Crowd Lu: Slow Soul / 慢靈魂 – English Translation

I like this song by Crowd Lu, which includes a lot of simple nouns and verbs, especially referring to the time of day. There’s also a little higher-level Chinese too, as noted in the translation below. The song uses the simile of a kite blowing in the wind to describe the aimless way in which the singer’s life develops. As is typical of Crowd’s lyrics, there are a lot of lines where it’s ambiguous what he’s referring to, which can make it a little tricky to understand without considering the song holistically. (For example: we see 找不到 a few times, but there’s no object; what is it that he can’t find?)

He sings nice and clearly, and it’s been available at every karaoke place I’ve been to in Hong Kong and Guangdong, so it’s worth learning.

晚霞燦爛照著我 一朵蒲公英飄過窗口
It’s sunset; a dandelion floats past the window
[Lit. evening sunset-clouds brightly shining me; one [counter] dandelion float past window]
[晚霞, wǎn xiá, is quite literary and has no direct equivalent in English*]

就在小鎮的街頭 數著路燈我一個人走
I count off the lampposts as I walk the streets alone
[Lit. Exactly at town’s streets, counting lampposts I one [counter] person walk]

終究會習慣這種生活 太多的困惑我不想懂
Am I ever going to get used to my life? I’m lost in a sea of confusion
[Lit. Finally will used-to this type life; too many confusion I don’t want understand]

就在沒有月光的時候 流星劃過我的身後
Just when the moonlight disappears, a shooting star falls behind me
[Lit. Exactly at no moonlight time; shooting star cut past my body behind]

微風輕輕吹 吹的我心碎
A gentle breeze blows; I’m heartbroken
[Lit. Breeze lightly blows; blows me heartbroken]
[吹的我: I think this should be interpreted as 被吹的我, ‘I who am blown’; it was probably necessary to keep the line at ten syllables to make the chorus scan consistently, which is partly why there is no 被. ‘吹的我’ would literally be ‘me who blows’, which doesn’t really make sense in English. Note that there are certain instances in Chinese where you are allowed to leave out ‘grammatical’ words… like this case.]

我像風箏飛 被吹的好遠
Like a kite, I’m blown far away

越過了無垠海邊 我只想要慢慢飛
Over the endless shores; I just want to take my time
[無垠 wú yín: a nice literary term; similar to 無限, 無際 and 無窮, although each have their own nuance and usage.]
[我只想要慢慢飛: Lit. ‘I just want slowly fly’, continuing the simile of being like a kite]

微風輕輕吹 誰在流眼淚
A gentle breeze blows; I’m crying
[誰在流眼淚: lit. ‘Who is crying’. This is one of those rhetorical questions that crop up often in Chinese but not English. It’s implied from context of the rest of the song that it’s the singer who’s crying. Perhaps a little similar in usage to ‘who’s cutting onions?’]

我像風箏飛 越過了界線 好遠
Like a kite, I’m blown, but too far
[Lit. I like kite fly, pass-finish boundary, very far]

流星劃過的瞬間 我才發現找不到 oh 我的世界
It’s at the moment when the shooting star falls that I find I don’t fit in anywhere
[Lit. Shooting star cut past moment; I only-then realize cannot find; my world]

First line of second verse:
點點星光照著我 這種寂寞穿過我胸口
It’s a starry night; loneliness penetrates my core
[Lit. Point point starlight shining me; this type loneliness pierce through my chest]
[There is nice parallelism in structure here with the first line of the song]

Final chorus ending:
Forgive me; I just need to take my time
[Lit. Forgive my slow soul]
[靈魂 is not just ‘soul’, but can also refer to someone’s inherent nature.]

我擔心會找不到 希望找得到
I hope I’ll be able to find you… but what if I don’t?
[More literally: “I’m worried that I won’t be able to find you, but I hope I will”; I think “you” is strongly implied here based on the following line, but it could be something else)

會不會跟不上 你的世界
Who knows if I’ll fit into your world?
[Lit. ‘will-or-not not-keep-up your world’; 跟上 means ‘keep up with’ or ‘catch up with’.]

* If you are planning on coming up with a Chinese name, 霞 is a nice character to include… for a girl. It’s also worth doing a Google image search for 晚霞; it can be quite beautiful~

Click here for a full list of the songs that I have translated so far.

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