It’ll Be Alright

CD front coverCD back cover

CD disk cover

1. Algonquin, My Dear Algonquin
2. Mama (Chinese)
3. Alien, Take Me
4. Baba, Please Come Back (Chinese)
5. Fear, Fear, Fear
6. A Lonely Hear
7. Sister
8. That Beautiful River Xiang (Chinese)
9. Lost
10. Music
11. Love Your Fellow Man
12. Love Knows No Boundaries (Chinese)
13. Mama, Let Me Realize Your Dreams (Chinese)
14. Where Are You
15. It’ll Be Alright

Mama, (re-record, re-mix, track 1, 2)

CD realease concert at Cecil Community Centre

 

How Each Song Was Written

In the summer of 1994, a friend of mine offered to compose a song for me if I could provide him the lyrics.  The prospect of having my own song excited me.  Soon I provided him the lyrics.  Then I waited.  When patience worn out, I challenged myself and contrived a melody for this lyrics.  There, born my first song, A Lonely Heart.

One month later, I wrote my second song, Lost.  Well, at that time, I didn’t really lose everything.  My mother and my sister loved me.  I also had a professional job.  But I felt, for a long period of time, that I had lost self-esteem and integrity.  Since my father passed away, I felt that I had also lost financial security.  The process of growing up, becoming independent and adapting myself to a new culture had taken away from me something so precious that it meant nearly everything to me.

In September 1993, I went to Algonquine Park alone to canoe, portage and camp.  It was an adventure.  I fell into a swamp on my birth day.  A year later, I dreamed about Algonquine on a morning.  After waking up, I wrote down a poem.  A few weeks later, I went to Algonquine with a friend.  While canoeing on the lake, I suddenly felt the music surging inside me.  It was the melody for the poem.  There, on the canoe, I finished my third song, Algonquin, My Dear Algonquin.

My mother and I had a very good friendship.  But between us there was one barrier that hindered our mutual understanding.  She had so often asked about my marriage and I had always evaded her question.  As an effort to communicate my thoughts to her, as well as, an opportunity to express my love and respect to her, I wrote the song, Mama.

Racism is an inescapable topic among minority people in North America.  So much we colored people desire to be treated with respect by the white majority, we sometimes neglect our desire to be respected by our own people.  Of my experience in my own racial community in both China and North America, I occasionally sense a reversed discriminatory message: White is beautiful; The West is the best.  I think, we coloured people will never win respect from white people unless we become respectable among our own people.  That’s why I wrote the song, Love Your Fellow Man.

The song, Music, was written after I came home from a Jazz concert in March 1995.

Where Are You was a reflection of my emotional state in April 1995.

In May 1995, I went to Vancouver to attend a wedding.  The beauty of this city impressed me.  On my first morning there, thinking that in 2 months I would be in China meeting my Mother’s new spouse, I wrote a poem for my mother and her new spouse.  I composed the melody on my returning airplane while I was mesmerized by the majestic snow-capped rocky mountains below me all the way from Vancouver to Calgary.  The song was titled Love Knows No Boundaries.

It’ll Be All Right was written after I took a walk in my neighborhood in an evening.

A cold flu confined me to bed for days in mid-June in 1995.  In pain, I thought of how painful it was for my father when he was dying of brain cancer.  I missed him.  I wanted to see him again.  I wished that, in addition to our father and son relationship, we could have had a very good friendship.  In bed, I wrote the song, Baba, Please Come Back.

A few days before my trip to China, I wrote the song, That Beautiful River Xiang.  River Xiang used to be relatively clean when I was a child.  Now it was severely polluted.  I had learned in Canada that in order to protect the environment, every individual should take his or her own initiative and responsibility.  So I decided to voice my concern of the pollution on River Xiang.  Hopefully, my voice would be heard in China.

On August 10, 1995, I returned to my apartment in Toronto after one month visit in China.  It was almost midnight.  I called my mother to report a peaceful and safe journey.  She told me that my sister had called her soon after my sister and I parted in a coastal city near Hong Kong.  My sister was sobbing over the phone.  She missed me so much.  Mother was the only person who could understand and share her emotion.  While Mother was relating this to me over the phone, tears filled my eyes.  I was moved.  After the phone call, with complete spontaneity, I immediately wrote the song, Sister.

Alien, Take Me was written after I saw the movie, Alien.

Mama, Let Me Realize Your Dreams was created while I was washing dishes in my kitchen on February 14, 1996.  I was crooning other songs.  But some how I switched to this one.

Fear, Fear, Fear was the first song that wrote without spontaneity.  The Asian Community AIDs Services of Toronto invited me to participate in a performance which would be staged during the 3rd Annual Asian Heritage Month Festival in May in 1996.  In order to sing a song to suite the theme of the performance, I created this song.

 

Lyrics

1. Algonquin, My Dear Algonquin

Algonquin, Algonquin, Algonquin…
I murmured your name
in my dream in the morning.
I saw on your water
the mist and the fog.
I watched for sun
breaking the darkness of the sky,
throwing crimson paints onto the clouds,
and generously warming up
the lakes, trees and tents.

I canoe on your blood,
swim in your heart,
I shower in your rain,
and shiver in your wind.
I sleep on your chest
and wake up re-born
from your virgin swamp mud,
virgin swamp mud..

Crystal air, innocent waves, pure spirits.
You refreshed my body,
cleared my mind
and rejuvenated, clarified my life.

I adore you, love you,
eternally care about you.
Algonquin, sweet Algonquin,
my dear Algonquin,
You are my friend.
You are my song.
You are my friend.
You are my song… 
  

2. Mama

During the Cultural Revolution,
Mama raised us three kids, on only one Yuan a day.
She taught us to love music and sports;
taught us language and arithmetic;
and often visited my father in jail.

Mama, Mama, my dear Ma.
Mama, Mama, my kind Ma.

My older brother grew up and got married.
He smoked, drank, gambled and didn’t go to work;
secretly lost Mama’s money.
Mama dared not ask him to return the money, because he
said that it would be forcing him to rob a bank and go to jail.

Mama, Mama, my dear Ma.
Mama, Mama, my kind Ma.

Little sister graduated from university,
married her classmate who wasn’t so good-looking.
Mama wasn’t very happy about this at first.
Later she visited their home and lived with them for a while.
When she left, she asked my sister to watch less TV and exercise more.

Mama, Mama, my dear Ma.
Mama, Mama, my kind Ma.

I went to Canada to study and then work,
seldom saw Mama,
hesitated whether to tell you or not:
I don’t want to marry and have children,
just want to find a life companion.
But I’m truly afraid that this would hurt you.

Mama, Mama, my dear Ma.
Mama, Mama, my kind Ma. 
  

3. Alien, Take Me

Alien, take me.    I am so lonely.
Alien, take me.    I am so lonely.
Alien, take me.    I am so lonely.
Take me to the quiet space,
to the cold place,
to the darkness
and brilliant stars,
to the light and time.

I want to fly
above the sky,
above the planet,
away from the gravity,
away from the galaxy,
between light and time,
between every thing
and nothing.

Fly, fly away
like a radiation ray.
Fly, fly away
like a cosmic dust
that will never decay.
Fly, fly away…
(Alien!)
 
 

4. Baba, Please Come Back

(My father’s voice:“Ahh, Xiaoping, son. How are you?
Today is 88-8-28”)

(1st & 3rd verses)
Papa, please come back.
When you left us,
the rice seedlings were just planted
and baby fish were yet to grow up.
Papa, please come back,
visit us grown-up children
and once again have a great time with us.
We miss you.
Papa, please come back.
Let’s have a great time together once again.
(1st verse) Life is so precious. We will cherish it more.
(3rd verse) Time passes. We wish to see you again.

(2nd verse)
Papa, please come back.
Come back to us.
The rice seedlings have grown up
and harvest time has come.
Papa, please come back,
listen to the song that I am singing to you
and laugh with me like we were friends.
I miss you so much.
Papa, please come back.
Let’s have a light talk the way friends do.
It has been a few years since we parted.
I see you in dreams so often.

(ending)
Papa, please come back.
Papa, please come back.
Papa, please come back!
 
 

5. Fear, Fear, Fear

Singing at Trax V

Life has been so good
with snow in the winter
sunshine in the summer.
Life has been so good
with spring flowers,
autumn colours.
Life has been so good
when friends are close,
family’s together.

Suddenly,
you lose some one so dear,
as dear as your brother.
Life is filled with anger.

Suddenly,
you lose some on so dear,
as dear as your sister.
Life is filled with fear.

Fear, fear…
Nothing can stop me,
stop me from loving my brother.

Fear, fear…
Fear will never stop me,
stop me from loving my sister,
for I know and I remember —
life has been so good.
And I hope it will still be good.
 
 

6. A Lonely Heart

If I had a lonely heart,
I would travel the world alone, around.
If I had a lonely heart,
I would live in a country
where I might get lost.
If I had a lonely heart,
I would be blithe
and sing a beautiful song.

He has a lonely heart.
He travels by himself alone.
He lives in a country
where he has no lover,
no cousin,  not even a friend.
He is gay, sexy and proud.

Who doesn’t have a lonely heart?
Who lives alone in a crowd?
This is a lonely life.
No one, not any one,
can do anything about it.
 
 

7. Sister

Sister, I am here.
Sister, I am here.
I am near to you,
as it has been
and it will always be.

Sister, I am here.
Sister, I am here.
Although you are so far away,
across the plain,
the mountain and the sea,
you are so close to me,
as I’m so close to you,
for I love you
and you love me.

Sister, I am here.
Sister, I am here,
knowing some one in the world
who cares about me so much,
knowing some one in my life
who loves me so much,
knowing you’re there for me
with your love,
complete love,
forever love.

Sister, I am here.
Sister, I am here.
I am close to you,
as it has been
and it will always be.
 
 

8. That Beautiful River Xiang

(1st & 3rd verses)
Clouds are moving in the blue sky.
A breeze is blowing in the fresh air.
Butterflies are flying mid flowers and shrubs.
A school of fish is swimming in the clear water.
Rice paddies grow in the clean cool water.
Vegetables drink water, like dew.
Sails peacefully drift under the sunshine.
Boatmen scoop up water from the river to cook and make tea.
Girls wash their colourful clothes clean in the water.
Children swim and play in the river.
Beautiful River Xian, my hometown river.
Beautiful River Xian, the river of my childhood.
You brought me food and life.
You gave me imagination and happiness.

(2nd verse)
Smoke is expanding in the hazy sky.
Poison gas is spreading to the north, south, east and west.
Waste water is pouring in from both shores, day and night.
People are struggling to live in the polluted environment.
Butterflies have disappeared in the industrial area.
Fish have disappeared in the chemical-filled water.
Rice paddies are poisoned.
Vegetables are poisoned.
Boatmen can no longer safely drink water from the river.
Girls no longer wash their clothes in the water.
Children don’t like to swim and play in the river.
Beautiful River Xian, the river in my memory.
Beautiful River Xian, the river of my childhood.
You once brought me food and life.
You once gave me imagination and happiness
 
 

9. Lost

When I was a child,
I was happy, free,
and I had a dream.
When I was in my homeland,
I felt confident, secure,
and I had a strong sense of self-esteem.

Since I left my homeland,
since I lost my father,
I have lost everything,
Everything…
Happiness and security;
Confidence and self-esteem.

The Child is lost.
An Adult is lost.
All are gone with the unforgettable past.
The lost dream.
The lost esteem.
The loss is dignity.
The loss is integrity. 

 

10. Music

What is this sound?
what is this rhythm?
What is this image?
What is this emotion?
What a world have you revealed to us.
What a wonderful music it is!

And my heart is floating
with the music
wondering, so relaxing,
in love, loving you
in this beautiful musical world.

And my soul is dancing
with the music
wondering, so exciting,
in love, loving you
in this beautiful music world.
 
 

11. Love Your Fellow Man

Love your fellow man.
love your color.
love your skin.
love yourself.

Love your fellow woman.
love your color.
love your self.
love your skin.
 
 

12. Love Knows No Boundaries

In the midst of mountains,
between rivers and lakes,
under the trees and the sunlight,
I stand in front of you wishing the best for your love —
Unlimited by age.

Love transcends ocean, time and space,
is not limited by age,
knows no sex boundary,
breaks the barrier between the poor and the rich.
In my heart, in your heart,
There exists our loyal love, pure love, limitless love.

Flying over the Pacific Ocean,
traveling on land from the south to the north,
crossing the river in our home town,
I come to your side wishing the best for your love —
between opposite sexes.

Love transcends ocean, time and space,
is not limited by age,
knows no sex boundary,
breaks the barrier between the poor and the rich.
In my heart, in your heart,
There exists our loyal love, pure love, limitless love.

Love… transcends ocean, time and space.
 
 

13. Mama, Let Me Realize Your Dreams

Mama, you used to have many dreams.
Mama, you used to have many dreams.
As time slowly passes by,
as white sneaks into your hair,
you tell me that you have many unrealized dreams.

Mama, let me realize your dreams.
Mama, let me realize your dreams.

Mama, you once had many ideals.
Mama, you once had many hopes.
On the basketball court you played deftly;
on stage you sang beautiful songs;
in nature you loved to climb and hike.

Mama, let me realize your ideals.
Mama, let me realize your hopes.

Mama, you once had many wishes.
Mama, you once had many dreams.
Under a lamp you studied in a sweat;
in the laboratory your intelligence shined.
You told me that you’d like to travel the world.

Mama, let me realize your wishes.
Mama, let me realize your dreams.
 
 

14. Where Are You

Where are you?
I wake up alone at midnight
and ask, “Where are you?”
Every morning I think about you.
Where are you?

Every day when I am working,
you come into my mind.
I wish you were some where,
waiting for me.
Where are you?

Every evening in my room,
you possess me, you possess me.
I wish you were here,
right beside me.
Where are you?

I wish you’d appear in my life.
We can share all we have.
(1st verse…)
I cannot go on without you.
(2nd verse…)
I’ll go on and look for you
and find you, and find you.
 
 

15. It’ll Be Alright

concert at Sunnyside

It’ll be alright.
Everything will be alright.
Just take a walk
in the evening of the early spring.
Listen to a song,
It tells human’s true feelings.
You know that you are alive.
You know that you are alright.

Forget bad feelings.
Forget sad memories.
Just breath in air.
Just keep walking.
You have come a long way so far.
Don’t give up.
You are alright.
Everything will be alright.

It’ll be alright.
Everything will be alright.
Just take a walk
on the green fields
by the green trees.
Listen to the sound that
comes from kids playing around.
You know that you are alive.
You know that you are alright.

Forget your troubles.
Forget your problems.
Just breath in air.
Just keep walking.
You have come a long way so far.
Don’t give up.
You are alright.
Everything will be alright.  
  
  
  
  
 

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 11:35 am and is filed under Canadian, Chinese, Gay, My Adventures. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “It’ll Be Alright”

  1. Verdunoisette Says:

    Dear Xiaoping Li,
    Thank you for sharing this with us. I really enjoyed reading about how you were inspired to create the words and music for these songs. I wish that you had included a sample of at least one song so that I could hear your voice and the music. The words are so true and beautiful. I wish you good luck with the music and everything else!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.