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Aug 28

Beijing Welcomed You … so did you remember its song?

Written by Nimrod on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 3:05 pm
Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, music, video | Tags:, ,
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The Olympics are over (except for the Paralympics, that is) and people have trickled out of Beijing, but still in their heads and mine is probably this catchy (some say annoying) song that was sung by an ensemble of veritable who’s-who in today’s Chinese popular music world. Chinese people seem to really like this kind of qunxing (群星) or star-ensemble singing, where phrases are sung by their favorite stars.



Chinese popular music has changed drastically over the decades. Since the dark days of smuggled tapes of Teresa TENG Lijun and other “subversive” influences (70’s and early 80’s) , diverse styles of popular music have grown up in the mainland. In the past ten years, there has also been an explosion of ethnic and folk music as well as mainstream minority performers. Taiwan and Hong Kong continue to supply huge influences, of course, but it is no longer in one direction. These stars often “develop” themselves in the mainland now. On top of that, a large number of Chinese diaspora singers have found their home market in China, including Singaporeans, Malaysians, and Chinese Americans. China’s music has also become popular in those southeast Asian countries. Even non-Chinese Koreans and Japanese entertainers now do cross-over stints in China. Clearly, Mandarin is now a “cool” language to sing in.

You will see many of these examples in this video. See if you can spot all the non-Han and non-PRC/ROC artists.

This music video also has many other points of interest because it presents Beijing’s environs and many aspects of Chinese culture through it. So it is worth translating its lyrics and notating the scenes. Here it is, sing along because the English lyrics are supposed to have about the right meter:

“Beijing Welcomes You” 《北京欢迎你》

sound of opera singing
sound of bicycle bell
figurine making
kites
sound of radio’s on-hour announcement, “Beijing Time 6 o’clock”
sound of street sweeping
woodblock printing
Taichi
sound of pigeon bells

1. Front (South) Gate
CHEN Tianjia (陈天佳):
迎接另一个晨曦 带来全新空气
Greeting another dawn whose rays
bring forth freshened air

2. Bird’s Nest
LIU Huan (刘欢):
气息改变情味不变 茶香飘满情谊
Air moves, sentiment’s flavor stays,
tea scent drifts with affection

3. Back (North) Gate
NA Ying (那英)
我家大门常打开 开放怀抱等你
My house doors open often, my
open arms await you.

4. White Pagoda of Beihai Park
Stephanie Ee Tze SNG (孙燕姿)
拥抱过就有了默契 你会爱上这里
After hugs we will have bonded,
you will come to love here.

5. Pudu Temple
SUN Yue (孙悦)
不管远近都是客人 请不用客气
Far or near all are my guests,
please do feel at home.

6. Millennium Monument
Lee-Hom WANG (王力宏)
相约好了在一起 我们欢迎你
We agreed to come together,
so we welcome you.

7. Peking University
HAN Hong (韩红)
我家种着万年青 开放每段传奇
Evergreens grow at my home,
blooms each legend from them

8. Ancestral Temple
Emil CHAU Wakin (周华健)
为传统的土壤播种 为你留下回忆
They sow the soil of tradition,
they keep memories for you.

9. Imperial School
Gigi LEUNG Wing-Kei (梁咏琪)
陌生熟悉都是客人 请不用拘礼
Strangers, familiars all are guests,
no need to be formal.

10. shadow puppetry
CHEN Yufan (陈羽凡), HU Haiquan (胡海泉) of Yu Quan (羽泉)
第几次来没关系 有太多话题
Times you’ve come doesn’t matter, so
much to talk about.

11. Badaling Great Wall
Jackie CHAN (成龙)
北京欢迎你 为你开天辟地
Beijing welcomes you,
changed heaven and earth for you

12. Liulichang street of crafts
Richie JEN Hsian-Chih (任贤齐)
流动中的魅力充满着朝气
Its fluidly flowing charm full of vitality

13. Shunyi Rowing Park
Jolin TSAI I-Lin (蔡依林)
北京欢迎你 在太阳下分享呼吸
Beijing welcomes you,
to share your breaths under the sun

14. National Theater
SUN Nan (孙楠)
在黄土地刷新成绩
to break ground on the Yellow Soil

15. Water Cube
Bibi ZHOU Bichang (周笔畅)
我家大门常打开 开怀容纳天地
My house doors open often, to
take in earth and heaven

16. kite making
WEI Wei (韦唯)
岁月绽放青春笑容 迎接这个日期
A youthful smile blossoms on Age
waiting to greet this day

17. Shunyi Rowing Park
HUANG Xiaoming (黄晓明)
天大地大都是朋友 请不用客气
In this big wide world all are friends,
please do feel at home.

18. Peking Opera mask making
HAN Geng (韩庚)
画意诗情带笑意 只为等待你
Poetic dreams and hints of joy
live on just for you.

19. Ancient Observatory
WANG Feng (汪峰)
北京欢迎你 像音乐感动你
Beijing welcomes you,
touching you like music.

20. Zhongshan Park
Karen MOK Man-Wai (莫文蔚)
让我们都加油去超越自己
Let us all go forth, try hard, and transcend ourselves

21. paper model making
TAN Jing (谭晶)
北京欢迎你 有梦想谁都了不起
Beijing welcomes you,
dreams make anyone amazing

22. Temple of Earth
Eason CHAN Yik-Shun (陈奕迅)
有勇气就会有奇迹
With courage come the miracles

23. Wukesong Sports Center
YAN Weiwen (阎维文)
北京欢迎你 为你开天辟地

24. Confucius Temple
DAI Yuqiang (戴玉强)
流动中的魅力充满着朝气

25. Shichahai district
WANG Xia (王霞)
QI Feng (齐峰), LI Shuangsong (李双松)
北京欢迎你 在太阳下分享呼吸

26. Capital Museum
LIAO Changyong (廖昌永)
在黄土地刷新成绩

27. tea ceremony
LIN Yilun (林依轮)
北京欢迎你 像音乐感动你

28. Drum Tower overlooking Bell Tower
JANG Nara (张娜拉)
让我们都加油去超越自己

29. Huguang Guild Hall Opera House
DO Cheng Yi (阿杜), Wayne JJ LIM (林俊杰)
北京欢迎你 有梦想谁都了不起
有勇气就会有奇迹

Peking Opera actor
北京欢迎你啊
Beijing welcomes you ah

30. Forbidden City
Joey YUNG Cho-Yee (容祖儿)
我家大门常打开 开放怀抱等你

31. hot pot
LI Yuchun (李宇春)
拥抱过就有了默契 你会爱上这里

32. pellet drum game
HUANG Dawei (黄大炜)
不管远近都是客人 请不用客气

33. “fortune arrives” symbology
CHEN Kun (陈坤)
相约好了在一起 我们欢迎你

Joey Yung, Nicholas TSE Ting-Fung (谢霆锋), Yumiko CHENG Xiyi (郑希怡)
北京欢迎你 为你开天辟地

34. firecrackers, couplets
Dao Lang (刀郎)
Yu Quan flanking ??
Eason Chan
Jackie Chan
流动中的魅力充满着朝气

35. LCD ceiling at World Trade Center
Vivian HSU (徐若瑄)
北京欢迎你 在太阳下分享呼吸

Liu Huan
Sun Nan
Richie Jen
Lee-Hom Wang
在黄土地刷新成绩

Great Wall
Chang’an Street
Temple of Heaven
Nine Dragon Wall
Forbidden Palace
Paifang
yo-yo juggling
long neck teapot pouring
Peking duck
hand-pulled noodle making
Chinese meal on spinning table
Capital Airport, subway, etc.

36. embroidery
TANG Can (汤灿)
我家大门常打开 开怀容纳天地

37. Merdian Gate
LIN Chi-Ling (林志玲)

38. dumpling making
ZHANG Zilin (张梓琳)
岁月绽放青春笑容 迎接这个日期

39. papercutting
Jane ZHANG Liangying (张靓颖)
天大地大都是朋友 请不用客气

40. indoor ornamentation
Valen HSU Ru-Yun (许茹芸), Sky WU (伍思凯)
画意诗情带笑意 只为等待你

41. brush painting on scroll
YANG Kun (杨坤)

42. park near Central TV Tower
Christine FAN Weiqi (范玮琪)
北京欢迎你 像音乐感动你

43. red lanterns in siheyuan (quadrangle residence)
YOU Hongming (游鸿明) et al.

44. calligraphy
ZHOU Xiao’ou (周晓欧)
让我们都加油去超越自己

Han Geng
Gigi Leung
Yu Quan

45. porcelain
SHA Baoliang (沙宝亮)
北京欢迎你 有梦想谁都了不起

46. Central TV Tower
Peter HO Yun Tung (何润东)
有勇气就会有奇迹

47. Wulong Pagoda of Beihai Park
Faye ZHAN Wenting (詹雯婷) of F.I.R.
PANG Long (庞龙)
All three members of F.I.R.
北京欢迎你 为你开天辟地

48. National Indoor Stadium
XI En (玺恩), LI Yugang (李玉刚)

Kenji WU Ke Qun (吴克群)
流动中的魅力充满着朝气

50. Baita Temple
Members of 5566,

Anson HU Yanbin (胡彦斌)
北京欢迎你 在太阳下分享呼吸

Dao Lang
Joey Yung, Nicholas Tse, Yumiko Cheng
在黄土地刷新成绩

TU Honggang (屠洪刚)
WU Tong (吴彤)
JI Minjia (纪敏加) et al.
北京欢迎你 像音乐感动你

LIU Genghong (刘耕宏)
GUO Rong (郭容)
Jolin Tsai
让我们都加油去超越自己

JIN Sha (金莎), SU Xing (苏醒)
北京欢迎你 有梦想谁都了不起

Jaycee CHAN (房祖明)
FU Lishan (付丽珊)
HUANG Zheng (黄征)
有勇气就会有奇迹

All montage:
北京欢迎你 有梦想谁都了不起
有勇气就会有奇迹

北京欢迎你 有梦想谁都了不起
有勇气就会有奇迹


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28 Responses to “Beijing Welcomed You … so did you remember its song?”

  1. wuming Says:

    This is nice, though I like the version sang by a retirees/elders singing group posted by Buxi
    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/08/02/what-do-some-western-journalists-want-from-beijing/
    The activities of retirees in Beijing parks is becoming a cultural phenomenon. Is it the same in other cities in China?

  2. ChinkTalk Says:

    I didn’t realize that there are that many beautiful Chinese women in China ( I have been brainwashed by the Western media) and there are that many great Chinese singers. I like the fact that there are Chinese minorities and same-sex persons contributing to this welcoming symphony.

  3. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Nice song. Too bad I don’t understand Mandarin, otherwise I’d get more from it than just the Beijing Welcomes You chorus. The big ensemble’s nothing new, kinda like the Geldof/Live Aid/It’s Christmas Time idea, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  4. Nimrod Says:

    Hmm.. S.K., do you not read characters? I didn’t know that. You can find the lyrics online and put them through a Cantonese transliteration (or dictionary) software, I guess.

  5. Karma Says:

    @ChinkTalk,

    You need to travel to China some time. There are more than just beautiful women in China … ! 😉

  6. BMY Says:

    I am old fashioned, so many of the singers I never heard of.

    To answer Nimrod ‘s question “See if you can spot all the non-Han and non-PRC/ROC artists”

    I only know
    Na Ying(那英)is a Manchurian
    Song ZuYing(宋祖英) is a ethnic Miao(Hmong/Mong)
    Han Hong(韩红) is a Tibetan (or half Tibetan). I might be wrong with Han Hong

    I think the South Korean singer Rain(Jeong Ji-hoon) was in the group of singers.

  7. BMY Says:

    And WeiWei 韦唯 is a ethnic Zhuang(壮族) I think

  8. BMY Says:

    Sorry, I was talking about some of the singers in the closing ceremeny

  9. BMY Says:

    @wuming
    “The activities of retirees in Beijing parks is becoming a cultural phenomenon. Is it the same in other cities in China?”

    It is the same in many other cities in China.

    It is even the same in some of the parks of where the suburbs have big Chinese population here in overseas . These retirees here are normally the parents of our generation of new migrants. They do all these activities like TaiChi, Sword dancing,木兰扇(or whatever it is called ) etc same with what they were doing in China.

  10. MoneyBall Says:

    @ChinkTalk,

    Dude you really cracked me up, which one in this clip you think is a same-sex person? LOL, no man, they all straight, that’s just the way young generations dress, which I often find disgusting.(I m not homophobic)

  11. Oli Says:

    @ChinkTalk

    Actually ALL the Chinese women in China and else where ARE that beautiful, depending on the eyes of the beholder 🙂

  12. Joel Says:

    We blogged on this song while back. But the video we used has English subtitles: “The Olympic Welcome China Wants Us To Experience”

    You know, you really ought to post the “Chinese Soccer Welcomes You” remix of this music video. That is funny stuff!
    汉字: 国足欢迎你
    English: Chinese men soccer team welcomes you

    Note that the music videos are different: the Chinese one is better and includes lots of embarrassing photos and video footage. Turns out there are several “highlight reel” versions. And I only searched YouTube; I assume there’s even more on Tudou.

    And while searching for those, I found this: China muzzles criticism of hapless Olympic soccer team Haha, poor guys.

  13. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Nimrod:
    I can read some, but definitely not the simplified stuff. And not well enough (or fast enough) to be able to fill in the blanks.

  14. Michelle Says:

    I usually don’t like this kind of music but it’s a nice sweet song, and having heard it morning noon and night for over two weeks, it’s pleasantly burned into my brain as part of the crazy mass pop culture experience i now share with those in my adopted city. I like it.

    @ Moneyball “that’s just the way young generations dress” – I hear that. Too much hair product.

    @Chinktalk “I didn’t realize that there are that many beautiful Chinese women in China” There are, and they generally make an effort to be – they’ll keep me on my game for about 3-5 more years when i’ll probably decide i don’t care anymore.

    @Karma “There are more than just beautiful women in China … !” Yep, some really good looking men 😉

    @Oli – aww shucks.

    @Joel – People i’ve spoken to (mostly Chinese) seem to think it’s not a football thing but rather a Chinese men’s team thing, e.g. the team don’t have the “screw spirit” necessary for team work. Doesn’t explain their terrible behaviour, but it’s an interesting take given the (yawn) collectivist / individualist / east / west stuff you read all over the place. I’m not qualified to give an opinion, but curious if anyone else has one……?

    Ok, back to work. Have a good one!

  15. Nimrod Says:

    This is a well conceived, if simple, song. The verses are based on Beijing folk tunes, which also occur in Peking Opera. The chorus has a whiff of R&B, which is not surprising because the scales are almost identical (it’s no wonder why so much of Asian pop uses R&B elements). It wraps up with a few bars of big anthem flourish in the instrumental bridges. The music video is also surprisingly good and really shows the charm of an idyllic vision of Beijing.

  16. Joel Says:

    @Michelle
    Yeah, the complaints I heard were about the way that particular team played — their terrible sportsmanship, lack of effort, and general underachievement. No doubt they still love football. I sympathize, as my hometown team (Vancouver Canucks) have been chronic underachievers since I was a kid.

  17. Michelle Says:

    @Joel

    If they weren’t such meanies they might strike a chord on my cultural ‘root for the underdog’ heart strings. But, alas…

  18. ChinkTalk Says:

    MoneyBall – I was not judging based on the way they look, a friend of mine told me that some of the singers are same-sex people. I think it would be great if it is true.

  19. Nimrod Says:

    I think Han Hong, the Tibetan singer, is lesbian. Not sure about others.

  20. Joel Says:

    @Michelle
    I think adding kungfu to their soccer practices wasn’t a good move as far as P.R. is concerned. Some of the YouTube annotations on the Chinese video were funny though (2:20): “兄弟们,上!”

    @ChinkTalk
    “Same sex persons” is a direct translation that unfortunately makes no sense in English. It’s English’s fault, though, for being confusing: “same sex person” and “homo-sexual person” are the technically same on a purely literal level, but the former is wrong.

  21. Joel Says:

    haha, don’t mind my grammar/typo!

  22. oGOR Says:

    Chinese popular music is fueled by stolen music software programs and libraries, that people in the west generally register and pay for, their ideas are copied using a phrase from this song, a phrase from that and its no wonder that the only kind of Chinese music selling in the west, is the ‘traditional’ stuff that lurks around world music sections in places like Tower records.

  23. ChinkTalk Says:

    Joel – “same sex person” and “homo-sexual person” are the technically same on a purely literal level, but the former is wrong.”

    I disagree. In today’s vernacular – “same-sex” is used all the time to indicate male-male and female-female relationships. Please read any newspapers or publications. Whereas “homesexual” (should be one word), is an indication of male-male relationship.

  24. Nimrod Says:

    BMY wrote:

    “To answer Nimrod ’s question “See if you can spot all the non-Han and non-PRC/ROC artists”

    I only know
    Na Ying(那英)is a Manchurian
    Song ZuYing(宋祖英) is a ethnic Miao(Hmong/Mong)
    Han Hong(韩红) is a Tibetan (or half Tibetan). I might be wrong with Han Hong”

    +++++
    Han Hong (Yongdzin Droma is her Tibetan name) is not only fully Tibetan, her ancestral place is Chamdo, the hotbed of 1950’s Tibetan rebellions, although she herself was born in Shigatse, the seat of the Panchen Lama.

    There are lots more. I’ll announce some answers:

    Jang Nara is the South Korean in there. She is quite popular in China these days.

    Han Geng, who does the opposite and performs a lot in South Korea, is of Nanai ethnicity (赫哲族).

    Sha Baoliang is Hui (回族).

    Lin Yilun is Manchurian.

  25. BMY Says:

    @Nimrod,

    Thanks for telling me the other non-Han singers. I normally don’t care and don’t take notice of people’s ethnicity . It’s good to know anyway.

  26. NMBWhat Says:

    It’s not as corny as the “We Are Ready” song. LOL.

  27. Jocelyn Lim Says:

    I need help, can anyone tell me where i can get pinyin lyrics (preferably) for Wang Feng Our Dream. Been searching through google but nothing came up. As I am a complete uneducated chinese, i can’t surf chinese sites.

    I can live with chinese lyrics for this as I have friends who could translate for me.

    Is there a site where they hv all the olympic songs? I was busy last year and managed to bought DVD to catch up on olympics and fell in love with most of the songs. Thanks…

    I can be reached at jocelyn.lmy@gmail.com.

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