Phil, the Groundhog, was right. :(

Right after the offcial start date of the spring season, our town woke up to a tranquil snow sceen. It seems old man winter is not yet ready to relinquish his hold on this part of the world. Now I remember that Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow on Groundhog Day last month, and six more weeks of winter weather was to be expected. Oh, well. 下雪 (xiàxuě) means “to snow” or “It snows.”

Zuótiān xià le liù cùn de xuě.
Yesterday we got 6 inches of snow.

The following verses paint a clear picture of the transition from winter to spring. They are from a children’s song with music by 尹宏明 (Yǐn hóng míng) and lyrics by 沈秉廉 (Shěn Bǐnglián). How many pairs of antonyms (words with opposite meanings) can you pick out from these lines?

春姑娘 Miss Springtime
Chūn Gūniáng

冬老人, 年纪老,
Dōng lăo rén, nián jì lăo,
Old man Winter, very old,

dài zhe lĕng fēng mànmàn păo.
with the cold wind, bitter and slow.

Tā bú ài huā hé yè,
He doesn’t like flowers and leaves,

yĕ bú ài chóng hé căo.
Nor does he like the bugs and grass.

他说: “我来了.
Tā shuō: “Wŏ lái liăo.
He says, “I have come.

Nĭ men kuài shuì jiào. ”
Now you go to sleep!”

Huā hé yè, chóng hé căo,
Flowers and leaves, bugs and grass,

dà jiā dōu shuì liăo.
Everyone goes to sleep.

春姑娘, 年纪小,
Chūn gūniáng, nián jì xiăo,
Mis Springtime, in her tender age,

dài zhe nuăn fēng qīngqing piāo.
With the warm breeze, floats around.

Tā hĕn ài huā hé yè,
She so loves the flowers and leaves.

yĕ hĕn ài chóng hé căo.
She also loves the bugs and grass.

她说: “我来了.
Tā shuō: “Wŏ lái liăo.
She says, “I have come.

Nĭmen bié shuì jiào.”
Please don’t sleep anymore.”

Huā hé yè, chóng hé căo,
Flowers and leaves, bugs and grass,

dà jiā dōu xĭng liăo.
Everyone wakes from sleep.

This song may be used for a short (and cute) children’s musical play, which I have described in another post.

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