, “Manic Monday“, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” … Prince, Journey, The Beach Boys, Huey Lewis & the News … We were California kids of the 80s.

More recently, I think she would have liked “Crazy” from Gnarls Barkley.  And for that matter, Cee Lo’s “Fuck You“.  “Supermassive Black Hole“.  “Lose Yourself“.  I think she would have liked Outkast, Gaga, Pink, Kelly Clarkson.  I would have wanted her to like “Count on Me“, “Make You Feel My Love“, “Let it Be Me“, “Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey“, or maybe just because I think of her when I hear those.

She would have danced Gangnam Style around her living room to make her kids laugh.  She would have asked me who the hell Calvin Harris is.  She would have remained true to Rick Springfield.

Oh my dear sister, I don’t think the others really knew, but it was always you.

I used to believe we were just like those trees.  We’d grow just as tall and as proud as we’d please. With our feet on the ground and our arms in the breeze, under a sheltering sky.  … and when I look up at you looking down, say it was only a dream.  “Only a Dream“, Mary Chapin Carpenter