Oh yes, before Taylor Swift graced her die-hard fans and her casual fans with her song “Karma” from her new album Midnights, Taiwanese pop-singer Jolin Tsai put out a song called “Karma” for her adoring fans in 2019. The songs have different melodies and styles, so this post is not about why Taylor couldn’t have picked a different word for her song (Neither “fate” nor “destiny” have the same ring to it).
The Chinese title of Jolin Tsai’s song is “你也有今天,” which literally means “you also have today,” and I’m wondering if there’s also a connotation of “you’ll get what’s coming to you.” None of my Chinese school teachers ever taught us how to talk about “karma” in idioms, so I can’t be sure.
If you have no idea what to make of the shirtless men, sometimes fighting, sometimes dancing, and clearly making Jolin feel very uncomfortable (in the context of the mv) only to have an “oh, okay, that happens” at the end of it, the clues are the quote and dedication at the beginning of the video:
Who is the Queen of Anatahan? Atlas Obscura will tell you all about her and the island.
Though Jolin’s “Karma” does not make me think of Taylor’s “Karma” at all, it does recall this Cpop song called “Trouble” by XIAO featuring Jacob from the no-longer-active Kpop group VAV.
Whilst I’m still on the topic of different songs in different languages that came out some years apart with the same title, before there was Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face“, there was Ayumi Hamasaki’s “Poker Face.”