Parts of a translation are about to be attempted (only the verses, not the choruses). I am shocked myself that I am trying to do such a thing. But lyrically speaking, the images in the song are literally structured like parallel lines, always perfectly side-by-side but never meeting. It’s too moving to not at least try to share an attempt at what they sound like.

曲:鄭楠
詞:藍小邪

若你是 一陣春天裡的風
那我一定是 最遠的風箏
若你只是一道 某個弄堂緊鎖的門
我是門外的藤

若你是 難得一見的彩虹
我願做 路人驚歎的叫聲
若你又是一顆 可望不可及的星辰
我便是 眺望眼神

If you were a breath of spring wind
then I would be the furthest kite.
If you were only a pair of locked doors in a nameless courtyard
I would be the wall-climbing vine outside.

If you were the rare sighting of a rainbow
I would willingly be the sound of wonder.
And if you were a bright yet untouchable star
I’d be a look of longing.

然而你選擇 做平凡的人
於是我也就 愛上你的人
甘願我的靈魂 困在這個肉身
只求能跟你相襯

然而你已是 最平凡的人
看著多美好 心卻那麼笨
雙手和你碰過 肩膀和你擦過
靈魂卻無法相認

In the BTS of this MV (linked below), Hebe talks about the images in the lyrics being perfect pairs, in the sense that regardless of the shape and form the “you” takes, the “I” assumes the form that is its complimentary. And yet when the forms become ordinary humans, the fit does not happen.

Maybe that’s why I feel compelled to translate at least the parts of the song where these perfect pairs emerge. They aren’t always what we imagine them to be and they do fit together in complement, yet their pairings evoke an affect that is distant and mournful, as though inevitable, as though fated to separate.

當你是 不停追逐的秒針
我是你 背後暗湧的齒輪
當你還是一滴 筆尖尚未乾透的藍
我是紙背上的痕

When you are the ceaseless second hand on a clock
I am the calm yet desperate gear behind you.

When you were still a drop of fresh blue on the point of pen
I was already the back of paper scarring.

原來你選擇 做平凡的人
卻不是一個 會愛我的人
不管我的靈魂 困在哪個肉身
都注定不會相襯

原來我 已是個平凡的人
什麼都明白 心卻那麼疼
和你談笑風生 和你談過心聲
靈魂卻不敢相認

This MV is maximum aesthetic, subtle storytelling, and perfect colouring. Filmed in Japan, the video really uses not just the strong aesthetic principles of Japanese culture, but also optimizes the place of Japanese culture in Chinese consciousness – its embedded nostalgia and sadness to produce a visual ambience that matches Hebe’s voice.

Paired with lyrics that are symmetrical in line but asymmetrical in structure, the entire song becomes a performance that is more poetic expression than musical precision. It teeters between something that feels natural, but also intensely intentional. The visual impact of the MV, compounded with the music, lyrics and Hebe’s vocal style remind me of the effortless presence of watercolour painting that we know is full of thought, practice and work. In other words, it is a work of art.

Watch the BTS for more shots of the locations picked for the MV.

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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