6 Chinese Song Spoofs With Hidden Protest Lyrics
To get an honest view of what Chinese citizens are angry about, watch their spoofs on popular songs.
You've probably heard of this Chinese alpaca music video. Ostensibly about the "grass mud horse's" battles against "river crabs," the nursery rhyme sounded uncomfortably close to "up your mum's" and "never compromise" in Chinese. The song viraled in 2009 and made a mockery of Chinese laws prohibiting profane internet expressions. It also made music spoofs the medium of choice for public complaint.
To curb this meme, Hong Kong banned spoofs of copyrighted songs and made the crime punishable by a HK $50,000 fine and up to four years in prison. Immediately, people overlaid these lyrics over a music video to say this:
On the Chinese internet, flouting official law is a form of sport, not always tied to any political issue, but mostly done for the fun of it. Besides the Weird Al-ish thrill of punking a ubiquitous pop song, altering song lyrics prove a good way to smuggle dissent on to the internet in a way that's difficult to search.