You can download the mp3s, song lyrics with hanzi, pinyin, and English translation, and even the guitar chords if you want from Albert at LaowaiChinese.net, the guy who wrote Chinese 24/7. Great for language learners and funny. Here’s his latest Chinese ones:
“Kuàilè 快乐” – which he deliberately stuffed with all the Chinese pop music clichés he could think of.
Follow the links and you’ll also find English language songs about jiǎozi and his Chinese bicycles. The humour may or may not translate into Chinese too well, owing mostly to the fact that Mainlanders seem to have a much higher tolerance for clichéd phrases.
睡在我上铺的兄弟 / shuì zài wǒ shàng pù de xiōngdì / Brother Who Sleeps in the Top Bunk
A nostalgic song by 老狼 (“old wolf”) about growing apart after college.
(If, in an enlightened paroxysm of hegemonic benevolence, They are still blocking YouTube, you should be able to see the video here (youku) or here (tudou), or just listen to the mp3 below.)
The university years are like a window of relative freedom for the Mainlanders who get there. Before university millions sacrifice their childhoods in preparation for the national college entrance exam. After university they have to build a career that can eventually support their parents, grandparents, and child’s education. But in college all they have to do is go to class and do homework (work-study is much less common), so it’s a time to relax and have fun. This song is abut how the pressures of post-college life can strain even the closest relationships from the college days.
The title and lyrics of this song allude to two classic tragic romances: Romeo and Juliet and the “butterfly lovers” Liáng Shānbó and Zhù Yīngtái, often considered Romeo and Juliet’s ancient Chinese equivalent.
Like the Shakespeare play, Liáng Shānbó (the guy) and Zhù Yīngtái (the girl) want to get married but the families won’t cooperate so they end up dying. But unlike Romeo and Juliet, the butterfly lovers become butterflies and fly away together after Zhù Yīngtái jumps into Liáng Shānbó’s tomb while on the way to her arranged marriage. Obviously, such a story was destined for the Chinese pop charts.
Here’s the KTV version, lyrics and guitar chords below:
If the last song we did on here got 11 out of 10 for cheesiness, this one gets at least that for melodrama. Our teachers sang it last time we went to karaoke.
死了都要爱 / Even in Death I’ll Love / sǐle dōu yào ài
Shin (信乐团) is a popular rock band from Taiwan. “Even in Death I’ll Love” (死了都要爱) is a popular Korean song (“Love Over 1000 Years”) that Shin rewrote in Mandarin, thereby giving young internet-surfing East Asians yet another opportunity to argue about whose culture is derived from whose. The lead singer, A Shin (阿信) — who, as you’ll see in the video, is apparently quite the diva — left the band last year to launch a solo career in which he’s shamelessly selling out to the pretty-fied Asian pop market with syrupy Josh Groban covers. I have two Shin CDs; they sound like Evanescence with an 80’s rocker streak, and list Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin among their musical influences.
Here’s the epic live version (lyrics and guitar chords are below):
And here’s an mp3 of the album version:
Lyrics & Guitar Chords
Download: SileDouYaoAi.pdf (lyrics & guitar chords with pinyin/English cheatsheet). The guitar chords match the album version; the live version is in a different key.
歌词 / gē cí / Lyrics (the English needs help):
把每天当成是末日来相爱 / bǎ měitiān dàngchéng shì Mòrì lái xiāngài
Take every day like it’s the last day you have to love each other
(“Take every day like Armageddon has come to your love for each other”)
一分一秒都美到泪水掉下来 / yī fēn yī miǎo dōu měi dào lèishuǐ diào xiàlai
Each minute and each second are all so beautiful that tears fall down
不理会别人是看好或看坏 / bùlǐ huì biérén shì kàn hǎo huò kān huài
Ignore whether other people will think good or think bad
只要你勇敢跟我来 / zhǐyào nǐ yǒnggǎn gēn wǒ lái
So long as you’re brave follow me
爱不用刻意安排 / ài búyòng kèyì ānpái
Love doesn’t need a meticulous plan
凭感觉去亲吻相拥就会很愉快 / píng gǎnjué qù qīnwěn xiāng yōng jiù huì hěn yúkuài
Rely on feelings, go kiss and embrace each other, it’ll be delightful
享受现在别一开怀就怕受伤害 / xiǎngshòu xiànzài bié yì kāihuái jiù pà shòushānghài
Enjoy the present, don’t open up your heart and then just be afraid of injury
许多奇迹我们相信才会存在 / xǔduō qíjì wǒmen xiāngxìn cái huì cúnzài
Many miracles we believe there can be
Apparently every kid in China knows this song Jessica found it at ChinesePod.com. 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.
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 – wěi ba) instead of ears (耳朵 – ěr 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.