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Posts Tagged ‘Lyrics’

Carsick Cars is a fairly new Beijing rock band which I discovered via MusicBrainz only yesterday. After listening to the repetetive lyrics and riffy guitar of 中南海 (Zhōngnánhǎi) I think I’m hooked! The title refers to the name of a popular brand of cigarettes, but Zhongnanhai is also the name of the area to the west of the Forbidden City (called the New Forbidden City by Beijingers) from where the Party runs the People’s Republic.

中南海,中南海……中南海,中南海
中南海,中南海……抽烟只抽中南海
中南海,中南海……生活离不开中南海
中南海,中南海……谁他妈抽了我的中南海?[source]

Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… I only smoke Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… I can’t live without Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… who fucking smoke my Zhongnanhai?

Figuring out which Zhongnanhai the lyrics might refer to is left as an exercise to the reader. I haven’t been able to get hold of their self-titled debut album yet, but a record shop in 东单 has a copy booked for me. On Thursday they’re playing at the Mao Club and everyone must go! For those not in Beijing, here’s the video of Zhongnanhai instead.

See also:

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This Friday I’m going to do something rather stupid: I’m going to sing on a stage for the first time in more than four years, in Chinese. It’s actually just outtakes for a talent contest at school, so it’s hardly important. Anyway, the song is Be Your Man (做你的男人) by Jeff Chang (张信哲) and to prepare I’ve annotated and translated the lyrics, which I might as well share. On a side note, Jeff Chang has a small but important role in the fairly popular film Ming Ming (明明), which also stars Zhou Xun (周迅). See it if you get a chance.

东京纽约每个地点 (Dōngjīng Niǔyuē měige dìdiǎn)
带你去坐幸福的地下铁 (dài nǐ qù zuò xìngfú de dìxià tiě)
散步逛街找电影院 (sànbù guàngjiē zhǎo diànyǐngyuàn)
累了我就帮你提高跟鞋 (lèi le wǒ jiù bāng nǐ tí gāogēnxié)
塞车停电哪怕下雪 (sāichē tíngdiàn nǎpà xiàxuě)
每天都要和你过情人节 (měitiān dōu yào hé nǐ guò qíngrénjié)
星光音乐一杯热咖啡 (xīngguāng yīnyuè yī bēi rè kāfēi)
只想给你所有浪漫情节 (zhǐ xiǎng gěi nǐ suǒyǒu làngmàn qíngjié)

Tokyo, New York, every single place.
Take you for a ride on the happy subway.
Go for a walk, windowshop, look for a cinema.
You’re tired, I carry your high heel shoes for you.
A traffic jam, a power out, it even starts to snow.
I want to spend valentines day with you every day.
Starlight, music, a cup of hot coffee.
I just want to give you an all romantic valentines day.

让我做你的男人 (ràng wǒ zuò nǐ de nánrén)
二十四个小时不睡觉 (èr shí sì gè xiǎoshí bù shuìjiào)
小心翼翼地保持 (xiǎoxīnyìyì de bǎochí)
这种热情不退烧 (zhè zhǒng rèqíng bù tuì shāo)
不管世界多纷扰 (bùguǎn shìjiè duō fēnrāo)
我们俩紧紧地拥抱 (wǒmen liǎ jǐnjǐn de yōngbào)
隐隐约约我感觉有微笑 (yǐnyǐnyuēyuē wǒ gǎnjué yǒu wēixiào)
藏在你嘴角 (cáng zài nǐ zuǐjiǎo)

Let me be your man.
I haven’t slept for twenty-four hours.
I carefully protect
this kind of non-stop passion.
No matter how much commotion in the world,
the two of us hug tightly.
I can faintly sense a smile
hidden in your lips.

做你的男人 (zuò nǐ de nánrén)
二十四个小时不睡觉 (èr shí sì gè xiǎoshí bù shuìjiào)
让胆小的你在黑夜中 (ràng dǎnxiǎo de nǐ zài hēiyè zhōng)
也会有个依靠 (yě huì yǒu gè yīkào)
就算有一天爱会变少 (jiù suàn yǒu yī tiān ài huì biàn shǎo)
人会变老 (rén huì biàn lǎo)
就算没告诉过你也知道 (jiùsuàn méi gàosu guò nǐ yě zhīdào)
下辈子还要和你遇到 (xià bèizi hái yào hé nǐ yùdào)

I’ll be your man.
I haven’t slept for twenty-four hours.
If you’re afraid in the dark night,
there will be someone there for you too.
Even though one day love becomes weaker,
and people grow older.
Even though I haven’t told you, you still know.
I’ll encounter you in my next life as well.

Previously translated lyrics:

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童话

I really like this song by 王光良 (Wáng Guāngliáng). The first time I heard it was in Sweden. The second time was outside a market here in Beijing. I recognized it and asked someone what it was called. I thought he said 红花 (hóng huā) but when I came home I couldn’t find a song by that name, nor did I remember the melody or lyrics. A few days later I heard it again but again failed to remember anything afterwards. One morning I suddenly remembered the melody and sang it to my computer. With a little help from friends I now know that it’s called 童话 (tóng huà), fairytale. In the unlikely event that it might be useful to someone else, here is my translation of the lyrics:

忘了有多久
再没听到你
对我说你最爱的故事
我想了很久
我开始慌了
是不是我又做错了什么

I’ve forgotten how long it’s been
since I last listened to you
tell me your favorite story.
I’ve wondered for so long,
I’ve begun to worry,
have I done something wrong again?

你哭着对我说
童话里都是骗人的
我不可能是你的王子
也许你不会懂
从你说爱我以后
我的天空星星都亮了

You cried when you said to me
fairytales are all make believe,
I can’t be your prince.
Perhaps you can’t understand,
after you said you love me
the stars on my sky are bright.

我愿变成童话里
你爱的那个天使
张开双手变成翅膀守护你
你要相信
相信我们会像童话故事里
幸福和快乐是结局

I’m willing to change into
the angel in your fairytale,
stretching my hands like wings to protect you.
You must believe,
believe that we can be like that fairytale.
And we will live happily ever after.

你哭着对我说…

You cried when you said to me…

我愿变成童话里…

I’m willing to change into…

我要变成童话里…

I want to change into…

我会变成童话里…

I can change into…

一起写我们的结局

Together we write our ending.

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一封家书

In class today we listened to a song called 一封家书 (A Letter Home) by 李春波 (Li Chunbo). It’s from 1993 and is quite well known (in China). Because I’m bored and because I think the song says something about Chinese culture, I’ll try translating the lyrics. Our teacher already did part of the job, of course. Also, thanks to Jess for helping out. Pinyin in brackets.

亲爱的爸爸妈妈 (qīnài de bàba māma)
你们好吗 (nǐmen hǎo ma)
现在工作很忙吧 (xiànzài gōngzuò hěn máng ba)
身体好吧 (shēntǐ hǎo ba)

Dear dad and mom.
How are you?
Have you been busy at work?
Do you have your health?

我现在广州挺好的 (wǒ xiànzài Guǎngzhōu tǐng hǎo de)
爸爸妈妈不要太牵挂 (bàba māma bú yào tài qiānguà)
虽然我很少写信 (suīrán wǒ hěnshǎo xiě xìn)
其实我很想家 (qíshí wǒ hěn xiǎngjiā)

I’m doing very well in Guangzhou now.
Dad and mom don’t need to worry.
Although I don’t write very often,
I’m actually very homesick.

爸爸每天都上班吗 (bàba měitiān dōu shàngbān ma)
管得不严就不要去了 (guǎndé bù yán jiù bú yào qù le)
干了一辈子革命工作 (gàn le yíbèizi gémìng gōngzuò)
也该歇歇了 (yě gāi xiē xiē le)

Does dad go to work every day?
If the manager isn’t too strict, he doesn’t need to go.
Having done revolutionary work for a lifetime,
he too deserves to rest.

我买了一件毛衣给妈妈 (wǒ mǎi le yí jiàn máoyī gěi māma)
别舍不得穿上吧 (bié shěbudé chuānshàng ba)
以前儿子不太听话 (yǐqián érzi bù tài tīnghuà)
现在懂事他长大了 (xiànzài dǒngshì tā zhǎngdà le)

I bought a sweater for mom,
please don’t be afraid to use it.
Before your son wasn’t very obedient,
but he’s sensible and grown up now.

哥哥姐姐常回来吗 (gēge jiějie cháng huí lái ma)
替我问候他们吧 (tì wǒ wènhòu tāmen ba)
有什么活儿就让他们干 (yǒu shénme huór jiù ràng tāmen gàn)
自己孩子有什么客气的 (zìjǐ háizi yǒu shénme kèqì de)

Do brother and sister come home to visit often?
Please give them my greetings.
If you have any housework, let them do it.
You’re own children should pay their respect.

爸爸妈妈多保重身体 (bàba māma duō bǎozhòng shēntǐ)
不要让儿子放心不下 (bú yào ràng érzi fàngxīnbúxià)
今年春节我一定回家 (jīnnián chūnjié wǒ yídìng huí jiā)
好了先写到这儿吧 (hǎo le xiān xiě dào zhèr ba)

Dad and mom, take good care of your health,
don’t let your son worry about you.
This Spring Festival I’m coming home for sure.
I should stop writing now.

此致敬礼 (cǐzhì jìnglǐ)
此致那个敬礼 (cǐzhì nàgè jìnglǐ)
一九九三年十月十八号 (yī jiǔ jiǔ sān nián shí yuè shí bā hào)

Regards.
October 18, 1993.

As a service to my readers, here’s the song for you to download. I’m sorry I can only provide it in mp3-format, but I found it on Baidu (Chinas biggest search engine). Copyright 李春波 1993. Used without permission, of course.

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