Friday Song: Cannot Not Love

Society & Culture

We’re going with a love song this week, in which Taiwanese American Wilbur Pan 潘瑋柏 (Pān Wěibǎi) and Zhang Xianzi 张弦子 tell each other how important they are, how much they’re missed, how much they’re needed, etc etc. It’s a song of reconciliation and the recalcitrant nature of our memories, the phantom dendrites of our sundered heartstrings.

“Every day I need you to come and love, my mind and thoughts I’ll let you guess,” says Zhang.

“Cannot but love, otherwise from where does happiness come? Cannot but love, otherwise from where does sadness come? Cannot but love, otherwise my future will be gone,” says Pan.

“Cannot Not Love” (不得不愛 Bùdé bù ài) is off Pan’s 2005 album The Expert. The lyrics are here, with poor English translations — but you don’t need them; love songs — like love, I suppose — are universal. This one is perfectly lovely.

Friday Song is SupChina’s weekly sign-off. We had a big conference this week, so slightly fewer posts, but Eric Fish made up for it with his can’t-miss longread on Chinese students abroad. Let us know what you thought of the week that was in the comments below, or email