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A Song That Bridges Cultures
Originally posted September 30, 2009

This is the most performed of our Chinese songs.  As you can see, it has a lot of verses with few repetitions, so it was not easy to learn.  I'll tell you why it's my favorite song after you check out the lyrics.

(tng nin)

池塘边的榕树上,
ch tng biān de rng sh shng
知了在声声叫着夏天,
zhī liǎo zi shēng shēng jio zhe xia tiān
 操场边的秋千上,
cāo chǎng biān de qiū qiān shng.
只有蝴蝶停在上面
zhǐ yǒu h di tng zi shng mian
黑板上老师的粉笔还在拼命
hēi bǎn shng lǎo shī de fěn bǐ hi zi pīn mng
叽叽喳喳写个不停
jī jī zhā zhā xiě g b tng
等待着下课
děng di zhe xi k 
等待着放学
děng di zhe fng xu  
等待游戏的童年
děng di yu x de tng nin


福利社里面什么都有
f l sh lǐ min shn me dōu yǒu
就是口袋里没有半毛钱
ji sh kǒu di lǐ mi yǒu bn mo qin
诸葛四郎和魔鬼党
zhū gě s lng h m guǐ dǎng
到底谁抢到那支宝剑
do dǐ shu qiǎng do nzhī bǎo jin
隔壁班的那个女孩怎么
g b bān de n ge nǚ hi zěn me
还没经过我的窗前
hi mi jīng gu wǒ de chuāng qin
嘴里的历史
zuǐ lǐ de l shǐ 
手里的漫画
shǒu lǐ de mn hu
心里初恋的童年
xīn li chū lin de tng nin

 

总是要等到睡觉 前
zǒng sh yo děng do shu jio qin
才知道功课只做了一点点
ci zhī do gōng k zhī zu le y diǎn diǎn
是要等到考试以后 
zǒng sh yo děng do kǎo sh yǐ hu
才知道该念的书都没有念
ci zhī do gāi nin de shū dōu mi yǒu nin
寸光阴一寸金 师说过
yī cn guāng yīn yī cn jīn lǎo shī shuō gu
寸金难买寸光阴
cn jīn nn mǎi cn guāng yīn
一天又一天
y tiān yu y tiān
一年又一年
yī nin yu yī nin
迷迷糊糊的童年
m m h hu de tng nin

 

没有人 知道为什么
mi yǒu rn zhī do wi shn me
阳总下 到山 的那 一 
ti yng zǒng xi do shān de n y biān
没有人能告诉我
mi yǒu rn nng go s wǒ
山里面有没有住着神仙
shān lǐ min yǒu mei yǒu zh zhe shn xiān
多少的日子里
duō shǎo de r zǐ lǐ zǒng sh y g rn
总是一个人面对着天空发呆
min du zhe tiān kōng fā dāi
就这么好奇
ji zh me ho q
就这么幻想
ji zh me hun xiǎng
这么孤单的童年
zh me gū dān de tng nin

 

阳光下蜻蜓飞过来
yng guāng xi qīng tng fēi gu li
一片片绿 油 油 的 稻田
y pin pin lǜ yōu yōu de do tin
水彩蜡 笔和万花 筒
shuǐ cǎi l bǐ h wn huā tǒng
画不出天(边那一条彩虹
 hu b chū tiān biān n yī tio cǎi hng
什么时候才能像
shn me sh hu ci nng xing
高年级的同学有张
gāi nin j de tng xu yǒu zhāng
成 熟与长大的脸
chng sh yǔ zhǎng d de liǎn
盼望着假期
pn wng zhe ji qī 
盼望着明天
pn wng zhe mng tiān
盼望长大的 童年
pn wng zhǎng d de tng nin

一天又一天
y tiān yu y tiān
一年又一年
yī nin yu yī nin
盼望长大的 童年
pn wng zhǎng d de tng nin

Childhood

On the banyan tree beside the pool

The cicada sings a song of summer

On the swing beside the playground,

there's a butterfly resting.

On the blackboard the teacher's chalk

scritching scratching without stopping

Waiting for the class to end,

waiting for school to end

waiting for the games of childhood.

 

In the commissary all anybody has

In their pocket is not half a penny.

Those cartoon characters, in the end

who will grab the treasure sword.

That girl in the next classroom

Why hasn't she passed by my window.

In mouth history lesson

In hand comic book

In heart first love of childhood.

 

Always wait until just before sleeping

to realize only a little homework's been done

Always wait until after the exam

To realize the reading list wasn't read.

An inch of time is an inch of gold said the teacher

an inch of gold won't buy any time

day by day

year by year

unconscious childhood

 

Nobody knows why the sun always goes

down on that side of the hill

Nobody can tell me whether there are

immortals living inside the mountain

How many days will a person

always face the sky in a trance

such curiosity

such imagination

such loneliness of childhood

 

In the sunshine the dragonfly

skims the shimmering green field

Watercolors and a kaleidoscope

Can't paint that rainbow outside

How long before, like the senior class,

we have grown up faces

Looking forward to vacation

Looking forward to tomorrow

Looking forward  to growing up from childhood


Oh day by day

year by year

Looking forward to growing out of childhood

It's probably obvious why I like this song.  Every line in it resonates with memories of my own childhood.  I'm sure my students, especially the ones who have never talked to a foreigner before,  think that westerners are very different from "Chinese people".  So I like to sing this song for them and then let them know that we all share the same experiences, and that at the deepest level we are one and the same people.

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