The protesters in Hong Kong are embracing a brand new tune.
Glory to Hong Kong, a four-verse tune with Cantonese lyrics that references “tears on our land” and “democracy and liberty”, has been picked up in current weeks by hundreds of individuals gathering in purchasing malls, soccer match and parks.
It was written solely just lately by a neighborhood musician in his mid-20s, who solely needs to be recognized as “Thomas”.
He instructed BBC Information Chinese language he hoped the tune would “unite Hong Kongers and increase public morale”.
“I got here up with the melody… in early August. And from there I wrote the remainder of the tune,” he mentioned.
Regardless of the federal government scrapping the extradition invoice which sparked the preliminary unrest, the protestors are persevering with their motion, and have expanded their calls for to incorporate full democracy and an investigation into alleged police abuses.
Thomas instructed the BBC “individuals had been rising drained and weary” after three months of protests, however that there is “now new power within the motion and protesters appear to have been re-energised”.
The place did the tune come from?
Singing has performed a big half within the protests since they started in June. The Christian hymn Sing Hallelujah to the Lord and Do You Hear the Folks Sing? from hit Broadway musical Les Miserables have proved significantly common.
Numerous individuals have additionally been writing and sharing their very own protest compositions, or sharing their concepts for doable lyrics.
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A couple of weeks in the past, Thomas posted the primary model of Glory to Hong Kong – generally translated as Glory be to thee, Hong Kong – on LIHKG, a local Reddit-like forum (link in Cantonese).
He mentioned he felt the necessity for a tune that captured the power of the protesters, so composed the marching-style tune.
“Within the Umbrella Motion [the 2014 protests] individuals sang pop songs and on the time I already felt that that model and rhythm did not actually seize the eagerness and pleasure of protests,” he mentioned.
“I needed to put in writing a tune displaying Hong Kong’s battle for democracy and freedom.”
And, after just a few refinements to the lyrics, it turned a viral hit on-line and on the streets.
“We would have liked a tune to attach,” mentioned a person on Twitter. “And this was the reply to that.”
Varied video variations at the moment are circulating, some depicting Hong Kong’s panorama, its Bauhinia flower image or protesters inserting their palms over their hearts.
Earlier this week, one video was even launched of a full orchestra and choir performing the tune, all carrying the fuel masks worn by protesters to guard in opposition to tear fuel, and performing amid clouds of smoke. It drew greater than one million views on YouTube.
And at a soccer match on Tuesday, hundreds of protesters booed the Chinese language nationwide anthem earlier than the beginning of the sport and as a substitute sang out Glory to Hong Kong.
Protesters at one mass singing occasion this week instructed the BBC that they recognized carefully with Glory to Hong Kong.
“I lastly perceive why individuals from different nations cry when singing their nationwide anthem,” one mentioned. “I really feel love and honour for Hong Kong.”
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Controversially, some have even mentioned they hoped it could develop into a “nationwide anthem”. One particular person instructed the BBC the tune represented the voices of “all Hong Kongers”.
However pro-Beijing protesters countered that sentiment on Thursday, as they staged a flashmob-style occasion to sing the Chinese language nationwide anthem at a mall within the Central district.
A video confirmed individuals flying Chinese language flags and making an attempt to drown out the anti-government songs with their very own.
There isn’t any official English translation of Glory to Hong Kong. Thomas says no-one has but agreed on one.
However that has not stopped translations corresponding to this one, from being circulated broadly amongst social media customers on Twitter.
“I am glad that my anthem has been accepted by the general public and I really feel a whole lot of emotion once I hear my work being sung by individuals of all ages,” Thomas mentioned.
“However I hope that individuals is not going to simply give attention to singing however do extra to unfold the message,” he added.
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Reporting by the BBC’s Grace Tsoi in Hong Kong.