Friday, March 09, 2012

[Music] Michael Kwan and Susanna Kwan - Losing Both Ourselves in the Watery Mists

1. Although a Christian by religion, I am by temperament closer to Daoism (or Taoism).

There are quite a few Cantopop songs that appeal to the would-be Daoist in me - "Losing Both Ourselves in the Watery Mists" ("倆忘煙水裡") is one of them.

2. "Losing Both Ourselves in the Watery Mists" is the theme song of the Hong Kong TVB Drama "The Demi-Gods & Semi-Devils (First Part)", which was first aired in March, 1982.

"The Demi-Gods & Semi-Devils" is based on a martial arts and chivalry novel of the same name by Louis Cha.

Louis Cha's pen name is "Jin Yong".

Like many Chinese, I am a big fan of Louis Cha's novels.

I must have read his 15 works at least three times each; some even more.

At one time, I have the hope that Louis Cha will be the first Chinese to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

But alas, that honour was bestowed on Gao Xingjian in 2000.

3. "Losing Both Ourselves in the Watery Mists" was sung by Michael Kwan and Susanna Kwan.

Although sharing a common last name, Michael and Susanna are not related.

Michael Kwan was an important Cantopop singer from the mid-1970s to late 1980s, but he has never sung full-time.

Michael Kwan entered the School of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong in 1969.

"Kwan practiced architecture full time after graduation and founded his practice in 1983." ("Michael Kwan", Wikipedia.)

Michael Kwan immigrated to the US in the early 1990s.

Susanna Kwan, on the other hand, is still active as a singer and TV actress in Hong Kong.

4. The title of this song is rather hard to translate into English:

"倆" ("two of us")
"忘" ("forget")
"煙" ("mist")
"水" ("water")
"裡" ("in")

I have seen the following translations in YouTube:

(a) "Memories Lost in the Mists";

(b) "Lost in the Mists of Time";

(c) "Both are Forgotten in the Mist"; and

(d) "Forgotten in the Mists of Time".

In the end, I opted for a wooden translation: "Losing Both Ourselves in the Watery Mists".

5. A search in YouTube yields many instances of this song.

However, most of the instances are duets by ordinary folks.

Michael Kwan and Susanna Kwan:

6. The quality of the sound is very good:

Another good one:

7. Susanna Kwan and Johnny Yip in concert:

Johnny Yip has become Susanna Kwan's duet partner for this song since Michael Kwan's retirement from Cantopop.

Another version:

8. The music in the instrument "Guzheng":

Very good.

9. The video are scenes from the 1982 TV drama:

Brings back a lot of memory.

10. I am so glad they enjoy themselves:

11. The video in this version has an English translation of the lyrics:

12. The video model is Pinky Cheung, a Hong Kong actress:

13. They sang pretty well:

Although the guy missed some of the lyrics.

14. I suppose this song is pretty popular among us middle-aged folks:

15. This is pretty ok too:

16. Like some commented in YouTube, I too have a difficult time making out Ms. Wong's Cantonese:

But she has a good voice for this song and they harmonize quite well.

17. Phoebus can really play this song:

As to the singing, uh um ...

18. This is uploaded in February, 2012:

Somebody still likes this song!

The video is nicely done - they are stills from the 1982 TV drama.

19. The Lyrics in Traditional Chinese:

倆忘煙水裡 - 關正傑, 關菊英

男:女兒意   英雄癡   吐盡恩義情深幾

女:塞外約   枕畔詩   心中也留多少醉

*男:磊落志   天地心   傾出摯誠不會悔
女:獻盡愛   竟是哀   風中化成唏噓句

#男:笑莫笑   悲莫悲   此刻我乘風遠去
女:凝悲忍歎   無可

@男:往日意    今日癡   他他朝兩忘煙水裡
女:奈從今癡   兩   忘煙水裡

Repeat *, #, @, @

20. The Lyrics in Simplified Chinese:

俩忘烟水里 - 关正杰, 关菊英

男:女儿意   英雄痴   吐尽恩义情深几

女:塞外约   枕畔诗   心中也留多少醉

*男:磊落志   天地心   倾出挚诚不会悔
女:献尽爱   竟是哀   风中化成唏嘘句

#男:笑莫笑   悲莫悲   此刻我乘风远去
女:凝悲忍叹   无可

@男:往日意   今日痴   他他朝两忘烟水里
女:奈从今   痴   两忘烟水里

Repeat *, #, @, @

21. Names, Words and Phrases:

Michael Kwan (Traditional Chinese: 關正傑; Simplified Chinese: 关正杰).

Susanna Kwan (Traditional: 關菊英; Simplified: 关菊英).

Daoism (alternate spelling of "Taoism").

Gao Xingjian (Traditional: 高行健; Simplified: 高行健).

Guzheng (Traditional: 古箏; Simplified: 古筝).

Jin Yong (Traditional: 金庸; Simplified: 金庸).

Johnny Yip (Traditional: 葉振棠; Simplified: 叶振棠).

Louis Cha (Traditional: 查良鏞; Simplified: 查良镛).

Martial arts and chivalry novel (Traditional: 武俠小說; Simplified: 武侠小说).

Nobel Prize in Literature (Traditional: 諾貝爾文學獎; Simplified: 诺贝尔文学奖).

Pinky Cheung (Traditional: 張文慈; Simplified: 张文慈).

Taoism (Traditional: 道家; Simplified: 道家).

The Demi-Gods & Semi-Devils (First Part) (Traditional: 天龍八部之六脈神劍; Simplified: 天龙八部之六脉神剑).


"Michael Kwan", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2012-03-09).

"Susanna Kwan", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2012-03-09).

"關正傑", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2012-03-09).

"關菊英", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2012-03-09).

"天龍八部 (1982年電視劇)", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2012-03-09).