The Moon Represents My Heart - A Tribute to Teresa Teng

On my recent tour to China I was asked to include Chinese tunes in the program. I didn't know what to expect. How would the music sound, how would the audience like it? As I played these tunes there was one, that started embedding itself in my mind. I am used to having music in my head all the time. These tunes come and go, some stay longer, but this one kept haunting me. It pretty much became the 'film score' to my entire China tour.

'The Moon Represents My Heart' is a pop tune written in the 70s that hit the nerve of a new generation in China in the early 80s. It was a time, when music was still controlled by the government, and consisted mostly of revolutionary songs. Any public expression of emotions was a new and liberating experience. Taiwanese pop singer Teresa Teng's rendition of 'The Moon Represents My Heart' became a sensation flooding mainland China within months. In a pre-Twitter world that is the equivalent of an overnight success.

Teresa Teng was born in Taiwan to mainland Chinese parents. Her father was a soldier in the Chinese army. Her amazing voice was discovered early on, and she was soon offered recording contracts, which propelled her rise to fame. During the 1989 Tiananmen student protest she contributed to a concert in support of the students in Paris, a concert attended by 300,000 people.

Polydor Records album cover                                                   

Polydor Records album cover                                                   

Poster for 'The Moon represents my Heart'

Poster for 'The Moon represents my Heart'

Her highly guarded personal life included several relationships including a rumored affair with actor Jackie Chan. The world was in shock, when the news hit, that Teresa had died of an sudden severe asthma attack at the age of 42. Teresa Teng was buried in a mountainside tomb in New Taipei City overlooking the north coast of Taiwan. The grave site features a statue of Teng and a large electronic piano keyboard set in the ground that can be played by visitors who step on the keys. 

Keyboard at the gravesite of Teresa Teng

Keyboard at the gravesite of Teresa Teng

I love your story, Teresa. You are such an inspiration - Thank you!