Throwback Thursdays: Longing for the Spring Breeze | Bāng-Tshun-Hong

Every Thursday we’ll revisit a Taiwanese language classic from anytime between the 1930s - 2015ish...  #TBT

To̍k iā bô phuānn siú ting-ē, tshing-hong tùi bīn tshe
At night waiting alone under a dim lamp, with the spring breeze blowing on my cheeks,
Tsa̍p-tshit-pueh, buē tshut-kè, kìnn-tio̍h siàu-liân-ke
I, an unmarried maiden of seventeen going on eighteen, see a young man.
Kó-jiân piau-tì bīn-bah pe̍h, sûi ke lâng tsú-tē
I see he has a handsome face and a pale complexion; I wonder which family he is from?
Siūnn-bueh mn̄g i kiann phái-sè, sim-lāi tuānn pî-pê
Wanting to ask him yet fearing embarrassment, my heart flutters as if it were a pipa being strummed.
Siūnn-bueh liông-kun tsoh ang-sài, ì-ài tsāi sim-lāi
Wishing him to be the groom of mine, with love inside my heart.
Thāi hô-sî, kun lâi tshái, tshing-tshun hue tng-khai
Waiting, wondering when my beau might come to gather my blooming flowers of youth.
Hut thiann guā-thâu ū lâng lâi, khui-mn̂g kai khuànn-bāi
Suddenly I hear someone outside, and I open the door to see,
Gua̍t-ló tshiò gún gōng-tuā-tai, hōo hong phiàn m̄-tsai
The moon laughs at my foolishness, for I did not realize it was just the wind.

The Backstory

During the 1930s, Taiwan had already been under Japanese rule for over 30 years, and some were concerned that Taiwanese culture was beginning to fade as most people were listening to Japanese popular music. However, the surprise success of a music record used to promote a silent film (and that had been inspired by traditional Taiwanese opera), encouraged Columbia Records to recruit a group of talented singers, composers, and songwriters to produce hits based on traditional Taiwanese music. This would mark the beginning of Taiwan’s first golden era of Taiwanese popular music. Among those in this group of talent were composer Tīng Ú-hiân 鄧雨賢, father of Taiwanese folk music, songwriter Lí Lîm-tshiu 李臨秋, and Taiwan’s first pop star, singer Sûn-sûn 純純. Together they produced the Taiwanese classic, Bāng Chhun-hong 望春風 “Longing for the Spring Breeze” (1933), which continues to be covered by generations of Taiwanese artists. 

The life of Sûn-sûn 純純 during this era was recently portrayed in a 20-episode Taiwanese-language drama in 2014 by TTV (Taiwan Television Corporation | 台視) 

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