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‘Few Chinese, myself included, really knew what rock 'n roll was back then. But we knew it was something that gave out energy. It was music with a message.’

‘I performed at Tiananmen Square in 1989, 15 days before the crackdown. I sang A Piece of Red Cloth (一块红布), a tune about alienation. I covered my eyes with a red cloth to symbolise my feelings. The students were heroes. They needed me, and I needed them. After Tiananmen, however, authorities banned concerts. We performed instead at “parties,” unofficial shows in hotels and restaurants.’

image Cui Jian

‘That day you used a piece of red cloth to blindfold my eyes and cover up the sky. You asked me what I could see. I said I saw happiness.’

‘You asked me where I wanted to go. I said I want to walk your road. I couldn’t see you, and I couldn’t see the road.’

‘I had a feeling this wasn’t a wilderness, though I couldn’t see it was already dry and cracked. I felt that I wanted to drink some water. But you used a kiss to block my mouth. I couldn’t go, and I couldn’t cry 'cause my body is already withered and dry.’

‘Some people say that there are hidden meanings in my love songs, political meanings. I don’t want to say it that clearly because I don’t have to…Politics and love, in some ways, are one.’

Cui Jian’s A Piece of Red Cloth (yíkuài hóngbù)

Authors: The Conversation Contributor

Read more http://theconversation.com/cui-jians-a-piece-of-red-cloth-60524

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