“Grandma’s Legs”: An Ode to Taxes

Gravel-voiced and irreverent, Zuoxiao Zuzhuo has been called “China’s Leonard Cohen.” Singing about forced demolitions and food safety scandals, he has collaborated with the Cowboy Junkies and his good friend Ai Weiwei (whose face makes a cameo in the video below). Zuoxiao’s latest solo album, I Have Never Eaten These Tiny Grapes, is a collection of acerbic children’s songs. CDT has subtitled the music video for one of the songs from the album, “Grandma’s Legs” (奶奶个腿).

Just as a grandmother’s legs are enfeebled by decades of wear and tear, taxes render everyone weak in the knees. “Grandma’s legs” is also a curse, along the lines of “his mom’s.”

Writer Li Chengpeng’s cutting lyrics are sung by a cheerful choir of children as one little girl learns a strange lesson in “gardening.” (Make sure to the “CC” icon at the bottom of the YouTube screen is highlighted in order to view the English subtitles. You also may need to click through to watch it on YouTube in order to see the subtitles.)


Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Josh Rudolph.


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