Harmful elements in the air
Symbols clashing everywhere
Reaps the fields of rice and reeds
While the population feeds
Junk floats on polluted water
An old custom to sell your daughter
Would you like number twenty three?
Leave your yens on the counter please

Ho-oh, ho-oh-oh-oh
Hong Kong Garden

Ho-oh, ho-oh-oh-oh
Hong Kong Garden

Oh oh, oh oh

Tourists swarm to see your face
Confucius has a puzzling grace
Disoriented you enter in
Unleashing scent of wild jasmine

Slanted eyes meet a new sunrise
A race of bodies small in size
Chicken Chow Mein and Chop Suey
Hong Kong Garden takeaway

La la la, la la la la la

Ho-oh, ho-oh-oh-oh
Hong Kong Garden

Ho-oh, ho-oh-oh-oh


Lyrics submitted by Kaitou

"Hong Kong Garden" as written by John Gareth Mckay Morris Kenneth Ian

Lyrics © DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY, BMG Rights Management

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Hong Kong Garden song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThis song is a tribute to a Chinese takeaway in Chiselhurst where Siouxsie witnessed the racist abuse the Chinese owners recieved from the local skinhead population
    Erasercutson December 19, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Commentif it was simply about a chinese restaurant, why would she sing about polluted waterways, hammerhead? i think zeroglitter is more accurate.

    siouxsie and the banshees are capable of writing "deep" songs, albeit in this case filtered through black humour. I read an article in rolling stone which said the song was about the then "ongoing slaughter in Southeast Asia". My interpretation is that the western world isn't overly aware or concerned about such tragedy, and their only real "exposure" to eastern culture is through takeaway food.

    Here's the Rolling Stone link if you're interested -
    rollingstone.com/reviews/album/_/id/106537/…
    dumb.waiterson December 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcorrection on the Rolling Stone link -
    rollingstone.com/reviews/
    album/_/id/106537/siouxsieandthebanshees?pageid=rs.ArtistDiscography&pageregion=triple1
    dumb.waiterson December 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentErasercuts is right. I'm currently reading the Banshees biography and that's what Siouxsie says. Though they could be singing about a deeper meaning as well; the Cure does this with so many of their songs that they base on stories, books, etc. to give them a broader scope.
    lokithecaton April 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIf you think the title sounds like the name of a Chinese restaurant, you're right. Said Siouxsie: "I'll never forget, there was a Chinese restaurant in Chislehurst called 'The Hong Kong Garden.' Me and my friend were really upset that we used to go there and like, occasionally when the skinheads would turn up it would really turn really ugly. These gits were just go in on mass and just terrorize these Chinese people who were working there. We'd try and say 'Leave them alone,' you know. It was a kind of tribute." (from Punk Top Ten Interview , August 6, 2001.
    laurelinwyntreon December 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSiouxsie: "John came up with the riff, a fragmented riff and I wrote what I thought that riff conjured up. Impressions that I drew up of the East. It's called 'Hong Kong Garden' because that's a British colonial thing and as it's part of Britain it's neutral. Mixed in with this are all the factual things that have happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the way the Japanese are fighting against the old and new ways - with Americanisation coming in. They are always having to fight back the trashy kind of thing that America put in Japan. And the same for the Chinese as well. And then there's the false impression that we get of these as well."

    Steven: "The false impressions of anywhere. Like in England or Scotland. Like caricatures, Irish jokes, anything. We're talking from a vulnerable point because we have never been to the East, so it's like saying we are naive about it as well. But at least we realise that."

    it's black humor. Sioux and severin have simply highlighted the stereotypes that the West at that time associated with Asia. The lyrics mocks those people who have racial prejudices, and at the same time tries to tell how the skinheads tormented the owners of the restaurant, evidently with the usual stereotypical insults. Now the situation is different because young people are interested in Asian culture, but in '70s in England apparently there was a kind of general ignorance.
    Begbie02on June 06, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about the western world taking advantage of eastern culture and traditions. It refers to the brutal commercialisation of things that should be kept sacred and beautiful.
    zeroglitteron July 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentzeroglitter, you're looking way too deep. the first entry is actually correct, its about a chinese restaurant.
    Morbadumon October 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlthough this is a simple two chord song, I think it is amazing. The riff just really fits in and Siouxsie just tops it off with her voice.
    Whatsername1251on June 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbrilliant song
    it probably is about a restaurant, but more about the people and culture of the restaurant than just the actual restaurant and its food or other mundane things.
    robot in disguiseon July 17, 2007   Link

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