SingWithDonna.com


I'm Donna Walter. Using this page, you can hear me sing 20 songs in Chinese, English, and Latin. More are coming. When with other singers, I sing the soprano part.

First of all, I'd like to thank you - my friend - for your kindness in putting up with my imperfect singing. If you're not familiar with Chinese music, this is a good chance to take a glance at Chinese culture & music. You might find it amusing, and fun to read my intro & translation for each song.

To hear me 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.


Song in Latin

Ave Maria





Songs in Chinese

Chinese songs are mostly about love or sing high praise of good life, the motherland, and patriotism. Love songs are often poetically romantic, which I feel a little awkward to sing at my age. But I can't avoid them if I'd sing at all, especially Chinese minorities' love songs, which are among the most beautiful songs in the whole world.

Besides Han, which I belong to and is the majority of Chinese, 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.

Minorities in the Northwest have different music than in the Southwest. Northwest-minority music sounds somewhat like 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.

At WeSing.com, which is online karaoke, tens of millions of singers (mostly amateurs) sing every day, some with videos. People can also publish part of a song; those who see it can sing the other part or harmony of the song. One good song will attract a lot of people to join in. The partners who sing together don't know each other.

In some of my songs below, I joined some good voices to sing these songs, but I never know those singers.

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

As I Look At The Moon

Folk-song style

This was originally sung by China's most famous singer, Song Zuying. While you hear me sing, the photo you see is of her.

Here's my translation of the lyrics, which you may feel romantic in a silly way, but that's the 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; I'm on the ground -
Just like you're at the end of the seas, and I'm at the corner of the sky.
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!

A Lovely Rose

Chinese Northwest-minority Kazakhstan folk song

In this song, a young man sings to an attractive girl. Then she sings back.

For this performance, I joined another woman, who's very popular in WeSing.com. She sings the harmony, all the time, 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 there rose up to the clouds.
It so distracted me, I tumbled down the hill;
Oh, your song so beautiful, it echoed up to the clouds.

Hey, 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, ah-yah-yah,
Singing under the tree!

Mayila

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

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 good, 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, playing Dongbula guitar.
Passersby gathered 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)

Why is the Flower So Red?

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.

In this performance, the male voice is China's famous singer Dao Lang. The photo's also of him. When I first sang WeSing karaoke, I didn't know I should search for other people's singing and join in. I just kept the original singer's part. 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)

Sunny Spring Day


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

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

My translation of the lyrics:

F: 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?

M: 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, it's hard to say a word."

M: On a sunny spring day,
The 18-year-old guy told little Yinglian,
"If I leave, it would be 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."

F: On a sunny spring day,
"18-year-old guy, 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,
So long as you eventually come back
With red flowers awarded on your chest."

Good Days

Chinese folk-song style

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 guy 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.
The flowers are our smiling lives.

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 lanterns show the red perspiration.
The 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!

Hawthorn Tree

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) wait for her. She wishes the hawthorn tree would tell her which guy to date.

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

My translation of the lyrics:

At twilight, a song is gently floating over the water.
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.

A Beautiful Fresh Flower

Chinese Southwest-minority song

The minority is called Sani. This is also a movie theme song. 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.

Minority songs always use metaphors, which you'll see throughout this duet.

My translation of the lyrics:

M: What a beautiful flower!
Itís so fresh!
The flower is growing at the edge of the cliff.
I want to pick the flower
But fear the cliff is too high and the flower wonít bloom.

F: A beautiful flower is so fresh.
Itís growing by the edge of the cliff.
If you want to pick it,
Donít be scared of the high cliff or if the flower won't bloom.

M: As long as the flower nods her head,
I wonít 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, youíre the flower in my heart!
F: Countless stars shine in the sky.
M: I love only the brightest one!
F: 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: Youíre the most beautiful one!
F: Sani girls are thousands and more.
M: Youíre the only one I love!
Youíre the only one I love!

Serenade

by Schubert

This world-famous Schubert serenade was sung in Chinese. Itís 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, across 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; donít worry my dear.

Did you hear the nightingale singing?
Thatís a sincere pleading.
Through 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!

Miangui Flower

Burmese Osmanthus Fragrance Miles Away

This is Southwest area minority love song, also an old movie theme song. The duet's beautiful melody may melt your heart!

My translation of the lyrics:

F: Burmese Osmanthus bloom with frangrance miles away.
The flowers represent profound affections.
M: If wearing flowers, you need to do so all year round.
Don't throw the flowers roadside.
F: Ah, dear, you can't cross a river without a bridge;
I can't read my dad's mind.
M: Without a bridge, weíll wade across the river,
As long as you love me wholeheartedly.
F&M: The one in my heart is so dear,
The moon and stars act as the matchmaker.
Scimitar or hatchet can't cut it apart,
Lovers will never be separated!
Lovers will never be separated!

Honghu Lake


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" place.

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 full of fish at sunset.

With wild ducks, lotus roots everywhere,
We got fall harvest and rice fragrance waft.
Everybody admires beautiful heaven,
It can't compare with our "fish & rice" place.

Honghu Lake, water broad and long,
When sun shining on,
It flashes golden light.
Fishermen are gonna have a better and better year!
Better and better life!

I Sent You A Little Poem


This is 1980s popular song. The romantic poem shows beautiful scenery 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 sent you a little poem.
I wrote of sheep on the grassland,
And wrote 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 sent you a little poem.
I wrote of seagulls over the blue waves,
And wrote 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.

Song of 4 Seasons


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 Yangzi River.
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 fill the 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 old day's little Meng Jiang"*

*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.

Song of Lida

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 to the judge but is driven out the door, because he suspects the baby was the thief's.

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 and the good 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, and gets 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

White Christmas


Silent Night


I'll be Home For Christmas


Happy Christmas (War Is Over)