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Video: Hong Kong’s official theme song for 20th anniversary of handover receives cool reception

The Hong Kong government released a Cantonese theme song on Thursday commemorating the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China.

Song lyrics

That’s why I treasure Hong Kong
That’s why I admire Hong Kong
We love her
with an eternal glowing flame
that grows as time goes by
revealing her true strength

Our beautiful Hong Kong
shining ever brighter
Our beautiful Hong Kong
up on the world stage
Step by step, we will carry on
astounding the world as we always have
Step by step, we will carry on
astounding the world as we always have
This is our home

A upbeat medium-tempo tune called Hong Kong Our Home features ten Cantopop singers including Miriam Yeung, Hacken Lee and Pakho Chau, singing over video of the city’s skyscrapers, geological features and sporting activities.

The song was quickly ridiculed by Hongkongers, with its Chinese-subtitled version receiving some 40 likes and 85 dislikes on YouTube as of Friday.

theme song

“It’s normal that Hacken Lee and Miriam Yeung would be willing to sing this, but why the others?” wrote one YouTube user.

“The ones who composed the song and the lyrics must not like this government,” wrote one commenter on the Facebook page of digital outlet Stand News. “The song sounds awful, and some of the lyrics don’t have the right tone.”

Public broadcaster RTHK, which was part of the production team, told HKFP that the production cost of the theme song was around HKD$190,000.

Recap: The previous songs

At only a minute long and containing only one verse and one chorus, Hong Kong Our Home is significantly shorter than previous handover anniversary songs.

The full version of Memorable Moments, written for the 15th anniversary, clocks in at almost five minutes.

Many Hongkongers, however, will be more familiar with the 10th anniversary theme song released in April 2007.

Reminiscent of 1980s charity singles, Just Because You Are Here was a karaoke hit featuring a dozen pop stars, the Hong Kong Children’s Choir, a Cantonese opera singer and virtuoso Lang Lang on piano.

A month later, a parody named Fuk Kai Just Because You Are Here – referencing a Cantonese profanity – was produced by internet users and uploaded onto YouTube.

The parody commemorated the 10th anniversary of the handover and the 18th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. It ridiculed the unpopular former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, the city’s housing policies, and the lack of universal suffrage.

Fuk Kai Just Because You Are Here has been viewed almost a million times on YouTube.

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Video: Hong Kong's official theme song for 20th anniversary of handover receives cool reception