Mayday’s History of Tomorrow Review: 五月天 自传 人生有限公司 (Life Co. Ltd.)

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When I first saw the lyrics of 人生有限公司 (Life Co. Ltd.), I was struck by how sharp and witty its commentary of life is. The song seems like a sequel to 三个傻瓜 (3 idiots) with its ruminations on life through a fusion of rock, jazz and funk. Co. Ltd. (Company Limited) is used effectively as a metaphor of life and interesting descriptions of how life operates like a company is shown throughout the song.

 

第一个部门 主管叫做爸妈 你只要乖乖听话
第二个部门 专门改造傻瓜 会唸书 会考试 的那种傻瓜
第三个部门 负责财务计画 要你和现实打架
第四个部门 任务更加复杂 去寻觅 去恋爱 去找她或他

The song explores four departments in the company known as “life”. The first department is managed by controlling superiors. The second department is in charge of creating idiots who conform to societal norms without questioning (as described in 三个傻瓜 ). The third department is responsible for the practicalities of everyday life like financial management. The fourth department oversees the more complex aspect of seeking emotional fulfillment in life.

 

人生有限公司 没有一天能请假
人生有限公司 还加班还没回家

Unfortunately in Life Co. Ltd, there are no vacation leaves but lots of overtime. I think the metaphor works very well on so many levels. However, the comparisons also make me ponder about social expectations, “Is it really impossible to take a break from life?” According to some verses in the song, life may not be as bleak as it seems.

 

人生有限选择 谁在规划?

Life has limited choices only if we allow others to plan for us.

人生有限日子 挥霍一下

Life is short so live it to the fullest.

人生无限问题 没有解答

Life is filled with too many problems without solutions. So don’t worry so much!

人生无限可能 谁能出价?

Life has limitless possibilities so nobody can put a value on it and limit its possibilities.

 

你曾挣扎过吗 你曾反抗过吗?
如何使用生命 就叫“使命”是吗?

你曾深爱过吗 你曾放纵过吗?
爱成一句傻话 活成一句废话

你曾停下过吗 你曾怀疑过吗?
就算你有想法 你也没有办法

One of my favorite parts of the song is this series of thought-provoking rhetorical questions and word play. I found the clever word play especially 生命 and 使命 effective and humorous.

 

人生像打电话 总要有人先挂 来时呜呜哇哇 走要嘻嘻哈哈

The song concludes with a final comparison of life and making a phone call. I guess Mayday may be saying that like any phone calls that has to end, life has to end ultimately. While we enter the world crying as babies, it is important to leave laughing with no regrets.

 

人生有限的话 你想要怎样喧哗?

If life is so short, how do you wish to live it?

 


人生有限公司

作词:阿信
作曲:怪兽

你用哭声打卡 产房里的娃娃 众人祝福 你还记得吗?
当时一丝不挂 如今一分不差 成天会议 成堆资料夹

第一个部门 主管叫做爸妈 你只要乖乖听话
第二个部门 专门改造傻瓜 会唸书 会考试 的那种傻瓜

“你曾挣扎过吗 你曾反抗过吗?”
如何使用生命 就叫“使命”是吗?
人生有限选择 谁在规划?

追逐富贵荣华 目标飞黄腾达

你准备好了吗 现在必须出发
人生有限公司 没有一天能请假

人在哪里跌倒 就在哪趴一下 面对挫折也都专业化
让生涯最佳化 而梦想最小化 生存机率追求最大化

第三个部门 负责财务计画 要你和现实打架
第四个部门 任务更加复杂 去寻觅 去恋爱 去找她或他

“你曾深爱过吗 你曾放纵过吗?”
爱成一句傻话 活成一句废话
人生有限日子 挥霍一下

公司渐渐变化 组织慢慢扩大
有时无法招架 有点骑虎难下 
人生有限公司 还加班还没回家

“你曾停下过吗 你曾怀疑过吗?”
就算你有想法 你也没有办法
人生无限问题 没有解答

追逐富贵荣华 目标飞黄腾达
其实平安到达 就是一种伟大
人生无限可能 谁能出价?

人生像打电话 总要有人先挂 来时呜呜哇哇 走要嘻嘻哈哈
人生有限的话 你想要怎样喧哗?
人生有限公司 没有一天能请假

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