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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS


  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER is watching a black-and-white music video.

  5. PETER (V.O.) : Herman's Hermits' No Milk Today was one of my favourite hits in the 1960s. The presenter in this video is analysing whether they're singing and playing live in that captured TV performance.

  6. Remembering.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But if the song isn't good, it wouldn't connect the audience no matter how good it's performed.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For musicians, there're lots of substitutes. To write a good song, the composer's role is crucial, while the lyricist's is complementary.

  10. Peter continues to watch the clip.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I want to write better songs. I want to find out why I like some songs but not the others.

  12. Hearing something from the clip, Peter looks enlightened.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I like No Milk Today because the song's key changes from minor to major, or from sadness to happiness.

  14. The playback ends.

  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, the next analysis is about Roy Orbison's Oh, Pretty Woman. That's another number I like. Let me see what the commentator has to say.

  16. Act 2


  18. We hear the familiar dynamic guitar riffs of Oh, Pretty Woman.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, Roy Orbison hasn't any music training. That explains why the song breaks the conventional rules by beginning with a chorus. The song is so unique.

  20. Peter puts a hand on the chin.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, what stimulates him and his co-composer to write the song was because his wife wanted to borrow some money before going down the street. And they remarked that a pretty woman didn't need it. And then, they completed the hit song in 40 minutes!

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The hit song also captures value in the Hollywood film Pretty Woman.

  24. Peter checks something on his phone.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Wow! The budget of the romantic comedy was $14 million but the box office grossed $463.4 million. People like any fairy tales.

  26. Remembering.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I have seriously thought about buying a Lotus Esprit...

  28. Remembering.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I was working like hell around that time too.

  30. Sighing.


  32. The radio is broadcasting Peter Sastedt's Where Do You Go To (My Lovely). We hear the Anchor remarking: If you've just one hit, it'll make you very rich.

  33. PETER (V.O.): I was surprised that this folk-ballad could become a hit at the end of the 1960s. I haven't heard of any other song by the same singer-songwriter. The lyrics in ballads tell folktales musically.

  34. Later, we hear, after a distinct oriental percussion introduction, a female singer singing: I hear the bell go Ding Dong, deep down inside my heart. Each time you say: Kiss me, then I know it's time for Ding Dong to start...

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The origin of this song can't be English. Was it a Japanese adaptation?

  36. Thinking.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The melody of the song is so strikingly similar to...Yes, I'm remembering the melody and the lyrics...

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd) (Singing): 明明是冷冷凊清的茶園,為甚麼還有叮叮噹噹的聲音...

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes! It's the mandarin song called "The Second Spring" (第二春)! Who wrote it?

  41. Peter gets up and begins surfing the web.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The melody isn't a Japanese adaptation... Oh, it's written by a prolific Chinese song-writer YAO Min 姚敏 in the 1950s. He died in 1967 at the age of 50.

  43. Pausing.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was only 12 then and was studying in Form 1. I sang others' songs.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My first musical composition was done in Form 3. I didn't have any recording device and the song was never recorded. It was a love song. I could still remember some of the melodies and the lyrics though.

  47. Peter smiles a little.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Those were the days. I had hoped they'd never end, but they ended...

  49. Peter lies down.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me stop remembering them or I'd become sleepless again.

  51. Act 3


  53. Phone in hand, Peter surfs the web.

  54. PETER (V.O.): Let me research and see if there's anything about the Ding Dong Song.

  55. Reading something.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A performer Tsai Chin周釆芹 chose to sing "The Second Spring" (第二春) in a London musical The World Of Suzie Wong. And so the Chinese lyrics were translated into English as "The Ding Dong Song".

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Ding Dong Song was recorded in 1960 and it became a hit.

  59. Pausing.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Okay, that's the story of "The Second Spring" (第二春 ) and "The Ding Dong Song".

  61. Thinking.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While a song's lyrics might hinder its popularity, it's melody doesn't. So, I've to be better in music composition.

  63. Pausing.

  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My second song was done in Winter 2010 at the age of 56. I need to catch up...

  65. Pondering.

  66. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Perhaps, I shouldn't take life too seriously so that my songs will get out more lively and connect more.

  67. Peter nods.

  68. FADE OUT.

  69. THE END

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