The Songs We Sang: Ruminations and After-thoughts《我们唱着的歌》观后感

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谈到新谣,想必大家都会联想起梁文福、巫启贤、颜黎明等人。就在前几天,我有幸到 Golden Village 戏院观赏《我们唱着的歌》。在去看那部之前,我只是略略知道它是一部有关新谣的记录片。但是,就因为我本身热爱新谣,对新谣辉煌的历史更是十分的好奇,因此我非看不可!

我以前对新谣的了解不深,只知道新谣就是“新加坡的歌谣”罢了。然而,看了《我们唱着的歌》以后,它更是让我对新谣有深一层的认识。虽然我出生在80年代,但真正印象较深刻的时代应该是90年代吧。新谣早在70和80年代就有如雨后春笋般地涌现在本岛的各个角落。在本地当红歌手林俊杰与孙燕姿等人成为家喻户晓的著名人物之前,新谣其实是在当时的南洋大学先“诞生”的。由于新加坡早初的华校生居多,大家熟悉的共同语言便是华语了。早期的南洋诗乐团秉着对华文文学的热忱,常常会在休息时间聚在一起谢谢诗,哼哼歌。

看了这部纪录片,我这才恍然大悟,原来新谣只是纯粹的由很多组热爱音乐与文学的莘莘学子弹弹吉他,唱唱歌而形成的社会风气。想想看当年的文学气息还真是浓郁!戏里还解释新谣是如何通过一关又一关的时代“考验”才到最后能达到炉火纯青的效果,并公诸于世。这种种的考验还包括了如何将新谣从校园传播之校外,甚至到海外国家,让更多人听到新加坡人的心声。再来,70至80年代也见证了英文成为新加坡的通用语。这给当年的华校生带来了巨大的冲击及阻挠。不只是在学校的各个科目必须由英语学习,新谣组织更是遇到一波又一波的威胁。

新谣造就了很多耳熟能详、脍炙人口的歌曲,包括了《细水长流》、《小人物的心声》、《写一首歌给你》、《邂逅》等等。很令人欣慰的是,最近又掀起了一股新谣热潮。从2013年的那部《我的朋友,我的同学,我爱过的一切》到不久前在第八频道播放的《起飞》连续剧,都是以新谣作为背景题材。我认为通过社交媒体的配合,这正是有效地能让更多年轻一代的新加坡人认识新谣。对于这个现象,我感到挺开心的。

新谣体现了一种不向岁月低头的顽强,也教会我执着有时能带来意想不到的惊喜。对与一名从事语文教育者的我,由于本身就特别热衷于音乐,我在课间也穿插了一些新谣歌曲的赏析项目,希望能鼓舞学生,提升他们对华文的兴趣。这语文与音乐间的结合,可说是天衣无缝啊!我怀抱着满满的信心与期盼,要让下一代继续感受到新谣的魅力,将华文文学发扬光大!

 

Just a few nights ago, I managed to catch the docu-film “The Songs We Sang” in a Golden Village theatre. Prior to the movie, I had little knowledge of what to expect. I only knew that it is a movie about xinyao, aka Singapore folk songs. As I am myself intrigued by the xinyao music genre, I am thrilled to catch the show to satisfy my curiosity.

Although I was born in the 80’s, my memory remains more vivid throughout the 90’s. However, xinyao has since incepted in the late 70’s, thanks to the emergence of Chinese schools. Before popular songbirds like JJ Lin and Stefanie Sun became musical icons here, xinyao sprung from Chinese schools, a movement started by Chinese students in Nanyang University’s “Poetry Music Club”. What began as a get-together during recess and after-school breaks to jam and make some music with mere guitars and vocals strummed itself to popularity in the commercial market not so long after.

Having said that, it was not all smooth-sailing for xinyao. Before it became commercialised, It was met with challenges such as the evolving education landscape in Singapore; English was made the lingua franca here, a move after the British colonial rule. Many Chinese students had difficulty trying to switch to the new language, not to mention having to use it as their primary language across other subjects. Also notable in history was the merger between Nanyang University and University of Singapore to form the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1980. Before xinyao caught up with overseas music markets, the challenges it faced were unthinkable.

Still, I’m glad that we have arrived at where we are today. Thanks to local veterans like Liang Wern Fook and Eric Moo, the ripples of xinyao could be felt through later movie/drama productions such as “That Girl in Pinafore” and MediaCorp’s “Crescendo”. I am heartened to know that such productions helped to reach to the younger crowds who probably had little inkling on what the genre is about.

Xinyao is an exemplary case study of perseverance. As an educator who embraces music, I see this as a splendid match between language and music. Hereby, I hope that xinyao could reach more audiences, and that the beauty of Chinese literature could spread on for many years to come!

The Songs We Sang is now showing exclusively at selected Golden Village theatres.

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