Saturday, June 29, 2013

[Music] Benevolence of the Land -- Michael Kwan

 Michael Kwan

 A Poster for Fatherland (1980)

1. Chinese Poem of the Day:

賀知章 (659 - 744)




2. Benevolence of the Land  ("大地恩情") was the theme song of Part 1 of a Hong Kong RTV's television drama that was first aired in 1980.

The TV drama was also called "大地恩情" in Chinese but the official translation of "大地恩情" in English is Fatherland.

Since I do not find Fatherland to be an appropriate title for the song, I have changed it to Benevolence of the Land.
Fatherland (1980) was consisted of three parts, each with its own theme song:

Part 1 - Home in Pearl River ("家在珠江") (36 episodes).

Part 2 - Revolution in the Old Capital ("古都驚雷") (22 episodes).

Part 3 - The Golden Mountain Dream ("金山夢") (12 episodes).

("Golden Mountain Dream" originally refers to Chinese who dreamt of making money in either the California or the British Columbia Gold Rush of the 1840s and 1850s. Today, it generally refers to Chinese who dreams of making big money in North America.)

(RTV was the predecessor of today's Asia Television Limited (ATV).)

3. Back in 1980, there were only two free-to-air television stations in Hong Kong:

(a) RTV (Rediffusion Television), and

(b) TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited).

TVB was by the far the dominant TV station in Hong Kong.

The airing of Fatherland ("大地恩情") was the first time RTV has beaten TVB in ratings and it is still consider a landmark in Hong Kong's television history.

4. The song Benevolence of the Land ("大地恩情") touched me very deeply because something similar happened to my family.

The backdrop for Home in Pearl River ("家在珠江") was the 1900s and 1910s when the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) was coming to an end the chaos of the Republic of China began.

The story tells of a family forced to leave their ancestral village in the Pearl River delta area because of poverty.

Similarly, my paternal grandfather and some from his clan left our ancestral village in the Pearl River delta area in the early 1910s because of poverty.

They moved to Hong Kong to seek economic opportunities.

My father was born in Hong Kong and in the same year he was born the clan moved to Shanghai.

The clan consisting of over thirty people moved back to Hong Kong in 1933 during the Japanese invasion of Shanghai.

My aunt remembered my father was not able to speak Cantonese but can only speak Shanghainese when they moved back.

Although my paternal grandfather passed away before I was born, the story Home in Pearl River ("家在珠江") touched me deeply.

I understand this kind of stories happened to a whole generation of people: they left their ancestral village not because they wanted to; they were forced to do so because of war and poverty.

There was a deep longing to return to the ancestral village and to the land in which they were rooted.

And this is the sentiment of the song Benevolence of the Land ("大地恩情").

5. Michael Kwan was the original singer of Benevolence of the Land ("大地恩情"):

6. Jacky Cheung:

7. David Lau was one of the actors in Fatherland (1980):

8. Johnny Yip:

9. Andy Lau:

The singing is ok.

But as @SiegfriedJRLi remarked in YouTube, the choreography is really inappropriate.

10. A piano cover:

11.  The Lyrics in Traditional Chinese:

大地恩情 -- 關正傑


河水彎又彎   冷然說憂患
別我鄉里時   眼淚一串濕衣衫

人於天地中   似螻蟻千萬
獨我苦笑離群   當日抑憤郁心間

若有輕舟強渡   有朝必定再返
水漲   水退   難免起落數番

大地倚在河畔   水聲輕說變幻
夢裡依稀滿地青翠   但我鬢上已斑斑

12. The Lyrics in Simplified Chinese:



河水弯又弯   冷然说忧患
别我乡里时   眼泪一串湿衣衫

人于天地中   似蝼蚁千万
独我苦笑离群   当日抑愤郁心间

若有轻舟强渡   有朝必定再返
水涨   水退   难免起落数番

大地倚在河畔   水声轻说变幻
梦里依稀满地青翠   但我鬓上已斑斑

13. Names, Words and Phrases:

Andy Lau (Traditional Chinese: 劉德華; Simplified Chinese: 刘德华).

David Lau (Traditional: 劉志榮; Simplified: 刘志荣).

Jacky Cheung (Traditional: 張學友; Simplified: 张学友).

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

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

Pearl River (Traditional: 珠江; Simplified: 珠江).

Qing Dynasty (Traditional: 清朝; Simplified: 清朝).

RTV (Traditional: 麗的電視; Simplified: 丽的电视).

TVB (Traditional: 無綫電視; Simplified: 无线电视).


"Gold Mountain", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2013-06-29).

"List of television stations in Hong Kong", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2013-06-29).

"大地恩情", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2013-06-29).

"賀知章", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2013-06-29).