Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Spirit of Taiwan...

In a song by 張雨生 Zhang Yu Sheng (ZYS) called 我的未來不是夢。”My future is not a dream.”

因為我不在乎 別人怎麻說

I will attempt a translation:

Are you like me? Under the sun with your head hung low?
Sweating as you toil silently in your hard work.
Are you like me, often the recipient of indifference or a cold feelings, but refusing to give up on the life that you want for yourself?
Are you like me, busy the entire day pursuing...
Chasing after a gentle kindness, that you can't even comprehend.
Are you like me, having experienced great loss?
Time after time, hesitating at the busy intersections.

Because I don't mind what others say, I've never forgot myself.
The promise that I made to myself
To keep a grasp on love.
I know that my future is not a dream.
I earnestly live every minute of life.
I know that my future is not a dream.
My heart and my hopes create my action.

I've been familiar with ZYS for several years. He died in a car crash in 1997, but his music lives on. After my first stay in Taiwan, a dear friend suggested that I take some ZYS music home with me in order to improve my Chinese language skills. I wouldn't have predicted at that time - nearly 16 years ago - that I would still be moved by his words today.

Taiwan's Buddhist population is about 35%. As such, Taiwanese culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism. With lyrics like, “I earnestly live every minute of life” making their way into popular songs, we can see its influence.

Another very Taiwanese aspect of this song is the repetition of, “Are you like me?” with the common experience mentioned after it. It is an all-inclusive statement, unifying people by their common experience. The energy of “we are a group of brothers and sisters” is very Taiwanese.


  1. Yep, all those girls in short skirts sucking down bubble tea in one hand and a cigarette in the other while sitting on the back of a dude's scooter, really earnestly living life, each minute.

  2. I know Nick, some of the video of the era... I'll try to find a better vid next time. =:)

  3. He was def. a great singer.
    On the more modern times, here's a good one:

  4. Every time I heard his voice, I feel sad why a nice positive man would die so early. I miss him a lot.

  5. Rachel7:46 AM

    hi I'm a student from Taiwan, and I recently just sang a translated version of My Future is Not a Dream to my classmates, haha... thx for your "much more correctly" translation of this song, so that I can have a great time enjoying the whole song with them:D!
    BTW I'm a big fan of Yu Sheng and he had lot more nice songs you should't miss them!

  6. Thanks Rachel,
    We often listen to him in the teahouse. One of my all time favorite Yu Sheng songs is Big Ocean!