MUSIC – ‘Hong Kong Ephemeral’ (Kowloon Hong Kong by The Reynettes) 12


Hong Wrong has remixed some colonial-era public service ads to form a new educational video film below. The compilation includes musical accompaniment from The Reynettes. Click here for some classic public service announcements from pre-Handover HK, or here to see some more recent examples.

The genre of ‘Hong Kong English Pop‘ was particularly popular between the 1950s and mid-70s. The Reynettes 1960s hit track, ‘Kowloon Hong Kong’, has made somewhat of a comeback at clubs in the more hipstery climes of Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun.

Lyrics:

Kowloon Hong Kong
We like Hong Kong
That’s the place for you
Walking down the street full of joy
Come here come here richshaw boy
Take me down the street Chop Chop Chop
A Habba Habba Joe Ding How Ding HowY98EO0M.jpg (280×279)
Kowloon Kowloon Hong Kong
We Like Hong Kong
That’s the place for you

Walking down the street full of joy
Come here come here richshaw boy
Take me down the street Chop Chop Chop
A Habba Habba Joe Ding How Ding How
Kowloon Kowloon Hong Kong
We Like Hong Kong
That’s the place for you

I hear the bells go Ding Dong
Deep down inside my heart
Each time you say kiss me
Then I know it’s time for Ding Dong to start
Each time you say hugh me Ding Dong Ding Dong
Each time you say love me Ding Dong Ding Dong
I hope I won’t wait to long
To hear my bells go Ding Dong
To hear my bells go Ding Dong

Kung Hei Kung Hei Fat Choy
Lai See Taw Loy
That’s the thing to do
Kung Hei Kung Hei Fat Choy
Taw Ling Oom Oi
That’s the thing to do

Walking down the street full of joy
Come here come here richshaw boy
Take me down the street Chop Chop Chop
A Habba Habba Joe Ding How Ding How
Kowloon Kowloon Hong Kong
We Like Hong Kong
That’s the place for you
Kowloon Kowloon Hong Kong

A close eye on HK’s burgeoning music scene…

Blog posts charting Hong Kong’s colourful past…

Pictorial histories of local landmarks and events…


  • Polito

    Brilliant video. Were The Reynettes a local group?

    • Tom

      Yes, though not a lot of info around about them unfortunately. Maybe a one hit wonder?

      • Polito

        Any idea what the anglicised chinese lyrics mean? Chop chop! =D

        • Tom

          ‘Chop suey?!’ I haven’t a clue – I think it has some ‘quaint’ political incorrectness about it, despite being performed by a local act.

  • Polito

    Brilliant video. Were The Reynettes a local group?

    • Tom

      Yes, though not a lot of info around about them unfortunately. Maybe a one hit wonder?

      • Polito

        Any idea what the anglicised chinese lyrics mean? Chop chop! =D

        • Tom

          ‘Chop suey?!’ I haven’t a clue – I think it has some ‘quaint’ political incorrectness about it, despite being performed by a local act.

          • SeekTruthFromFacts

            I’m really surprised you don’t know what that means:”chop chop” is a pretty standard English interjection meaning “do it quickly.” In the context of the song, “take me down the street quickly”. It probably comes from 19th century Cantonese, though there’s an outside chance it’s from Malay: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=8671#more-8671

            Speculating about some of the other Zonglish phrases could “Joe Ding How” be “就頂好” and speculating even more wildly, could “Habba” be “好吧”? Although the record came out at the peak of Flintstones popularity, so I guess the writer could have come across “Habba-Dabba-Do”.

            Of course, for listeners to Uncle Ray, Hong Kong English pop has never been out of fashion….. 😉

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