05 November 2016

佚名 (中國民謠) Anonymous (Chinese Folk Song): 茉莉花 Jasmine Flower

Added (24.11.2016):  I thank Ray Heaton for providing this link to the "Moli Hua" or "Jasmine Flower" on the Wikipedia which is most informative and interesting.

Original post:  Today, I am posting my rendition of a Chinese folk song together with its musical score.  I hope it will prove to be sing-able.  Shall we sing along?

Anonymous (Chinese Folk Song): Jasmine Flower

1  O what a beautiful Moli flower!
2  O what a beautiful jasmine flower!
3  Fair and fragrant, you deck your sprays;
4  Pure and sweet and how we all praise.
5  Let me glean your blossoms so fair,
6  Send to neighbours to share.
7  Moli flower, O jasmine flower!
8  Jasmine flower, O Moli flower!

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)    譯者: 黄宏發
21st September 2014 (revised 18.1.16)
Translated from the Chinese original - 佚名  (中國民謠): 茉莉花 

1  好一朵美麗的茉莉花
2  好一呆美麗的茉莉花
3  芬芳美麗滿枝椏
4  又香又白人人誇
5  讓我來將你摘下
6  送給別人家
7  茉莉花呀茉莉花
8  茉莉花呀茉莉花

*Acknowledgement:  I am grateful to my friend Charles Y. Huang 黃用 who kindly let me have sight of his English rendition of this song in the summer of 2014 and from which  I have borrowed heavily.
*Rhyme and form:  The original is in one single rhyme with line 2 repeating line 1 and line 8 repeating line 7.  This English rendition is in rhyming couplets with a rhyme scheme of AABBCCAA.
Lines 1 and 2:  Although “jasmine” translates 茉莉perfectly, I have retained the transliteration of “Moli” in the opening line for its musicality and have done the same to open and close the last 2 lines.  I have omitted translating as the rest of the song makes sense only if understood as the plant and not a single flower.  I had originally penned “How fair, how lovely, O Moli/jasmine flower” but have rejected it as I need to use the word “fair” in subsequent lines.
*Line 3:  The order of 美麗 “fair (beautiful)” and 芬芳 “fragrant” is reversed to make it sound more pleasing in English.
*Line 4:  The order of “pure (white)” and “sweet (fragrant)” is reversed for the same reason.
*Line 5:  I have translated   (you) as “your blossoms” (which makes better sense) and have added “so fair” so as to create a rhyme for line 6.
*Line 6:  I have translated 別人家 as “neighbours rather than “others” or “friends”.  I have added “to share” which is implied in the line.
*THE MUSIC:  The musical score in “Numbered Musical Notation” 簡譜 together with the lyrics in both English and Chinese is given below.  Please note that I have only put down the numbered musical notes (with the symbol “^” or “_” added next to the note to stand for a higher or lower octave respectively).  Other information such as note length, musical rest, bar lines, etc. are omitted as I am unable to do them on my computer.  Here goes the song:-
Anonymous (Chinese folk song): Jasmine Flower (Moli Flower)
佚名: 茉莉花 (中國民謠)

3  3        5 61^   1^ 6    5     56  5
O what a beau-ti--ful Mo-li    flower
好一     朵美     麗的     

3  3        5 61^   1^ 6    5    56    5
O what a beau-ti--ful jasmine flower
好一     朵美           

5      5     5    35       5    6        6      5
Fair and fragrant you deck your sprays

3        23    5        32    1       2    3    1
Pure and sweet and how we all praise

32  13  2         3       5      6       1^  5
Let me glean your blossoms so fair

2       35   23      1        6_ 5_
Send to  neighbours to share.

6_ 1  2           3 12  16_  5_ 
Moli flower O jasmine flower
茉莉花         呀茉     

6_ 1        2           3  12  16_  5
Jasmine flower O  Mo-li    flower