Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan: Original Lyrics

Near Hoi Ping Road on Causeway Bay
There used to be an alleyway,
Before the high rise came to grow
Seems such a long long time ago.

The bowls of frogs and jellyfish
The smell of bean curd in the air.
The stalls of hundred year old eggs:
She was his flower in the mess!

He saw her each and every day.
He longed for her in every way.
She helped her mama at Bazaar:
He watched so closely from afar

She was his black-eyed Susan,
He dreamed of her day and night.
She was his black-eyed Susan:
His daisy girl of delight!

Each day she’d smile at him so sweet,
He heart would stop or miss a beat.
He finally summoned up the nerve
To say hello to daisy girl.

She was his black-eyed Susan,
He dreamed of her day and night.
She was his black-eyed Susan:
His daisy girl of delight!

Now sixty years have been and gone:
High rise has crushed the shanty town.
Another thing is not the same:
They sell together in the lane!

She is his black-eyed Susan,
He dreams of her day and night.
She is his black-eyed Susan:
His daisy girl of delight!

She is his black-eyed Susan,
He dreams of her day and night.
She is his black-eyed Susan:
His daisy girl of delight!

General Information

When writing “Black-eyed Susan”, I decided to try story-telling in song, and for this work I went back to my roots, when I was growing up in Hong Kong (1981-1984).

I remembered going shopping in Jardine’s Bazaar, which was around the corner from where I lived (the Hoi Ping Road mentioned in the song), and talking to one of the stallholders there.

She said she’d been “wooed” by her husband sixty years ago, when she sold fish and frogs, and he sold hundred-year-old eggs!

I thought it made a good story, and although I’ve embellished it a bit, I like to think that the happy couple (now ninety years on, if they’re still alive), wouldn’t mind too much.

The piece is designed to be sung a cappella, and is quick and easy to learn to performance standard, ideally suiting a choir from small to medium size, of any level of ability. The final verse is accompanied by hand clapping (preferably by a small section of the choir) and a loud cheer of “Hei!” at the end.

The work is rhythmic, and should be lots of fun to sing. It is also just one of a series of flower songs I have written.

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