“Shanghai Doesn’t Welcome You”

Courtesy of Hen Huang, Hen Baoli, a sarcastic parody rock song that’s been making the rounds on the Chinese internet: “Shanghai Doesn’t Welcome You“:

http://player.youku.com/player.php/sid/XMTM1MzUwNzYw/v.swf

(Click here for the video if the embedded player doesn’t work for you)

For those of you who weren’t subjected to blessed with hearing the song “Beijing Welcomes You” over and over in the run-up to the Olympics last year, you can check it out here to get an idea of what “Shanghai Doesn’t Welcome You” is mocking.

The complete lyrics in Chinese are available at the original post, and you might want them, because the verses and the “poem” part of the song are in Shanghainese (I assume, though I don’t speak it so I can’t be sure). Here’s our translation of the lyrics minus the “poem” bit though, which should be more than enough to get the rather simple general idea (note that we’re just translating the meaning, not trying to imitate the meter or rhyming):

Lyrics

Shanghai is getting harder and harder to live in these days,
From the basic necessities to eating, drinking, whoring, and gambling it’s China’s most expensive,
Shanghai doesn’t welcome outsiders or people from Shanghai,
Shanghai only welcomes the kind of people whose faces are on money [i.e., Shanghai only welcomes money],

Shanghai doesn’t welcome you,
Unless you’re coming to buy something,
But we don’t have any money on us,
Shanghai doesn’t welcome you,
The 2010 World Expo [hosted by Shanghai] is really great,
All the rich people from all over the world will be united [in Shanghai]

Underground at 93 Lingling Road there lives a rock-and-roll youth,
Five rooms underground, very cheap price,
When he’s finished rehearsing he goes to a small restaurant to enjoy himself,
What a shame that at the end of this year he’ll have to move because of the World Expo

Shanghai doesn’t welcome you,
Unless you’re coming to buy something,
But we don’t have any money on us,
Shanghai doesn’t welcome you,
The 2010 World Expo [hosted by Shanghai] is really great,
All the rich people from all over the world will be united [in Shanghai]

To be perfectly honest, the song is only marginally better in Chinese. It’s certainly not a lyrical masterpiece. But it does capture the frustration that seems to be spreading about Shanghai housing prices (and prices generally), as well as the frustration people have about being shuffled around by the government to make way for new buildings they can’t afford to live in. Put it all into a rock-and-roll mockery of one of 2008’s most obnoxiously overplayed songs and, well, we can certainly see why it’s making the rounds, even if it isn’t the prettiest song in the world.

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0 thoughts on ““Shanghai Doesn’t Welcome You””

  1. Lols, good find! My Shanghai friends loved it (but they still don’t want to tell me what the hell was saying in shanghaihua!) (BTW, I confirm it is Shanghainese 🙂

    Like

  2. It is not far from my adaptation of the beijing one:
    Beijing welcomes you, to go to the police for registration
    Beijing welcomes you, but there is no internet connection…
    北京欢迎你到警察局来登记,
    北京欢迎你可是网络联不行。。。

    Like

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