Singing up a revolution
Updated: 2011-06-24 10:57
By Sun Li (China Daily European Weekly)
Briton Ian Inglis is a professional Red song singer and makes "big money" on TV. "So why not?" he asks. Provided to China Daily
Welshman makes a good living with songs that recall the fervor of China's New Beginning
The Welsh are famous for producing singers with rich and powerful vocal cords and Ian Inglis proved just that when he recently appeared on a Chinese TV show with two other foreigners, were guests of Show Me First, performing "Red songs", or revolutionary songs composed to extol the homeland and the Communist Party of China.
Inglis says he first heard of Red songs in 2003 when he made his maiden trip to China.
"Back in university, I once studied Russian. I'm fond of revolutionary songs of the former Soviet Union and I guess those songs have their Chinese counterparts, but I didn't know the term," Inglis says.
"After I came across it in a VCD store, I bought a Red song album and learnt my first Red song, Socialism Is Great," he says, adding that it was also the first Red song he performed on stage.
A Briton with a keen interest in China's history and politics, Inglis says learning Red songs is an effective way to understand the country and its people.
"For example, I learnt a lot about the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) from revolutionary songs," Inglis says. "To people who are deeply interested in that part of history, Red songs are a fabulous help."
Thanks to his amazing language abilities, Inglis seldom has difficulties in learning the lyrics. But the Briton has a major obstacle to overcome - his poor concentration.
"On stage, I'm always wondering where I should look and what move I should make, and that's so distracting that I often forget the lyrics.
"Or, if I see a charming lady in the audience, my mind becomes blank, too," Inglis says, smiling.
To boost his concentration, Inglis claims he drinks a mix of sorghum-based Erguotou (a brand of Chinese liquor) and Wang Lao Ji (a herbal tea) before every performance.
"It mostly works," Inglis says, smiling again.
China is taking bigger strides to become a force in fashion.
Premier Wen visits Hungary, Britain and Germany June 24-28.
Foreign readers are invited to share your China stories.
Italian expat struggles with learning English and experiences the joys of motherhood again.