Chinese Music, Pt 3

I took some time on the weekend to put together a list of songs to blog about in my "Chinese Music" topic and I was going to post it today... That was before I found out that Wang Leehom released the music video to his brand spanking new song this evening. I heard a small bit of the song a couple of days ago but it was too short an excerpt to say much more than "bring on the whole thing"  - now that I've however heard the entire song and have seen the video (more than once!), my beautiful list of Chinese Music has gone right out of the window e.g. it has been postponed until I get around to putting together a Part 4.


In the meantime, I'm going to bug you all with a fangirl-ish post about just how much I like the song and how you should all listen to it at least once because if you won't well I'll come and haunt you for life (I know a couple of ghosts who'd love to pay you a visit at midnight some time!) alternatively I may also resort sulking until you finally give in and give up five minutes of your life to make me happy and believe me I learned sulking from the best!


The music man himself!
Anyway, let's cut to the chase. Wang Leehom's (Chinese: 王力宏 / Pinyin: Wáng Lì Hóng) new song is called "Open Fire" (Chinese: 火力全開 / Pinyin: Huǒlì Quánkāi). Literally the translation of the title would be something like "fire-power all open" but because that really doesn't sound all that amazing ("and now, let me introduce to you Wang Leehom and his amazing new single "fire-power all open" - no TV presenter or radio DJ in his or her right mind would voluntarily want to say that!), we're going to be sensible and shorten the meaning to "Open Fire" which essentially means the same thing - the gist is there.


Now my Chinese really isn't the greatest (yet) but I'll try to explain the title to the best of my ability anyway (suggestions for improvement welcome!) Firstly, "fire-power" (火力 / huǒlì) is what happens when you add 力 (lì) which means force, power, strength to 火 (huǒ) which means fire. Simply put, together those two characters become a bit explosive so you may want to go look for the nearest fire extinguisher or call a sexy fire-fighter or five...whatever you're into, I won't judge! :-)




Next we have 全 (quán) (Hey! Focus! I didn't post these photos for your amusement!) which means something like all, whole, entire, complete. This is where I took the "all" or "whole" from - "all" seemed a better fit for the ridiculous literal translation but feel free to try out all the options and choose one that you prefer ;-)


Example 1: 这套邮票全不全?(Zhè tào yóupiào quánbùquán? / Is this set of stamps complete?)
Example 2: 全世界 (quán shìjiè / the whole world / worldwide)


Lastly we have 開 (kāi). My dictionary refused to co-operate with this character at first until I took a closer look and realised it was a traditional Chinese character (*headdesk* moment!). The simplified Chinese character would be 开 (kāi) which means open, start, open up. 開 (kāi) is the traditional Chinese character and if you look closely enough you can spot 开 (kāi) in-between the 門 (mén) which is the traditional Chinese character for "door" and has been simplified to 门 (mén).


So after a small detour, we now have the meaning for the last character... 开 (kāi). Exhausted yet? I am - in my next post I'm definitely going back to just recommending you some songs. I can't always spoil you after all...unless you are willing to pay with copious amounts of chocolate (must be Lindt!) and fresh coffee!


Example 1: 开锁 (kāisuǒ / to unlock)
Example 2: 门开了. (Mén kāile. / The door opened.)


Now after you've been such a good student, you almost deserve to watch the video (I know you probably just scrolled all the way down anyway...cheat!) but before I give you your reward, first a few interesting facts I found...




  • Wong Fu Productions directed* the music video to "Open Fire" - check out their YouTube Channel or  their Official Twitter (@wongfupro). They've previously done some pretty amazing stuff with Harry Shum Jr. (@iharryshum) who you may know as the Asian Dancer Mike Chang in Glee.
  • Leehom did all (I've no official confirmation of this) the stunt work in the video himself which was part of the reason why the video is rumoured to have been a pretty costly production! The other reason would be the amount of pyrotechnics used. Good for us though because it makes the video look pretty darn cool!
  • The man of fight and stunt choreography himself - Mr Jackie Chan - was involved in the stunt choreography of the video which really doesn't surprise me because there's some pretty epic stuff going on. Besides that Leehom and Jackie are on pretty good terms since they filmed Little Big Soldier together so another partnership makes make sense.
*Apparently Wong Fu Productions have not directed "Open Fire" but they are presently involved in some or other directing work together with Wang Leehom.

Now, for your treat :-)





A few more song / music related words mentioned in this post, if you have more please to suggest what else to add and I will:

詞曲 = (cíqǔ / lyrics)
歌曲 = (gēqǔ / song)
官方 = (guānfāng / official) + 完整 (wánzhěng / complete) + 版 (bǎn / edition) = "official full version"


火力全開
詞曲: 王力宏

Hu! Ha!
打倒帝国主义 
Dǎdǎo dìguó zhǔyì
Down with imperialism
不愿再做奴隶
Bù yuàn zài zuò núlì
Not willing to be a slave again
我家大门 被入侵 
Wǒjiā dàmén bèi rùqīn
Our home was invaded 
你说 Lady 卡卡
Nǐ shuō Lady kǎ kǎ
You say Lady Gaga
我说何必怕他 
Wǒ shuō hébì pà tā
I say why be afraid of him
喔 喔 喔 喔 喔 Oh Oh Oh
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
别向他们磕头
Bié xiàng tāmen kētóu
Don't knowtow to them
文化是武器
Wénhuà shì wǔqì
Culture is a weapon
埋 在每根神经 
Mái zài měi gēn shénjīng
Buried within each nerve
被优人神鼓打醒
Bèi yōu rén shén gǔ dǎ xǐng
Be awake when the Sacred Drummer plays
绝不允许失败
Jué bù yǔnxǔ shībài
No permission to fail 
胜利不必等待
Shènglì bùbì děngdài 
Victory won't have to wait
因为 MUSIC - MAN 的 到来
Yīnwèi MUSIC - MAN de dàolái 
Because the MUSIC - MAN has arrived
忽然间整个世界开始在摇摆
Hūrán jiān zhěnggè shìjiè kāishǐ zài yáobǎi
Suddenly the whole world begins to shake 
节奏和音乐入侵了血脉
Jiézòu hé yīnyuè rùqīnle xuèmài
Rhythm and music have invaded the system
这次的战略是火力全开
Zhècì de zhànlüè shì huǒlì quánkāi
The strategy is to open fire
火力全开火力全开 ~ 开
Huǒlì quánkāi huǒlì quánkāi ~ kāi 
Open fire Open fire ~ open

So many accusations
Of an Asian Invasion
Here they come a-point'n fingers at me
Preyin' on a mass emotion
Stirrin' up a big commotion
Trying to assign responsibilities

Gonna stop this negativity
Turn it into positivity with integrity
Giving all of me
For all to see
This fight for equality
But even if they blame us
Try to frame us nobody can shame us
I'm a sing this next verse in Chinese

Note 1: I've added the Pinyin to the Chinese lyrics and replaced the traditional characters with their simplified counterpart. For the traditional characters version of the song, please check Wang Leehom's Official YouTube Channel. I will add an English translation of the song as soon as my head stops hurting! :-)


Note 2: I've done my best to add an accurate English translation of the lyrics but if you have any suggestions for improvement, please shout. I've stuck pretty close to the original meaning when translating and only substituted some words to ensure the English sentence makes sense.