As we know, 1950-1960s was the golden age of Taiwanese popular songs and many hit singers attracted many fans then such as Bun Ha, Ki Lou-ha, Ang It-hong and Tan Hun-lan etc.. Therefore, we can observe a specific situation during this period that some writers combined the melodies of Japanese popular songs and Taiwanese lyrics written by Taiwan local composers to issue. This essay aims to the special phenomenon to discuss from different view of points.
KMT government in Taiwan opened up the import of Japanese movies in 1950s, and there were many theme songs of the movies or interludes were popular with Taiwanese audience, meanwhile, the situation became an important way to bring the Japanese popular songs into Taiwan. Before the disk records got widespread, we can call that it’s a kind of “translating lyrics” in the Taiwanese language versions of Japanese songs played by the broadcasting station.
In 1957, Bun Ha recorded some Taiwanese language versions of Japanese songs in Asia Record Company and caused a great sensation, so, many other companies tried to follow the type of recordings due to save recording budget, cater to the audience. And then, a lot of Japanese popular songs were taken to be a part of Taiwanese ones after 1960s.
At that time, the lyrics and structures of Taiwanese popular songs were familiar to original Japanese lyrics, the former ones adapted Japanese characters to be more localized. After then, Taiwanese language versions of Japanese songs appeared many creative Taiwanese lyrics that didn’t be influenced by the original Japanese lyrics and be considered the local composers’ native originality creation.
Though the melodies of the songs we’ve mentioned above were from Japan, many lyrics were written to describe the real living styles and culture lives of Taiwan society, furthermore, the writers made use of plain mother tongue to depict the wholehearted emotion of Taiwanese people then. In 1950-1960s, the age filled with Chinese writing or Mandarin speaking, these Taiwanese lyrics, or, we can called them “Taiwanese poetry”, mean a important, essential, and vital meaning when we discuss the topic of Taiwanese Literature Historical concept. We must not only rethink the meaning but the existence of our mother tongue literature that had been a testimony of that golden age we have gazed at upward.