From previously of 夏宇/Xia Yu, her poem-songs and smart women; here is my favourite Xia Yu poem-song and performed by my favourite poet-fairy/诗仙 — 陳綺貞/Cheer Chen (whom I cannot like too much).
This poem-song was the musical main-piece in a stageplay based on a book by the Taiwanese novelist/illustrator Jimmy Liao, 地下鐵 Subway.
Cheer Chen plays the main character of a girl who lost her sight in childhood, but whose memories of images sights and colours she remembers in her own special magical ways…
A special story of a blind girl and her magic realist life in the big city, charmed as it is as an angelic being and surrounded by angels; yet her wistful sadness, ever present…
And the city subway trains and lines, and their ‘sights‘ and sounds, shuttling her around in her little piece of heaven.
Performer: Cheer Chen
Lyrics: Xia Yu
Music: Chen Jian Qi
Album: Jimmy Liao’s Subway, soundtrack from the musical stageplay
陳綺貞 – 失明前我想記得的四十七件事 / Cheer Chen – The forty-seven things I’d like to remember before I go blind:
我想記得 夏日午後的暴雨 雨的形狀
我想記得 黃昏的光 光里的灰塵在飛揚
我想記得 愛人如何親吻 如何擁抱
我想記得 你煩燥不耐的 模樣
我會想念 十歲時我看到的那隻象 象的死亡
我會記得 時間像旋轉木馬 消失
還有 到底是誰隨手關掉整座 星空讓我流下 眼淚
一顆螺絲釘如何慢慢鬆動 然後 然後出現一個洞
檸檬 霓虹 果凍
一頂帽子 被一個複雜的腦袋 戴過的形狀
The forty-seven things I’d like to remember before I go blind
I’d like to remember – the sudden rainstorm on a summer afternoon – the shape of the rain,
I’d like to remember – the light rays of dusk – the dust dancing in the light,
I’d like to remember – how lovers kissed – how they hugged,
I’d like to remember – your frustrated and impatient – look.
I will miss – when I was ten the elephant I saw – the death of the elephant (image),
I will miss – Kafka looking so defiant in his photograph,
I will miss – all the books I’ve read – the words I recognize,
I will remember – how time like a spinning carousel horse – disappear.
A half-sliced amazed amazing fruit (kiwi fruit) and a single – apple eaten until leaving only the apple core,
A stretch of glowing public road – two sides lined with wutong trees,
A map marked out with its cities and a single – lake as clear and bright as a teardrop,
Before sleeping the cockroach I spied out of the corner of my eye – and in the morning,
Upon opening my eyes – the spider’s web I can immediately see,
My photograph at seven years old,
The shoes I wore when I first got lost,
And also – just who was it that so casually with the flick of his hand turned off the entire block – and expanse of stars leaving me with only streaming – tears.
Dragonfly – dragonfly the speed of its flying,
Violent wind whipping up the sand raising a fog,
A piece of empty white canvas,
I have seen – houses shaken by an earthquake,
On a very beautiful sunny day,
Travel souvenirs dropping down – causing a surprised exclamation,
A single screw how it slowly turned loosened – and – and a hole appeared,
I don’t dislike the beach – and I have seen,
A person coughing loudly on the beach,
Lemon – rainbow – fruit jelly,
Bare feet trudging through a pile of mud,
Hang glider – a baby’s cot,
I suspect – I have also seen a pair of wings,
A hat – being worn by a complicated brain – the shape it left behind,
My hand tightly clutching a single train ticket,
With four words on it – called 目的地(destination) – it made me smile,
I have seen with my own eyes the shape of the four words,
Like black intricate ornamental railings,
Encircling a balcony in the dusk,
There is a man – below declaring his love.
I have to remember it all,
Because I’m afraid that one day someone will question me in a loud voice,
Questioning my unseeing eyes,
I will softly say – I cannot see,
But – I remember it all.
This song always gets to me.
Xia Yu’s pristine and plain-stripped words and lines, Cheer Chen’s angelic and emotive voice…
A single tear is a well-deserved price for such a beautifully-sad evocation.
This following live version of Cheer Chen singing Forty-seven Things in a shopping mall, is a special treat.
When angels descend amongst us…
Live version, with the melody composer 陳建騏/Chen Jian Qi, accompanying on keyboards: