Chinese Name: 夜来香
English Name: Ye Lai Xiang, Fragrance of the Night
Composer: Li JinGuang黎锦光
Original Singer:Yoshiko Yamaguchi李香兰(山口淑子)
Ye Lai Xiang is composed by Mr. Li Jinguang, and the original singer is Yoshiko Yamaguchi (李香兰) , It is regarded as the representative work of Li Jinguang and even Chinese pop songs. The song is widely popular. More than 80 versions have been published and covered by many singers such as Teresa Teng (邓丽君).
Composition Story of Ye Lai Xiang
In the early autumn of 1944, Li Jinguang recorded an aria for Huang Guiqiu, a famous Peking Opera actress. In those days, the studio had no air conditioning and the room was airtight. During the recording break, Li Jinguang went out of the shed to breathe fresh air. At this time, the south wind blew, with bursts of flower fragrance, and nightingales were singing in the distance. What a wonderful time! Li Jinguang’s music thoughts are surging… That night, after returning home, Li Jinguang stayed awake all night. The beautiful scenery at that time constantly flashed in his mind, aroused infinite reverie, and the melody surging in his heart seemed to gush out… In this way, the prototype of a European and American style, rumba rhythm and dance style “Ye Lai Xiang” was born.
The song “Ye Lai Xiang” has a wide range, reaching two octaves. Therefore, it is not suitable for him to audition for big stars such as Zhou Xuan(周璇), Gong Qiuxia(龚秋霞) and Yao Li(姚莉) after his creation. Occasionally, Yoshiko Yamaguchi (李香兰), a popular actress who came to Shanghai to perform, found the music score of “nocturnal incense”. After listening to the audition, Li Jinhui lamented that the song seemed to be “customized” for her, so he immediately asked Yoshiko Yamaguchi to record the song.
Lyrics of Ye Lai Xiang
ああ 胸いたく 呗かなし
夜来香 夜来香 夜来香
About the Composer of Ye Lai Xiang
Li Jinguang (1907-1993), a famous musician from Xiangtan, Hunan Province, ranked seventh in the “Li‘s Eight Brothers”, and has been engaged in music work in Shanghai for a long time. In 1938, he worked as an editor in the recording Department of an EMI record company founded by British businessmen in Shanghai. He wrote the episode “red torture” in the film “Romance of the West Chamber” and the episode “buried flowers” in “a dream of Red Mansions”, and wrote some popular songs for Zhou Xuan, which became a record distribution.
Famous works include “Ye Lai Xiang”, “Picking Betel Nuts”, “Wind in May” and “Give Me a Rose” which are sung all over Asia. He was the first chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of China Central Ballet.
About the Singer Shirley Yamaguchi
Yoshiko Yamaguchi (山口 淑子, Yamaguchi Yoshiko, February 12, 1920 – September 7, 2014) was a Japanese singer, actress, journalist, and politician. Born in China, she made an international career in film in China, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States.
Early in her career, the Manchukuo Film Association concealed her Japanese origin and she went by the Chinese name Li Hsiang-lan (李香蘭), rendered in Japanese as Ri Kōran. This allowed her to represent China in Japanese propaganda movies. After the war, she appeared in Japanese movies under her real name, Yamaguchi Yoshiko, as well as in several English language movies under the stage name, Shirley Yamaguchi.
After the defeat of Japan in 1945, Li Hsiang-lan was arrested on the charge of traitor. Later, she was acquitted because she was a Japanese citizen. He was sent back to Japan in 1946 and changed his original name to Yoshiko Yamaguchi in 1947 to continue his acting career. In 1958, she left the stage and turn to politics. He was elected to the Senate in 1974 and retired in 1992.