24 September 2008

My Intimate Partner

According to local mythology, Cantonese pop started with Sam Hui in the early seventies. Before that it was either English or Mandarin. There is some truth in that, although there was a fair amount of Cantonese pop in the fifties and sixties in movies and released on small independent labels. It is just that it is hard to track down, partly because it was, and still is, held in such low esteem. So this CD compilation of sixties movie songs released by Fung Hang in 1997 was a good find for me.

For some reason, a lot of Cantonese movies had English titles in those days, even though they didn't have English subtitles. So we can translate the title of this CD as My Intimate Partner, the English title of a black and white Cantonese movie starring Patrick Tse (left). Patrick Tse, who is the father of Cantopop star Nicholas Tse doesn't actually sing on this compilation. The others do. They are Connie Chan, Liu Kee and Josephine Siao.

Here is the tracklisting, lovingly translated into English by Alice (if you appreciate it, please visit Hedgehog Adventures and leave a friendly comment!).

1. Eighteen Year-old Girls Are As Beautiful As Flowers - Connie Chan & Liu Kee
2. Love Flower Blossoms - Rowena
3. Fragrant Durian - Lee Po Yin & Man Chin Shiu
4. Trouble-free Youth - Josephine Siao
5. A Young Girl's Loving Heart - Josephine Siao
6. Dreaming of Chao - Connie Chan & Cheung Ching
7. China Brother - Cheung Kam Cheong
8. Ladykiller - Connie Chan
9. My Loving Child - Connie Chan
10. Can't Forget You - Connie Chan & Liu Kee
11. It's Hard To Be A Daughter-in-law - Connie Chan & Cheung Ching
12. The Joy Of Study - Connie Chan & Nancy Sit
13. My Lover Is You - Josephine Siao, Fan Lee & Au Kei Wei
14. Keep The Mountain Green - Josephine Siao, Fan Lee & Au Kei Wei
15. Two Flying Swallows - Josephine Siao, Fan Lee & Au Kei Wei

Tracks 1, 10 & 12 are from one of the classic sixties youth movies, Girls Are Flowers. And, yes, track 12 really is about the joy of study. It's also a kind of variation on Do-Re-Mi from The Sound Of Music, which is often used to teach basic music in western schools. This song was was playing in the car the other day while I was giving a friend a ride to work. She turned up the volume and said it was a song she remembered from her childhood. As she put it, the song "urges the youth to be diligent in their studies".

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