“Listen to Your Mother” lyrics

by terebikun

Dear all, it was lovely to meet you all at the IAPMS in Hong Kong. It was by far the most awesome conference experience I’ve ever had. Thanks to everyone and especially the (transnational) organizers and local hosts.

I thought I would post the translation of the lyrics of the Jay Chou song, “Listen To Your Mother,” which I played during the wrap-up “share-your-music-history” session. The song may sound…Confucianist…to some, since it promotes studying hard, filial piety, and various typical traits associated with certain normative “Asian values.”

But for those of “us” who found both pain and outlet in playing classical piano, Jay Chou’s tender lyrics and achievement are encouraging (success is one in a million but at least he succeeded). The song also tells the common transition from the classical world to pop music/culture. Canto pop singer Jacky Cheung (張學友)’s “Kiss Goodbye” (吻別) and Chow Yun-Fat’s (周潤發) movie God of Gambling (賭神) were referenced. So Jay Chou may be revealing bits of his own personal music/pop culture history as well.

Here are the lyrics and video:

Listen To Your Mom/ Jay Chou

Hey kid you must have lots of questions

Why do I gotta study drawing and talk to the piano when other kids are reading comic books

Why do I gotta sit against the wall and memorize ABCs when other kids are playing

When I got older I began to understand

Why do I run faster and fly higher than others

Everyone is reading the comic books I drew

Everyone is singing the songs I wrote

Mommy won’t show you how hard she works

In her heart lives a warm recipe

Hold her hands when you have a moment

Hold her hands and sleepwalk together
I said I wanted a big airplane, but all I got was an old recorder

Why do I have to listen to Mom

You will understand it when you are older

Listen to your mom, don’t break her heart

Grow up fast so you can protect her

Her beautiful white hair is sprouting in happiness

Her angelic magic is growing tender in warmth

In your future, music is your game

Find your game and then fall in love

Sigh, I don’t want to point you down the wrong path

So please listen to your Mom and fall in love a little later

I know all about your future

But your mom knows better

Like your classmates, you will doodle all over your school bag

But I suggest writing “mom told me to study hard”

How ironic to hear “study hard” from me

I am telling you to study hard because I don’t want to see you defeated

Keep the sweater your mom made you

On Mother’s Day, tell her you’ve kept it all this time

Oh by the way I will see Chou Yun-Fat

So you can boast your dad of the future is the God of Gambling

I cannot find love letters that I wrote from my childhood

Don’t give it away when you are done writing them

Because you will find them on the track and field just after two days

You will start to like pop songs

Because Jackie Chung is getting ready to sing “Kiss Goodbye”

Listen to Your Mom

Don’t break her heart

Grow up fast so you can protect her

Her beautiful white hair is sprouting in happiness

Her angelic magic is growing tender in warmth


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