Mayday’s History of Tomorrow Review: 五月天 自传 成名在望 (Almost Famous)

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成名在望 (Almost Famous) is an ambitious attempt by Mayday as they experiment with a challenging musical composition and engage in an introspective discussion of Mayday’s journey to fame. Without looking at the lyrics, my first impression of this song was that it is very noisy. The dramatic changes of melody and tempo in different sections create a rather discordant and disjointed effect. After listening to it multiple times with the lyrics, I started to understand how theme of the song is complemented by the complex musical structure.

 

找一个和弦开始唱 那故事遗忘的时光
起点是那平凡的成长 或初学吉他时 少年们 的模样

The song begins with the forgotten past when “ordinary” young boys are learning to play the guitar and searching for a chord to start their musical journey.

 

那一年的舞台 没掌声 没聚光 只有盆地边缘 不认输 的倔强
排练室的日夜 在争论 在激荡 以音量去吞噬 无退路 的徬徨

The slow pace of the song in the beginning parallels how the journey to success is tedious in the beginning. Initially, there is no applause; no recognition. The endless days and nights in the practice studio are filled with raging arguments and growing doubts and despair. However, music, perseverance and the stubborn refusal to admit defeat keep the dreams alive.

 

那黑的终点可有光 那夜的尽头可会亮
那成名在望 会有希望 或者是 无知的狂妄
那又会怎么样 “那又会怎么样?”

The chorus questions provocatively if the burning desire for fame is inspired by hope or blinded by ignorance and arrogance.

 

混迹过酒场的驻唱 才读懂人性的寻常
背负过音乐节的重量 才体会每场仗 都仰赖 枪与粮

The quest for fame continues as the musicians gain more life experiences and understand more about human nature. The descriptions of battle and ammunition are used to portray the burden of performing or even organizing music festivals.

 

梦是把热血和 汗与泪 熬成汤 浇灌在干涸的 贫瘠的 现实上
当日常的重量 让我们 不反抗 倒地后才发现 荒地上 渺茫 希望 绽放

In this visually rich description, dreams are compared to a culmination of passion, hard work and tears that is needed to water the dry and barren land of reality.

 

穿过了 摇滚或糖霜 昧俗或理想 批判或传唱 道路上
只能看远方 最远的地方 应许的他方 不停冲撞

From this part onwards, the tempo of the song starts to change. The rhythmic variations of song remind me of the dramatic musical structure of Queen’s rock classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” and even “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. I can imagine this song to be incorporated into the concert as an epic musical segment. 

 

看过多少脸庞 飞过多少异乡
少年早已苍茫 回头望 我在何方

As the song reaches its climax, the melody changes rapidly. While Ashin’s vocal range is not be as “powerful” as Freddie Mercury, his high pitch scream expresses a strong sense of disorientation and disillusion that accompanies the quest for fame.

 

一站又一站的流浪 那旅馆和空港 一遍又一遍的采访 和攻防
一双又一双的目光 像监狱和高墙 墙里的风光是不是 如当初想像

The frenetic cadence of this segment mirrors the emotional turmoil inflicted by the pursuit for glory. Fame comes at a great cost – the never-ending days on the road, the constant surveillance by media and the loss of privacy and freedom.

 

While we were so young 我梦到当时 我们翻过墙
曼陀罗花 沿途绽放 我们光脚越过人间荒唐

We’re stupid but strong 放学的屋顶 像万人广场
从不多想 只是信仰 少年回头望 笑我 “还不快跟上?”

This section is introduced by solo guitar riffs displaying the progressive rock influences of the song. The reference to the hallucination-inducing drug, Jimson weed (scienficially called datura stramonium and also known as Devil’s snare) is quite thought-provoking. Explained by Mayday in the end note, the scent of Jimson weed is believed to ensnare victims and weaken their ability and resolve to reach heaven. Perhaps the Faustian quest for fame is filled with temptations like Jimson weed which challenge the musicians’ ability to hold on to their dreams and principles.

 

那路的起点谁能忘 那路的尽头谁在唱
谁成名在望 谁曾失望 却更多 的谁在盼望

那黑的终点可有光 那夜的尽头天将亮
那成名在望 无关真相 如果你 心始终信仰

谁又能怎样? 谁又能怎样?

你就能飞翔

Despite talking about the potential pitfalls of fame, the song ends with an affirmative image of flight and transcendence. This multi-dimensional and somewhat autobiographical song is perhaps Mayday’s commentary or even reflection of their 17-year journey as one of the biggest rock band in the Chinese music industry. 

 


 

成名在望 

作词:阿信
作曲:阿信

找一个和弦开始唱 那故事遗忘的时光
起点是那平凡的成长 或初学吉他时 少年们 的模样

那一年的舞台 没掌声 没聚光 只有盆地边缘 不认输 的倔强
排练室的日夜 在争论 在激荡 以音量去吞噬 无退路 的徬徨

那黑的终点可有光 那夜的尽头可会亮
那成名在望 会有希望 或者是 无知的狂妄
那又会怎么样 “那又会怎么样?”

混迹过酒场的驻唱 才读懂人性的寻常
背负过音乐节的重量 才体会每场仗 都仰赖 枪与粮

梦是把热血和 汗与泪 熬成汤 浇灌在干涸的 贫瘠的 现实上
当日常的重量 让我们 不反抗 倒地后才发现 荒地上 渺茫 希望 绽放

穿过了
摇滚或糖霜 昧俗或理想 批判或传唱 道路上
只能看远方 最远的地方 应许的他方 不停冲撞

看过多少脸庞 飞过多少异乡
少年早已苍茫 回头望 我在何方

一站又一站的流浪 那旅馆和空港 一遍又一遍的采访 和攻防
一双又一双的目光 像监狱和高墙 墙里的风光是不是 如当初想像?

那黑的终点可有光 那夜的尽头可会亮
那成名在望 是否风光 或者是 疯狂的火光
那又该怎么样 “那又能怎么样?”

Guitar solo

While we were so young 我梦到当时 我们翻过墙
曼陀罗花 沿途绽放 我们光脚越过人间荒唐

We’re stupid but strong 放学的屋顶 像万人广场
从不多想 只是信仰 少年回头望 笑我“还不快跟上?”

Guitar solo

那路的起点谁能忘 那路的尽头谁在唱
谁成名在望 谁曾失望 却更多 的谁在盼望

那黑的终点可有光 那夜的尽头天将亮
那成名在望 无关真相 如果你 心始终信仰
谁又能怎样? 谁又能怎样?

“你就能飞翔”

* [曼陀罗花]
茄科类曼陀罗属植物,有麻醉与迷幻效果,
据称在前往天堂的路上,如果停步沉迷于此花香,就会丧失前往天堂的能力与意志

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1 Comment

  1. And says: Reply

    Hii! Thanks for the review! It makes me appreciate the song more 🙂

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