Thursday, October 12, 2017

China's National Anthem: (中国国歌) Banned

I have asked this friend, a Historian, to tell me why he loves the national anthem of China. He explains that it is only the music, lyrics and vitality of the song that he appreciates.

As a child, he used to live in the central area of Singapore and would be listening to it every day, five days a week. You know how a melody affects the listener when it is played repeatedly. It just sticks in the mind. He knows it as Qilai (起来) or 'rise up'. This story goes back to 1945.

              Anthem of China - 中国国歌 - Video: balancedaustralia

"Here's my story of my first encounter with what became China's National Anthem. It was the end of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. I was barely five when the Chinese school on a hill above my attap and timber house would end the day with the Qi Lai song blaring from a loudspeaker. 

Not long after, the song was no more: it was banned by the British colonial government. But it lingered on in my memory over many years. 

Today thanks to the internet I can sing the whole song as a tribute to a people who have risen to great heights of achievement from the depths of imperialism, disunity and poverty."

Qilai! Buyuan zuo nuli de ren men, 
Ba women de xuerou zhucheng women xin de chang cheng. 

Zhonghua Minzu dao liao zui weixian de shihou, 
Meigeren beipo zhe fachu zuihou de housheng. 
Qilai! Qilai! Qilai!
Women wanzhong yixin, 
Mao zhe diren de paohuo, 
Mao zhe diren de paohuo, 
Qianjin! Qianjin! Qianjin! Jin! 

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves; 
With our very flesh and blood 
Let us build our new Great Wall! 
The peoples of China are in the most critical time, 
Everybody with one mind, 
Brave the enemy's gunfire, 
March on! 
Brave the enemy's gun must roar his defiance. 

Arise! Arise! Arise! Millions of hearts ire, 
March on! 
March on! 
March on, on! 

Lyrics © Original Writer and Publisher 


Images: Google.
YouTube Video from balancedaustralia.

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