My Favourite Music #3: Anthony Wong


Anthony Wong

Anthony Wong (bio in link) started his music career in the 80s as the vocalist of the duo Tat Ming Pair. The pair later split and Anthony began his solo career with his debut album Faith Hope Love in 1992. He later started his own music production company People Mountain People Sea (PMPS), producing music for many prominent Cantopop artists, as well as signing up new artists such as at17 (refer to my previous blog).

Tat Ming Pair and Anthony are considered the avant-garde in electronica in Cantopop and are highly regarded. Their music deviated from the mainstream love ballads. Many of their songs were on sensitive social and political issues which were well ahead of their times, for example, songs on LGBT topics in the conservative 1980s when it was still a taboo subject. Anthony was one of the very few artists who came out as gay and stood in the forefront of the pro-democratic movement in Hong Kong. He was arrested in 2021 for allegedly "providing free entertainment to lure voters" when he performed during a campaign of a pro-democratic candidate. Although later released without charges, this sent a chilling shockwave to the anti-Communist supporters in Hong Kong.

In this blog, I'll again translate the lyrics of few of my favourite songs, as well as brief intro on few more others.

If You Love Me

If You Love Me was a song from 1997. On the surface, it seemed like an usual love ballad and was not as radical as some of his other songs. However, the more you read into the lyrics, the more questions there were. Was he suicidal? What was he trying to confess? What happened to the relationship?

This song was later covered by Ellen Loo, who rearranged the song and added a psychedelic tone to it.

如果你愛我 If You Love Me

music by GayBird@PMPS, lyrics by Chow Yiu-fai

在這一刻 讓我於高處跌下而無懼怕
In this moment, let me fall from the heights without fear
如你愛我 用你的方法承受承受我嗎
If you love me, would you support me in your way?

但你沒有答話 相信仍在尋覓對白
But you didn't answer, [I] believe [you're] still looking for dialogue
有些細沙 令一室空氣現在混濁了吧
Some fine sand makes the air dense in the room now

難得一刻 讓我將真相透露如同病發
For a rare moment, let me reveal the truth as if the onset of disease
如你愛我 用你的一切明白明白我嗎
If you love me, would you understand me with everything you have?

但我沒有說話 不算疲累仍舊坐下
But I didn't say anything. [I] sat down though not really tired
轉一個彎 讓灰色知覺慢慢如微塵降下
Turn a corner, let the grey consciousness settle down slowly like dust

* 知不知這份愛搖動時 便發現心的層次
Do you know that when this love rattles, [I] discover the layers of [your] heart
這關係今天美麗未如從前 還有沒有意思
This relationship today is not as beautiful as it used to be. Is there still meaning to it?
知不知我為你沉下時 在發問我願不願意
Do you know when I'm sinking for you, [I] ask myself whether I'm willing to
這關係一些缺憾造成懷疑 不著痕跡地情變
In this relationship, some flaws lead to doubts, and it demises without a trace

讓你讓我愛吧 相對時候仍未太壞
Let you and I fall in love. When we were together it wasn't too bad
抹一抹它 亂飛的終會慢慢如微塵降下
Wiping it off, those randomly flying [feelings] will eventually settle down slowly like dust

Repeat *

相親相愛直至搖動時 便發現心的層次
We love each other until [the relationship] rattles, then [we] discover the layers of the heart
這關係今天美麗未如從前 還有沒有意思
This relationship today is not as beautiful as it used to be. Is there still meaning to it?
不知不覺直至沉下時 在發問你願不願見
Unconsciously till it sinks, [I'm] asking [if this is something] you'd like to see
這關係怎麼接受未如從前 不斷回憶著情意
How to accept this relationship not as it used to be? [I] keep recalling the affection


Neo-Romanticism was a 2003 song written by Chet Lam, an independent folk pop singer-songwriter. The theme of the song was on loneliness and how people were giving up on the pursuit of a relationship.

新浪漫 Neo-Romanticism

music by Chet Lam, lyrics by Wyman Wong

藍外套 綠襯衫
Blue jacket, green shirt
Pink coat sorted by colours
忘掉那件 屬於他
Forgot which one belongs to him

電結他 彈壞了
The electric guitar is broken
This song is about happiness
提提自己 不要講他
Remind myself not to talk about him

* 浪漫被推翻 浪漫被解散
Romance has been overturned, romance has been disbanded
No one to share this freshly laid snowy white bed sheet
夜夜睡得好 原來還不太難
To sleep well every night, it's actually not too hard
愈活愈簡單 浪漫渡一晚
Life is getting simpler, romantically spending a night
原來無需幾經波折遠渡重洋萬山 約他晚餐
It turns out that there is no need to go through many twists and turns and to travel across oceans and mountains to invite him for dinner
(原來無需挽著臂彎跟他腳步行 有星的海灘)
(It turns out that there is no need to hold his arm and follow his footsteps to walk on a starry beach)

無合照 沒有花
No photos together, no flowers
A lover's phone call won't ring tonight
平淡到極 但瀟灑
Extremely bland, but dashing
全日假 在我家
A whole day off at my home
良辰自己統統可以留下 分秒不差
Good times can all be kept by myself, not missing a moment

Repeat *

浪漫讓孤單 釋放 驚世燦爛
Romance let loneliness release the earth-shattering brilliance
像在彈指間 天國到站
As in a snap of the fingers, heaven arrives
以一瞬間 越過無限
Transcend infinity in a moment

Beauty at Heart

Beauty at Heart was a Mandarin song written for the musical Walking with Wings in 2000. It was a stunningly simple yet beautiful song in my opinion.

美麗在心頭 Beauty at Heart

music by Anthony Wong / Veronica Lee@PMPS, lyrics by Lin Xi

What's the reason for the smile?
I'm glad that I don't need to think for too long
回憶中的鏡頭 期待中的溫柔
Images from memory, tenderness in anticipation
還有 然後 還有
Also, then, also

There are many reasons for being happy
The happiest is when [you] know how to miss out
什麼都想追求 什麼都可放手
Want to pursue everything, everything can be let go
然後 還有 然後
Then, also, then

Everyone wants to be greedy for the new and never forget the old
Who doesn't watch and walk along the way
Wouldn't miss any flirtation
Also wouldn't wait for anyone

Everyone leaves without looking back
醜陋留給塵埃 美麗在心頭
Ugliness left to the dust, beauty at heart
In this world of sensual pleasures, there is my mirage

Unrivalled Beauty

Unrivalled Beauty was a 2011 song written for Concert in the Dark, a charity concert for the blinds. It was about love from the blind's perspective, which was an interesting concept when physical appearance played no role in such relationship. The "unrivalled beauty" would therefore become paradoxical.

絕色 Unrivalled Beauty

music by Ellen Loo@PMPS, lyrics by Lin Xi

Heard the fingertips climbed over the summit
Heard the breath crinkles the sound of waves
不吻亦忘形 一吻亦無形
No kiss but got carried away; a kiss but formless
My scenery does not depend on the view

If sinking fish and falling geese can sound beautiful
Acid rain and sour wind can be like a moon shadow
一見又如何 不見又如何
So what if [I] see? So what if [I] don't see?
Your spring scenery won't sully [my] mind

Can't see off [your] leaving figure
Can't see off every microcosm
But [I] believe in the sound of the shower [I can] hear your facial expression

Such wonderfully sounded love
It exists without seeing
For my whole life I can't understand what green willow and black hair are, but it doesn't hinder me
Can't see clothes covering
Can't put [your] face in [my] eyes
Lest you adorn me with your bright eyes and white teeth

Heard you who cared switched on the lights
Heard you who were happy switched off the lights
I am not born to love with my eyes

Such wonderfully sounded love
It can't be seen hence it exists
For my whole life I can't understand what red men, green women, black and white are, but it doesn't hinder me
Can't see clothes covering
Can't put [your] face in [my] eyes
Lest you adorn me with your bright eyes and white teeth

Love that can't be seen
Can't see who's there
你色身根本從來未看一眼 但求沒挂礙
Your body utterly has not been seen for once, may it not hinder me
Can't see the balcony opposite
Can't put the mortal world in [my] eyes
Lest you one day stab in [my] heart with your unrivalled beauty

Whereabouts Unknown

Whereabouts Unknown was from 2003 featuring Sandy Lam. This song was about the many people we met by chance in our lives who we no longer know their whereabouts. It had many references to cultural icons and events in Hong Kong, such as the now closed Matsuzakaya department store, the Tiananmen Square Massacre anniversary memorials at Victoria Park, the many Cantopop concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum etc., so it may not be easily understood by a foreigner.

下落不明 Whereabouts Unknown

music by Arion@PMPS, lyrics by Wyman Wong

圖書館中 那水手服 有否對我笑 不記得了
In the library, that sailor suit, did [he] smile at me? [I] can't remember.
松板屋中 那東京夢 聖子變作了 舊時路標
At Matsuzakaya, that Tokyo dream, Seiko [Matsuda] became an old landmark.
電影展中 法斯賓達 我知你看到 一半走了
In the film festival, [a movie by] Fassbinder, I knew you left halfway.
荷東廣東 那些舞伴 現在是否在跳
At Hollywood East and Canton [discos], those dance partners, are they still dancing now?

* 幾多派對 幾多個失散伴侶
How many parties, how many lost partners?
幾多個故事 並無下一句
How many stories without the next sentence?
終於一天 想起要跟你聚 那號碼已不對
Finally one day [I] thought of seeing you, that number was no longer correct.

倫敦街中 晚間有霧 你警告過我 不要走遠
In the street of London, there was fog in the evening. You warned me not to stray too far off.
聯歡會中 兩杯之後 那些聖誕節 換來什麼
In the party, after two glasses [of wine]. In those Christmases, what [gifts] were exchanged?
維園之中 那燭光下 那一臉憤慨 風化失去
In Victoria Park, under the candlelight, that indignant look on [your] face when morality was lost.
紅館之中 滿天偶像 殞落在生活裡
In the Coliseum, the idols over the sky plummeted into [our] lives.

Repeat *

幾多信仰 今天已不再絕對
How many religions are no longer absolute today?
幾多個偶像 熱潮未減退
How many waves of idol craze have not subsided?
好比過客 車廂裡的午睡 到站你已幾歲
It's like a traveller having an afternoon nap on the train. How old are you when it arrives?

誰 沒有找誰 沒有等誰
Who didn't look for who? Didn't wait for who?
Since that day it can't be chased back
誰 沒有找誰 沒有等誰
Who didn't look for who? Didn't wait for who?
And sometimes there are regrets

Repeat *

幾多信仰 今天已不再絕對
How many religions are no longer absolute today?
幾多個偶像 熱潮未減退
How many waves of idol craze have not subsided?
好比過客 騷擾你的恬睡 你又老了幾歲
It's like a passerby disrupting your sleep. How many years older did you get?

幾多派對 幾多個失散伴侶
How many parties, how many lost partners?
幾多腳印 現在還在這裡
How many footprints are still left here?
轉機轉車 轉工轉會轉校 你在哪裡失去
Changing flights, changing cars, changing jobs, changing clubs, changing schools...where did you lose it?


Amsterdam was a 2006 song about a lone traveller to the party city. Although most of the songs I selected above are ballads, Anthony was in fact popular for his electronic music with strong beats, and this was one of his finest examples.

阿姆斯特丹 Amsterdam

music by Anthony Wong / Jason Choi@PMPS, lyrics by Chow Yiu-fai

Travelled with my shadow
Turned out that I carried all my doubts
Sleeping well inside the old city
Suddenly I understood how lacking I was

Looking for my kind of trip
Freely shrouded by the darkness
地圖沒指引 心裡有恍惚
There's no guide on the map, [I] fell into a trance
Could only blame the night view of this foreign place was too charming

* 發現我很想有什麼發生
Found that I really wanted something to happen
Found that I really wanted to kiss some strangers
二人或吸引 一個也開心
Being a couple was perhaps an attractive idea, [I was] happy by myself too
I thought I was willing to fall in love for my whole life

Proved that I haven't been like today for a long time
Proved that I haven't been aroused for a long time
往事正消失 未來亦消失
The past events were disappearing, the future also disappeared
While the sky was swapped and [I was] alone, [I] swapped a soul

Light and shadow were forever together
Once the body and mind were honest with each other
Walking far off from the stone bridge
Suddenly I understood I really wanted to get close
Looking for my kind of trip
Freely shrouded by the darkness
運河沒水浸 心裡有傾側
The canal didn't flood, [my] mind was tilted
I did love someone wholeheartedly


Then understood that I was tired of this old body and flesh

Other songs

There are many other songs that I liked a lot, and here are the links to some of these from his solo career only (i.e. excluding those from the Tat Ming Pair era):

  • 哪裡會是個天堂 Where Would Be a Paradise - the first song from his first solo album in 1992.
  • 你真偉大 You Are Really Great - also from his first album, a satirical song on father-son relationship, which can also be implied on China-Hong Kong relations, or even God-man relations.
  • 春光乍洩 Spring Light Escapes - the song from 1995 was one of his most popular, and it won the Song of the Year award. It was inspired by the movie Before Sunrise. The song in turns inspired the 1997 Wong Kar-Wai's movie Happy Together. It was a bold song from the 90s on the topic of sex. Since then, there are numerous remixes and covers, including this one by the charismatic Leslie Cheung himself from the movie.
  • 萬福瑪麗亞 Hail Mary - a duet with Shirley Kwan, also from 1995. It was an ambiguous song that I dare not to translate.
  • 下世紀再嬉戲 Play Again Next Century - another song from 1995, a time of great uncertainty on the handover of Hong Kong to China and the end of the millennium. It was an almost hymn-like song that echoed Hail Mary above.
  • 一千場戀愛 A Thousand Loves - a mesmerising song from 1995 which was well ahead of its time.
  • 漩渦 Swirl - an erotic duet with Cass Phang. This is often regarded as one of the finest duets in Cantopop.
  • 罅隙 Crack - (sorry this MV on YouTube is very poor quality, you may want to listen to this live version instead) An exquisite song with piano arrangement from 2000. There's also this live cover version by Eman Lam and Yoyo Sham, which was beautifully done too.
  • 貪生怕死 Greedy for Life and Fear of Death - an interesting song from 2008, a play on life and death.
  • 下流 Downstream - a classic dance beat in Mandarin from 2011. The lyrics played on the double meaning of the word 下流, which can mean "downstream" as in lower class people vs the upper class, or it can mean "indecent" or "nasty". It was a similar theme to the song That End from RubberBand. Note that this fan-made MV was so good, it was adopted by Anthony in his concert.

I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do, and thanks for reading.

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