Below the Lion Rock

Below the Lion Rock (Chinese: 獅子山下) is a TV show about the lives of Hong Kong citizens. It was broadcast five times, each forming its own series, from 1972 to 1979, 1984 to 1988, 1990, 1992 to 1995, 2006, 2014 to 2016. Each series was a collection of unrelated stories produced by the RTHK, and depicted the life stories of different social strata set against backgrounds that are today part of Hong Kong history, such as the Shek Kip Mei Fire that burnt down the slums, and the early immigrants from Mainland China. The stories showed the perceptions people had on the society back in those times. It was a very emotionally moving series and was thus highly successful in ratings.

Below the Lion Rock
Cast for the 2006 series
Cast for the 2006 series
Presented byRadio Television Hong Kong
No. of episodes93

In the early 1970s, the show focused on one character "Uncle Tak" (德叔) portrayed by veteran Cantonese actor Leung Meng (良鳴) and his family moving into a new flat, it was only later the producers started producing collections of unrelated stories.

Directors of the series including several renowned Hong Kong directors such as Ann Hui, Allen Fong and Derek Yee.

Originally, the show was filmed in black and white, and each episode lasted only 15 minutes. It was later expanded to 30 minutes per episode. Starting 1978, each episode lasted 60 minutes. In May 2006, a new season comprising 10 episodes started to air on TVB Jade.


Below the Lion Rock show has a theme song which shares the same name as the TV show itself. It was composed in 1979 by Joseph Koo, text written by Wong Jim, arranged by Joseph Koo and Choi Tak Choi, and sung by Roman Tam for the opening theme song of the TV show. Parts of the series were repeated on the ATV Home Channel after the lyrics of this song were recited by Anthony Leung, the then financial secretary when ending his budget report in April 2002. This action immediately caused commotion, especially among older generations who nostalgized the series. In October of the same year, Tam died, his song standing as a part of his legacy in Cantopop music. On November 19, 2002, Zhu Rongji visited Hong Kong and used part of the lyrics in his speech addressing the public. After this, Below the Lion Rock song was played on many government occasions. Some consider this song Hong Kong's unofficial anthem.

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