This blog post came as a result of a request from the user Lis P. who posted a comment on my blog entry Lyrics of 男儿当自强

The request is for the translation of a movie theme song sang by Jackie Chan titled “Who Am I?”. It was quite difficult to find but I managed to find the lyrics after a month of googling and baidu searches.

In the quest of the search I found a few interesting fact about the song. The lyrics, one of which is  that the song was actually written and composed by a famous Taiwanese Singer Emil Chau.  I believe Emil was a friend of Jackie as he  made cameo appearance in some of his movies

The role of the post is not to provide a critique to the movie. I would just drop information details about the movie to help readers understand the lyrics better.

A Quick Introduction to the Movie

“Who am I?” was a comedy film by Jackie Chan. Like in all of his shows, it features interesting car stunts and daredevil stunt sequences.

The story is about a multinational military unit which was sent to ambush a convey and kidnaps several scientist working on a meteorite.   The unit was eventually double crossed by their commander after the mission. Their helicopter was sabotaged and the unit died in the helicopter crash.

One of the member survived , he was saved by a African tribe and he awoke with an amnesia. Unsure of his name, he called himself “Who Am I”. Later on he stayed among the natives and learnt their customs.

Later on he rescued a rally driver from a snake bite, and help the team win the rally championship. While his commander realise that there was a survivor from the helicopter crash. They went on to try to kill him.

Eventually he managed to track down the commander to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. After much fight and difficulties, he managed to help the CIA capture that rogue commander.

The song lyrics is mainly about the main character singing about himself not being sure who he really is.  The background music featured a tribal music, tribal drums and chants due to the fact that the main character was stuck in the African desert and living among the African tribesmen  for some time.

Interestingly i notice a lot of word play in the lyrics. Unfortunately those word play cannot be successfully translated into English. At the same time the lyrics can be quite a tongue twister if you try to read it  aloud.
And I believe i heard Emil Chau’s voice at some part of the song.

Nonetheless here is the Lyrics and their Hanyu Pinyin

Title: 我是谁
Lyrics : 陈没、周华健
Sang by: 周华健, 成龙
Title: Who Am I?
Lyrics : Chen She, Emil Chau
Sang by: Emil Chau, Jackie Chan
(Stanza 1)
昏天暗地 这里到底是那里 要住哪里走 要往那里去 滚滚风沙 混沌中我是谁 还要怎么追 还要怎么退 昨天我是谁?今天谁是我? 耕过耘过 得过且过 来过去过 谁是我是谁 我是谁是我 是过非过 现在的我不是我
(Stanza 1)
hūn​ tiān​ àn dì​ , zhè​ lǐ​ dào ​dǐ​ shì​ nà ​li​?
yào​ wǎng​ nǎ ​lǐ​ zǒu​, yào​ wǎng​ nà ​li​ qù​?
Gǔn​ gǔn​ fēng ​shā​ hùn , dùn​ zhōng​ wǒ​ shì shéi​ hái​​ yào​ zěn ​me​ zhuī​, hái​​ yào​ zěn ​me​ tuì​ zuó​ tiān​ wǒ​ shì​ shéi​? jīn ​tiān​ shéi​ shì​ wǒ​ ? ēng guò​ yún​ guò, dé ​guò ​qiě ​guò​, lái​ guò ​qu​ guò​
shéi​ shì​ wǒ​ shì​ shéi​, wǒ​ shì​ shéi​ shì​ wǒ​ shì  guò​ fēi​ guò, ​ xiàn ​zài​ de wǒ  bù​ shì​ wǒ​
(Stanza 2) 
茫茫大雾看不见是谁非谁
昨天南到北 明天怎么追?
茫茫大地真想不出是过非过
今天行到北 最好不爱谁
昨天我是谁?今天谁是我?
笑过哭过 不是只我 何必是
我谁是我是谁 我是谁是我
是过非过 现在的我不是我
(Stanza 2) 
máng​ máng​ dà ​wù​ kàn ​bu ​jiàn​ shì​ shéi​ fēi ​shéi
zuó​ tiān​ nán​ dào​ běi​, míng ​tiān​ zěn ​me​ zhuī​?
máng ​máng​ dà ​dì​ zhēn​ xiǎng​ bù​ chū​ shì​ guò​ fēi​  guò​
jīn​ tiān​ xíng​ dào​ běi​. zuì ​hǎo​ bù​ ài​ shéi​
zuó​ tiān​ wǒ​ shì​ shéi​? jīn​tiān shéi​ shì​ wǒ​?
xiào​ guò​ kū​ guò, bù ​shì​ zhī​ wǒ​, hé ​bì​ shì​ wǒ​
shéi​ shì​ wǒ​ shì​ shéi​, wǒ​ shì​ shéi​ shì​ wǒ​​
shì​ guò​ fēi​ guò, xiàn ​zài​ de​ wǒ​ bù ​shì​ wǒ​

As requested. the translation is as follows

(stanza 1 )

In the dark I awoke, where I right now?

Where should I go now? Where shall I head to?

In midst of sandstorm and chaos,  I do not know who I really am.

How should I pursue? How should I retreat?

Who am I yesterday? Who am I today?

As time past, I muddle through and I have came and go

Who am I? Who am I?   
Is it fault or blessing that my current self isn’t me?

(stanza 2 )

Among the thick fog I cannot make out who he is

I travelled south to north, where shall i pursue tomorrow?

Among the vast land I cannot figure if this a blessings or curse

Today I travel north, its better to love nobody

Who am I yesterday? Who am I today?

I have smiled and cried, and its not only me and why should it be me?

Who am I? Who am I?   
Is it fault or blessing that my current self isn’t me?

I have found only one youtube containing the song

I have found Emil Chau singing an English version of this song on youtube as well

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