As part of my mission to give my parents and relatives flashbacks every time they visit my blog, I’ve begun seeking out music that was popular when they were growing up in 1960s and 1970s Taiwan.

One of my favorite songs so far is Today I Won’t Come Home (今天不回家, jīn​tiān​ bù​ huí​jiā​) by Yao Surong (姚蘇蓉). It is the theme song to a 1960s film of the same name, as well as its 1990s remake (for more information in English, click here).

The Chinese lyrics (from this Web site) are:

今天不回家

徘徊的人

徬徨的心

迷失在十字街頭的你

今天不回家

為什麼? 你不回家

往事如煙

愛情如謎

迷失在舊日情愛的你

今天不回家

為什麼? 你不回家

朦朧的月

暗淡的星

迷失在煙霧夢境的你

今天不回家

為什麼? 為什麼不回家

心在那裡

夢在那裡

不要忘了家的甜蜜

迷失的人

不要忘了家的甜蜜!

And here they are in English:

Today you won’t come home

Uncertain people

Indecisive hearts

You are lost at the crossroads,

Today you won’t come home.

Why won’t you come home?

The past fades away like smoke

Love is a riddle

You are lost in yesterday’s love,

Today you won’t come home.

Why won’t you come home?

Hazy month

Gloomy star

You are lost in a foggy dreamscape,

Today you won’t come home.

Why won’t you come home?

Where is your heart?

Where are your dreams?

Don’t forget the sweetness of your home.

Those who are lost,

Don’t forget the sweetness of your home.

I hope the beauty of the lyrics comes through my attempt at translation! If you have more accurate lyrics, please let me know!

I’m looking up Chinese language articles on Yao Surong and I’ll post more about her when I’m done translating what I see. From what I’ve read so far, Yao and the popularity of her songs were instrumental to the development of Taiwan’s pop music industry but, though much of her career was played out in Hong Kong and other Asian countries.

《今天不回家》是一曲非常有名的老歌。我媽媽爸爸小時候應該有聽過!

(And just for kicks, here is “The Pot Can’t Talk About the Kettle” by Helene Smith, one of my favorite 1960s songs. It was recorded a few years before 今天不回家).