The Corner

I Feel a Song Coming On

Michael: While I cheerfully admit that my Mandarin stinks like a bear, and

have in fact lamented my linguistic incompetence at length on this very site, my

rendering of “Without the Communist Party There Would be No New China” was

in fact in Mandarin, not in any southern dialect. I sang it as: “Mei you

Gong-chan-dang jiu mei you xin Zhong-guo”; whereas in, for example,

Cantonese it would have been: “Mut yau Gung-chaan-dong jau mut yau san

Jung-gwok.” See? And in fact, the only song I know how to sing in

Cantonese is “Happy Birthday to You!” (“Gong hei lei saang-yat

faai-lok…”)

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