Parody of handover anniversary song steals limelight

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 July, 2012, 12:00am


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A scathing parody of Hong Kong's official handover anniversary song has become an internet sensation that has overshadowed the original.

Fewer than 5,000 people have watched the official music video of Believe in Our Dreams sung by stars like Eason Chan and Alan Tam since the government posted it on YouTube at the end of May.

The sentimental, patriotic song, which is also being broadcast on public transport, is sung to a backdrop of sporting and cultural events, shots of the city's skyline and ends with the Hong Kong and Chinese flags flying side by side.

By contrast, a parody of the song titled Who's Stolen Our Dreams, posted on YouTube only on Tuesday, had by last night attracted more than 48,000 hits and was being widely shared on Facebook and internet forums.

In an indication of which song may better reflect the city's mood, while the official video had attracted 19 likes and 73 dislikes on YouTube, the parody had drawn 1,867 likes and 20 dislikes.

Who's Stolen Our Dreams takes the original song and gives it a thoroughly anti-government twist, railing against soaring property prices, the yawning rich-poor divide, crony capitalism and the growing influence of mainland China.

It claims the Communist Party's influence is 'brainwashing' Hong Kong, describes the past 15 years under Beijing's rule as torture and attacks the outgoing chief executive for accepting free holidays, saying: 'Donald Tsang, shame on you'.

'Our future is bleak,' the song says, before ending with an appeal to people to turn out in force for the July 1 demonstration.

The parody was written by an underground songwriter known as Sankala and recorded by a group of relatively unknown young artists reacting to what they saw as the sycophantic, unrealistic rhetoric of the original version.

'We didn't expect it to be such a big hit, but we do hope this song can send a message out to many people,' said one of the singers, a 33-year-old financial planner who uses the pseudonym Vitamin Z. 'It tells the true situation of Hong Kong today. When Hong Kong people listen to this song, it will speak to their hearts and reflect their thoughts.'