Food For Thought: Firewood, Rice, Oil, Salt, Sauce, Vinegar and Tea

Apologies for not putting up any post this week. It’s been an exciting week for me with more birthday celebrations – both mine and McCutie’s – which are fodder for new stories next week. Yippee! In the mean time, here’s a fast post about the new single from Taiwanese superstar, Wang Leehom. A lovely yet simple acoustic ballad with, interestingly, food ingredients as its title. 

For those who have no idea who Leehom is, he has been compared to the likes of Justin Timberlake within the Chinese-speaking community. In the year and a half since his last studio album, he has been pursuing another dream – directing films. Although highly-involved in his first self-directed and self-starred movie, “Love in Disguise“, he has never disregard his duties as an Asian superstar. He has been seen heavily promoting his last album, headlining a concert tour within the Asian region, and he has even found some time off to act in another movie with Jackie Chan called “Little Big Soldier“. This American-born Chinese star is also the face of the Taiwanese Pavilion at the World Expo 2010, where I’ve coincidentally had the privilege of seeing him performed ‘live’ in a mini concert during my visit there recently. His face was also heavily plastered all over the Coca-Cola’s Happiness Factory pavilion at the same Expo as one of the many Chinese face for the popular soda company. With such crazy schedule, it’s anyone’s guess how he still can find time to actually compose and record any new materials. Perhaps that’s the reason behind the title of his new single, which is based on an ancient Chinese saying, roughly translates as, Firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea – the seven basic daily necessities.
Story has it that his mother, a vocal teacher and the person who has supported his career from the very beginning, went to Taipei for a visit and all she could do was watch him work in the background. Hurrying here and there, Leehom had no time to even pour his mother a cup of tea and could never settle down long enough for a good meal with her. Apparently he’s been so immersed in his work, he hardly noticed his mum departing back to the States. It wasn’t until much later that he realised his mum had actually left. He felt really guilty, but it was too late.

One morning when he was trying to relax himself at home, he saw how quiet and lonely the kitchen was. Inside was a stove that has only been used to boil water but never oil, salt, rice, vinegar, sauce. So, he started to pen down a song from the thirst of his heart. He knows that there are many people out there like him, who are pursuing their dreams, forever running without stopping to realise that life is much more than just about the pursuit of material wealth. He wanted to remind his listeners the basic concept of happiness and contentment. With its simple warm melody, the song is flavored with the heart-tugging sounds of an erhu (traditional Chinese string instrument) accompanying an acoustic guitar. It brings one to a serene old fashion place to enjoy the simple yet meaningful taste of ordinary happy life. 
Through this song, Leehom shares with his listeners that he is like everyone else: working a hard life to find his own happiness and working hard to pursue an endless dream. To pursue a dream in life is very important, but one should also stop to cherish the people around you before its too late. And, more importantly, happiness is not a place far away, it can be just right under your nose as long as you know how to treasure it. Such is the case of firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea.
Let this song soothe your worrying working soul and start your weekend with this sweet music video, directed by Leehom himself, with English subtitles.

14 Responses to Food For Thought: Firewood, Rice, Oil, Salt, Sauce, Vinegar and Tea
  1. babe_kl
    July 30, 2010 | 3:22 am

    did u know the in Chinese practice, these 7 items must be brought into the house on the day of shifting into a new house ;-)

  2. Chaokar
    July 30, 2010 | 3:28 am

    ah, that's a nice story behind that song. heart warming :)

  3. Sean
    July 30, 2010 | 4:22 am

    y'know, i can never remember what leehom looks like. whenever i hear his name, the mental image of takeshi kaneshiro springs to mind! :D
    that's a nice story though. sounds more sincere than anything justin timberlake has come up with =)

  4. thule a.k.a leo
    July 30, 2010 | 5:14 am

    agree with what babe_kl said… those 7 essential items are a must when you move into new house to signify good & easy life. Superstitious belief?? Well… I believe it and did the same when I moved into my BU house 4 years ago :)

  5. chiselstone
    July 30, 2010 | 6:50 am

    OMG that story didn't make me wanna eat… it made me wanna cook! Haha.

    And oh yeah, I probably need to stock up on vinegar. And rice. And should I get a charcoal stove as well?

  6. "Joe" who is constantly craving
    July 30, 2010 | 7:17 am

    love his songs n cant wait for the next album!

  7. Selba
    July 30, 2010 | 7:56 am

    Thanks for sharing the story of the song! I love Lee Hom's songs and I really do think he is one of the best Asian superstars and super talented in many ways :)

    p.s: Happy Belated Birthday!

  8. Jacy
    July 30, 2010 | 9:51 am

    Reminds me of 'UP'…awwww…

  9. Precious Pea
    July 30, 2010 | 1:33 pm

    Beautiful song! Can't wait to get hold of the new album! Have a nice weekend!

  10. CUMI & CIKI
    July 30, 2010 | 3:49 pm

    excellent munkey boy.. and the hits just keep on coming :P (LOL)

  11. qwazymonkey
    August 1, 2010 | 9:32 am

    Babe_KL: thanks for telling me something new. i never knew that!

    Chaokar: Yeah, it's a sincere song

    Sean: Hmmm Takeshi is hot too! Don't think Lee Hom would mind.

    Thule: Bro, like i was telling Babe, it's news to me. Some lousy Chinese boy I am.

    Chisel: Cook for us then. Hope your kitchen's well stocked with all the basic ingredients

    Joe: Yeah can't wait for his new album

    Selba: Thanks for the wishes and agree on the boy's talent!

    Jacy: U r right. It's almost like the lil grow old story in UP!

    Precious: So nice hor? Hope your weekend's fabulous too

    C&C: Thanx Hun!

  12. vialentino
    August 2, 2010 | 10:25 am

    wow…nice one

  13. J
    August 3, 2010 | 2:53 am

    Hope you and McCutie had a great celebration! Happy birthday to both of you… *HUGS* :)

  14. brooke
    August 3, 2010 | 3:50 am

    Great story great song.