Home » Jiachen Year of the Dragon: Taking stock of the songs that couldn’t make it to the Spring Festival Gala

Jiachen Year of the Dragon: Taking stock of the songs that couldn’t make it to the Spring Festival Gala

by admin

The Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon is fast approaching and with it comes the anticipation of China’s official Spring Festival Gala. The event is known for featuring songs that either align closely with the “grand narrative” or praise the ruling party. However, some tunes that deeply resonate with the people are often relegated to the underground. Even popular internet sensations struggle to make it to the big stage filled with “positive energy”. So, what are these songs and what sensitive points do they touch upon that concern the authorities?

Recently, a unique remix video of the song “You Are Not Really Happy” by the Mayday band has gone viral, striking a chord with netizens across China. The video pairs the song with footage of laborers rushing to work, comedians fallen into despair, and individuals struggling through difficult circumstances. The video seems to shed light on the plight of many citizens living in a country deemed as the second-largest economy in the world. Tang Jingyuan, a current affairs commentator in the United States, points out that the video raises questions about why so many people, across different classes and age groups, are unable to find happiness in a country of such economic prowess. He criticizes the regime for depriving people of the right to express their true emotions, resulting in the suppression of real unhappiness.

Huang Mingzhi, a Malaysian singer famous for his song “Glass Heart”, released the New Year song “Descendants of the Dragon” shortly before the Year of the Dragon. The song features major political events of 2023 and is filled with references to the party and Xi Jinping. This song, supported by heavily political content, has gained massive popularity but is unlikely to be included in the Spring Festival Gala due to its controversial nature.

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Another notable mention is the “baby humiliation culture” represented by the overseas “Rutou Society·Xiaofanqi” channel. Spoofing Xi Jinping and mocking Beijing’s authority, the song “Qincheng Welcomes You” has attracted widespread attention abroad. However, overseas social media platforms have blocked channels linked to the Rutoushe, raising questions of societal censorship even outside China’s borders.

The A-share version of “Rakshasa Sea” sung by a netizen named “Dabao” swiftly gained popularity among Chinese investors only to be promptly blocked on the Chinese internet. The song’s lyrics resonated deeply with investors, reflecting the overall economic downturn and struggles of the stock market.

In the midst of the various underground songs making waves, one song titled “Big Dream” has sparked intense emotions among Chinese citizens. The song “condenses the lives of many powerful people” and has been described as a powerful reflection of society’s struggles. Additionally, the song “We Are the Last Generation” and the band Slap’s song “Red Boy Eighteen Wins” have also touched many individuals, reminding them of the pain and challenges they have faced.

As these underground songs continue to resonate with the public, they simultaneously clash with the official narrative of the Spring Festival Gala, which strives to uphold a façade of societal “brightness”. It is clear that these poignant tunes unearth the hidden scars beneath the surface of China’s glamorous image. Despite the authorities’ suppression and strict creative restrictions, these moving songs persist, capturing the true emotions and sentiments of a multitude of citizens.

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