In a recent interview with the New York Times, saxophone superstar Kenny G gave his two cents on China’s unexplainable love affair with his 1989 hit tune “Going Home”, a smooth jazz ballad that has, over the years, become an unofficial “closing time” anthem across the country.
At some point within the past two decades ,”Going Home” seeped into Chinese society and grew to become an omnipresent force, often heard blaring from speakers at shopping malls, in schools, markets, and train stations, and usually as a cue for the public to, as the song says, go home.
WSJ points out that recently, the song was heard playing repeatedly over the crowds of shoppers at Beijing’s famous Panjiyuan Antiques Market for nearly an hour and a half as closing time approached.
When asked about the tune, one manager at the market said it’s been used there since 2000. “Isn’t it just played everywhere?” she asked.
Speaking on the phenomenon, Kenny G seemed unfazed that the song plays nonstop in China without bringing in a penny:
He has since performed in China many times, including on a five-city tour last fall. But he could provide no further insight into his music’s popularity there.
“I don’t ask questions because I like to leave some of the mystery,” he said.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referenced the source of this story. This has been corrected.