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Dia Mal Ka / Foot on Tar (點仔膠)

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My friend Ya Yun has introduced me to great Taiwanese songs over the last decade. This song is about stepping on sticky tar and then smelling hot stew that makes your mouth water. For me, the smell of food always takes me on a journey -- one of comfort or fond memories or adventure. This is an homage to the great meals that have brought us all together. The brilliant vocalist and percussionist Sayun Chang sings this with me.

See full lyric video playlist on YouTube

Learn & Create

Cooking, eating and sharing food can bring up many stories and memories. It can also be a very imaginative process. Find someone who can share a recipe and a story with you.

Draw or write what you hear with your own imagination.


Written by Shi-Fu Zhen, Arranged by Elena Moon Park


Dia mal ka, liam dio ka

點仔膠, 粘到腳

Geoh ah ba, bue dee ka

叫阿爸, 買豬腳

Dee ka Ku ka gun nua nua


Yao guee guin na lao tsui nua 


We ramble down a crooked street,

the melting tar sticks to our feet,

beneath a sky so blue, the smell of cooking stew

reminds us of the places we once knew

We wander near and far,

guided by a star

we put our foot on tar

and think of all the places we once knew


Sayun Chang, vocals, percussion
Angélica Negrón, electronics
Alex Asher, trombone
Nathan Koci, trumpet
Rob Friedman, electric guitar
Yoshi Waki, upright bass
Colin Brooks, drums
Elena Moon Park, vocals, jarana


Sayun Chang (left), photo by Alexia Webster

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