The Swan Song of A 54-Year-Old Record Store

Updated : Jan 12, 2020 in Articles

The Swan Song of A 54-Year-Old Record Store


[In Mandarin] Elvis Presley used to be my idol. His music is fast-paced and nice to listen to. He dances very well. His dance moves are… They’re something like that. My name is I have been selling CDs at Chinatown for 54 years now. I started out selling CDs along Pagoda Street. Business was good back then. A lot of people listened to CDs. My favourite time was during the Lunar New Year. It was always bustling then. Every stall would still be open even at 2:30 a.m. They would still be packed with customers. At one point there were some singers who were very popular. Long Piao Piao, Liu Wen Zheng. Their lyrics are very beautiful. I will listen to their songs whenever I’m bored now. I can reminisce on my youth. [Light music playing] Every day, before I start work here I will chat with my friends. [In Cantonese] Any news to share? Nothing much. [In Mandarin] I’ll buy coffee. Because my stall is too small I have to move the CD shelves out every day. I take it as a form of exercise. I don’t find it very tiring because I’ve been doing hard labour since young. I wasn’t cut out for studying but I’m exceptional at doing hard labour. Producer: Are these old records? Which record is your favourite? I like this one. Wang Sha Ye Feng (chinese comedians). It’s very nice to listen to their jokes. [Laughter] [In Cantonese] Let me show you this picture of myself. I look very good in it. Wow, you’re very muscular. Very handsome. [Gentle music playing] Three years ago it started becoming very difficult to earn money. [In Cantonese] I barely had any income so I couldn’t pay for my shop’s rent. [In Mandarin] I had to pawn my dowry at Nam Cheong (Pawnshop). I have many items at the pawnshop. It’s embarrassing. My children didn’t know about it then. They asked me, “Is everything okay?” I told them, “Yes, business is not bad.” [In Cantonese] This 3rd of December I will really have to close my shop down for good. [In Mandarin] I’m crying on the inside. Who can I tell? Ever since I was young, I have never left Chinatown. I feel like, I can’t bear to leave now. It’s all because I’m not good enough. I don’t have the ability to earn a lot of money. I built this shop with my bare hands. This will forever be my second home.

18 Comments

  • I went to her shop before she close bought more than 100 dollars of cd she even gave me some discount as it was the cents part but i hope her cds are still with her i heard from people that she gonna throw the old stocks away wasteful

  • Would love to buy her old records :(( I didn’t know she has a business there. Hopefully, she’ll get the rest she needs.

  • It is sad.. Why tourism board don't reduce the rent for them and introduce more ideas for them to generate income. Gather more tourists to come to Chinatown and explore and spend money. Somethings need to be done to prevent all of them close down..

  • Our government has never truly seen this side of Singapore. To them Singapore is about the MBS skyline, the CBD district, the digitalization race etc. What about these unassuming ones going about their day, quietly tuck into forgotten places scattered around our island? Who has their back, who sees their sorrow, or hears about their needs?

  • 婆婆,不是说不争气啦! 怎么那么说呢~其实是时代发展罢了~所以难免的 希望您看到我的留言 为你打打气!😘

  • In this day and age, only the elderly still buying CDs and records, everything can be streamed online now. I have like so many CDs from decades ago but dont even have a proper CD player anymore. Why bother when you can search for it online in seconds. And nowadays, new laptops dont even come with a disc player, its an optional USB device.

  • I bought my cassettes and later some CDs from this shop. Though she looks as if she may not know about English songs, you ask her about singers and songs, she usually knows what you want and will try her best to look for it. For some strange reason, Dying Inside to Hold You was a big hit here and I remembered it was sold out frequently and needed to be restocked

  • I feel this video should have been uploaded in last year Nov or earlier. So that those who are able financially well off or able, can give her one last support before she closed her shop. Which would help her end on a good note.

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