We Are the World & We Are the Word

Of all the following videos, I think the most important ones are the first two. Other videos are basically Chinese music and culture, except the erhu version of  the Carmen Fantasy.

This is the 2008 beijing Olympic theme song. A song that expresses the hospitality of the Chinese people and the good-willed wish that people from all over the world can try to understand each other and become family forever.

Lyrics:

  You and Me,From one world,We are family.

  Travel one dream,thousand miles,Meeting in Beijing.

  Come together,Put your hand in mine.

  You and Me,From one world,We are family.

I bet you are more familiar with this song than me. So I’ll just walk away. Haha. I heard it a long time ago, love it!

I found this video when I was trying to search a video of traditional Chinese music instrument pipa, which is one of the oldest instrument in Chinese history. This video introduces a little bit about Chinese culture by introducing the traditional health treatment and the musical instrument pipa. The two melodies played in the video are “Spring, River, and Flower on a Moonlit Night,” and “Ambush from Ten Sides”.

Below is the original poem by Chinese ancient poet Ruoxu Zhang, and the background information about the second melody from wikipedia.

ZHANG RUOXU Chang Jo-Hsü (c. 660-c.720) 

(from http://www.thedrunkenboat.com/zhang.html)

Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping 

Zhang Ruoxu is a poet about whom little knowledge has survived. Along with He Zhizhang (659-744), he achieved fame as a poet as one of a group of four poets from the Lower Yangtze Basin (the group was known as the “Four Scholars from Wuzhong,” and also included Zhang Xu, and Bao Rong). Only two of his poems survive, but one of them, “Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night,” is so admired that he has become a famous poet on the basis of this poem alone.

Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night


The tide in the Spring river meets the flat ocean.
On the sea a bright moon is born with the tide
And shimmers along the waves for thousands of miles.
Nowhere on the Spring river is without bright moon.

The river meanders through fragrant fields
And in the flowering woods moon makes everything snow,
Until even frost flowing in space is invisible
And on the shores white sands disappear in light.

River and sky merge in one dustless color.
Bright, bright sky, with only the moon’s wheel.
Who first saw the moon on this riverbank?
What year did this river moon first shine on men?

Generations keep passing without end,
But the river moon looks the same year after year.
I don’t know who the river moon is waiting for;
I only see the long river seeing off the flowing water.

One scarf of white cloud fades into distance,
Leaving unbearable sorrow in the estuary’s green maples.
Whose husband is drifting away in a flat boat tonight?
Who is missing her lover in a moonlit tower?

What a pity, the moon wandering through the tower;
It should light the mirror-stand of the traveler.
She cannot roll it up in the jade door’s blinds;
Or wipe it from the rock where she beats clothes clean.

At this moment, they see the same moon, but cannot hear each other,
She wishes she could flow with the moonlight onto him.
The wild goose flying off cannot escape this light,
When fish and dragons leap and dive I read patterns in the waves.

Last night she dreamed of fallen petals in a still pool.
What sorrow: with spring half over, the man hasn’t returned.
The current has almost washed the Spring away,
And the setting moon tilts west again in the river pool.

The slanting moon sinks deep, deep into the sea fog.
Between the Brown Rock and the Xiang River is a long way
And I don’t know how many people ride the moonlight home.
The setting moon fills the river trees with shivering emotion.

Note: “Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night,” stanza 6. Traditionally, Chinese women wash clothes by a stream or river by beating the clothes on a rock with a wooden club, and in Chinese poetry the sound of beating clothes typically generates homesickness. 

Ambush from Ten Sides (Chinese埋伏pinyinshí miàn mái fú) is a classical piece written for the pipaAmbush is written in the “Wu” or martial style, and is about the circumstances of which General Xiang Yu in 202 BC was defeated by Liu Bang. This is the same subject matter as “The King Doffs His Armor“, but is written from an different perspective.

Ambush from Ten Sides is considered a masterpiece in Chinese classical music. The difficulty of the piece ensures that it can be played almost exclusively by virtuosos. (from wikipedia)

I love the Carmen fantasy, but this piece is played by Chinese music instrument erhu.

When I saw this clip again I remembered the Goddess Rhetoric and the common sounds narrative in our assigned homework.

This song is a very old folk classic and the original singer is unknown.
This has been a folk story and not a fable, with some degree of authenticity, without the turning into butterfly segment. The reason I am saying this is because there is a Liang temple in front of the Village of Ma, the same village of my own mother lineage (her family name is Ma) in the Province of 浙江 (outside of West Lake of Hanchou)

The song was originally a violin piece and made into the theme song of a movie depicting the two characters of Liang Shan-Bo 梁山伯 and Zhu Yingtai 祝英台. The latter is a lady. They both studied together for three years but on the urge of her father who missed her dearly, Zhu wanted to go home. The distance from the study hall to the home of Zhu was about 18 miles. Upon home, since Zhu was of age to marry, according to custom, her parents arranged for her to marry the son of the Village of Ma. Liang paid a visit, only to find out Zhu was a lady. His love of her as a brother turned into romantic love. When home, he planned to announce his intentions to marry her. Unfortunately, midway to Zhu’s home, he died. Zhu was devastated. On her way to marry the son of the Ma Family, she asked the wedding party to briefly stop at the tomb of Liang, which was close to the mid-point of the 18-mile journey where she and Liang once pledged to be brothers before their studying together. As soon as she approached the Liang tomb, her body turned into a white butterfly to join Liang’s body that had turned into a yellow butterfly.

Lyrics are also composed specifically for this piece of music:

碧草青青花盛開 彩蝶雙雙久徘徊
Rolling meadow flowers blossoming, pretty butterflies lingering in pairs

千古傳頌深深爱 山伯水戀祝英台
Eternal story of deep affection, Shan-Bo loving Zhu, Yingtai

同窗共讀整三載 促膝並肩倆無猜
Studying together for three full years in close quarters in complete innocence

十八相送情切切 誰知一别在樓台
Eighteen miles of farewell of thick sentiment, who would know of departure at the balcony of the tower.

啊… 啊… 啊… 啊… 啊… 啊…
Ah…

樓台一别恨如海 淚染雙翅身化彩蝶
Since that departure misgivings have been like the ocean, tears soaking both wings, bodies turning into pretty
butterflies

翩翩花叢來  歷盡磨難真情在
Flying through handsome-looking flowering shrubs, experiencing utmost torments with true feelings

天長地久不分開
Inseparable forever and ever

The way to the Garden of Eden/Heavenly Road

lyrics:

On the green grassland in the morning
I saw the king of birds cast in the rays of morning sunshine
flying in the blue sky like auspicious cloud
bringing the fortune to Tibetan.
On the top of hill at dusk
I saw the railways thru to my home
like a megalosaurus crossing over mountains
delivering good health to snow-covered altiplano.
That is the way of mystery
leading the warmth of terrestrial to border land.
Mountain will be no longer high and road will be no longer long.
All the nations be in union for joyous.

On the top of hill at dusk
I saw the railways thru to my home
like a megalosaurus crossing over mountains
delivering good health to snow-covered altiplano.
That is the way of mystery
leading us to the Garden of Eden.
Sweeter, the wine and ghee tee
the happy song resounding all over Tibet.

lyrics:

I see a blue sky,

Over a green lake,

Vast is the grassland

This is my homeland.

Horses running wild there,

Sheep as white as snow,

Girl wait for me,

Where my heart’s at home.

I love you, my homeland,

My homeland, my heaven.

I miss you, my homeland,

My homeland, my heaven.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. valerievisual
    Oct 22, 2012 @ 20:22:00

    This is a really cool post. I like the way you organized it with videos stacked on text. Also I’m a big fan of several of these videos, so that was fun.

    Reply

  2. ellah1
    Oct 22, 2012 @ 23:44:14

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful music and poetry. It is great hearing a different perspective on sounds.

    Reply

  3. Bradford Hincher
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 12:43:59

    Thank you for sharing these, Belle!

    Reply

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