That fobby influence & the Little Apple song

As much as I might mumble to myself, “Good grief, does the grandmother just sit the two toddlers in front of the big screen tv, run YouTube videos all day while she gabs on the phone or plays some gambling app for free hotel credits on her iPad?”, a couple of gems have been unearthed and with our own discipline at home – where kiddo doesn’t feel the least bit entitled to watching anything on the big screen – he seems to be okay and would rather play than zone out in front of a television. For now.

First, there was this video we realized kiddo apes pretty well: 深圳交警快闪舞—BANG BANG BANG
It’s one of like a billion on YouTube as it happens when a song get popular and every aspiring dance group films themselves dancing to it. But since this one features police officers, it’s kiddo’s favourite. Let’s hope he doesn’t ask questions about the gun actions anytime soon.

Then, for a while, we’ve heard him singing one line from a song we didn’t know and it’s translation was adorable:

你是我的小呀小苹果
means
“You’re my little apple”

We’d sing that along with him but just as it wasn’t hard to find the police officer video once we thought about it, it didn’t take long to find the song and which video kiddo is most delighted by. The first one I pulled up, kiddo was nonplussed by but he did recognize the tune. He did enjoy the anime version because it’s animated. But when he saw the thumbnail for the following version, he positively started giggling. So that’s the one grandmas has on repeat!

First off, there is a Wikipedia page, Little Apple (song), which summarizes the information pertinent to the song and its influence. Interestingly to Americans, it won an AMA in 2014 for International Song Award but I’m guessing that barely anyone noticed.

The song was released initially to promote a movie that I’m not even going to look into. The official music video is zany as can be expected in connection to a Chinese comedy movie. Its immense popularity attracted both the People’s Liberation Army in Xian to use it as a recruitment video and the police unit in Shandong adapted the lyrics to use it as a warning against banking scams.

A The Straits Times article provides more opinion speculating on its popularity (“This song is easy to follow, the pace is basic and repetitive. Even the old ladies in public gardens are learning it quickly,”), but attacking its musical quality (The lyrics are largely nonsense, with the chorus running “You’re my little apple, you’re my little apple”.) As for whether the song will be China’s Gangnam Style and break records world-wide, we already know it didn’t, despite its popular within China. The flaw of much Chinese pop music and Little apple is “The songs are stylistically outdated. Xiao Pingguo takes on a disco beat heard in 1980s and 1990s China. This prevents it from competing with current pop music from the rest of the world.” As a consequence, “Chinese pop music has remained within its borders – unlike K-pop which has assimilated various influences to help it conquer South-east Asia and Japan as well as gain attention beyond the continent.” Yup, rings very true to me.

Still, isn’t China a fantastically large market if a song or artist or band is successful?

There is an English adaptation by Shaun Gibson. I don’t know who the guy is and cringe at the use of Journey of the West (Monkey King) costumes but – really – did the official music video inspire high levels of artistry??

Little Apple - Chopsticks Brothers
我种下一颗种子
Wǒ zhǒng xià yī kē zhǒngzǐ
I planted a seed
终于长出了果实
zhōngyú zhǎng chūle guǒshí
And finally it bore fruit
今天是个伟大日子
jīntiān shìgè wěidà rìzi
Today is a great day
摘下星星送给你
zhāi xià xīngxīng sòng gěi nǐ
To pluck the stars and give them to you
拽下月亮送给你
zhuāi xià yuèliàng sòng gěi nǐ
To pull down the moon and give it to you
让太阳每天为你升起
ràng tàiyáng měitiān wèi nǐ shēng qǐ
And let the sun rise for you every day
变成蜡烛燃烧自己只为照亮你
biàn chéng làzhú ránshāo zìjǐ zhǐ wéi zhào liàng nǐ
(I would) turn into a candle and burn myself up
把我一切都献给你只要你欢喜
bǎ wǒ yīqiè dōu xiàn gěi nǐ zhǐyào nǐ huānxǐ
Just to cast light on you
Give everything of myself to you
As long as it made you happy
你让我每个明天都变得有意义
nǐ ràng wǒ měi gè míngtiān dū biàn dé yǒu yìyì
You make my every tomorrow
生命虽短爱你永远,不!离!不!弃!
shēngmìng suī duǎn ài nǐ yǒngyuǎn, bù! Lí! Bù! Qì!
Although life is brief, my love for you is forever
Become more meaningful
Never to part, never to let go
你是我的小呀小苹果
Nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píngguǒ
You are my little, dear little apple
怎么爱你都不嫌多
zěnme ài nǐ dōu bù xián duō
However I love you, it’s never too much
红红的小脸儿温暖我的心窝
hóng hóng de xiǎo liǎn er wēnnuǎn wǒ de xīnwō
Small red face warming my heart
点亮我生命的火
diǎn liàng wǒ shēngmìng de huǒ
Lighting my life’s fire
火火火火火
huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ
Fire fire fire fire
你是我的小呀小苹果
nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píngguǒ
You are my little, dear little apple
就像天边最美的云朵
jiù xiàng tiānbiān zuìměi de yúnduǒ
Just like the sky’s most beautiful clouds
春天又来到了花开满山坡
chūntiān yòu lái dàole huā kāi mǎn shānpō
Spring has come again and blooming flowers cover the hillsides
种下希望就会收获
zhǒng xià xīwàng jiù huì shōuhuò
Planting hope, one is sure to reap reward
从不觉得你讨厌
cóng bù juédé nǐ tǎoyàn
I never find you irritating
你的一切都喜欢
nǐ de yīqiè dōu xǐhuān
I like everything about you
有你的每天都新鲜
yǒu nǐ de měitiān dū xīnxiān
Every day with you is fresh
有你阳光更灿烂
yǒu nǐ yángguāng gèng cànlàn
With you, the sunlight is brighter
有你黑夜不黑暗
yǒu nǐ hēiyè bù
With you, the nights are not dark
你是白云我是蓝天
nǐ shì báiyún wǒ shì lántiān
You are the white clouds; I am the blue sky
春天和你漫步在盛开的花丛间
chūntiān hé nǐ mànbù zài shèngkāi de huācóng jiān
Spring, strolling with you among the blossoming flowers
夏天夜晚陪你一起看星星眨眼
xiàtiān yèwǎn péi nǐ yīqǐ kàn xīngxīng zhǎyǎn
Summer, evenings with you watching the stars blink
秋天黄昏与你徜徉在金色麦田
qiūtiān huánghūn yǔ nǐ chángyáng zài jīnsè màitián
Autumn, at dusk wandering with you in the golden fields of wheat
冬天雪花飞舞有你,更!加!温!暖!
dōngtiān xuěhuā fēiwǔ yǒu nǐ, gèng! Jiā! Wēn! Nuǎn!
Winter, among the swirling snowflakes I am warmer with you there
你是我的小呀小苹果
Nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píngguǒ
You are my little dear little apple
怎么爱你都不嫌多
zěnme ài nǐ dōu bù xián duō
However I love you, it’s never too much
红红的小脸儿温暖我的心窝
hóng hóng de xiǎo liǎn er wēnnuǎn wǒ de xīnwō
Small red face warming my heart
点亮我生命的火
diǎn liàng wǒ shēngmìng de huǒ
Lighting my life’s fire
火火火火火
huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ
Fire fire fire fire
你是我的小呀小苹果
nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píngguǒ
You are my little dear little apple
就像天边最美的云朵
jiù xiàng tiānbiān zuìměi de yúnduǒ
Just like the sky’s most beautiful clouds
春天又来到了花开满山坡
chūntiān yòu lái dàole huā kāi mǎn shānpō
Spring has come again and blooming flowers cover the hillsides
种下希望就会收获
zhǒng xià xīwàng jiù huì shōuhuò
Planting hope, one is sure to reap reward
你是我的小呀小苹果
nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píngguǒ
You are my little dear little apple
怎么爱你都不嫌多
zěnme ài nǐ dōu bù xián duō
However I love you, it’s never too much
红红的小脸儿温暖我的心窝
hóng hóng de xiǎo liǎn er wēnnuǎn wǒ de xīnwō
Small red face warming my heart
点亮我生命的火
diǎn liàng wǒ shēngmìng de huǒ
Lighting my life’s fire
火火火火火
huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ
Fire fire fire fire
你是我的小呀小苹果
nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píngguǒ
You are my little dear little apple
就像天边最美的云朵
jiù xiàng tiānbiān zuìměi de yúnduǒ
Just like the sky’s most beautiful clouds
春天又来到了花开满山坡
chūntiān yòu lái dàole huā kāi mǎn shānpō
Spring has come again and blooming flowers cover the hillsides
种下希望就会收获
zhǒng xià xīwàng jiù huì shōuhuò
Planting hope, one is sure to reap reward

To wit, as much as we are doing AWESOME speaking to kiddo in Chinese at home, our tastes are really western and the only Chinese programming he is exposed to is Peppa Pig in Cantonese, we not being into Chinese dramas or subscribed to a Chinese-language television station. We could mine YouTube for this kind of stuff, but social media presents a biased and exaggerated version. Through word of mouth amongst the first generation that are MIL’s friends, she exposes him to the authentic Chinese tastes – even if they run so weird at times. There is – grudgingly – value in that.

Now to figure out which video grandma keeps playing where kiddo does a sumo squat, rolls his fits, throws them out and does it again to the other side!

Lyrics, pinyin and translation source: Transparent Language

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One thought on “That fobby influence & the Little Apple song

Comments are closed.