traditional chinese ceramics

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青花瓷 (Blue and White Porcelain) by Jay Chou (周杰伦)

Written with longtime collaborator, Vincent Fang (方文山), the 2007 track is one of Jay Chou’s most well-known songs and is popular across the world, with an instrumental version of it being played as background music on Air China and its lyrics being included in language acquisition curriculums. This is in part thanks to Chou’s masterful composition, where he uses traditional Chinese elements such as the pentatonic scale to create an instantly recognisable melody. 

The lyrics refers to traditional Chinese ceramics, with the blue designs drawn onto white china, that is one of the most identifiable aspects of Chinese culture in the West. Fang used the porcelain as inspiration to tell a love story that transcends the boundaries of time. He also felt that the elegant decorative artwork resembled women in their beauty and vulnerability. Fang’s own favorite lines are: 

簾外芭蕉惹驟雨門環惹銅綠

The banana plants outside your window brought torrential rains, and the copper knocker outside your door invited the color green

而我路過那江南小鎮惹了妳

And when I passed through that small town south of the river, it was your eye that I caught first