Song: Jangle for the Jobless

Beijing-based poet and folk singer Zhou Funpeng, 周云蓬, 38, has penned the following song, The Unemployed (失业者), a mournful ballad representing the people left behind in urban China’s sprint towards prosperity. Listen here (WMA file). from Sogou, Lyrics translated by CDT:

We live in rented houses,
We live in buses,
We live in dust-covered books,
We live on television screens.
We live in phone numbers,
We live in shop windows,
We live in workshops manufacturing happiness,
We live in snails’ savings jars.
In the space of a single blue-sky day,
We became the helpless unemployed,
In the time it takes to smell the spring,
We have become unknown outsiders.
We do not belong to the working class,
We are not peasant brothers,
We are not civil servants, teachers, intellectuals,
We are not the boss, the staff, the middle class.
Because we have seen a blue sky,
We became the helpless unemployed,
Because we have smelled the spring,
We have become unknown outsiders.
Restaurant waiters, 300 a month plus food and housing;
Storekeepers, 500 a month plus food and housing ;
Products salesman, 700 a month plus food and housing;
Computer typists, 800 a month plus food and housing.
Every day is Sunday,
Every meal is the final dinner,
Every bed is a temporary inn,
Happiness always hides at the corner.
The night is too bright, we can’t sleep,
Happy people are crying, distressed people are laughing.
Please turn off the lights, please put out the lights, please stop the .

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