Song Translation Mu Lan Qing

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 12.35.58 AM

So here is a song near and dear to my heart, because it has references to the original 6th century poem that first told the story of Mu Lan. The song comes from Zhao Wei’s movie Mulan in 2009. When I was six, my grandmother made me memorize over sixty ancient Chinese poems and I’ve forgotten most of them now. All except Mu Lan Ci, roughly translated as the Ballad of Mulan, which originated from 6th Century BC. So this song is near and dear to my heart. Translation of Song and explanations below.

If you want to hear the song go and check this version. It looks pretty awesome!

Mu Lan Xiang (Light Green of Mu Lan Flower)
I see the clouds in the sky flying in chaos
I hear the roar of the battlefield bury sound of a single tear
Who does this desert belong to?
I’ve forgotten who I am
And who…
has turned this sky gray?
Waking up in the Black Mountains, sleeping by the yellow river, the wind blows north
Yesterday, the in the eastern market of my home, the fine warhorse waits for whom?
Underneath the iron clothes, you and I
From near death to heart break
I ask the sky
is this black or white?

A single heart, how much tears can it hold?
The life of love carries me, flying forward
Remember the beauty between heaven and earth
As this world and people, turns to dust
I wish to drink from the well of my home
But I’ve swallowed the taste of life and death
So let me toast to the past
And tell myself
I will never retreat

Waking up in the Black Mountains, sleeping by the yellow river, the wind blow north
Yesterday, the in the eastern market of my home, the fine warhorse waits for whom?
Underneath the iron clothes, you and I
From near death to heart break
I ask the sky
is this black or white?

So this is one of the ballads that I adore because the lyrics are so right for it. Nowadays some lyrics are pasted and copied to pretty songs but the lyrics don’t hold the means that they can. They aren’t meaningful or carry the historical signifcant of the piece they want to portray. Here this is different. This song incorporates lyrics that are from the historical poem Ballad of Mulan.

Specifically the words – Eastern Market,  Fine Warhorse. This comes from the poem, where Mu Lan is buying the war horse from the eastern market of her home town, so she can go into battle. Thus the song makes sense when it asks who is the fine war horse waiting for.

The words Black Mountains, Yellow River are another reference to the ancient poem. In the original poem it says that she leaves the home of her parents and sleeps by the yellow river, she can’t hear the cries of her parents missing her but only the rolling waves of the yellow river. In the black mountain reference, she can’t hear the cries of her parents missing her, only the din of battle from the enemies that surrounds the mountain.

Finally the words Iron Clothes comes directly from the poem. In the poem Mu Lan and her troops fights for 10 years, and travels all over. She faces all sorts of weather day and night, cold light iluminating her iron clothes.

Hope this makes the song more enjoyable!

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