Today I’m going to introduce to you a soft, nostalgic song by a Chinese band, Sodagreen.
The gentle piano melody in the introduction serves as a door, slowly opening the rapid emotional rise and falls of the song as the guitars and drums come in, indicating a high tide. Then the melody quiets down again when the vocal comes in. Throughout the song, the instrumentals layer from time to time to describe the emotion of the song.
What’s great about this song is that though the two verses and the two choruses are exactly the same in lyrics, the vocal, Qingfeng Wu, illustrates them into two different states of emotion with his voice.
In the first verse, Qingfeng Wu almost whispers the lyrics as if talking to himself. His voice shivering, like he can’t accept the fact that he’s aging, he’s lonely, and he can’t get over the “You” he is missing.
During the first chorus, Qingfeng Wu sounds careful and withdrawn, as his high notes are tender and slim. Till this point Qingfeng Wu presents a state in which he is silent by himself, feeling the loneliness and nostalgia by himself, but not able to shout his depression out.
In the second verse, Qingfeng Wu’s voice becomes much more stable. Singing the same lines, he now sighs (given that he now accepts it) about his loneliness, his life, those lost happiness and those memories that can’t come back. Just right before the second chorus, Qingfeng Wu sings the last word of the verse with a strong, penetrating note, pushing the emotion to climax.
Then in the following chorus Qingfeng Wu pours all his previously depressed feelings out. He no longer holds back, and he cries to everyone out there – if there is anyone out there in this song, telling them his sadness and nostalgia. His strong voice is almost like tears, flowing out ceaselessly. He cries and repeats “I miss you, I miss you”, but each time is delicately different from one another in emotion. In the end Qingfeng Wu goes back to a tender, shivering voice, showing an inner expression of “even though I miss you so much, there is nothing else I can do”.
Then the instruments come in loudly without much change from before, as if “burying” Qingfeng Wu’s emotion, suggesting the irreversible present despite of all kinds nostalgia and loneliness Qingfeng Wu holds – there is truly nothing he could do, to go back in time.
To me, there is a controversy about identity of the “you” in the song. Though many people may think this “you” to be, apparently, a lover long gone, I have another illustration. Throughout the song there is no specific description about the “you”, nor there’s any sign of the relationship between “you” and “me” – not even a mention of the time when “we were together”. All the song sings about is how life past so fast, we are lonely by ourselves, we lose our dreams and faiths as we grow old, and there is no more happiness like in memories. To me, instead of a lover long gone, the “you” in the song is “me” himself, the younger “me” who still holds faith and dream, who is still too young to feel loneliness by himself. That’s why the lyrics say “I miss you, but I can’t do anything; I miss you but I can only keep it to myself”. Only “me” himself can understand, the past “self”, being naïve but carefree, young but happy, that he had lost over time.
This song, 我好想你 (I Miss You), is also the theme song of a Chinese movie: Tiny Times. Tiny Times talks about the lives and struggles of the several youths in big Shanghai. It’s a good story 🙂
Following is the music video of 我好想你 (I Miss You), movie-themed version.
*All rights related to the picture and the song reserved to rightful owners. All rights related to the writing reserved to Asian Music Invasion.