Spring is just around the corner. I hope this blog post finds you with a twinkle in your eyes, a smile on your face and a spring in your steps, ready to conquer the world and take on the challenge of studying Chinese.
Unbeknown to you, I made a New Year resolution for you, namely to learn to sing a song or two in Chinese by the end of this year. There are many simple songs you can choose from the “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes” book, and we have talked about quite a number of other songs in my past blog posts. If you are able to record your performance, we hope you will share it with us by providing the link to your video or audio file.
Here is a traditional song that might help put you in the mood for the season. The lyrics for “Aura Lee” were written by W. W. Fosdick and the music was composed by George R. Poulton. You can download an audio file for the melody from the Microsoft OneDrive site at this link.
The first stanza of the original lyrics goes like this:
When the blackbird in the Spring
‘On the willow tree.
Sat and rocked, I heard him sing,
Singing Aura Lee.
Aura Lee, Aura Lee,
Maid with golden hair.
Sunshine came along with thee,
And swallows in the air.
As you know, Elvis Presley changed the verses of this song and turned “Love Me Tender” into a hit.
Following is my Chinese translation.
Chūnfēng piāo lái, táohuā yíng.
Peach blossoms cheer the breezy spring.
Hú miàn qǐ liányī
Ripples dance in glee.
Zhī tóu xiǎoniǎo sù zhōngqíng,
The bird on the treetop heartily sings
gēsòng Ōu Ér Lì.
in praise of Aura Lee.
Ōu Ér Lì, Ōu Ér Lì.
Aura Lee, Aura Lee.
Jīn fǎ duō xiùměi!
How fine your golden hair!
Yángguāng zhàoyào zài dàdì,
Sunshine glistens in the fields,
yànr màntiān fēi.
and swallows fill the air.
The following word list is for your reference. If you’ve been following this blog, you will find that you already know most of the words used in this song. Congratulations!
春风 (chūnfēng) is a breeze in the spring. It also refers to happiness. 飘来 (piāo lái) describes how the breeze wafts towards you.
迎 (yíng) or 欢迎 (huānyíng) is to greet or to welcome.
Here, 面 (miàn) is a surface, and 湖面 (Hú miàn) is the surface of a lake.
起 (qǐ) is to rise, to raise, to appear or cause to happen. 涟漪 (liányī) are ripples.
枝头小鸟 (Zhī tóu xiǎoniǎo) is a commonly used term referring to a bird or birds perching on the treetop.
诉 (sù) is to tell or to tell of. 衷情 (zhōngqíng) are one’s inner feelings. If instead of 诉衷情, you prefer to sing 唱不停 (chàng bùtíng to sing incessantly), be my guest.
歌颂 (gēsòng) is to sing the praises of someone.
金发 (jīn fǎ) refers to blond hair.
秀美 (xiùměi) means elegantly beautiful.
阳光 (yángguāng) is sunshine.
照耀 (zhàoyào) is to shine or to illuminate.
大地 (dàdì) is the earth.
燕儿 (yànr), or 燕子 (yànzi), are swallows.
漫 (màn) means all over the place.
天 (tiān) is the sky or a day.
飞 (fēi) is to fly.