Crowd Lu: When I’m at my loneliest / 最寂寞的時候 – English translation

Crowd Lu is a Taiwanese singer that Mandarin learners should be listening to. His lyrics are primarily not typical love-song fodder, and are generally pretty easy to learn, containing lots of basic verbs. As for genre, his songs tend to be either easy-listening or pop-rock, with a lot of the instrumentation revolving around acoustic guitars, which also makes a nice departure if you’re sick of brokenhearted string-fests.

This particular song is about losing someone, but the lyrics are actually very opaque about whether it’s a lover. Without further ado…

黃昏後人潮散開 躲在人群裡發呆
After dusk the crowds disperse; [I] space out within their midst
[躲在人群裡發呆: Lit. Hide in crowd middle space out]

看見你走過來 有好多的期待
[I] see you coming over; I’m full of expectations
[Note: not clear if it’s the singer or ‘you’ who’s doing the expecting]
[Also, 期待 can be a verb or an noun. The former is much more common.]

I should…

天空被藍色暈開 我們聊得好燦爛
The sky’s been dyed blue; our conversation is bright
[Lit. Sky by blue spread out; we talk [adverb marker] very bright]
[燦爛 ‘brilliant/wonderful’ is used metaphorically here; it usually refers to the sun or to people smiling. So, the meaning of 我們聊得好燦爛 could also be translated as ‘we smile as we talk’ or ‘our conversation is full of smiles’]

懷疑美好的現在 是否應該有期待
I wonder whether the good times we’re having now will keep on going?
[Lit. Suspect good now will-or-not should have expectation]

I say…
[I suspect this is more like ‘I say to you’ or ‘I say to myself’, but as a fragment it’s difficult to be any more specific.]

Right now I’m at my loneliest
[Lit. This is today loneliest time ← a bit tricky to use ‘today’ in English without being very contrived]

The sun is shining down on you
[Lit. Sun shining you very gentle]

所有的希望 怎麼被絕望淹沒
[And] all my hopes have been drowned by despair
[Lit. All hope how by despair drowned]
[This type of rhetorical question is common in Chinese, but in English we would more often make a direct statement]

Right now I’m at my loneliest

Seeing him holding your hand
[他 and 你 are technically gender neutral, so you could interpret the lyrics in ways other than a love triangle]

I’m afraid I can’t take it/I’m afraid I’ll never be able to take it

I’m sorry, but I’ll be leaving…


怎麼還沒有走開 怎麼在原地徘徊
Why haven’t I left? Why am I treading water?
[在原地徘徊: lit. At same spot pace back and forth]

風光美好的現在 為甚麼在等待
I’ve got so much ahead of me; why am I waiting?
[風光美好的現在: Lit. Scenery good now ← from context this is a metaphor, as translated]
[Also, common idiom: 風光明媚]

I say…

Other Chinese song translations here…

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