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) in around 1972 or 1973 but was made famous by Teresa Teng's version later in 1977. Teng's rendition, which is three minutes and 29 seconds long, was described as a "love song with a waltz-like lilt".
Cultural impact in China
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, such romantic songs had been nonexistent in China for many years as they were considered bourgeois and decadent. 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 Katherine Jenkins, Hong Jin-young, Shila Amzah, Faye Wong, David Tao, Andy Lau, Leslie Cheung, Jon Bon Jovi and Hong Kong a cappella group, Metro Vocal Group. 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). 月亮代表我的心作詞者 爭著作權敗訴 [Writer of "The Moon Represents My Heart" fights for copyrights]. The Liberty Times.
- Baranovitch, Nimrod. China's new voices: popular music, ethnicity, gender, and politics, 1978–1997 (University of California Press, 2003), pp. 10–13.
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- 作曲曝光《月亮代表我的心》原唱非邓丽君(多图) [Composer says Teresa Teng is not original singer of 'Moon Represents My Heart']. HSW.cn. 1 October 2004. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
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- LaFleur, Robert André. Asia in Focus: China (ABC-CLIO, 2009), p. 285.
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- Berry, Michael. Speaking in images: interviews with contemporary Chinese filmmakers (Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 190–550.
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- Pandiyan, M. Veera (10 April 2008). "Take a good look in the mirror". The Star. Malaysia. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Jenkins, Katherine. The Moon Represents My Heart (Spotify) (in Chinese).
- Tham Ai Mei (15 September 2005). "Sadness behind the smile". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Show set to be a glittering affair". The Star. 19 August 2003. Archived from the original on 30 October 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
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- Video of the song on YouTube