ToNick @tonick_official is a four-man band based in Hong Kong well-known for their frequent performances in local universities and down-to-earth lyrics. Started off in pop-punk, the band has been gradually exploring other genres and styles, with their efforts finally paying off after their song 長相廝守 swept local music charts, won the Ultimate My Favorite Song in Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation 2017, and was nominated for the Best Original Film Song in the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards.
Released during the height of the COVID-19, Tricky Button marked ToNick’s official return to the pop-punk genre. The titular characters “掣度 zai3 dou6” (on the button) has the same pronunciation as “制度 zai3 dou6” (system). Thus, although the lyrics were about the fear of pressing buttons amid the pandemic, the band was also ridiculing the inefficient system and policies set by the Hong Kong government.
The song is full of vernacular Cantonese. We’ve selected only a few expressions:
I want to buy [bathroom tissue], but I don’t even dare to touch the button (撳掣 gam6 zai3) in the elevator (𨋢 lip1, from British English “lift”) and go out (落街, lok6 gaai1)
To buy masks, I used up my entire fortune - 用哂 jung6 saai3 means to “use something something up”
Bus or minibus, [I don’t press the “stop” button,] I let it skip the stop (飛站 fei1 zaam6)
If I can’t make it to work on time (趕唔切 gon2 m4 cit3), I just call in sick (射波 se6 bo1, lit. “to shoot a ball,” sounds similar to 卸膊, se3 bok3, i.e. to shirk responsibility).
Even if there is fire, no one will press the fire alarm bell [火警鐘 fo2 ging2 zung1, required by HK’s law in every large building]
Stop giving a damn and let all be gone with the wind!
If you like this song, check out:
T.O.N.I.C.K. — ToNick
你對我已經唔係好似以前咁 — ToNick / Don’t Talk about Past La Talk about the Future La — ToNick
放大假 — Dear Jane @dearjaneofficial
心深傷透 — 陳奕迅 Eason Chan @mreasonchan