Mouse Loves Rice — 老鼠爱大米 (Lao Shu Ai Da Mi)
– An Introduction to the Song
Billed as the first successful “web song,” Mouse Loves Rice became an instant viral hit as it spread rapidly across Asia after its sensational debut on the Internet in 2004. With deceptively simple lyrics and a run-of-the-mill melody, Mouse Loves Rice is not a conventional love song, given that it humorously portrays love from the perspective of a mouse and its passion for rice. This unusual and whimsical treatment of love proved wildly successful and made this song a classic in China and much of the Chinese speaking regions of Asia and was translated into many languages.
In the film “Ricki’s Promise,” however, this simple, fun pop song takes on a much deeper meaning as it becomes hauntingly symbolic of the gut-wrenching love and loss in this story. When Ricki first went to China in 2005 to reunite with her lost birth family, Mouse Loves Rice was newly released and gaining momentum and popularity. Ricki learned and sang the song with her younger brother. During her visit this time years later, the film shows Ricki and her family singing the same song again, but in a much different, bittersweet light. The film concludes with Ricki, with tears welling in her eyes, singing this song on the phone with her birth mom. The lyrics take on another dimension, echoing her yearnings and complex emotions for her mom and birth family through this song.
As we wrap up this major documentary film, our crew is working on a new idea about this special piece of music. Ricki now is on her way to the stage where she will accompany a children’s choir and college students in a musical production of Mouse Loves Rice in a music video to accompany the film.