WFMH Shares 5 Asian Songs to Celebrate Asian Lunar New Year. 2022 Year of the Water Tiger

February 1 marks the start of a New Year in the Asian Lunar calendar, and 2022 is the year of the Water Tiger. The tiger is the third animal in the Chinese zodiac, exuding loyalty, humanitarianism, and fight to protect the people in their care. The Year of the Water Tiger will be very prosperous for people born in the Tiger year. 

In fact each sign in the Chinese zodiac will have an opportunity to improve their fortunes, love life, business, education, careers and other personal areas for growth. 

“Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting a tiger will not attack you because you are a vegetarian.”Bruce Lee

Faye Wong – Passenger

Faye Wong is a popular actor and singer born in Beijing who began her career in Hong Kong at 18 years old after introduction to the industry by her music teacher. Signed to Cinepoly, in 1989 she released her first album,“Shirley Wong.” Her name was changed to avoid conflicts within listeners who do not agree with a singer’s first name that means “Queen” in English. 

Faye is well known for her starring roles in Chungking Express (1994) and 2046 (2004) directed by Wong Kar Wei. The same year she released her album sung entirely in Mandarin, Mystery. Faye became a fan of the Cocteau Twins, releasing Random Thoughts shortly after. The album included 2 cover songs by the Cocteau Twins plus a cover song of “Dreams” by The Cranberries (IMDb).

Roman Tam – Laser Light

Roman Tam aka “Grand Godfather of Canto Pop,” or Law Man was a voice tenor singer and TVB (Television Broadcasting Company Hong Kong) star who shot to superstardom in Asia in the 1980s. Tam was a LGTBQ+ icon who wore peacock gowns when performing at stage shows.

Tam influenced the next generation of Canto-pop stars, coaching singers Shirley Kwan, Ekin Cheng and Joey Young. Tam unfortunately passed away at the young age of 57 from liver cancer. His iconic peacock gown is on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum as tribute to the “Grand Godfather of Canto Pop.” (

Kim Choo Ja – On the Beach at Dusk

Kim Choo Ja was one of the most influential Korean female pop singers in the 1970s. She blew into stardom in the Korean pop scene with the psychedelic soul music stylings of Shin Joong-Hyeon where the creative partnership was a reciprocal loop beginning in the Korean trot scene.

Kim Choo Ja provided sex appeal with her sultry voice with breath work that drove fans into deep emotional states. She showed off her full body curves by wearing tight jeans, mini skirts and cleavage elevated tops where her influence on K-pop today is observable with the new generation of K-pop artists. Her song, “It’s a Lie,” was banned by the Korean military dictatorship who alleged the song fueled distrust. The Korean military also claimed her dance in “It’s a Lie” was a hand signal to North Korean spies. Her manager proposed marriage to her, and when she declined, he struck her in the face with a broken bottle leading to Kim receiving 100 stitches in her face and numerous plastic surgeries to correct her injuries (askakoreanblogspot).

Shin Jung-Hyeon – Beautiful Rivers and Mountains

Shin Jung-Hyeon began his career in the 1950s performing to US troops who were stationed in Korea after the armistice of the war in 1953. Shin’s psychedelic guitar playing and production work was influential, inspiring The Pearl Sisters, Kim Choo Ja and Kim Jung Mi as well as newer K-pop artists where multiple cover albums by current artists have paid tribute to his explosive, anthemic rock sound. 

Shin was targeted by the Korean military dictatorship after he grew a following of fans who subscribed to a hippie way of life. The President of South Korea monitored the Korean hippie scene where drug use was illegal and punishable by law. Shin’s music was deemed “subversive” after he refused to write a song to praise a political leader, and he was deemed unpatriotic, his career instantly banished through governmental torture, surveillance and imprisonment (LITA).

Shin has found a new generation of fans globally, and he continues to play to audiences today thanks to the reissuing of his masterpiece albums by Light In The Attic records and K-pop popularity.

Chew Chin Yuin –跳無停 (Jump Without Stop) to the melody of “Beat It” by Michael Jackson

Chew Chin Yuin was a popular Malaysian Hakka singer descending from immigrants from Fujian, China. He was most famous for his song, “Old Lady Selling Pickled Vegetables (阿婆賣鹹菜).”” His music was loved by Chinese in Malaysia as well as audiences in Hong Kong and Taiwan (Hakka Affairs Council). 

Chew released duet albums with Mary Sia where both would supply humorous banter between duets laced with synth sounds, drum beats and gongs celebrating Asian Lunar New Year and relationship drama. After numerous releases Chew’s popularity declined where Hakka language songs did not expand past Malaysia and his career decreased.

Chew passed away in 2006 and is buried in “Chew Chin Yuin’s Artistic Memorial” at Nirvana Memorial Garden in Malaysia where his tomb celebrates the singer’s musical Hakka career with his image and tombstone keyboard marked for remembrance, contribution and promotion of Hakka songs (  

Gong Hay Fat Choy (Happy New Year) from The Weekend Family Music Hour. We wish you love, hapiness and health in the Year of the Water Tiger.

Written by Karen Lee

Weekend Family Music Hour has been with Freeform Portland since the station was established. As a family we have grown with the station & feel so privileged to have an affordable family activity that brings us together with your family’s lives, letting us share our musical household tastes. 

We love reciting Chinese horoscope predictions for Asian Lunar New Year, playing our Moog on Halloween, selecting songs based on politics or societal challenges and holidays! Check out our seasonal shows! Mostly ethnic; folk, rock, synth, disco, soul, hip hop, experimental and jazz/tongue jazz.

Link to past shows: 

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