The Moon Represents My Heart
The lyrics to the song were written by Sun Yi (孫儀) and the music was composed by Weng Ching-hsi (翁清溪). It was first sung by Chen Fen-lan (陳芬蘭) around 1972 or 1973 but was made famous by Teresa Teng's version later in the 1970s. Teng's rendition, which is three minutes and 29 seconds long, was described as a "love song with a waltz-like lilt".
Until the late 1970s, foreign music had not been allowed into mainland China for several decades. "The Moon Represents My Heart" became one of the first popular foreign songs (called "gangtai" songs) in the country under the new Open Door Policy.
A short clip of "The Moon Represents My Heart" by Teresa Teng.
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Teng's songs over the following decade revolutionized music in China. Her singing, described as "soft, sweet, often whispery and restrained," was considered the "ideal" in gangtai music at that time. The style was in striking contrast to the then officially-sanctioned songs in mainland China which were often revolutionary songs, and made a strong impact on its listeners. She became so popular that "within months the country was literally flooded with [her] songs." "The Moon Represents My Heart," however, is often cited as one of her best-known or most popular pieces.
Before Teng's music arrived, love songs were nonexistent in China. As film director Jia Zhangke later said, "'The Moon Represents My Heart' [was] something completely new. So people of my generation were suddenly infected with this very personal, individual world. Before that, everything was collective..."
Teng died of an asthma attack in 1995, but "The Moon Represents My Heart" has been performed frequently in Asia into the 21st century, including in places like Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan—even at political functions. It has been covered by several famous singers, including Faye Wong, David Tao, Andy Lau, and Leslie Cheung. The song is considered a "classic," and according to one source, "Chinese all around the world are familiar with [it]."
"The Moon Represents My Heart" is also popular in karaoke, with one chain in Singapore listing it at #42 on their hits list (which made it the highest ranked of all Teng's songs). According to The New York Times, it is one of the best-known Chinese pop songs of all time.
Lyricist Sun Yi filed a lawsuit against the Li Ge Record Company (麗歌唱片公司). Sun lost the lawsuit, so the company owns the copyright of this song.
- Xiang Chengzhen (項程鎮) (1 December 2012). "Writer of "The Moon Represents My Heart" fights for copyrights <月亮代表我的心作詞者 爭著作權敗訴>". The Liberty Times.
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- "Composer says Teresa Teng is not original singer of 'Moon Represents My Heart' <作曲曝光《月亮代表我的心》原唱非邓丽君(多图)>". HSW.cn. October 1, 2004.
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- Video of the song on YouTube