kè rén lai
is a very special song for me - it was my very first song taht I learned in Mandarin. On a magical day (Saturday 7th August 1999 to be precise) whilst sitting on a canal bank close to the Barley Mow
Desmond Chan and Melissa Siew (my future daughter-in-law) scribbled the lyrics above. At that time I was looking for material for a future gig in September at the Bremen German-Chinese Association. A gift from heaven!
It is a simple little tuneful ditty the lyrics of which for the last 40 years at least (writing in July 2019) they would raise the eyebrows of occidental listeners to quite an altitude. They are very roughly translated thus:
A visitor came to see Papa, Papa was not home. I invited the visitor in and asked him to sit and gave him a cup of tea.
Today this would never happen in the west. For this ancient mariner, we live in horrible times whereby small children are taught not to trust strangers or even worse - sometimes not even their own relatives!