Song About Hanoi


Still from "Oi Gioi Oi"
via YouTube

Liz Waid and Adam Navis share a love song to the Vietnamese city of Hanoi.

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Adam Navis. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

This city is busy. Hundreds of motorbikes crowd the streets. People are walking along and across the streets. Old women sell fruits and vegetables from rolling carts. Men sit on the sidewalk and smoke cigarettes. It is loud and hot. The smells of smoke, gas, and food fill the air. This is the city of Hanoi, in the north of Vietnam.

Voice 2 

Every year, people living in different countries come to visit or work in Hanoi. Some of them even fall in love with this beautiful city. This was the case for Ian Paynton, a young man from the UK.

Voice 1 

Ian Paynton is a writer. In 2008, he visited Hanoi for the first time. But after his visit, he could not stop thinking about the city. He talked to travelfish.org writer Sarah Turner. He told her that he “thought about Hanoi every day for two years”. Finally he was able to return to Hanoi in 2010.

Voice 2 

Ian Paynton is also very interested in music. While in Vietnam he tried to find the kind of music he wanted to listen to. At the same time, two other foreigners living in Hanoi also wanted to find music they liked. Their names are J.C. Smith and Hanoi Funkmaster.

Voice 1 

J.C. Smith and Hanoi Funkmaster are part of a group called Hanoi Sessions. They were mixing the sounds of hip-hop and traditional Vietnamese music. But they needed someone to rap - or sing words over the music. Paynton enjoyed rapping. He began to work with these men to create a song. None of these men make music as their job - they just love it! J.C. Smith told Vietnamese reporter Nguy Ha why they began working together to create music.

Voice 3 

“I suppose it began because none of us really liked the music we were hearing when we got here. Modern Vietnamese popular music is not really popular in other countries. I think that is because it sounds too much like the pop music from other countries. I had been searching for some underground hip-hop that was particularly Vietnamese. But I had not found it.”

Voice 2 

So what did they choose as the subject of their song? They chose a popular saying in Hanoi – “Oi gioi oi”. Paynton says that people all over Hanoi know this little saying - old women, moto-taxi drivers, children, and others. He began to say it too. It is something to say for almost anything that happens. Paynton explained to Ha,

Voice 4 

“‘Oi Gioi Oi’ is probably the first thing every foreigner learns when they get to Hanoi. It can be used in so many ways - as a way to show you do not like something, that you are disappointed or sad, or that you are excited. It is fun and it seems to fit almost anything.”

Voice 1

Paynton wrote the words to the song. He says that writing the song was easy because the saying “Oi Gioi Oi” was so interesting to him. He wrote the song using English and Vietnamese. He called the song simply: “Oi Gioi Oi”.

Voice 2 

J.C. Smith and Hanoi Funkmaster produced the music for “Oi Gioi Oi”. They used a normal hip-hop style and beat. Hip-hop music often mixes music from other styles or places into its songs. So they also included traditional Vietnamese music. Paynton says they used traditional Vietnamese music as a way to honor Vietnam’s past.

Voice 1 

“Oi Gioi Oi” is about all the times a person may say “Oi Gioi Oi”. It is about all the experiences of living in the city of Hanoi - the traffic, the food, the interesting parts of the city, and the people. This is what the song sounds like:

Voice 2 

Paynton, Smith and Hanoi Funkmaster released the song on the website Youtube. In only a few weeks, the video had been seen over 300,000 times! Many people commented on the video and liked it.

Voice 1 

But there was some conflict with the video. At one point in the song Paynton sings “north Vietnam, stand up, let’s go”. North and South Vietnam have a complex history. There is still some anger between them. Some people on Youtube understood these words as an insult to South Vietnam. But Paynton explains to World Policy Blog’s writer Helen Clark:

Voice 4 

“I regret saying ‘north Vietnam, stand up, let’s go’. I was including a normal element of hip-hop by representing an area. But a few people saw it and started fighting. I only said ‘north Vietnam” because the song is about Hanoi and surrounding provinces.”

Voice 2 

“Oi Gioi Oi” does use some southern Vietnamese music. This music is from a famous southern singer. J.C. Smith tells Clark that using that music was a perfect coincidence - it was not on purpose. But it is a way to show Vietnam’s unity - with southern music and words about Hanoi.

Voice 1

“Oi Gioi Oi” is a way for people to see how much Ian Paynton, J.C. Smith and Hanoi Funkmaster love the city of Hanoi, and the country of Vietnam. There are good and bad parts about living in any city. But these three men believe this city is special. Smith told writer Nguy Ha,

Voice 3 

“When we produced “Oi Gioi Oi”, the main purpose was just for fun. We are here, getting used to this land. And we have found a love for the Vietnamese people. So we wanted to do something to mark this important period of our lives. There are times that we may feel dejected or down, but we never give up doing what we want to do. That is expressing ourselves, playing music, and producing music.”

Voice 2 

Paynton now lives in London. But he still misses Vietnam. Will he write more songs about Vietnam or Hanoi? He tells Ha that he is still working on other songs. Until then, people around the world will just have to enjoy “Oi Gioi Oi”!

Voice 1 

You can find a link to the song “Oi Gioi Oi” on the script page for this program. Tell us what you think about this song.

Voice 2 

The writer and producer of this program was Liz Waid. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Song About Hanoi’.

Voice 1 

You can also leave your comments on our website. And you can find us on Facebook - just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Are you proud of your city? What makes you proud, about your city?

Comments


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anhnt2407
said on August 20, 2012

“Oi Gioi Oi” !!! ^^ It is so funny song about one of popular daily sayings in Vietnam. I am so surprised that Ian Paython knows many things about Hanoi and Viet Nam. Actually, Oi gioi oi is one kind of emotional exclamations when Vietnamese people get shocked on something happening in front of their eyes. And normally it has a bad tendency to them. However, sometime we suddenly yell out those words when we start fighting or being against to the current fact/situation but we feel no way or no hope to do/solve. If i am not wrong, Oi Gioi Oi is almost same “Oh My God” in English in term of usage. The first word “Oi” shows sudden yelling out. The second word “Gioi” is almost same God in term of word usage in Vietnamese mind. And the last word “Oi” with different pronunciation and actually different word with the first word “Oi”. This word is just a calling word to others. In fact, “Oi Gioi Oi” nowadays is rarely used in daily conversation in official/formal conversation however it is used popular in the context that we call “street life” where anything can happen in variety ways. It shows that Ian Paython was really close to Vietnamese people, life and culture. Thank you very much for that such whole-heated motions. In my opinion, “North Viet Nam, stands up, let’s go” is fine. I knew that in foreigners’ mind, there are still many misunderstandings on the relations between North and South of Viet Nam. But in fact, we are now one Viet Nam country. And we did not fight South of Viet Nam in the historical war. We fought the one who stood behind and caused the war to get independence and peace for one Viet Nam as in the old history of this country. This song is talking about the beautiful city Hanoi where the composer lived in and loved. Thank you!

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Rain Bows
said on August 20, 2012

Good morning Spotlight,
I like the rhythm of the song Oi Gioi Oi. It is quite cool.
I enjoyed today’s program.
Thanks for sharing,
Sofía Miketta,
Manta-Ecuador.

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Jackblack
said on August 20, 2012

I’m totally agree with anhnt2407’s explanation. Vietnamese people usually use this sentence. Vietnam is a beautiful country with diverse of cultural, people and especially a proud history. When you come to Vietnam you should try street foods, because it’s very very delicious. Vietnam nowadays is the one and independent country with one goverment. This is a beautiful and peaceful place that you should try to visit.

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vuthanhk83@gmail.com
said on August 22, 2012

Thanks a lot to this program. It’s verry funny about Hanoi -capital of my country. so all friends on the world if you have time you should visit Vietname. It must be time for you enjoy and discovery strange things in my country. hope to see you soon. Thank you.

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kenhieuloilam
said on August 23, 2012

In Vietnam there is also a song like this:
“- Being near each other, giving each other trust, love, human love. Being near each other, giving each other trust, love, do not be deceiful. Being near each other, giving each other human sight. Giving love to each other, building in human love.
- If forest changed its green leaves away, if ocean ran out of its great water we would still love each other forever”.
The song can be slowly sung and at finish time and seems a little sad then. Everyone stands in a circle, crossing arms, hand in hand, beating arms following the song. The song is sung as reminding words of loving each other in the life. Love connects everyone together. Love and forgiveness build the life.

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HerShey
said on August 23, 2012

Although i`m not in Viet Nam now,I still proud that I`m Vietnamese

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georgino
said on August 24, 2012

Yeah..  I liked the sound ¨ Oi Goi Oi´  I had never heard this song, but when you are watching the video It’s beautiful, because I see the city and people in Vietnam singing this rap.. and all over the world now..
I hope anytime to visit this city and to know somethig about their customs.
It’s a good way to get peace between people in the world.
Good luck Guys ,,
Thanks..

AlexisXavier's avatar
AlexisXavier
said on August 25, 2012

I like the song Oi Gioi Oi. I like this kind of program

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honnhon
said on August 27, 2012

i’m Vietnamese, but i don’t have ocation to come Ha Noi. Thanks for program, i feel Ha Noi - one of my country is old history and beautiful. One day, i hope to go Ha Noi-capital of Vietnam

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Tran Khanh Chi
said on September 06, 2012

oh, this song is so funny. Love Ha Noi very much!

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phoebe.hp.81@gmail.com
said on October 07, 2013

Me too. I totally agree with ‘anhnt2407’. ... in foreigners’ mind, there are still many misunderstandings on both Vietnam and Vietnamese

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phoebe.hp.81@gmail.com
said on October 07, 2013

When reading the title “Song about Hanoi”, suddenly I think : maybe Spotlight wrote about pretty songs of Hanoi Autumn or songs of Hanoi City. The songs are beautiful. Why don’t Spotlight write about them?... And I think everyone who lives in any place in the world will certainly love Hanoi, if they come. You’re welcome to go to Hanoi! ^ ^

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kxuanvn
said on October 07, 2013

I’m very impressive on the title of song. I didn’t think this little saying would become a subject & title of a song. Although, I always say “oi troi oi ” instead of “oi gioi oi “. In another point, this song is still so familiar with a funny rhythm. There are many beautiful cities in VN. I think Ian Paynton, J.C. Smith and Hanoi Funkmaster should try to discover our another cities in VN next time. I hope I will hear another special song of other cities. For example a song about HCM city where I live .... Anyway, I must say both of you guys doing a good job. I like this song. Thanks for that.

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tranthitrangtelcom
said on October 09, 2013

I live in Hanoi and as a Vietnamese. Although Hanoi is crowded, busy and noisy, I love Hanoi so much. Hanoi is a beauthiful place. I like autumn in Hanoi when I go for a walk with Sua flower. I think “Oi gioi oi” is my oath like as other people in Vietnam. Like people in other countries often say ” oh, my god”. I think “Oi gioi oi”  is a special Vietnamese’s character.

Lai Huyen Clover's avatar
Lai Huyen Clover
said on October 10, 2013

I love Ha Noi, I love Vietnam hú hú
“Oi gioi oi”~ so cute a song ^^

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chocolate
said on October 20, 2014

I’m living in Ha Noi. This is a beautiful city, especial at night.
This is a interesting place to visit.

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anh_thy
said on October 20, 2014

“Oi Gioi Oi” :)
I like this topic very much !
I’m Vietnamese and I also love my capital, despite not visiting it. Welcome everyone to Vietnam as well as Ha Noi!
Thanks Spotlight very much!

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suong xk
said on October 20, 2014

wellcom my country all you guys !  I’ve been living in Ha Noi for four years and I love Ha Noi so much. Even though it’s difficult to live here for a student have just graduated like me. But i hope i’ll find a good job to pay for my life in Ha Noi ^^

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Mss Flamboyant
said on October 21, 2014

It is a funny song. I love its rhythm and tune. It is a few interesting things about Hanoi city. If you have chance to visit Hanoi I am sure you will discover more and more special features. welcome to Hanoi.

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Michael Adam
said on November 05, 2014

I’m An Vietnamese, I Really Love That ‘‘Oi Gioi Oi’’ Song. ‘‘Oi Gioi Oi’’ means ‘‘Oh My God’‘. Full Form Of It: Ôi Giời Ơi ! Ha Ha Ha. Let’s Enjoy The Song.

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huudinh.bmt@gmail.com
said on November 07, 2014

The ” Oi gioi Oi’ ‘s very funy! I like song verymuch. There is only in Ha Noi. i love Ha Noi very much

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thanhdung07121985@gmail.com
said on January 03, 2015

I don’t have opportunity to go to Ha noi yet.But I know this is the great place most of people want to go especially foreigner to enjoy beauty and pace of life.Ha Noi people are very friendly and hospitable.Climate is good with full of 4 seasons.I like spring at here so much.I wish I will come here one day not far.Thanks for foreigner love and write a song about Ha Noi!

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Nguyen Dang Manh Hung
said on February 02, 2015

Thanks for spotlightenglish. This is the first lesson i learned. I really interesting what i heard. i’ve ever heard this song but i didn’t like it. After hearing this post i really like it because i knew that these men sang this song as they love Viet Nam. :)

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datnguyenvan
said on March 12, 2015

it’s very fun.thanks spotlighenglish

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Ngoc Nhung
said on September 09, 2015

In fact, the Vietnamese say: “Oi Gioi Oi” as the Americans say, “Oh My God”

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thuongautumn
said on October 21, 2015

I have been Hanoi for over a year, but I don’t know the funny song about Hanoi ” Oi Gioi Oi”. Thank ” Spotlight English”  for giving me more and more interesting information.
I really like enjoying this program.
Thank you very much.

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huyquoc
said on March 22, 2016

They describe something about they don’ t like or surprise when they talk “oi gioi oi” !

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on March 26, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To:spotlight
Subject: to answer the question above
Date: Saturday 26, March 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Liz Waid and Adam Navis:

First, I want to thank you by one interesting matter that you have produced for us.  I think this song is very fun and interesting mainly for people that like to dance.
Ye, I am. because we can find everything that we want to. It makes me proud beacuse it is a large city and it has several intereting things for us to enjoy them. Such as: Universities, big stores to buy anything that we want to, supermarkets to buy anything about food, open - air markets to buy many fresh vegetables and fruits, parks to walk with our dogs and cats, and good things there are here in São Paulo city. However, here in São Paulo city there are many bad things too that are dangerous so we have to be worried and to pay attention about them. For examples: here in São Paulo city there are so many criminals, thieves, drugs users, and others. Therefore, we have the POLICE so the Police officers are always trying to protect us against these bad people. Here in Brazil the Police clothes’ color are in gray and black shoes. Also, they use a gun on their waist. Besides, we should avoid to walk on dark streets and crowd place where there are so many people.  because in these place there are so many thieves to steal our wallets, clocks, jewels in gold, and etc.

All the best,
Severino Ramos
Brazil

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wyona
said on April 11, 2016

i do proud my country just simply because this is a palace where i was born and i grew up, it has given me the way how to life and how to be a people as i am now. And this is the place with my family. my people, we are very proud of VietNam

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NTTCNQH
said on May 11, 2016

it’s an interesting audio

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like a fool
said on August 25, 2016

this is my first lesson about listening, so I can’t get all the context because there are a lot new word for me. but i think i will try so hard. maybe someday i will get all the context, and i hope that day will come soon :))

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hangnt95
said on September 18, 2016

Thanks for the song!
oi gioi oi :))))

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phuongneko
said on October 06, 2016

i can’t find it,please help me or give its link