Faye Wong’s Ten Best ‘Minor’ Videos – #3

3. This 1995 performance has to be one of the most touching I’ve ever seen, Faye Wong (王菲) singing the Teresa Teng (鄧麗君, Deng Lijun) classic, “I Only Care About You” (我只在乎你). (Click on the image below to see the video.) This is a tribute to Teresa, who passed away earlier that year. Faye idolized Teresa and counts her as an influence. Teresa dominated the Asia pop music scene in the decades before Faye’s emergence. In July, a couple of months after Teresa’s death, Faye released an album, The Decadent Sound of Faye, devoted to covers of Teresa’s songs. ”Decadent” is a reference to the labeling of Teresa’s songs by the mainland’s cultural police. Teresa was a Taiwan native.

[Added 5.26.08:] Some criticized Faye for capitalizing on Teresa’s untimely death. However, this album had been in production prior to her passing. Thus, the timing of the release was coincidental.

Teresa’s mother appears in the opening, thanking those who have contributed to this program, including Faye. The erhu (二胡), a Chinese violin, is the instrument that, together with Faye’s performance, tugs at the heartstrings. In the segment before Faye’s appearance, the erhu is playing “Wishing We Last Forever” (但愿人长久), a Teresa song that Faye adopted as her trademark. The lyrics are from a poem written by Su Shi (苏轼) in the 11th century. The sound quality of the video could be better (the piano’s way too loud), but the poor engineering doesn’t lessen the impact.

[Added 6.23.09]

See “10 Best Minor Videos” in the right sidebar for links to the other selections. The introduction to this series is in selection #1.

3 Responses

  1. I remember watching this at my mum’s place in HK as a teen, back from school in Australia. It was so moving and has been a favourite Faye appearance of mine since. Watching it again, I got goosebumps when Faye turns around to sing to Teresa. Such a dignified performance and Faye did not make it about herself like some other singers do. I miss her live performances.

  2. Deb, thanks for this comment. It adds a dimension that was missing from the write-up. I like your use of the word “dignified” and the way you capture the significance of this video with a few well chosen words. “Dignified” captures for me, in a word, what makes Faye so special, so unlike all other performers. She always maintains a sense of dignity, and this has been a constant throughout her career.And that dignity isn’t self-absorbed but gracious and aware of others. It seems she never loses sight of who she is, the people around her, and the purpose of an event. Even when there’s a huge audience, there’s always a sense that she’s aware of every person there. She’s the only performer I know who consistently acknowledges the audience throughout a performance or appearance by waving to all sections of an auditorium and trying to make eye contact. And it’s not the same gesture that we see from other artists who seem to be more into themselves than the audience, as though they’re saying, “Look at me. Don’t you think I’m wonderful?” With Faye, you really get the feeling that the wave is a genuine reaching out to the audience, an acknowledgement of their presence, less about her and more about them. And this is the same dignity that we see in this tribute to Teresa, an acknowledgement that the performance is about Teresa and not about Faye. When people ask me what’s so special about Faye, I always find myself speechless. I just don’t know how or where to begin. There’s so much depth to her, and you’ve added even more with “dignifiied.” Thanks again.

  3. u should have concert in the usa

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