The Flowery Years (花样的年华) performed by Zhou Xuan (周璇).
Featured in Wong Kar-wai’s famous 2000 film In the Mood for Love and the soundtrack to his short film of the same name, The Flowery Years was originally sung by iconic actress-singer Zhou Xuan of the “Solitary Island” cinematic period. It was composed as a homage to nostalgia and bygone happiness and as a metaphor for the dangers of then Japanese-occupied Shanghai.
Nicknamed the “Golden Voice” (金嗓子) for her lilting high-pitched melodies, Zhou Xuan was a prolific artist with a discography of 200+ songs and appearances in 40+ films. Sold into another family at the age of three by a relative addicted to opium, Zhou was adopted before debuting onstage at age thirteen. Upon passing away in an asylum following a nervous breakdown at just thirty-nine years old, Zhou left a rich and controversial legacy. Her surviving family members created conflicting accounts of her life, revealing details of their complex relations with Zhou in public disputes, and battled over the legalities of her fortune. Nonetheless, Zhou’s life has been adapted into biographies and television series, representing her lasting influence on Chinese media well into the present day.
In the Mood for Love has previously been featured by sinθ here.