Friday Song: Luhan at his most vulnerable: ‘Catch Me When I Fall’ - SupChina

Friday Song: Luhan at his most vulnerable: ‘Catch Me When I Fall’

When Lu Han 鹿晗 released “Catch Me When I Fall” (某时某刻 mǒu shí mǒu kè) in October 2016, it felt like a rare moment of sincerity in the pop star’s discography. As a “fresh young meat” (小鲜肉 xiǎoxiānròu) who started his career in the world-conquering K-pop boy band EXO (where his name was compressed to one word), Luhan had released mostly cookie-cutter idol fare: the weak stab at swag in That Good Good (有点意思 yǒudiǎn yìsi); the bubbly love song dedicated to his fans, Your Song (致爱 zhì ài); the epic piano-and-strings ballad Medals (勋章 xūnzhāng) that was part of the official soundtrack for the film The Witness (我是证人 wǒ shì zhèngrén); and so on. As for more unorthodox releases, the standout is Lu, the truly awful all-English venture into trap, complete with auto-tuned moans and classic lines such as, “Blow it like a flute.”

But in “Catch Me When I Fall,” Luhan is, thankfully, no longer posturing as trap artist or boy in love. He doesn’t even appear in the music video, which seems purposeful. Instead of playing it up for the camera, he passes the spotlight to a dancer, a motorcyclist, and a third youth who is mysteriously shown jumping on a trampoline in smoke. Rather than crooning lyrics about falling in love, he begins: “The movie plotline / Will stop here for today / When the night went quiet / Leaving me alone…”

Luhan’s voice, too weak for most songs, is deeply affecting here. It is high and floating and terribly vulnerable, trembling in a void awash in chilly ambient synth. A star at the height of his popularity with legions of fans and haters alike, he seems poised on the precipice of a breakdown. The fragility of the question he poses in the chorus — “Who’s gonna catch me when I fall? / Are you?” — is unfortunately drowned out by thumping bass and the incessant whine of the same eight notes. Yet he later returns to that void, singing earnestly: “Dear world, please wait a while / For those who don’t want to go back home / Wait for him to finish this song / Before he gets back to the doors of his home.”

Though Luhan didn’t write the lyrics, they feel strangely heartfelt. It’s a song that is about others as much as it is about Luhan, a humanizing pop bridge between a Guinness World Record-holding celebrity and everyone else.

Lyrics:

电影里的剧情 今天就先到这里
The movie plotline / Will stop here for today

当黑夜变得安静 剩我自己
When the night went quiet / Leaving me alone

当黑夜唤醒清晨之后 可是关于人生
When after the night awakened to morning / But regarding life

见过越多的清晨 却越陌生
The more mornings I see / The more unfamiliar they become

我绕着梦想 一路转
I revolve around my dreams

你看到了哪一段 不喜欢哪一段 都感谢收看
Whatever part you saw / Whatever part you didn’t like / Thank you for watching them

当潮汐交换 当路灯都变暗
When the tides ebb / When the streetlights dim

当我厌倦天空 坠入海中
When I grow weary of the sky / And want to fall into the sea

Who’s gonna catch me when I fall
Are you
Who’s gonna catch me when I fall
Are you

原谅我也会受伤 会伪装 会彷徨 No
Forgive me, I too will get hurt / Will pretend / Will waver / No

But I don’t wanna let you down let you down

让你失望 No
Let you down / No

谁能从来不受伤 不伪装 不彷徨 No
Who can never get hurt / Never pretend / Never be uncertain / No

I don’t wanna let you down let you down

让你失望 No
Let you down / No

他们说我是被上天眷顾那一个
They say I’m the one favored by the heavens

所以必须完美着 每时每刻
So I have to be perfect / In every moment

想诉说 却发现已难开口 坦白脆弱
I want to say it out loud / But find it hard to open my mouth / And confess my weakness

哪怕我此刻承受的 已超负荷
Even though what I bear / Is more than I can take

你总以为全都了解
You always think you understand it all

可只有我最清楚幸运来临之前
But only I know best every sleepless night

每个失眠
Before the coming of good fortune

当目光冷却 当列车都停歇
When the gaze goes cold / When the trains stop

当我厌倦天空 想坠入海中
When I grow weary of the sky / And want to fall into the sea

Who’s gonna catch me when I fall
Are you
Who’s gonna catch me when I fall
Are you

原谅我也会受伤 会伪装 会彷徨 No
Forgive me, I too will get hurt / Will pretend / Will be uncertain / No

But I don’t wanna let you down let you down

让你失望 No
Let you down / No

谁能从来不受伤 不伪装 不彷徨 No
Who can never get hurt / Never pretend / Never be uncertain / No

I don’t wanna let you down let you down

让你失望 No
Let you down / No

世界请等一等 不想回家的人
Dear world, please wait a while / For those who don’t want to go back home

等他听完这首歌
Wait for him to finish this song

再回到他安身的那扇门
Before he gets back to the doors of his home

我相信最后当我转身
I believe that when I finally turn back

当我厌倦天空 想坠入海中
When I grow weary of the sky / And want to fall into the sea

Someone will catch me when I fall
I know
Someone will catch me when I fall I know

我们一样 会受伤 会伪装 会彷徨 No
We are alike / We will get hurt / Will pretend / Will waver / No

谁能从来 不受伤 不伪装 不彷徨 No
Who can never get hurt / Never pretend / Never waver / No

就让我们 去受伤 去伪装 去彷徨 Oh
So let us / Go get hurt / Go pretend / Go waver / Oh

然后继续 去感受 去冲撞 去飞翔 Now
And go on / Feeling / Colliding / Flying / Now


Friday Song is SupChina’s weekly sign-off. Let us know what you thought of the week that was in the comments below, or email [email protected]

Megan Pan

Megan Pan is a writer and undergraduate at Northwestern University majoring in philosophy and double-minoring in poetry and Chinese. She likes picking up on the latest Chinese Internet slang.

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