Saturday, 3 February 2018

From the Heart of a Loafer

Sam Hui and Rebu, his wife. photo : Adam Wright
Sam Hui : From the Heart of a Drifter 許冠傑 - 浪子心聲, one of the great classics of Cantonese pop.  A modern day hit song, but one that makes me think of  Chinese poetry.  The idea that life is transient is deeply embedded into the psyche of Hong Kong people.  Everyone there is a descendant of a descendant of a refugee, or someone escaping bad conditions, dreaming of better. Some make it, some don't. Indeed, some have gone from destitute to millionaire and back. No cushion of privilege for most.  Nowadays people take things for granted, but things in the past were never easy.  Sam Hui  is the epitome of the Hong Kong spirit.  He became a megastar while in his teens, with a western style rock band. Yet he didn't, ever, forget his roots. He's had massive success but his heart is grounded in proper Chinese values.  He was very well educated, and a graduate of HKU whichn in those days was the only university in town and highly elite.  Always aware of the world around him, he has moral integrity.  He had social conscience long before it became safe to do so. He didn't sell out, even when camping up as Elvis !  As long as your heart is pure, bad things cannot bring you down.
It's hard to tell what's real and what's fake,

By nature, people aren't what they seem.

Who will share with you in good times,

But also share when water drips from the roof ?

Like a simple frog deep in a well,

dreaming of fame and fortune,

Full of hope, unaware of difficulty.
Who knows when golden houses can turn to hovels ?

If life destines something for you, it will happen in the end

If life destines it not to happen, there's no point begging otherwise. . 

When thunder roars and lightning strikes,

There's no need to be afraid

As long as your conscience is clear and your heart is just,

We are like the sand in the sea

There's no use in feeling bad

We can see the sunset in the sky above.

Fame and fortune can vanish like the mist

No comments: