2023 Looking Back at Jay Chou

It's 2023, and as a die-hard fan of Jay Chou for over ten years, I have transformed from the elementary school student who used to hum and sing "Hair Like Snow" during morning reading sessions in the classroom to an office worker who listens to music with earphones.

He is a high-quality idol with a rebellious and cool temperament that has influenced me to some extent, although it hasn't changed the fact that I am an introverted person.

The Moon Represents My Heart, The Lady Looks Haggard#

It should be around 2006 when JJ Lin's song "A Thousand Years Later" on the Spring Festival Gala became my introduction to pop music. After that, I fell in love with "Freeze" from my cousin's cassette tape. JJ Lin was probably the first pop singer I became a fan of.

Later, during a summer vacation, my cousin from the city brought a few CDs, probably pirated copies, and I heard "Hair Like Snow" and "East Wind Breaks" from them. Along with the song "Nocturne," I became a devoted fan of Jay Chou.

Since I discovered him "too late," the previous albums became my treasure. During that time, my MP3 player (which I took from my dad) only had Jay Chou's songs. I organized each album and listened to them in rotation. It's not an exaggeration to say that during that time, I could recognize the song just from the intro and recite the lyrics fluently.

Fireworks Easily Grow Cold, Relationships Easily Fall Apart#

This is the first album that I actively followed. To be precise, it wasn't the first album I liked after becoming a fan of Jay Chou, but at this age, I acquired some internet skills, in simple terms, I learned how to find resources, so it left a deep impression on me.

At that time, there were no apps like "Everyone Sings" yet, and I used a certain recording software to record songs for fun. To be honest, I didn't have any singing talent. I couldn't hit the high notes or reach the low notes. Looking back now, I think I enjoyed the sense of achievement in technology more. I remember uploading music to my QQ Space and being able to find it on QQ Music. I don't think I can do that now (bitter smile).

At that time, we were having a sports meet, and at noon, my classmates went to the internet cafe to play games while I listened to "Fireworks Easily Grow Cold" on repeat. I have to say, even at that time, Jay Chou's music still resonated with me. Although from today's perspective, the style of his works has quietly changed, and I have reservations about songs like "Directing and Acting Myself" and "I Tear Up in Fragments."

Your Reflection is a Landscape I Can't Return to#

Entering the 21st century, Jay Chou and the whole society have undergone significant changes.

Jay Chou got married, wrote a song for his daughter, and filmed music videos with his son. His focus in life is no longer on releasing new songs and albums. He is no longer the young man who danced with nunchucks and said he wasn't worthy. After all, I am now approaching middle age.

However, this sense of detachment is not as simple as both of us growing up.

Praising Jay for his Chinese style is redundant. "From 'Nunchucks' to 'Hair Like Snow,' from 'East Wind Breaks' to 'Nocturne,' he has remained consistent with diverse musical styles, but he only loves Chinese style."

Chinese style is a dream created by Jay and Vincent Fang. Exquisite lyrics, genius melodies, and meticulously crafted arrangements seem to lift people off the ground and throw them into the romance of history.

But Jay's other "rough" and "sincere" songs are just as attractive to me as Chinese style, and the distribution and completion of these types of songs seem to indirectly contribute to this sense of detachment.

To verify this unreliable emotional understanding, I simply searched for a list of songs that Jay wrote the lyrics for. What are the songs that Jay Chou wrote the lyrics for? [2019-10-04]

These are the lyrics that I remember just by looking at the song titles (I had to confirm a few lines with the original lyrics):

Sitting on the bus going to school, looking at the cows grazing outside the window, it's a kind of indescribable freedom. "Terraced Fields"

When I listen to this song, I think of the wheat fields across from my house that turned into tall buildings over the years, and the trees buzzing with cicadas in the summer.

I want to climb step by step. "Snail"

Although this song only has a live version, whenever I listen to it, the image in my mind is that of a young person full of ambition in that era.

What she wants is companionship, not 600 yuan. "Grandma"

My grandmother is over 90 years old now. I left home for college nearly ten years ago, and the time I can spend with my grandmother has become scarce. I wrote an article about it before. She's Getting Old. Since completing that article, two more years have passed, and these three years have flown by. My life seems to have remained unchanged, but my grandmother's health has deteriorated rapidly. She spends most of her time in bed now, and due to common ailments in old age, she no longer recognizes me. It's sad to think about it, but there's not much I can do.

That's not my style at all. I want the audience to enjoy the show. "Besieged from All Sides"

Just smile. Success and fame are not the goals. "Rice Fragrance"

At first glance, the lyrics of this song may not seem impressive, but they have a profound impact on people.

Why should you listen to your mother's words? You'll understand this phrase when you grow up. "Listen to Mother's Words"

At my age, I have long understood my mother's strictness and the discipline that I once thought was excessive. The ABCs I memorized are now applicable to life.

If you're afraid of the future and everything seems hazy, it's because you haven't wiped your glasses clean. "Red Imitation"

It starts with mockery and arrogance, and ends with concern and advice.

These songs, how do they compare to the so-called "Roaming in the Sea of Corpses" nowadays?

Others are the enlightenment of heartbreak for children and the empathy between the young Jay and my teenage self.

You have already moved far away, and I will slowly move away too. "Silence"


Flipping through our photos, memories appear and disappear. "Excuse"


I can't sleep if I can't see your smile. "Rainbow"


Most of these songs were released before 2008, and I couldn't find any lyrics for the ones that came after.

  • 2010 "The Era" Superman Can't Fly, Directing and Acting Myself, Long Time No See
  • 2011 "Exclamation Mark" Healing Barbecue Rice Dumplings, Mine Mine, Princess Syndrome
  • 2012 "Twelve New Works" Wherever You Are, Ukulele, Big Ben, Sign Language
  • 2014 "Aiyo, Not Bad" Listen to Dad's Words, What Makes a Man, I Want Summer
  • 2016 "Jay Chou's Bedtime Stories" Hero, Love Loser, Turkish Ice Cream

Life is Permanent, Music Will Stay#

As Jay, during his youth, he was unrestrained and gave his all. He left behind music that captured the sweetness and bitterness of love and shared it with the world, which is a great kindness, and I am grateful for it.

As the "Little Heavenly King," his music and film career has had its ups and downs, but he has always stood at the peak. His comfortable life makes it difficult for him to communicate with the majority of society through music.

In the narratives of his early music videos, he played the role of an ordinary person pursuing another ordinary person in love. He was a young man breaking free from constraints and challenging authority.

In terms of national sentiment, he, as a descendant of the dragon, used Chinese kung fu to reclaim his place in foreign lands, continuing the spirit of Bruce Lee. It is a kind of national narrative.

Later on, from the song "Mine Mine," he started using English as the title for the first time.

The characters in his music videos gradually integrated with foreign environments. On one hand, there was no longer that sense of awkwardness as a newcomer, and on the other hand, it expressed more confidence. He transformed from a newcomer with messy hair into a focal point driving a luxury car in the city.

So, the difficulty in empathizing lies with me, not him. It's a matter of class. There is also the fact that we are on different sides of the Taiwan Strait, which inevitably creates differences in worldview. Of course, these differences are insignificant compared to the huge class differences.

Therefore, expecting one person (an idol) to satisfy all aspects of my emotional needs, including music, culture, and ideology, is unrealistic. My younger self didn't understand this, and I was even exclusive in terms of music.

Later on, I started listening to Tang Dynasty and Cui Jian. The atmosphere that pervaded the turn of the century re-infected me. Sometimes I really wonder, what would the Chinese rock scene be like now if there were no Jay Chou?

As a person in their middle age, I'm afraid I won't be able to wait for a new Jay Chou of the 2020s to convey the emotions of breaking free and fighting for me. So, I can only dig through the corners of the past.

Recently, I happened to come across a song, "Personal," by Yin Wu in 2000.

You and I each hold our own cups

Each of us drinks our own tea

We smile and nod at each other

Very elegant, we are very hygienic

You and I each talk about our own things

Each of us counts our own fingers

Each of us expresses our own opinions

In the end, we each go our own way

This kind of sentiment towards collectivism (as I understand it) can only be felt and passed on by those who have experienced it on this land.

Jay Chou belongs to youth, but it seems like he has stayed in his youth.

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