Friday, August 28, 2009

Rose Rose I Love You !

If there was one song that can revive unforgettable nostalgia and memories of the 40's, 50,s and 60's...this has to be that song, ' Rose Rose I love you '. As a young boy growing up in Singapore back then, I used to hear this popular song being aired freqently on our local radio stations and Rediffusion. There were few songs that were recorded and sung in both English as well as Chinese. This is one such song.

The Chinese version was titled "Meigui meigui wo ai ni ".
How did this song come about?
Well, I am not an expert on the origins of songs but from what I have uncovered so far the traditional Chinese folk song appeared in or about by Chen Gexin.
The English version very popular during that period was said to be directly inspired by one of the most colourful and famous caberet performers of her days...the eponymous ROSE CHAN.
Today, we may ask ,'who can remember Rose Chan? '.
But in my father's day the question was, ' Who can forget Rose Chan?'.
Page 17 from my 4 decade old handwritten songbook.

The younger generation may never have known who or what Rose Chan was. Well, let me just say she was the most sensational dancer, cabaret performer and later striptease queen bar none...throughout the length and breadth of Malaya and Singapore. Her striptease act was originally not part of her performing routine. It came accidentally. But what an accident!

She was performing a dance routine to the tune of Mambo No: 5 at the Majestic Theatre, Ipoh in 1952. While shaking and twisting too vigorously, her bra snapped and her natural assets were exposed to the audience....who went bonkers and screamed wildly and clapped non-stop.

The realisation sanked in afterwards. And she began to incorporate some new striptease routines to her act. In a later interview Rose Chan revealed, " here I dance all night and sweat so much and nobody claps. My bra breaks and they clap! ".

This English version comes with Karaoke lyrics. There is an error in the line

"perfumed flowers in your treasures ( should be " in your tresses" ).

Many well-known singers and orchestras have recorded the song including The Quests, Matthew and the Mandarins,Anita Mui, Teresa Teng, Petula Clark, Frank Chacksfield Orchestra..and more. But the one old timers like myself and others will remember is likely that version that was first belted out from many jukeboxes and sung by Frankie Laine.

This Chinese version is worth seeing. It has snapshots and images of that nostalgic era.
In part 2 of the same subject I will include an original news clipping about Rose Chan,

some photos

and about the musicals staged about her and the movie being made currently.

Before you click on the Youtube play arrow to remember to click on the "pause" or 'stop' button on my Jango jukebox which runs automatically when the volume and speaker is on. Otherwise you will get a jumble mixture of double sounds.


PChew said...

Thanks for bringing back fond memory. Rose Chan shows were often performed at Happy World. The photos in the video show her at a very young age.
Rose Rose I Love You is one of my favourite song and I still sing it now and then.

unk Dicko said...

Yes,she was a stunning looking woman indeed. I remember seeing some of her posters put up in barber shops in those days. My late father in law who was English educated shared with me about the happy times he had at Happy World, New World and Great World...mostly to enjoy the cabaret shows, including those by Rose Chan.