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.
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*]
Continue reading “Crowd Lu: Slow Soul / 慢靈魂 – English Translation”
This song is filled with metaphors and constructions which you wouldn’t find in English. Also, the events described in the song are not chronological, and the person to whom they relate changes from line to line without necessarily being explicit about it… which is why I would give this song a difficulty rating of ‘medium-hard’. At least each line rhymes! Hopefully the notes are helpful.
There’s a dragonfly on the fence
The bottle [on the ground] has given birth to a small forest
[Lit. Glass bottle inside insert-full small-small forest]
[方文山 often describes the scenery at the start of each song. From the rest of the song, you can infer that the singer is visiting the house where he and his lover used to stay. Since it’s now springtime, plant-life has erupted everywhere, including inside a bottle that was somewhere on the premises.]
Continue reading “Jay Chou: The Rhythm of the Rain / 聽見下雨的聲音 – English Translation”
開心餐廳 contains a lot of very basic vocab and grammar, so is great for lower intermediate students. This is one of my favorite Crowd Lu songs, because it’s just so darned funny – it’s all about a restaurant that he’d like to open. He goes through the song describing what he’d buy and how he’d run it; the cutest thing is that he puts the emphasis on making friends. If this isn’t an antidote to all those sorrowful love songs that permeate the world of Chinese music, I don’t know what is.
I had a dream last night in which I’d set up shop
Selling coffee and deserts
[一些: ‘a little/some’, redundant in English]
Continue reading “Crowd Lu: Cafeteria Feliz / 開心餐廳 – English Translation”
This song – a classic break-up song – is not too tricky to learn or sing. The lyrics illustrate nicely the way in which tenses in English often don’t have a 1:1 relationship with those in Chinese. For example, the title “你會在哪呢？”, for example, is not really “where will be you be”, but “where are you?”. The first couple of lines are really hypothetical statements, but are just written as simple statements (apparently of fact) in Chinese.
As always, I’ve included both idiomatic and literal translations, along with a few extra notes.
趕走的是瘋癲 我 一個人待
Running away would be crazy; I’d be all on my own
Continue reading “Jam Hsiao: Where Are You?/ 蕭敬騰: 你會在哪呢？- English translation”
This is another easy song, which is about a guy who just needs a little more time. It’s not explicitly specified what he needs the time for; although it’s probably related to a girl, it could also be that he’s asking for an extension for an assignment. Who knows?
I’m all out of ideas; I’m about to fall asleep
[Lit. I really no method; I really quickly sleep]
Continue reading “Crowd Lu: Seven Days / 七天 – English translation”