Fast, facially-challenged tigers (song!)

Apparently every kid in China knows this song Jessica found it at Usually people don’t use the tones when they sing in Mandarin, but this guy sings with the tones on the third time around. Careful, though. If you listen too many times, it will be stuck in your head for days.


两只老虎, 两只老虎
è·‘å¾—å¿«, è·‘å¾—å¿«
Two tigers, two tigers
Running fast, running fast
One has no eyes
One has no ears
Really strange, really strange!
liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ, liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ
pǎo de kuài, pǎo de kuài
yì zhī méi yǒu yǎn jing
yì zhī méi yǒu ěr duo
zhēn qí guài! zhēn qí guài!

* * *

Some versions use tail (尾巴 – wÄ›i ba) instead of ears (耳朵 – Ä›r duo). I’m gonna learn to write it so I have some “poetry” to write next time we visit the guys who write calligraphy with water on the sidewalk in the park.

Enhance your KTV repertoire!

10 thoughts on “Fast, facially-challenged tigers (song!)”

  1. A friend of mine taught me that song at PA.. Althought the song was about an old woman sitting on top of a train that was going really fast and really strange..

  2. How many old women? Frere Jaques (ooooh I’m a bad Canadian that can’t spell French!) has been used for generations in China. In some history footage we’ve seen, they even used the tune for anti-Western propaganda songs.

    Ha, welcome to our world, Steve!

    Sarah – yeah, that’s the first time we’ve heard singing with tones, but it’s more helpful for us as students that way.

  3. Wonder if that tune has a sort of Jungian primal characteristic … so that every culture thinks that it originated among its own people. Wouldn’t our CDN friends from la belle province, toujours les souviens, be disappointed if they learned that the tune was actually invented in China!

    Maybe that’s also why it’s so hard to forget it. Does make it much easier to remember the words, though ;-)

    Say, what other words could you associate with it to help you remember important things?! “Nide yan jing, nide yan jing, hen mei li, hen mei li” … ;-) Could be fun. ;-)

  4. One slightly obnoxious joke I’ve occasionally heard foreigners make here is, “Hey, did you know that the Chinese invented soccer?” …they say so. Even my teachers said so. I guess surely sometime in their 5,000 years of history some kids kicked something round for fun. It’s funny to some of the foreigners how many things are apparently invented in China.

    I don’t know about the song, though. I hear Peking opera (performed by retirees in the park with er-hu’s), and I still don’t get the music. I can’t count it or pick out a melody at all. Music will be on the study list after a few other things. It’s weird to be somewhere and not be able to “hear” the music.

  5. Sorry, I said “primal” when I meant “archetype” — 原型 yuan2 xing2 …

    Surely the Grand Ole BJ Opry can’t be the only kind of “music” in their antiquity, though, right?

    Do you remember “To Live,” when Fugui was a singer and puppet master? That stuff sounded almost native-American, without the beat …

  6. that stuff sounds like what we get in the park in the afternoons… not exactly the same, but definitely related. And yeah, I’m still looking for a beat!

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