The Moon Represents My Heart

"The Moon Represents My Heart" (Chinese: 月亮代表我的心; pinyin: Yuèliang Dàibiǎo Wǒ de Xīn) is a Mandarin song. It was made famous by the Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng. The song often cited as, "one of the most famous and beloved Taiwan songs of all time".[1][2][3][4]


The lyrics to the song were written by Sun Yi [zh] (孫儀)[5][6] and the music was composed by Weng Ching-hsi (翁清溪).[7] It was first sung by Chen Fen-lan (陳芬蘭) in 1972 or 1973 for Chen's album Dreamland (夢鄉)[7][8] but was made famous by Teresa Teng's version later in 1977.[9][10] Teng's rendition, which is three minutes and 29 seconds long,[11] was described as a "love song with a waltz-like lilt".[12]

Cultural impact in ChinaEdit

Until the late 1970s, foreign music had not been allowed into mainland China for several decades.[6] "The Moon Represents My Heart" became one of the first popular foreign songs (called "gangtai" songs) in the country.[6]

Teng's songs over the following decade revolutionized music in China. Her singing, described as "soft, melodious, often whispery and restrained," was considered the "ideal" in gangtai music at that time.[6] The style was in striking contrast to the then officially sanctioned songs in mainland China which were often revolutionary songs, and made a strong impact on its listeners.[6] She became so popular that "within months the country was literally flooded with [her] songs."[6] "The Moon Represents My Heart", however, is often cited as one of her best-known or most popular pieces.[13][14][15][16]

Before Teng's music arrived, such romantic songs had been nonexistent in China for many years as they were considered bourgeois and decadent.[6] As film director Jia Zhangke later said, "'The Moon Represents My Heart' [was] something completely new. So people of my generation were suddenly infected with this very personal, individual world. Before that, everything was collective..."[17]


Teng died of an asthma attack in 1995,[17] but "The Moon Represents My Heart" has been performed frequently around the world since 21st Century including famous singers and musicians Katherine Jenkins, Shila Amzah, Faye Wong, David Tao, Andy Lau, Leslie Cheung, Jon Bon Jovi, Siti Nurhaliza, David Archuleta, English vocal group Libera and Grammy Award winner American musician Kenny G.[18][19][20] The song is considered a "classic,"[21] and according to one source, "Chinese all around the world are familiar with [it]."[22]

"The Moon Represents My Heart" is also popular in karaoke,[12] with one chain in Singapore listing it at #42 on their hits list (which made it the highest ranked of all Teng's songs).[23] According to The New York Times, it is one of the best-known Chinese pop songs of all time.[24]

Copyright statusEdit

Lyricist Sun Yi filed a lawsuit against the Li Ge Record Company (麗歌唱片公司). Sun lost the lawsuit, so the company owns the copyright of this song.[5]


  1. ^ "The Moon Represents My Heart Tea". Naiise. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. ^ Wong, Tessa (20 August 2015). "Jon Bon Jovi takes on Chinese classic love song". BBC News. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  3. ^ simone (8 May 2019). "What is the meaning behind the song "The Moon Represents My Heart"?". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  4. ^ "English Lyrics with video of song The Moon Represents My Heart". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b Xiang, Chengzhen (項程鎮) (1 December 2012). 月亮代表我的心作詞者 爭著作權敗訴 [Writer of "The Moon Represents My Heart" fights for copyrights]. The Liberty Times.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Baranovitch, Nimrod. China's new voices: popular music, ethnicity, gender, and politics, 1978–1997 (University of California Press, 2003), pp. 10–13.
  7. ^ a b 台灣的「美空雲雀」 ──陳芬蘭 [Taiwan's "Hibari Misora" — Chen Fen-lan]. Taiwan Panorama. March 2001. p. 108. This source neglected to confirm Sun Yi (孫儀) as the lyricist of this song.
  8. ^ 作曲曝光《月亮代表我的心》原唱非邓丽君(多图) [Composer says Teresa Teng is not original singer of 'Moon Represents My Heart']. 1 October 2004. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  9. ^ Chen, David (5 June 2009). "Jazz for the musicians ... but for the masses, too". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  10. ^ Chan, Dawn (24 October 2010). "Hearty tribute to Teresa Teng". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo de Xin – Teresa Teng". Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  12. ^ a b LaFleur, Robert André. Asia in Focus: China (ABC-CLIO, 2009), p. 285.
  13. ^ WuDunn, Sheryl (10 May 1995). Teresa Teng, Singer, 40, Dies; Famed in Asia for Love Songs". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Teresa Teng: Alive in the Hearts of Chinese Around the World"., 9 May 2005. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Terrific Teresa Teng tribute at corporate night". The Star. Malaysia. 18 September 2005. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  16. ^ Sui, Cindy (27 November 2010). "Hidden love". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  17. ^ a b Berry, Michael. Speaking in images: interviews with contemporary Chinese filmmakers (Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 190–550.
  18. ^ Jenkins, Katherine. The Moon Represents My Heart (Spotify) (in Chinese).
  19. ^ Tham Ai Mei (15 September 2005). "Sadness behind the smile". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Buzzing: Chyi Chin proposes to Belle"., 26 January 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Show set to be a glittering affair". The Star. 19 August 2003. Archived from the original on 30 October 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  23. ^ Tanu, Elrica (29 September 2010). "Teresa Teng tribute". RazorTV via AsiaOne. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  24. ^ Seno, Alexandra A (21 November 2007). "Cantopop: Lauding Hong Kong's homegrown music". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2014.

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