China song-writers decry "unhealthy" pop tunes

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BEIJING, Oct 24 (Reuters) A group of conservative Chinese songwriters has denounced the emergence of ''vulgar'' pop music on the Internet which they say is poisoning youth with weird lyrics and lustful themes.

The 40 composers, some of who have written songs for Peng Liyuan, a famous singer married to Shanghai Communist Party boss Xi Jinping, signed a petition calling for a boycott of unhealthy online music and vowed to improve young people's music appreciation through their own ''outstanding'' output.

''Music workers should firmly observe the socialist honours and disgraces,'' a transcript of the petition carried by the official People's Daily Web site (www.people.com.cn) said, referring to a 2006 campaign launched by Communist Party chief Hu Jintao to instil moral values in society.

''(They should) resist the incursion of unseemly content, abandon vulgarity ... and work hard to compose outstanding online works that the people, and especially the broader youth, love to hear.'' With state television and radio broadcasts limited to bombastic patriotic blasts from the past and benign pop, the popularity of online music has exploded in China.

China's censors have so far failed to control the Internet, despite a massive surveillance machine and government campaigns to stamp out ''unhealthy content''.

The petition was signed at a seminar held by the official Chinese Music Association last Friday during the recently concluded Communist Party Congress, the newspaper said.

Delegates singled out online hits, including ''Na Yi Ye'' -- ''That One Night'' -- by Xie Jun, a song about a couple who get drunk and spend the night together.

''That one night you didn't refuse me!/That one night I hurt you/That one night you were all tears,'' are the raciest lyrics.

The attack on vulgar online music follows campaigns against online pornography and bans on crass reality TV shows and ''sexual sounds'' on the country's air-waves.

REUTERS ARB RAI1354

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