Sing Chinese Song – Fisherman’s Plight

Fishes in the Sea
Fishes in the Sea

Soon the winter wind will be blowing over the country and bring with it chills, snow or sleet. While we huddle in front of the fireplace, think of the fishermen who must brave the cold and often stormy weather to make a living. Fisherman’s Plight is the theme song of an old Chinese movie that was very popular a couple generations ago. It is a classic that has withstood the test of time. This version provides good pronunciation of the lyrics but at snail speed. I suggest that you play it at 1.25 times the normal speed to preserve the lilting quality of the music.


渔光曲
Yú Guāng Qū

云儿飘在海空,
Yún er piāo zài hǎi kōng,
Clouds are floating in the ocean sky;

鱼儿藏在水中.
yú er cáng zài shuǐzhōng.
Fishes are hiding under the water.

早晨太阳里晒鱼网,
Zǎochén tàiyáng lǐ shài yúwǎng,
In the morning sun we dry the fish net,

迎面吹过来大海风.
yíngmiàn chuī guòlái dà hǎifēng.
the ocean wind blowing in our faces.

潮水升, 浪花涌,
Cháoshuǐ shēng, lànghuā yǒng,
The tide rises and the waves billow;

鱼船儿漂漂各西东.
yú chuán er piāo piāo gè xī dōng.
The fishing boats drift here and there.

轻撒网, 紧拉绳,
Qīng sā wǎng, jǐn lā shéng,
Throwing the net out gently and pulling the ropes in tight,

烟雾里辛苦等鱼踪.
yānwù lǐ xīnkǔ děng yú zōng.
We wait arduously in the smoke and fog for traces of the fish.

鱼儿难捕, 租税重,
Yú er nán bǔ, zūshuì zhòng,
Fish is hard to catch, and the boat rental fee and taxes are high.

捕鱼人儿世世穷.
bǔ yú rén er shìshì qióng.
It’s the fisherman’s lot to be poor from generation to generation.

爷爷留下的破鱼网,
Yéyé liú xià de pò yúwǎng,
The patched fishing net left behind by grandpa

小心再靠它过一冬.
xiǎoxīn zài kào tāguò yī dōng.
we had better take good care of it to tide us over this winter.

N.B. 飘 and 漂 are pronounced the same. 飘 means to float in air, while 漂 means to float on water. Did you catch the error in the lyrics displayed in the video?

Attention please: “5 Stories in Chinese -Book 1 Chinese Tales” was published last month.
I have since added more material to the eBook. Those of you who have already obtained Book 1, please ask amazon.com to let you download the updated version. Thank you.

To listen to a reading of the first story in this eBook, please click on this youtube link.

If you would like me to check the sentences that you have constructed for the exercises in “5 Stories in Chinese”, please post them in a Comment.

5 Stories in Chinese – Book2 Tales from around the World” is now live.

圣诞快乐, 新年如意!
Shèngdàn kuàilè, xīnnián rúyì!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Sing “I am a Cloud” in Chinese

Cirrocumulus Clouds (Mackerel Clouds)

Cirrocumulus Clouds (Mackerel Clouds)

The traditional Chinese character for clouds is (yún). Like (diàn electricity), it lost the “rain” radical in the conversion to the Simplified Chinese character set.

In classical Chinese (yún) means to say or to state. In the Simplified Chinese character system, it means clouds.

The clouds, suspended in the sky or moving freely above, out of reach, ephemeral and unfathomable, is often compared to the transitory nature of certain human affairs. It also represents freedom and a carefree state of mind. The term 风云人物 (fēngyúnrénwù man of the day) likens prominent personages that command people’s attention to the powerful movement of vigorous winds and clouds.

(xiāo) means clouds or the sky. Therefore, 云霄 (yúnxiāo) refers to the skies. 九霄云外 (jiǔxiāoyúnwài) means beyond the highest heavens or skies.

有你在身边, 我把一切烦恼抛到了九霄云外.
Yǒu nǐ zài shēnbiān, wǒ bǎ yīqiè fánnǎo pāo dào le jiǔxiāoyúnwài.
With you by my side, I cast all my worries to outer space.

戒心 (jièxīn) means vigilance. Therefore 把戒心抛到九霄云外 (bǎ jièxīn pāo dào jiǔxiāoyúnwài) means to throw caution to the winds.

烟消云散 (yānxiāoyúnsàn) means to vanish into thin air. You could use this phrase to describe an interest or desire, the memory of a certain event, or the disintegration of an entity.

The phrase 过眼云烟 (guòyǎnyúnyān) likens worldly possessions, such as riches and fame, to transitory clouds and smokes.

我们的那段情不过是过眼云烟..
Wǒmén de nèi duàn qíng bùguò shì guòyǎnyúnyān.
That love affair of ours was nothing but a passing waft of smoke.

天有不测风云 (tiānyǒubùcèfēngyún) means something unexpected may suddenly happen just like a storm may abruptly arise out of nowhere. This line is paired with 人有旦夕祸福 (rényǒudànxīhuòfú), which means that one may find good fortune or go to ruins overnight. When you hear of a misfortune befalling a movie star or an acquaintance, you would shake your head and say:

天有不测风云, 人有旦夕祸福.
Tiānyǒubùcèfēngyún, rényǒudànxīhuòfú.

All right, here is a popular song, titled 我是一片云 (Wǒ shì yī piàn yún I am a Cloud), sung by 凤飞飞 (Fèng Fēifēi). This short song expresses in simple wording a common sentiment. Don’t we all wish to be as carefree as a cloud?

The lyrics in Simplified Chinese can be found here.

(zhāo) is the classical word for morning or day. (mù) is the classical word for evenings or sunset. We’ve come across these words in the phrase 朝朝暮暮 (zhāozhāomùmù day and night, or all the time).

If you remember from one of our early lessons, (shēng) means to go up or to elevate.

自在 (zìzai) means at ease and being comfortable with oneself. 潇洒 (xiāosǎ) means carefree and unrestrained, like a splash of water.

我的男朋友英俊又潇洒.
Wǒ de nánpéngyǒu yīngjùn yòu xiāosǎ.
My boyfriend is handsome and cool.

(shēn) is the abbreviation of 身体 (shēntǐ body or health). In this song, this word refers to the body.
(suí) means to follow.
(hún) is the soul or the spirit.
(mèng) are dreams.
(fēi) means to fly.
无牵挂 (wú qiānguà) means without worry or care.

You might also be interested in watching a couple other related videos. In this one, the singer dedicates the song to a fan. In the introductory remark, the singer told her fan that although her album may have given the latter the courage to continue with life, it was the doctor’s skills that saved the fan’s life. The tears in the singer’s eyes reveal genuine feelings from the heart. At the end of the performance the singer encourages her fan to continue to be courageous and strong – 继续勇敢坚强. (Jìxù yǒnggǎn jiānqiáng.)

The video at this link shows a number of the singer’s fans singing this song together. Why not join in the fun?

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