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送别 – Farewell song in memory of a girl from Old Beijing – 城南旧事

Posted by Grace Feng on November 10, 2013

送别 - Farewell song in a girl's memoir of the old Beijing - 城南旧事

How many of you remember your favorite childhood movies? Isn’t it true that those old movies and songs remind you of the old good times that you had? 城南旧事 chéng nán jiùshì (My Memories of Old Beijing) was one of my favorite movies though I couldn’t fully understand all the spirit of the movie at that time.

城南旧事 chéng nán jiùshì was the memoir of Taiwanese writer 林海音 lín hǎi yīn’s childhood life in Beijing. The book was published in 1960 and a movie adaptation was done in 1984.

Two things that I’m sure to remember for the rest of my life about the movie are the face of little 英子 yīng zǐ and the theme song that is so unforgettable. Overall, it would have been a pleasant movie if it had not related the fate of 秀贞 xiù zhēn and her daughter, who were both killed by a passing train. That scared me quite a bit while watching since I couldn’t understand why such terrible thing could have happened to them.

Nowadays, an excerpt from chapter 爸爸的花儿谢了 bàba de huā’ér xiè le in the book has been edited into Elementary Chinese textbooks.

To this post, I added a video that captures some scenes of the 1984 version movie with its theme song 送别 sòngbié, playing in the background. It does bring back some old memories for me. Hope the song can bring some for you too. :-)

送别

长亭外,古道边,芳草碧连天。

晚风拂柳笛声残,夕阳山外山。

天之涯,海之角,知交半零落。

一瓢浊洒尽余欢,今宵别梦寒。

长亭外,古道边,芳草碧连天。

问君此去几时来,来时莫徘徊。

天之涯,海之角,知交半零落。

人生难得是欢聚,唯有别离多。

[pinyin]

sòngbié

Lǐ Shūtóng

cháng tíng wài, gǔdào biān, fāng cǎo bì liántiān。
wǎn fēng bì liǔ dí shēng cán, xīyáng shān wài shān。
tiān zhī yá, hǎi zhī jiǎo, zhījiāo bàn língluò。
yī piáo zhuó sǎ jìn yú huān, jīn xiāo bié mèng hán。
cháng tíng wài, gǔdào biān, fāng cǎo bì liántiān。
wèn jūn cǐ qù jǐshí lái, lái shí mò páihuái。
tiān zhī yá, hǎi zhī jiǎo, zhījiāo bàn língluò。
rénshēng nándé shì huān jù, wéiyǒu biélí duō。

 

[English translation]

(Courtesy of www.phlst.cn/lianguanhongtan/)

Farewell

Translated by:  冯源 Feng Yuan (Hainan University, Haikou, China 570228) 

Song in My Memories of Old Beijing (Shanghai Films Studio, 1982)
Translated by Feng Yuan

Out-side the road shelter by the ancient trail,
Grasses are green and wild.

Willows are waving with lingering flute,
The sun’s setting down the hill.

To the ends of the earth,
Gone are the friends and acquaintances.

Take a cup of farewell with kind wishes,
Leaves the heart with cold dreams.

Out-side the road shelter by the ancient trail,
Grasses are green and wild.

Hope you come back when it’s convenient,
Don’t hesitate to return.

To the ends of the earth,
Gone are the friends and acquaintances.
Always remember the happy together
When you are far away.

 

Related posts:

One of my lifetime favorite - The saga of a general's family in Song Dynesty 杨家将
Learn a Chinese word through Wang Fei's song - 执迷不悔 (Blinded without regrets)
A nostalgic Chinese song - 小城故事 Small Town Story (by Teresa Teng)

 

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12 Responses to “送别 – Farewell song in memory of a girl from Old Beijing – 城南旧事”

  1. nothing

    josepha87:

    11-10-2013 9:52 am

    林海音(1918年4月28日-2001年12月1日),原名林含英,小名英子,生於日本大阪,原籍臺灣新竹州竹南郡頭分街(今苗栗縣頭份鎮),作家。提出了“纯文学”的概念,提携了大量台湾的文学青年。成名作为小说《城南舊事》。
    《城南舊事》。是一本小說集,包括「惠安館」、「我們看海去」、「蘭姨娘」、「驢打滾兒」、「爸爸的花兒落了」,講述林海音童年時的生活往事。『爸爸的花兒落了』一文收錄在台湾高中國文龍騰版課本第一冊;中國大陸方面,『竊讀記』一文收錄于人教社2005年版小學語文五年級上冊,『冬陽·童年·駱駝隊』一文則收錄于小學語文五年級下冊。

    來源 :
    http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh/%E6%9E%97%E6%B5%B7%E9%9F%B3

    Reply

  2. nothing

    josepha87:

    11-10-2013 11:13 am

    Translation of poetic language is a difficult and perilous exercise.
    Congratulations on your achievement ! I wish I could do the same !

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      11-10-2013 7:17 pm

      Joseph, this is not translated by me, see the line here:

      (Courtesy of http://www.phlst.cn/lianguanhongtan/)

      It’s translated by Feng Yuan (Hainan University, Haikou, China 570228) as stated on that website. :-) So to be clear I’ve added this info in the translation section too.

      Reply

      • nothing

        josepha87:

        11-10-2013 9:19 pm

        The translator ‘s surname is 冯 so I thought it was you !
        Sorry.
        Anyway, poetic language is so tricky when we translate it. Even Chinese people run the risk of failing to translate a Chinese song or a Chinese poem. Myself, I must admit that I don’t feel brave enough to translate French poetry into English words …

        Reply

        • nothing

          Grace Feng:

          11-11-2013 2:13 pm

          Yeah, the translator has the same last name as me – coincidence, hehe …

          Agree, poetic language IS very tricky for translation. Sometimes lyrics is just the same.

          Reply

  3. nothing

    josepha87:

    11-11-2013 3:04 am

    原文 《爸爸的花儿落了》。作者:林海音
    http://baike.baidu.com/view/838211.htm

    新建的大礼堂里,坐满了人;我们毕业生坐在前八排,我又是坐在最前一排的中间位子上。我的襟上有一朵粉红色的夹竹桃,是临来时妈妈从院子里摘下来给我别上的,她说:“夹竹桃是你爸爸种的,戴着它,就像爸爸看见你上台时一样!”

    爸爸病倒了,他住在医院里不能来。
    昨天我去看爸爸,他的喉咙肿胀着,声音是低哑的。我告诉爸爸,行毕业典礼的时候,我代表全体同学领毕业证书,并且致谢词。我问爸爸,能不能起来,参加我的毕业典礼。六年前他参加我们学校的那次欢送毕业同学同乐会时,曾经要我好好用功,六年后也代表同学领毕业证书和致谢词。今天,“六年后”到了,我真的被选做这件事。
    爸爸哑着嗓子,拉起我的手笑笑说:“我怎么能够去?”
    但是我说:“爸爸,你不去,我很害怕。你在台底下,我上台说话就不发慌了。”
    “英子,不要怕,无论什么困难的事,只要硬着头皮去做,就闯过去了。”
    “那么爸爸不也可以硬着头皮从床上起来到我们学校去吗?”
    爸爸看着我,摇摇头,不说话了。他把脸转向墙那边,举起他的手,看那上面的指甲。然后,他又转过脸来叮嘱我:
    “明天要早起,收拾好就到学校去,这是你在小学的最后一天了,可不能迟到!”
    “我知道,爸爸。”
    “没有爸爸,你更要自己管自己,并且管弟弟和妹妹,你已经大了,是不是?”
    “是。”我虽然这么答应了,但是觉得爸爸讲的话很使我不舒服,自从六年前的那一次,我何曾再迟到过?
    当我在一年级的时候,就有早晨赖在床上不起床的毛病。每天早晨醒来,看到阳光照到玻璃窗上了,我的心里就是一阵愁:已经这么晚了,等起来,洗脸,扎辫子,换制服,再到学校去,准又是一进教室被罚站在门边。同学们的眼光,会一个个向你投过来,我虽然很懒惰,却也知道害羞呀!所以又愁又怕,每天都是怀着恐惧的心情,奔向学校去。最糟的是爸爸不许小孩子上学乘车的,他不管你晚不晚。
    有一天,下大雨,我醒来就知道不早了,因为爸爸已经在吃早点。我听着,望着大雨,心里愁得了不得。我上学不但要晚了,而且要被妈妈打扮得穿上肥大的夹袄(是在夏天!),拖着不合脚的油鞋,举着一把大油纸伞,走向学校去!想到这么不舒服的上学,我竟有勇气赖在床上不起来了。
    过了一会,妈妈进来了。她看我还没有起床,吓了一跳,催促着我,但是我皱紧了眉头,低声向妈哀求说:
    “妈,今天晚了,我就不去上学了吧?”
    妈妈就是做不了爸爸的主意,当她转身出去,爸爸就进来了。他瘦瘦高高的,站在床前来,瞪着我:
    “怎么还不起来,快起!快起!”
    “晚了!爸!”我硬着头皮说。
    “晚了也得去,怎么可以逃学!起!”
    一个字的命令最可怕,但是我怎么啦?居然有勇气不挪窝儿。
    爸爸气极了,一把把我从床上拖起来,我的眼泪就流出来了。爸爸左看右看,结果从桌上抄起鸡毛掸子倒转来拿,藤鞭子在空中一抡,就发出咻咻的声音,我挨打了!
    爸爸把我从床头打到床角,从床上打到床下,外面的雨声混合着我的哭声。我哭号,躲避,最后还是冒着大雨上学去了。我是一只狼狈的小狗,被宋妈抱上了洋车——第一次花钱坐车去上学。
    我坐在放下雨篷的洋车里,一边抽抽搭搭地哭着,一边撩起裤脚来检查我的伤痕。那一条条鼓起来的鞭痕,是红的,而且发着热。我把裤脚向下拉了拉,遮盖住最下面的一条伤痕,我最怕被同学耻笑。
    虽然迟到了,但是老师并没有罚我站,这是因为下雨天可以原谅的缘故。
    老师叫我们先静默再读书。坐直身子,手背在身后,闭上眼睛,静静地想五分钟。老师说:想想看,你是不是听爸妈和老师的话?昨天的功课有没有做好? 今天的功课全带来了吗?早晨跟爸妈有礼貌地告别了吗?……我听到这儿,鼻子抽搭了一下,幸好我的眼睛是闭着的,泪水不至于流出来。
    静默之中,我的肩头被拍了一下,急忙地睁开了眼,原来是老师站在我的位子边。他用眼势告诉我,叫我向教室的窗外看去,我猛一转过头,是爸爸那瘦高的影子!
    我刚安静下来的心又害怕起来了!爸爸为什么追到学校来?爸爸点头示意招我出去。我看看老师,征求他的同意,老师也微笑地点点头,表示答应我出去。
    我走出了教室,站在爸爸面前。爸爸没说什么,打开了手中的包袱,拿出来的是我的花夹袄。他递给我,看着我穿上,又拿出两个铜板来给我。
    后来怎么样了,我已经不记得,因为那是六年以前的事了。只记得,从那以后,到今天,每天早晨我都是等待着校工开大铁栅栏校门的学生之一。冬天的清晨站在校门前,戴着露出五个手指头的那种手套,举了一块热乎乎的烤白薯在吃着。夏天的早晨站在校门前,手里举着从花池里摘下的玉簪花,送给亲爱的韩老师,是她教我跳舞的。
    啊!这样的早晨,一年年都过去了,今天是我最后一天在这学校里啦!
    当当当,钟声响了,毕业典礼就要开始。看外面的天,有点阴,我忽然想,爸爸会不会忽然从床上起来,给我送来花夹袄?我又想,爸爸的病几时才能好? 妈妈今早的眼睛为什么红肿着?院里大盆的石榴和夹竹桃今年爸爸都没有给上麻渣,他为了叔叔给日本人害死,急得吐血了,到了五月节,石榴花没有开得那么红, 那么大。如果秋天来了,爸还要买那样多的菊花,摆满在我们的院子里、廊檐下、客厅的花架上吗?
    爸爸是多么喜欢花。
    每天他下班回来,我们在门口等他,他把草帽推到头后面抱起弟弟,经过自来水龙头,拿起灌满了水的喷水壶,唱着歌儿走到后院来。他回家来的第一件事 就是浇花。那时太阳快要下去了,院子里吹着凉爽的风,爸爸摘一朵茉莉插到瘦鸡妹妹的头发上。陈家的伯伯对爸爸说:“老林,你这样喜欢花,所以你太太生了一堆女儿!”我有四个妹妹,只有两个弟弟。我才12岁……
    我为什么总想到这些呢?韩主任已经上台了。他很正经地说:“各位同学都毕业了,就要离开上了六年的小学到中学去读书,做了中学生就不是小孩子了,当你们回到小学来看老师的时候,我一定高兴看你们都长高了,长大了……”
    于是我唱了五年的骊歌,现在轮到同学们唱给我们送别:“长亭外,古道边,芳草碧连天。问君此去几时来,来时莫徘徊!天之涯,地之角,知交半零落,人生难得是欢聚,惟有别离多……”
    我哭了,我们毕业生都哭了。我们是多么喜欢长高了变成大人,我们又是多么怕呢!当我们回到小学来的时候,无论长得多么高,多么大,老师!你们要永远拿我当个孩子呀!
    做大人,常常有人要我做大人。
    宋妈临回她的老家的时候说:
    “英子,你大了,可不能跟弟弟再吵嘴!他还小。”
    兰姨娘跟着那个四眼狗上马车的时候说:
    “英子,你大了,可不能招你妈妈生气了!”
    蹲在草地里的那个人说:
    “等到你小学毕业了,长大了,我们看海去。”
    这些人都随着我的长大没有了影子了。是跟着我失去的童年一起失去了吗?
    爸爸也不拿我当孩子了,他说:
    “英子,去把这些钱寄给在日本读书的陈叔叔。”
    “爸爸!”
    “不要怕,英子,你要学做许多事,将来好帮着你妈妈。你最大。”
    于是他数了钱,告诉我怎样到东交民巷的正金银行去寄这笔钱——到最里面的台子上去要一张寄款单,填上“金柒拾元整”,写上日本横滨的地址,交给柜台里的小日本儿!
    我虽然很害怕,但是也得硬着头皮去——这是爸爸说的,无论什么困难的事,只要硬着头皮去做,就闯过去了。
    “闯练,闯练,英子。”我临去时爸爸还这样叮嘱我。
    我心情紧张地手里捏紧一卷钞票到银行去。等到从最高台阶的正金银行出来,看着东交民巷街道中的花圃种满了蒲公英,我很高兴地想:闯过来了,快回家去,告诉爸爸,并且要他明天在花池里也种满了蒲公英。
    快回家去!快回家去!拿着刚发下来的小学毕业文凭——红丝带子系着的白纸筒,催着自己,我好像怕赶不上什么事情似的,为什么呀?
    进了家门来,静悄悄的,四个妹妹和两个弟弟都坐在院子里的小板凳上,他们在玩沙土,旁边的夹竹桃不知什么时候垂下了好几枝子,散散落落的,很不像样,石榴树大盆底下也有几粒没有长成的小石榴.我很生气,问妹妹们:
    “是谁把爸爸的石榴摘下来的?我要告诉爸爸去!”
    妹妹们惊奇地睁大了眼,她们摇摇头说:“是它们自己掉下来的。”
    我捡起小青石榴。缺了一根手指头的厨子老高从外面进来了,他说:
    “大小姐,别说什么告诉你爸爸了,你妈妈刚从医院来了电话,叫你赶快去,你爸爸已经……”
    他为什么不说下去了?我忽然觉得着急起来,大声喊着说:
    “你说什么?老高。”
    “大小姐,到了医院,好好儿劝劝你妈,这里就数你大了!就数你大了!”
    瘦鸡妹妹还在抢燕燕的小玩意儿,弟弟把沙土灌进玻璃瓶里。是的,这里就数我大了,我是小小的大人。我对老高说:
    “老高,我知道是什么事了,我就去医院。”我从来没有过这样的镇定,这样的安静。
    我把小学毕业文凭,放到书桌的抽屉里,再出来,老高已经替我雇好了到医院的车子。走过院子,看那垂落的夹竹桃,我默念着:
    爸爸的花儿落了。
    我已不再是小孩子。

    http://fy.iciba.com
    有帮助。上下文对翻译句子也有帮助!

    The actress 沈洁 Shen Jie ( 英子 the girl ), started at a very early age but unfortunately had a short career.
    Of course, that is not to say that she can’t enjoy her current life, doing something else for a living now, far from the showbiz society…
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0791476/

    In this story, the girl full of wit and goodness has been the witness of devastated lives…I took a look at the screenplay of the movie, in English ( he, he ! ) to understand better : very sad story indeed …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Memories_of_Old_Beijing_(film)

    Reply

  4. nothing

    Grace Feng:

    11-11-2013 8:58 pm

    Thanks for putting them up in one page, Joseph. :-) Yes, audio stories actually are the focus of this blog.

    I will continue to record more audio stories. There will be a much longer one that’ll be posted as a serial novella (written by me) at upper intermediate level. I still need a bit more time to finish it up. Stay tuned.

    Grace

    Reply

  5. nothing

    白睿:

    11-12-2013 6:33 pm

    Thanks for posting this Grace! I was very surprised by you saying that 秀贞 and her daughter were killed by a train! This is not mentioned in the book, where 秀贞 takes her daughter 妞儿 to catch a train to return to her lover in 天津. She and her daughter disappear into the darkness hurrying to catch the train and there is no hint that they are killed. Obviously the film made some changes to the original story, perhaps to make it more dramatic.

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      11-13-2013 1:49 am

      That was the “scary part” for me when I watched it. In the movie, 秀贞 took her daughter 妞儿 to catch the train in a rainy night. 英子 was worried and followed them. But the rain was pouring, she passed out on the road. Then she was sent to the hospital by her family and sick in bed for a few days. While she was in hospital, the local newspaper posted a head news saying a woman and her daughter got killed by a train. I didn’t know this was a change of the original story. Well, probably movie version made it too dramatic consider lots of the its audience could be elementary students. :-(

      Reply

  6. nothing

    白睿:

    11-13-2013 12:18 pm

    Ha,ha, yes they probably scared lots of Chinese children by altering the story in that way! ;-) The story is sad anyway without changing it to make it more sad.

    Reply

  7. nothing

    Jeff-Joseph:

    11-26-2013 7:57 pm

    “Her story” would not be an audio story ?

    Maybe. Got to check on my desktop PC. Yes, it ‘s so easy to get lost.
    The sitemap is helpful…but I need a list of all the audio stories :
    Title + link for the text + link for the sound. ( too busy now to edit that list… )

    Big website here : the ‘map’ takes a while to be completely loaded !
    http://justlearnchinese.com/sitemap-2/

    “Unsettled youth” is undoubtedly an audio story and I forgot to mention it.
    http://justlearnchinese.com/learn-to-speak-mandarin-from-tv-episode-excerpt-unsettled-youth-我们无处安放的青春-1/

    And the “Reading, Listening and Speaking practice” series ! mp3 files there too !
    http://justlearnchinese.com/reading-listening-and-speaking-practice-1/

    Lost in the middle of the jungle although that is an organized jungle with different sections.
    Don ‘t worry, Grace, I am the kind of guy who seldom cries and often makes his own tools !

    NEW VIDEO

    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/1973767460459455/B3freebisv.html

    —> To get the best result :

    # Download Firefox web browser for PCs here :
    http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

    # Download Google Chrome web browser for Ipads here :.
    https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/chrome/id535886823?l=en&mt=8

    Watching the webpage on Ipads :
    As soon as you open Chrome browser, paste the address of my webpage into the browser bar at the top (+Enter). You will create a bookmark (favorite) there next time.

    SONG LYRICS

    一眼之念 一念执著

    ***To see is to remember, and once I remember, the memories persevere

    注定就此飞蛾扑火
    (We were) fated to be like moths drawn to a flame

    明知是祸 为何还不知所措
    Even though (we) clearly knew it would (end in) disaster, why are (we) still at a loss?

    最好不见 最好不念
    It would have been better never to have met, It would have been better to not (have to) yearn (remember)

    如此才可不与你相恋
    Then, we could have not fallen in love

    多一步的擦肩
    It only took a single step brush shoulders,

    就步步沦陷
    (then), with every footstep, we sank (deeper)

    是时间的过错
    The wrong passage of time

    让我们只能错过
    determined that we could only miss our opportunity (to be destined together)

    我多想念 你多遥远
    The more I miss you, the further you are

    早知道是苦果
    Had I known the bitter result

    这一刻也不想逃脱
    even so, I would not consider escaping this moment

    可惜这字眼太刺眼
    The words “what a pity” are too piercing (literally, like a sun is too piercing to the eye)

    两个世界之后
    ***In the aftermath of two worlds

    只好 情深 缘浅
    ***with the brevity of our fate (together), we can only love deeply

    是时间的过错
    Because of the wrong passage of time

    我们只能错过
    we could only miss our opportunity

    我有多么想念 你有多遥远
    How much I miss you is equal to how far away you are

    早知道结局是不能抗拒的错
    Had I known the fault was that this ending could not be opposed

    停留在这一刻
    I would have lingered in this moment

    不想逃脫
    (still) not wanting to escape (this fate)

    Song translated by Belugaaa (***tricky)
    http://belugaaa.blogspot.fr/2013/08/translation.html

    All-in-one page :

    You can read the text and move the cursor of the sound player at the same time so that means you can read a word and hear it at the same time…
    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/1973767460459455/Move_the_cursor.JPG

    # Including Just ‘Learn Chinese’
    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/1973767460459455/A2freebisw.html

    # Including ‘Zhongwen Red’ ( for beginners )
    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/1973767460459455/A1freebisw.html

    This tool is not so rough as it appears at first sight !

    All-in-one page : 2 new pages

    # Featuring ‘Rutgers.edu’ ( all levels )
    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/1973767460459455/A3freebisw.html

    # Featuring ‘Ramou and Cslpod’ ( to the French fellows )
    http://sd-2.archive-host.com/membres/up/1973767460459455/A4freebisw.html

    http://justlearnchinese.com/grammar-lessons/

    To make a good start, in addition to the grammar lessons on Just Learn Chinese, a few sets of Youtube videos are interesting too. For instance :

    http://youtube.com/results?q=askbenny
    ( grammar points)

    http://youtube.com/results?q=mandarinnetwork

    On JLC, I think I will go to the vocabulary lessons later. Those lessons often seem harder to me and in my opinion, focusing on grammar first is more logical : grammar lays the foundation. You can use the same patterns and then fill them up with some new vocabulary.
    …Please tell me if you have any other suggestions !

    http://justlearnchinese.com/vocabulary/

    All my selected videos have both English subtitles and Chinese subtitles but you must often wait till the song at the beginning of the video is finished before you can see these subtitles.

    Reply

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