Little Apple (song)

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"Little Apple"
Single by Chopstick Brothers
LanguageChinese
Released29 May 2014 (2014-05-29)
GenreMandopop
Length3:31
LabelLe Vision Pictures
Songwriter(s)Wang Taili[1]
Producer(s)Wang Taili
Track listing
Xiao Ping Guo on CRI English
Music video
"Little Apple" on YouTube

"Little Apple" (simplified Chinese: 小苹果; traditional Chinese: 小蘋果; pinyin: Xiǎopíngguǒ) is a single by Chopstick Brothers, a duo of Wang Taili (王太利) and Xiao Yang (肖央), released as a promotional song for the movie Old Boys: The Way of the Dragon. Since its release, it has quickly attained great popularity in Chinese cyberspace, making it a widespread internet meme and a global hit, with parodies, flash mobs and covers from around the world.[2][3][4]

Lyrics[edit]

The music and lyrics are written as two stanzas of ten verses each, with each stanza followed by an 8-verse refrain which repeats. The simple and intentionally sentimental lyrics for the first stanza translates as:

I planted a seed that finally bore fruit/ Today is a great day
I give the stars to you, I give the moon to you/ Raise the sun everyday for you
I'll turn into a candle and let myself burn/ Just to shine a light on you
I'll give everything I have to you/ As long as you're happy
You give me new meaning everyday/ Though life is short, I'll love you forever, never abandoning you.

The refrain which repeats after each of the two stanzas is translated as:

You are my little apple/ I can never love you too much
Your red face warms my heart/ Lighting the fire, fire, fire, fire, fire in my life
You are my little apple/ Like the most beautiful cloud in the sky
Spring arrives again, and flowers bloom all over the mountainside/ I reap the hopes that I sowed.[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video of the song on Youku shows scenes of a square dance, interwoven with several short stories about love and romance resultant of a male partner's disapproval of his girlfriend's appearance, resulting in a failed attempt at plastic surgery. It contains elements from 1950s Korea and the legends of Adam and Eve and uses Chinglish in an expressive manner to portray the underlying tension of appearance. The square dance in the music video has also gained popularity in the public.[6] Bae Seul-ki also starred in the video.

A video of the Korean-language cover of "Little Apple" by K-pop girl group T-ara, featuring Chopstick Brothers, exists.

Reception[edit]

The song became famous shortly after its release on 29 May 2014. Since release, its music video has been adapted into various parodies by the public.[2] However, some critics have criticized the song for its low artistic value.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

This song has also attained high positions in main online charts in China. It peaked at number one in the CCTV Global Chinese Music Chart (Chinese: 全球中文音乐榜) released every Saturday.[8]

This song, referred to by one commentator as a "brainwashing song", also brings up the psychological factors that contribute to its success—its simple rhythm and lyrics cause the "earworm effect", forcing people to listen to it over and over again, and another reason that lied underneath is the "snowball effect", which means that people tend to follow others in a trend, suggesting that some people may not actually like the song, but just blindly following others.[9]

Covers[edit]

Army recruitment video[edit]

China's Ministry of National Defense released a video with the song on 27 July 2014, as a part of their recruitment campaign for the Army.[10] The video features footage of soldiers dancing the square dance in the original music video, plus some scenes from the Army's training sessions and some words of encouragement.[11]

T-ara version[edit]

South Korean girl band T-ara released a Korean/Chinese cover of "Little Apple", featuring Chopstick Brothers, on 24 November 2014.[12] The song was produced by Shinsadong Tiger and was released as a digital single by MBK Entertainment and distributed by KT Music.[13] Chopstick Brothers were also featured in T-ara's music video.[14]

This is the first time that a K-pop artist has released a cover version of a C-pop song.[15]

Other versions[edit]

Strawberry, May Ng and Stella Chen of RED People, otherwise known as Amoi-Amoi, released a cover version of the song, including various Malaysian fruits. The video includes scenes of Chopstick Brothers' original music video as well as T-ara's music video. Norwegian Power Metal artist PelleK uploaded a cover of this song on his YouTube channel Pellekofficial on January 14, 2015 in a metal style and has been both complimented and criticized for his pronunciation of Chinese words.

Awards[edit]

When "Little Apple" won the International Song Award at the November 2014 AMA's, the Chopstick Brothers along with 2 others actually gave a live lip-synched performance of it. However, American viewers didn't see it because it was done during a commercial break.[18]

In video games[edit]

In 2015, Ubisoft from China have manufactured the music video game named 舞力全开2015 (Chinese version of Just Dance 2015), which the song appeared in video games has officially landed on Xbox One at the national profession version. The national profession version have added 5 Chinese songs for players in mainland China are: Little Apple (小苹果) by Chopstick Brothers, Dancing Diva (舞娘) by Jolin Tsai, We Under The Sunshine (阳光下的我们) by Wanting Qu, High Light High Life (娱乐天空) by Eason Chan, and Let It Go (随他吧) by Hu Wei Na.[19] The national profession version have also released for the PlayStation 4,[20] however, the video games manufactory have removed away 1 song track.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""广场舞"阿姨看过来——你们爱的《小苹果》,快红过鸟叔啦". Huaxi City News. July 8, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "筷子兄弟《小苹果》成最新网络神曲" [Chopstick Brothers' Little Apple has become a new cyber hit]. Phoenix Television. June 27, 2014.
  3. ^ ""小苹果"成为神曲 裴涩琪伊甸园蛇舞成模仿热门". China Daily. June 24, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  4. ^ "小苹果筷子兄弟mv走红 网友称2014最洗脑神曲". Xinhuanet. June 16, 2014. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014.
  5. ^ Translation of lyrics from Lyrics Translate. [1]
  6. ^ "筷子兄弟赴韩国重金打造 《小苹果》MV首发". Phoenix Television. May 29, 2014.
  7. ^ Li, Xiazhi (July 8, 2014). "神曲《小苹果》暗藏"洗脑术"" [Little Apple, with its "brainwash tactics" hidden inside]. Beijing Daily. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. 它们像是‘美丽的垃圾’,没有什么文化传承的价值,也不能给人精神慰藉。 [They are like 'beautiful trash', which has no value of culture inheritance, nor the ability to provide mental comfort.]
  8. ^ "全球中文音乐榜上榜第十四期 Top10". China Central Television. July 14, 2014.
  9. ^ Ke Han (8 August 2014). "Little Apple poses big psychological question". E-paper. China Daily USA. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Army recruiting video takes on hit song". Sina Corp. July 29, 2014.
  11. ^ "Chinese army recruitment video 2014". www.youku.com. Chinese army. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  12. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi. "T-ara Takes on the ′Little Apple′ with Chopstick Brothers in New MV". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Little Apple". MelOn. LOEN Entertainment. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  14. ^ Park Gyu-oh (18 November 2014). "T-ara joins Chopstick Brothers' remake of 'Little Apple'". K-pop Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  15. ^ "T-ARA to remake Chopstick Brothers' "Little Apple" song". 21 October 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "Chinese Internet pop song wins at American Music Awards gala". China Daily. November 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "2014 MAMA - Mnet Asian Music Awards". Mnet Asian Music Awards. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  18. ^ Silbert, Sean (February 4, 2015). "China ditty 'Little Apple' catches on". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "《舞力全开2015》国行版上架 含小苹果等中文歌". Video games. 新浪电竞. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  20. ^ "舞力全开 2015 (中文版)". Ubisoft. PlayStation.Store. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  21. ^ sacatyoh (18 August 2015). "《舞力全开2015》国行版四首中文歌曲评测". PS4. 电玩巴士 (TG BUS). Retrieved 18 August 2015.