Friday Song: G.E.M. — Bubbles

Society & Culture

Bubbles under sunlight, they are colorful
Just as a deluded me, I am happy

Bubbles (泡沫 pàomò), by Hong Kong singer Tang Tsz-kei (邓紫棋, also known by her stage name G.E.M.), starts as a whisper of love’s fragility — “love is like a bubble, if you can see through, what need is there for sadness?” — before bursting forth with the energy of realization: “Love has always been a bubble, it’s on me that I didn’t see it, and that’s why I’m sad.”

You won’t be surprised to know G.E.M. produced this song while going through a breakup, in 2011. Feeling repressed, she bought a plane ticket to New York City, where she saw a street artist blowing bubbles, looking beautiful — but fragile — under the sun. Inspired by the scene, she composed the song.

G.E.M. is one of my favorite Chinese pop singers precisely because her music is filled with sentiment. Yet there is a fair amount of positive energy behind it. Bubbles, for all its complaints about the unpredictability of love, also teaches people the importance of treasuring it. The song was from her album Xposed, released in July 2012. The next year, the song was selected as one of the 20 most popular hits in China.

Born in 1991 in Shanghai, G.E.M. moved to Hong Kong at the age of 4, and is one of the most popular young Chinese pop stars today. She became famous at the age of 16, and has won numerous awards, including IFPI Hong Kong record sales award. Forbes included her on its 2016 list of “30 Under 30: Music.”

Here’s an excerpt of the song Bubbles:

阳光下的泡沫   是彩色的
Bubbles under the sunlight, they are colorful

就像被骗的我   是幸福的
Just as a deluded me, I am happy

追究什么对错   你的谎言   基于你还爱我
Why chase after wrong or right? Your lie was because you loved me

美丽的泡沫   虽然一刹花火
Beautiful bubble, even if it’s a flash

你所有承诺   虽然都太脆弱
All your promises, even if they’re all frail

但爱像泡沫   如果能够看破   有什么难过
Love is like a bubble, if you can see through, what need is there for sadness?

早该知道泡沫   一触就破
I should have known long ago that bubbles break upon the touch

就像已伤的心   不胜折磨
Just like an already broken heart that cannot bear torment

也不是谁的错   谎言再多   基于你还爱我
It’s not anyone’s wrong, no matter how many lies, it’s because you still love me

Friday Song is SupChina’s weekly sign-off. We’re over at Access now, and you should join us. Let us know what you thought of the week that was in the comments below, or email