|My Musings on the Man and His Music|
|This page will be for my various ramblings on Wu Bai, which are likely to be completely boring to the rest of you. However, it's my site, so I'll put them here anyway :) If you have musings you'd like to share with the rest of the fans, you may submit them to 500Fan@fortune-cookie-500.com and I'll post them here.
I like the underlying political messages in many of Wu Bai's songs. I don't fully undertstand them all because I have very little knowledge of Taiwan and her struggles in the past and up through today (which I am rectifying by reading up on it when I can), but I know that Wu Bai has strong feelings about the government there and how things should be. He cares about his country and his people, and he's up front about speaking his mind. Music that has a message is so much more powerful than music just for the sake of pretty sounds.
I've noticed a recurring theme throughout Wu Bai's music - a desire for freedom. He sings about flying in the sky, wandering alone, not wanting any ties. I find this at odds with a man who has been in a serious relationship with one woman for ten years. From what does he want freedom? Does he simply wish not to be held down, to be able to do whatever he wants? Is it freedom for his country? What's the story here? Update: While in Taiwan for the 9 Layer Heaven concerts, I discovered from speaking to a long-time fan that Wu Bai had dreamed of flying when he was a child. Apparently this continues to influence his music, which is rife with references to wings and flying.
Which brings me to something I admire very much about Wu Bai: his loyalty to his lady. Now, here's a man who must have scores of women flinging themselves at him wherever he goes, yet he remains true to his love, saying that neither wind nor rain will part them. Despite the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealously that rears its head every so often (OK, constantly), I have to say that this quality is one of the things I like most about Wu Bai. My friends will joke with me, saying, "Oh, maybe if he meets you, he'll leave her." Well, I wouldn't want him if he did. I would rather admire from afar than have Wu Bai turn out to be the sort of rat who would leave a woman who has stood by his side for 10 years for some new chickie who wanders into his life. <sigh> She's one lucky woman, and she is obviously someone very special. Update: After talking with fans in Taiwan and getting a little more of the history of Wu Bai, this story emerged. Seems that there was a gal from his hometown who came with him when he left home to seek fame and fortune in Taipei. This young lady supported Wu Bai's music, even selling his first CD to her friends, but she didn't really understand it. The gulf between the two of them had been widening by the time Wu Bai met Ms. Chen. His hometown gal saw that Ms. Chen could help his career and that she herself had nothing to offer in that respect, so she left. Now if this tale is true, my first thought is, "She was nuts to let him go; I would have fought tooth and nail for him." Then I think to myself, "Oh what a noble sacrifice she made!" Then I go back to my nuts theory. Of course, maybe he was just such a slob around the house that she got tired of it, huh? :) Whatever the case, my own romantic soul likes to think that somewhere deep inside, Wu Bai misses her, and that's where all those songs about losing the love of his life come from. Like they say, you never know what you have until it's gone.
Another puzzle: all the songs about heartbreak, lovers parting, losing the love of his life, etc. I'm wondering if he's just so empathetic that he relates to the experiences of friends and writes about it, or if some woman devasted him back when he was a young fella and he still remembers it vividly. He certainly packs a lot of emotion into these songs, and if he's not writing from personal experience then he truly has an open heart to feel the pain of others so deeply. Refer to paragraph above for my solution to this one.
I recall an interview in which Wu Bai self-described himself as moody, dark, and brooding. He may be so when he's not performing, but his obvious joy when he's on stage makes me think that perhaps he's not as dark as he thinks he is. Those four seem to be having the time of their lives when they're giving their all to the audiences. Then again, Wu Bai could very well be the sort of guy I'd want to smack upside the head while yelling, "Snap out of it!" in his day-to-day life. Musicians, they're a strange lot....and again, after learning more on the Taiwan trip, I understand a little better his sadness. Not only did his two younger brothers die in car accidents, his mother also was seriously injured, losing a leg. I just about cried when someone translated a news article for me that told about how his mother got rid of all the photos of his brothers because it was too painful to remember. That is just so sad! I guess Wu Bai is entitled to brood as much as he wants.
As my teacher and I have been working together on lyrics translations as part of my lessons, she has explained to me how Wu Bai uses certain classical methods of writing poetry in his songs, and she maintains that his use of classical characters is quite lovely. I like watching her read through a song, exclaiming as she goes, "Oh, that's so beautiful! Oh, that's so romantic!" I'm thinking she's a closet fan, not yet willing to proclaim herself all out. But, whenever we run into any of her friends and she introduces me, the subject of Wu Bai always comes up, and she'll tell her friend what marvelous lyrics he writes :) Yeah, she's hooked, too.
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