SingWithDonna.com


I'm Donna Tang. Curious about Chinese music? This is the right place for you! I'm here singing popular Chinese songs for you, with English translations and explanation of their background cultures. You'll discover how beautiful & unique Chinese music is when you start to listen.

Chinese people have always been curious about music from other countries, so I also sing popular songs from other countries, in Chinese!

China has 56 ethnic groups. 92% of Chinese population is "Han" (the majority group I belong to), and there are 55 minorities. Each has its own music flavor. Also, each of China's regions has its own music flavor & its own local operas. Those are endless treasures. Here's just a taste of them.

I also give you a few English songs (mainly Christmas songs) and one Latin song.

Altogether, you can hear me sing 46 songs in Chinese, English, and Latin. The songs fall into these 5 categories, which you can click:

20 Chinese songs, with English translation
9 Chinese-minority songs, with English translation
8 Foreign songs in Chinese, with English translation
8 Songs in English
1 Song in Latin

More songs are coming. To hear me (or with my partners) sing a song, click the song's underlined title.

If you have suggestions or comments, email me. You're also welcome to see the book I co-authored.


Chinese songs with English translation
非少数民族歌曲

At WeSing.com, which is online karaoke, tens of millions of singers (mostly amateurs) sing songs and publish there. People can also publish part of a song, for others to join and finish, with harmony, etc. One good song will attract a lot of people to join in. The partners who sing together don't know each other.

To hear a song, click the song's underlined title.

As I Look At The Moon 望月


This was originally sung by China's most famous singer, Song Zuying, composed by Ying Qing, lyrics by Guo Feng.

Here's my translation of the lyrics, which you may feel romantic in a silly way, but that's the Chinese style. As you know more Chinese songs, you'll get used to it. My translation mainly tries to stick to the original words & style, sometimes sacrificing the rhyme.

As I look at the moon, I think of you.
As I look at you, I think of the moon.
The most beautiful thing in the world
Is the moon,
But even more beautiful is - you!

In the days without you, I often look at the moon.
The soft moonlight resembles your appearance.
The moon comforts my heart.
My tears soaked the moonlight.

The moon is in the sky
But I'm on the ground -
Just like you're at the end of the seas,
And I'm in a corner of the world.
No matter how high the moon rises,
It can't go higher than the sky.
No matter how far away you go,
You can't go out of my mind.

As I look at the moon, I think of you.
As I look at you, I think of the moon.
The most beautiful thing in the world
Is the moon,
But even more beautiful is - you!

On a Sunny Spring Day 九九艳阳天


This is a Chinese old movie theme song, much hotter than the movie itself. The movie is about World War 2. An 18-year-old guy is leaving hometown to join the army to fight Japanese invaders.

In this performance, the male voice is the top Chinese folksinger, Yan Weiwen. When I sang this song, I kept his part.

The song was composed by Gao Ruxing, lyrics by Hu Shiyan & Huang Zhongjiang.

My translation of the lyrics:

Woman:
On a sunny spring day,
The 18-year-old guy is sitting by the riverside.
The east breeze blowing, the windmill turning,
Bean flowers fragrant, wheat plants fresh,
The windmill singing yi-ya-ya,
Why wouldn't my boyfriend say a word?

Man:
On a sunny spring day,
The 18-year-old boy wants to join the army.
The windmill was turning with the east wind.
"I would miss you, little Yinglian.
If the wind is not straight-on, the windmill can hardly turn.
Before I make up my mind, how can I say a word?"

Man:
On a sunny spring day,
The 18-year-old guy told little Yinglian,
"If I leave, I'll go over mountains and across seas.
I won't be able to come back for two or three years.
The guns would be like a forest and raining bullets,
We won't see each other until the day of victory."

Woman:
On a sunny spring day,
"18-year-old, please listen to little Yinglian,
Even if you go tens of thousands of miles away,
Even if you're not back in eight or ten years,
So long as you don't forget me,
I'll wait for you to come back
With red flowers awarded on your chest."

Good Days 好日子


This is often sung at holidays or good events. It was originally sung by Song Zuying, China's most famous female singer. As I Look At the Moon was also originally sung by her.

Hear me sing with a tenor from WeSing.com.

My translation of the lyrics:

Hey!
The exciting drums beat for yearly celebrations.
The beautiful dances bring us jubilations.
The bright sunshine colors our days.
Our smiling faces are life's flowers.

Hey!
Today is a good day;
All your wishes will come true!
Today is a good day;
Let's open our doors and greet the spring breeze.

Hey!
The outdoor red lanterns show the prosperity.
The beautiful songs express dear feelings.
The moonlight brightens tomorrow.
The beautiful world is in our hearts.

Hey!
Tomorrow is another good day.
Time is priceless; we can't just wait.
Tomorrow is another good day.
Catching the good years,
Peace and prosperity, let's enjoy!

Today is a good day;
All your wishes will come true.
Tomorrow is another good day;
Time is priceless; we can't just wait.
Today and tomorrow are both good days.
Catching the good years,
Peace and prosperity, let's enjoy!

Miangui Flower 棉桂花开十里香


This is an old movie theme song and love song, composed by Zhang Lichang, with lyrics by Pan Zheng. The duet's beautiful melody may melt your heart!

My translation of the lyrics:

Woman:
Burmese Osmanthus flowers bloom with frangrance miles away.
The flowers symbolize love.

Man:
If wearing flowers, you must do so all year round.
Don't throw the flowers roadside.

Woman:
Ah Ge*, one can't cross a river without a bridge;
I can't read my dad's mind.

Man:
Without a bridge, we’ll wade across the river,
As long as you love me wholeheartedly.

Both:
The one in my heart is so dear,
The moon and stars act as the matchmaker.
Scimitar or hatchet can't cut it apart,
Dear lovers will never be separated!
Dear lovers will never be separated!

*Ah Ge: Some Chinese minority call boyfriend as “Ah Ge.”

Yimeng Mountain Melody 沂蒙山小调


This is one of the most famous Chinese folk songs. Yimeng is a mountain area in Shandong province, famous for its heroic history in the anti-Japanese war. It’s also famous for its beautiful scenery.

My translation of the lyrics:

Everybody says Yimeng Mountains are amazing.
Yimeng Mountains have beautiful scenery.

Green mountains and rivers
Are so pleasant to your eyes.
As wind blows across the grassland,
Cattle and sheep appear in sight.

Sorghum is red, and rice flowers fragrant.
Full loads of rice fill the granaries.

Everybody says Yimeng Mountains are amazing.
Yimeng Mountains have beautiful scenery.

Honghu Lake 洪湖水浪打浪


This is a theme song from a movie about the Chinese revolution. The movie is Honghu Lake Red Guard. This song was one of the most popular woman-duet folk songs, with beautiful melody, a picture-like scene in front of you. It describes the beautiful Honghu Lake, the rice fields around it, and the happy life of the people in this "fish & rice" town.

My translation of the lyrics:

Honghu Lake, waves beating waves,
The bank of the lake is my hometown.
At dawn, boats go out, casting nets,
Coming back at sunset full of fish,
With wild ducks, lotus roots everywhere,
Boats of grain, nice smells.
Everybody says the most beautiful place is heaven;
It can't compare with our "fish & rice" town!

Honghu Lake, water broad and long,
With sun shining on,
The waves reflect gold light.
Fishermen are gonna have a better and better year!
Better and better life!

I Sent You A Little Poem 我送你一首小诗


This is 1980s popular song. The romantic poem spreads a beautiful picture before your eyes. That's why I love it!

This poem was not written with pen and paper. Find out with what.

My translation of the lyrics:

I'll send you a little poem.
I'll write of sheep on the grassland
And write of stars in the sky.
My little poem
Will use the endless running spring to recite to you,
And murmur to you by the drizzling rain.

I'll send you a little poem.
I'll write of seagulls over the blue waves
And write of sun rising over the horizon.
My little poem
Will use the endless running spring to recite to you,
And murmur to you by the drizzling rain.

Mao's Poem 蝶恋花 答李淑一


Mao Zhedong (1893-1976) was the founder of P.R. China, a great revolutionary and one of the greatest Chinese poets of all times. Li Shuyi, Mao’s fellow revolutionary, wrote a poem to memorialize her husband Liu, who died for the revolution. Mao read it. To reply, Mao wrote a poem about his wife Yang, who sacrificed her life for the revolution too. The poem was very well known by almost everybody in China.

The song is in Shuzhou-area opera style, normally sung by one or two singers, playing the string instrument pipa with it.

The poem’s first sentence mentioned Yang (sounds like poplar tree in Chinese) and Liu (sounds like willow tree).

My translation of the lyrics:

I lost my precious poplar(Yang), and you lost your Liu(willow),
They both floated high up to the ninth heaven.
Ask Wu Gang* at the moon what he could offer,
Wu Gang brought the osmanthus-flower wine.
The lonely fairy Chang Er* danced with her long and broad sleeves,
In the boundless sky for the loyal and heroic spirits.
Suddenly news came from the earth,
The tiger* was defeated!
Tears flew like pouring rain.

*In Chinese fairy tales, Wu Gang was the moon's gate watcher. Chang Er was a fairy living in the moon. "Tiger" here means anti-revolutionary powers.

Old Times 往日时光


This is a Chinese song but with Russian flavor. Chinese has a long history of friendship with Russian. Almost everybody of older generations can sing a few Russian songs with Chinese lyrics.

My translation of the lyrics:

Life’s most beautiful collection
Is the old times,
Though we were so poor then
As to have nothing but fun
With old shabby clothes on.

In a snowy winter in Hailar,
Songs came from three-horse carts.
On a warm summer night by the Eaming River,
Accordion sound was floating over.

Now we all look different,
Bustling around every day to make a living.
But as long as you think of the old times,
Your eyes are full of light.

Life’s most beautiful collection
Is the old times.
Friends raised beer bottles,
With just half a sausage on the table.

We used to be best buddies,
Sharing happiness and sadness.
We always sang “Oh Farewell, Friends”
And the “Suburban Moscow’s Evening.”

Now we all look different,
Bustling around every day to make a living.
But as long as you think of the old times,
Your eyes are full of light.

Walking on a Country Road 走在乡间的小路上


This song's music & lyrics were by Taiwan’s famous musician Ye Jiaxiu and published in 1978. In 1980, the song came to mainland China and became hot.

The late 1970’s and the 1980s were when Taiwan pop songs got into mainland China. They were a breath of fresh air, blowing to every corner of the land. For the first time since 1949, people there heard pop Chinese songs. They're so different from revolutionary songs. They sound so natural, true, and dear!

Later, mainland China started making its own modern pop songs. Now pop songs are a major part of Chinese music.

My translation of the lyrics:

I’m walking on the country road,
Accompanied by the old cow toward home.
Blue sky decorated by the sunset filled my heart;
Colorful clouds are clothes of the sinking sun.

A farmer carrying a digging hoe on shoulder,
A little cattle herder’s singing sways over,
Oh, oh, as he sings,
With a bamboo flute playing somewhere,

Smile on face, whistling a country song,
Let my thoughts fly in the twilight wind.
All depressions and melancholy blown away,
Lost in the little country road.

I Love You, China 我爱你,中国


This song was from the movie “Overseas Child,” in the early 1980s. Composed by Zheng Qiufeng, lyrics by Qu Zhong, originally sung by famous soprano Ye Peiying, it’s still a hot soprano song in China.

My translation of the lyrics:

Larks are flying in the blue sky.
I love you, China!

I love you, China!
I love your vigorous young plants in the spring;
I love your golden bountiful fruits in the autumn.
I love your green pine temperament;
I love your red-plum flower spirits.
I love you, my hometown’s sugar cane;
Its juice nurtures my heart,
Like mother’s milk.
I love you, China!
I’ll sing a most beautiful song for you -
My mother, my homeland!

I love you, China!
I love your south sea’s blue rolling waves;
I love your north country’s white snowflakes.
I love your boundless forests;
I love your towering mountains.
I love your running creeks,
With clear waves flowing through my dream!

I love you, China!
I’ll devote my most beautiful youth to you--
My mother, my homeland!
Oh!
I’ll devote my most beautiful youth to you--
My mother, my homeland!

Campus Morning 校园的早晨


This was a famous campus song in 1980s. Music by Gu Jianfen, lyrics by Gao Feng. Original singers were Wang Jieshi and Xie Lisi.

My translation of the lyrics:

Along the familiar campus trail,
I came to the little tree,
To read in the early morning.
The rising sun’s shining on my face
And on the little tree by me as well.

My dear buddy, dear little tree,
Share the sun and dew with me.
Let’s remember this beautiful time.
Together let’s grow into giants!

When You're Old 当你老了


This song was composed and originally sung by Zhao Zhao. But the lyrics came from the Irish poet William Butler Yeats’ poem “When You’re Old” (written in 1893), rewritten in Chinese, with music, by Zhao Zhao.

This song was published and got hot right away in 2015.

My translation of the lyrics:

When you’re old and grey,
Drowsy and sleepy,
When you’re old, steps quivering,
Nodding by the fireplace,
Recall the old days,
How many people loved your moments of glad grace
And loved your beauty,
With love false or true.
Only one man loves the pilgrim soul in you
And loves the wrinkles on your old face.

When you’re old
With drooping eyes and brows,
The candle lights are dim and shaking.
When a breeze brings news of you,
That is the song of my heart.

When I’m old,
I really hope
This song is sung for you!

Flowing Creek 小河淌水


This folk song was originally from Mizhi, a town in Yunan province in southwest China. Music and lyrics were edited/organized by the local musician Mr. Yin Yigong in 1947. When Mr. Yin was away from home, the original shepherd folk song’s beautiful melody reminded him of his hometown’s moon, mountain, woods and creek. Then he wrote down and edited the melodies & lyrics. His version became one of the most famous folk songs in China.

My translation of the lyrics:

The moon is up in the sky, shining and bright.
I’m thinking of my man in the mountainside.
You’re like the moon, walking up in the sky.
Oh, Ah Ge*…!!!
At the foot of the mountain
The clear river is flowing by.

The moon shines on the mountainside.
Seeing the moon, I think of my guy.
A breeze is gently blowing by.
Do you know I’m calling out for Ah Ge?
“Oh, Ah Ge…!!!”
Do you know I’m calling out for Ah Ge?

*Ah Ge: Some Chinese minority call boyfriend as “Ah Ge.”

Song of 4 Seasons 四季歌


This is a 1930s song, also a movie theme song. The song expresses homesickness, the missing or lost families that people suffered in the war defending against Japan.

My translation of the lyrics:

Spring is here. Green fills the window.
The girl is embroidering Mandarin ducks [always in pairs]
By the window.
Suddenly strikes a ruthless rod,
Scatters the birds apart.

Summer comes. Willow branches are long.
The girl roams to the River Yangzi.
Places on both banks are so beautiful,
But still can't compare to the sorghum green gauze
In my northern hometown.

Autumn comes. Lotus flowers are fragrant in pond.
The girl dreams every night of her hometown
But wakes up to find parents nowhere;
Just the moon hangs out there.

Winter comes. Snow is everywhere.
She's sowing a coat for her lover.
The blood-flesh-made Great Wall thousands of miles long,
"I would be the ancient time's little Meng Jiang*."

*A story says that in the Qin Dynasty, over 2000 years ago, when the Great Wall was being built, a woman named Meng Jiang traveled from far away to the Great Wall to deliver a winter coat to her husband, only to find her husband already dead. Meng Jiang cried days and nights there. Eventually the Great Wall fell.

Little Bamboo Backpack 小背篓


My translation of the lyrics:

Little bamboo backpack rocking gently,
In laughter Mom carried me down
From the suspended wood house.
First time in the green mountain,
I tasted wild fruits.
First time in the stream,
I washed my little hands.
First time I went to farmers market,
And saw the big world in the mountains.
First time I went to the riverbank
And saw the dragon boats racing.
Oh, my childhood
And unforgettable Mom’s little bamboo backpack!

Little backpack round and cute.
In her singing Mom carried me down
From the suspended wood house.
Many times in Grandma’s house,
We BBQ the Ciba* cake.
Many times by the bridge,
I heard folk-song singing.
Many times sleeping in the backpack,
I peed and wet Mom’s back.
Many times I climbed out of the backpack,
And walked with my little bare feet.
Oh, My childhood
And unforgettable Mom’s little backpack,
With so much happiness and love,
And so much thoughts and feelings.
Mom’s turn-around smiling face
Is still so sweet in my heart!

Story of Spring 春天的故事


Ode to Pear Flowers 梨花颂


My translation of the lyrics:

Pear flowers bloom in spring
With drops of rain.
Pear flowers fall into mud
together with spring.
The life is gone just for one man;
Even an emperor is so infatuation.
A born beauty
Is hard to be modest.
A born beauty
Is hard to be modest.
A song of Everlasting Regret
Left a thousand years of mystery.
A Song of Everlasting Regret
Left a thousand years of thinking!

Ask Zijuan 问紫娟


The questions and answers between Jia Baoyu and Zijuan.

My translation of the lyrics:

May I ask Zijuan,
Where’s Meimei’s* poet papers?
Like flapping butterflies
They’re melted in the fire.

May I ask Zijuan,
Where’s Meimei’s Yaoqing instrument?
The string was broken;
Don’t even mention it!

May I ask Zijuan,
Where’s Meimei’s flower hoe?
The hoe is there but who’d bury the flowers?

May I ask Zijuan,
Where’s Meimei’s parrot?
The parrot’s been calling her name,
And imitating her loving words.

Even the parrot knows about feelings and loyalty;

Human beings in the world are not as good!

*meimei: younger sister/girl, sometimes girlfriend.

Albizia Flower 绒花


Riddles 猜调


My translation of the lyrics:

Hi baby,
I have some riddles for you:
What is long in the sky?
What is long in the water?
What is long for sale in the street?
What is long in front of my girl?

Hi baby,
I have the answers for your riddles:
Galaxy is long in the sky.
Lotus is long in the water.
Rice noddle is long for sale in the street.
And silk thread is long in front of the girl.

Hi baby,
I have some riddles for you:
What is round in the sky?
What is round in the water?
What is round for sale in the street?
What is round in front of my girl?

Hi baby,
I have the answers for your riddles:
The moon is round in the sky.
Lotus leave is round in the water.
Ciba* bread is round for sale in the street.
The mirror is round in front the girl.

*Ciba is a kind of bread made of sticky rice powder.


Chinese-minority songs with English translation
少数民族歌曲

China's majority ethnic group is Han, which I belong to. Besides Han, China has 55 minorities, mainly living in the Northwest & Southwest areas. Minorities have their own rich cultures, including their own languages and music; but all minorities can speak Mandarin.

Chinese minorities' love songs are among the most beautiful songs in the whole world. Besides beautiful melodies, they often use metaphors to show love indirectly, which is more romantic.

Northwest minority music has a different flavor than the Southwest's. Northwest-minority music sounds similar to Middle Eastern music. It sounds a little exotic to most Chinese ears. Southwest-minority music has a softer, milder melody. Music by the Han majority varies by geography also. I'll gradually add more songs from different areas. You can feel the different styles of each part of China.

Why is the Flower So Red? 花儿为什么这样红

Chinese Northwest-minority Tajik folk song (a movie theme song)

The 1960s movie The Guests from Icy Mountain was a big hit, but its songs were even hotter! They were sung through the years, still loved by all, but this one has been the most popular.

In this performance, the male voice is China's famous singer Dao Lang. The photo's also of him. That's why this song's male voice is so outstanding!

My translation of the lyrics:

M: Why is the flower so red?
Why is it so red?
It's as red as fire.
It's the symbol of pure friendship and love.

F: Why is the flower so fresh?
Why is it so fresh?
It's so fresh that I'm reluctant to leave.
It was watered by young lives' blood.
(M&F repeat second verse)

A Lovely Rose 可爱的一朵玫瑰花

Chinese Northwest-minority Kazakhstan folk song

This song was written by China’s “King of Western Chinese Song,” Wang Luobing (1913-1996). He composed over 1000 songs, many of them are extremely popular in China. Most of songs are with Northwest minority flavor. Those songs are so beautiful that he is considered the Father of Chinese West Songs.

In this song's lyrics, a young man sings to an attractive girl, then she sings back. But because the song is so beautiful, it's a popular solo: some men like to sing the whole song; so do some women.

For this performance, I joined another woman, who's very popular in WeSing.com. She sings the harmony while I sing the melody. We got a lot of praise for this song.

My translation of the lyrics:

What a lovely rose - Salimaria!
The other day while I was riding a horse,
Hunting on the mountain,
Your singing came over.
It rose up to the clouds.
It so distracted me, I tumbled down the hill;
Oh, your beautiful song echoed up to the clouds.

Strong and handsome young Kazakhstani, Evanudar.
Tonight please cross the river and come to my house.
Better feed your horse first and bring your Dongbula guitar.
When the moon has risen, plunk your strings.
We'll sit leaning on each other,
Singing under the tree, ah-yah-yah!

Mayila 玛依拉

Chinese Northwest-minority Kazakhstan folk song, in coloratura-soprano style

Here's another song by China’s “King of Western Chinese Song,” Wang Luobing. This song was originally a woman's simple solo, then made into a fancier coloratura-soprano style. At WeSing.com, somebody turned it into a karaoke duet, where even a man sings woman's words; it still sounds great, with the exciting background music.

This is the first time I'm singing coloratura-soprano style, not too confidently. I tried all my power, yelling, breathless.... Hopefully it won't hurt your eardrums. Ha, ha, ha!

My translation of the lyrics:

People call me Mayila, poet Mayila.
With white teeth, good voice, singer Mayila.
When I'm happy, I sing a song and play Dongbula guitar.
Passersby gather under my roof.
Mayila, Mayila, la-la-la!

I'm a Wahli girl, named Mayila.
My white handkerchief has roses embroidered on all 4 edges.
Young Kazakhstani all admire me.
Whose voice can compare with mine?
Mayila, Mayila, la-la-la!

White handkerchief with roses embroidered on all 4 edges.
Waiting for my lover to play Dongbula guitar.
Young Kazakhstani come to my home.
Whose voice can compare with mine?
Mayila, Mayila, la-la-la!

(repeat first verse)

Half Moon Climbing Up 半个月亮爬上来

Chinese Northwest-minority folk song

Here's another song by China’s “King of Western Chinese Song,” Wang Luobing.

My translation of the lyrics:

The half moon is climbing up,
Yi-la-la, climbing up.
Shining on my sweetheart’s dresser’s mirror,
Yi-la-la, her mirror.
Why won’t my girl come out?
Yi-la-la, won’t come out?
Please open your screened window,
Yi-la-la, open it now.
Then pick a rose of yours,
And gently throw it down.

A Beautiful Fresh Flower 一朵鲜花鲜又鲜

Chinese Southwest-minority folk song (a movie theme song)

The minority is called Sani. The movie is Ashima, about a beautiful Sani girl's fairy tale. At the movie's end, she becomes a stone statue in the famous Stone Forest in Yunnan province in China's southwest.

Music by Luo Zongxian & Ge Yan. Lyrics by Ge Yan & Liu Qing.

My translation of the lyrics:

M: What a beautiful fresh flower!
It's growing at the edge of the cliff.
I want to pick the flower
But fear the cliff's too high
And the flower won’t bloom.

F: What a beautiful fresh flower!
It’s growing at the edge of the cliff.
If you want to pick it,
Don’t be scared of the high cliff
Or if the flower won't bloom.

M: As long as the flower nods her head,
I won’t fear the high cliff or any danger.
I wonder what kind of person you're fond of,
With what kind of man you'll fall in love.

F: Green pine stands high and straight,
Never bends, would rather break.
Going up the mountain, he can hunt a tiger;
Pulling a bow, he can shoot an eagle.
Flowers blossom when he's dancing;
Birds gather when he plays his flute.
With this kind of man I'll fall in love.

M: Ashima, Ashima, you’re the flower in my heart!
F: So many stars shine in the sky.
M: I love only the brightest one!
F: So many flowers are all over the mountain in the spring.
M: I love only the reddest one!
F: The camellia flowers are as red as fire.
M: You’re the most beautiful one!
F: Sani girls are thousands and more.
M: You’re the only one I love!
You’re the only one I love!

Aobao Meeting 敖包相会

Inner Mongolian folk song

Music by Tong Fu, lyrics by Mongolian writer Malaqinfu. The song originally appeared in a movie, but the song became more famous than the movie and became one of the most popular classic duet folk songs in China.

You'll hear a special string instrument, called a "Matouqing," a 2-string instrument with a big resonance box. The deep, soft sound goes very well with the grassland atmosphere.

Aobao, in Mongolian language, is a big pile of stones on grassland and used as an altar.

My translation of the lyrics:

Man:
It’s the 15th of the month.
The moon is up in the sky.
Why there’s no cloud by its side?
I’m waiting for a beautiful girl,
You’re not here yet, why?

Woman:
Without rain from the sky,
Begonias won’t bloom by themselves.
If you wait patiently,
Your sweetheart will be here in no time.

By the Butterfly Stream 蝴蝶泉边

Minority Bai folk song

This is a theme song of an old movie “Five Golden Flowers”. It is about the minority Bai’s young man and woman’s love story, which happened in a beautiful place of Dali, Yunnan Province of southwest China. You’ll see again the minority songs’ beautiful melody and metaphor.

Music by Lei Zhengbang, lyrics by JI Kang.

My translation of the lyrics:

Woman:
Dali place is beautiful in March;
The Butterfly Stream is a good place to touch up her makeup.
Flowers are blooming,
And butterflies are picking nectar;
For what reason is Ahmei doing her makeup?

Man:
The Butterfly Stream is clear,
I drop a little stone to try the depth.
I want to pick the flower but afraid of the thorn,
So I'm lingering and hesitate.

Woman:
Don’t be afraid of the thorn if you want to pick the flower;
Don’t ask questions if you want to sing songs.
Don’t fear of water if you want to cast a net.
Know each other by getting together.

Man:
Birds fly across the mountain,
Leaving a string of bell ringing.
Amei gave me the golden wallet,
You’re a loving person.

Woman:
Swallows get mud for making a nest,
Love is not talked by words.
Love is like a long running river,
Morning dew you're not to imitate.

Man:
My three generations are blacksmiths;
I made good steel not to rust.
My heart is as firm as the steel;
Ahmei don’t mistake me.
Here is a steel knife for you to carry with,
The knife will be a good witness.
Even when Changshang mountain’s snow melt,
And Erhai Lake water dried,
The knife won’t change.

Woman:
Olive tastes good but sweeter in mouth later,
Poke the moss to drink the spring under.
Oath is not to say first,
Let’s meet next year.
When flowers bloom and butterflies come,
Meet me if you’re still in love.
Look for Jinghua at the foot of the Changshan mountain,
Jinghua is your Ahmei.
Look for Jinghua at the foot of the Changshan mountain,
Jinghua is your Ahmei.

Flock of Geese 鸿雁

Inner Mongolian folk song

This song's been extremely popular in recent years. It came originally in a documentary movie. Then it became so hot that everybody seems to be singing it. Chorus and dance versions of it are also very beautiful.

My translation of the lyrics:

Flock of geese in the sky are flying in lines.
The river is long, and autumn grass yellow.
Music from the instrument is sadly melodious
On the grassland.

Flock of geese fly toward south,
Across the land of reeds.
The sky is misty and vast.
Where are the birds going?
North is the hometown in heart.

Flock of geese come back toward north,
Bringing my thoughts.
Songs go far, with music trembling.
On the grassland comes back the spring.

Flock of geese fly toward heaven,
How far up is there?
Wine bowls emptied, fill them up,
Tonight we won’t go home until drunk!
Wine bowls emptied, fill them up,
Tonight we won’t go home until drunk!

"Luojia" In My Heart 心上的罗加

Tibetan folk song

"Luojia" is the Tibetan word for "sweetheart." Tibetan music is a shining pearl in the Chinese music treasury. Unique trembling high and bright long notes especially match the high mountains and broad grassland in Tibetan area. Music & lyrics by Duan Qingmin

My translations of the lyrics:

White clouds floating on the blue sky,
I met you on the grassland.
In the crowds of the horse-racing grounds,
You’re the most attractive one.

Suddenly it started to rain.
I lost you in the crowds.
My love of you in my heart,
Still haven’t got chance to tell you.

You’re my Luojia (Tibetan word for "sweetheart").
How I love you!
You’re hiding from the storm;
Which tent are you in?
You’re the dear one in my heart.
After the rain stops, I will definitely find you.



Foreign songs in Chinese, with English translation
外国歌曲中文版

In China, people sing many good foreign songs, in Chinese. Those songs are so popular they seem like the original lyrics. Unfortunately, Chinese songs aren’t as well known in the rest of the world yet.

At the end of this section, you can see me teach you to sing 'Happy Birthday' in Chinese.

Hawthorn Tree 山楂树

Russian song

At dusk, when her factory shift ends, a young Russian woman rushes to the hawthorn tree, where two male fellow workers (one blacksmith and one grinder) are waiting for her. She wishes the hawthorn tree would tell her which guy to choose.

This song's Chinese version is very popular in China. I joined a male voice who sings harmony. I guess he's a professional music teacher.

My translation of the lyrics:

At twilight, sounds of singing gently wafts over the river.
The factory starts to glow in the dusk.
A railway train dashes by, lights shining from its windows.
Under a hawthorn tree, two young men are waiting for me.
Oh, the dense hawthorn tree is all full of white flowers.
O hawthorn tree, why do you look sad?

As soon as the factory horn ends,
I walk along the path toward the hawthorn tree.
A light breeze blowing under the tree
Messes the hairs of the young grinder and blacksmith.

During daytime, when we meet at the factory,
We're all happy and close.
But together in the evening, we're all quiet.
Stars in the summer-night skies all look at the two
But never tell me whom to choose.
Oh, more brave and loveable, which fellow is it?
O dear hawthorn tree, please do tell me.

Falling Leaves 飘落

Russian song

There is a famous ex-Soviet Union movie, “The Dawn Here is Quiet,” about World War II. The story was about a group of women soldiers died in the war, although they had their beautiful youth, lives, loves, and dreams. They sacrificed their lives for the world peace. This song is touching. Their lives are like autumn leaves falling down. And there is a same name Chinese TV play based on that movie. This song was the TV Series theme song. Music by Meng Weidong, Lyrics by Long Yun & Meng Weidong. A Russian song written by Chinese!

My translation of the lyrics:

You’re quietly, quietly falling,
Covered the side of the golden mountain.
Your whispery singing,
Flowing into the curved stream.
Wind blew you into the sky,
You’re still falling.

Your sweet and beautiful dreams,
Falling with the autumn leaves.
Your young faces touching the earth,
Seem telling the stories.
If spring comes again,
You’ll still want to sing!

Falling, falling,
Faded your happiness.
Falling, falling,
You’ll never be forgotten!

Deep Ocean 深深的海洋

Yugoslavian folk song

This famous classic song is about sailors, ocean and love. Translated into Chinese in 1950s, it’s been very popular ever since. Female duet of the song is loved most.

My translation of the lyrics:

O deep ocean, why are you so restless?
You’re so restless,
Like my lover’s unstable heart.

Young sailor, can you tell me honestly?
Do you know where my lover is at this moment?

Oh, farewell my happiness!
Farewell my youth!
The unfaithful young man abandoned me,
How sad that makes me feel!

O deep ocean, why are you so restless?
You’re so restless,
Like my lover’s unstable heart!

Bud to Bloom 含苞欲放的花

Albanian folk song

This song is probably more popular in China than in its own country.

My translation of the lyrics:

You’re the bud about to bloom.
You’ll be more beautiful
Once fully bloomed.
Only in my garden
Are you to be found.

Come on, hurry up, come!
My rose, come over to me!

Girls envy you
Because you’re so pretty!
Now that I’m in love with you,
They’re not too happy.

Come on, hurry up, come!
My rose, come over to me!

Looking in the Mirror 照镜子

Romanian folk song

This song is cute & bouncy.

My translation of the lyrics:

Mom went to the woods,
I’m alone at home bored.
Come down, my mirror on the wall,
Look at my appearance.
Let me close the door gently.

There‘s a girl in the mirror.
Her eyes are so bright and pure.
Isn’t that me in the mirror?
The face is so pretty,
Wearing a flower beautiful and fragrant,
By the ear.
Mom sewed me an embroidered dress,
Fit and nice.
Having me as her daughter,
She is so delighted!

Serenade 小夜曲

by Schubert

This world-famous Schubert serenade was sung in Chinese. It’s popular among Chinese music lovers. The original language was German, but the lyrics below are my translation from Chinese to English.

The lyrics sounds like a man talking to a woman. But women sing it anyway, since the music is so beautiful!

My translation of the lyrics:

My singing, through the night, gently flies to you.
In the quiet woods, I'm waiting for you, my love.
Bright moonlight shines on the earth.
The woods are whispering.
Nobody will bother us; don’t worry my dear.

Did you hear the nightingale singing?
That’s a sincere pleading.
By its sweet song, it's expressing my love
It understands my yearning and sadness.
The song, like a silver bell ringing, touches a tender heart.

The song will touch your heart.
Come over, my love!
Hope you'll hear my song, which will bring you
Love and happiness!

Song of Lida 丽达之歌

Indian song from the famous old Indian movie The Wanderer

Chinese are thrilled at India's movies, always with beautiful songs & dances throughout.

The Indian movie The Wanderer was a huge success in China in the 1970s! People watched again and again, and its songs are still very popular.

Here's the movie's plot. In court, the judge says to a thief named Zaka (whose father was also a thief): "A good person's son will always be good. A thief's son will always be a thief."

Years later, the thief Zaka revenges the judge by kidnapping the judge's beautiful new wife; but when Zaka hears the judge's wife had been newly pregnant, he lets her go.

The wife comes home. Her husband is very cold; he suspects the baby is the thief's. On her laboring day, the judge drives her out of the door.

The baby is born in the street in a storm. The baby, Laj, though living in slums, grows into a handsome and smart boy. In school he's a top student, best friend & classmate of a beautiful rich girl, Lida.

But Zaka finds Laj and succeeds in making Laj a thief. Laj winds up in jail for 15 years. When Laj comes out of jail, he bumps into Lida, who's become a lawyer, and they fall in love with each other. Many years ago, Lida's parents died in an accident, so the judge adopted her. He's strongly against her love for Laj.

One night, Laj sneaks into her house but is caught by the judge, fights with the judge & injures him. Laj gets arrested and accused of attempted murder.

Laj's dying mom asks to see the judge and tells him she's the wife the judge drove out many years ago.

At the court, Lida, as Laj's lawyer, tells the whole story, and the judge learns Laj is his own son.

Laj is sentenced to 3 years in jail. Lida tells him she'll wait for him to come out to live a new life together.

The song is sung by Lida while waiting for Laj to come, the night before he got caught by the judge. The words you hear are the Chinese-translated version. Too bad I don't know the Indian language; otherwise it would be even more beautiful.

My translation of the lyrics:

You're my heart; you're the song of my soul.
Come over before daybreak. Come on, my love.
Oh, looking out of the window, I see only the moon.
I don't see my sweetheart, leaving me lingering alone.

You're my heart; you're the song of my soul.
Come over before daybreak. Come on, my love.
Soon dawn will break in the east.
My lover, why are you still not here?
Looking at the moonlight, I'm yearning for you.
My heart is full of love.

Waiting for you makes me anxious.
From night to dawn, I look forward to seeing you.
The sun will soon rise. I don't know where you are.
My dear, we'll never be apart.
In my dream, I seem to be with you.
Stars fade away. The day breaks.
Did you hear me calling for you?

Sing 'Happy Birthday' In Chinese With Me


You need just 5 minutes to learn a Chinese song. It's that easy!


Songs in English 英文歌曲

All I Ask Of You

Tonight

Speak Softly Love

When I Fall In Love

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)


White Christmas


I'll be Home For Christmas


Silent Night





Song in Latin

Ave Maria