Xian Xinghai 冼星海 – Yellow River Cantata 黃河大合唱 (Audio + Score)

Friends! Have you seen the Yellow River? Have you crossed the Yellow River? Do you remember scenes of the boatmen risking their lives to battle the perilous waves? If you have forgotten then listen! Hai-yo! Row! Row, forge ahead! Hai-yo! Stormy clouds veil the sky! Surging waves as high as mountains! Cold winds slap our faces! Surfs crash into the boat! Fellow boatmen keep a lookout! Helmsman hold firm! Stay alert do not slack off! Fight for your lives do not be afraid! Hai! Row! Do not fear the mountainous waves! Boating on the Yellow River is like fighting at the front Unite and forge ahead! Hai! Row! Row, forge ahead! Hai-yo! Hahaha! The shore is in our view Now we have reached the shore Hearts, calm down Catch a breath Soon, we will again risk our lives fighting those raging waves! Hai-yo! Row! Hey! Ah! My friends! The heroic spirit of the Yellow River dominates the plains of Asia representing the vigor of our nation mighty and strong! Here, facing the Yellow River we sing our song of praise. I stand on the mountain peak gazing at the Yellow River rolling towards the southeast. Golden waves surge lofty waters rise muddy swirling rapids mark its sinuous course down from the Kunlun mountain rushing toward the Yellow Sea. dividing the central plains of China into southern and northern parts. Ah, Yellow River! You are the cradle of the Chinese people! You have nurtured five thousand years of ancient culture many heroic tales have taken place on your shores! Ah, Yellow River! You are mighty and strong like a giant you appear on the plains of Asia using your heroic physique to build our people’s defense. Ah, Yellow River! You rush along to the horizon majestic, extending your arms like countless strips of iron towards both northern and southern shores. Our people’s mighty spirit will flourish under your nurture! From your example, our homeland’s heroic sons and daughters will learn to become just as mighty and strong as you! Yellow River! We want to learn to become as mighty and strong as you! Here, before you, we offer a poem confiding in you the catastrophes suffered by our people. Yellow River’s water, descended from heaven sweeping, surging forward; the cries of the hissing river shatter our courage! The river is China’s major artery, rapidly circulating the people’s lifeblood throughout the land. The red sun shines high, its golden rays burst open from the surface of the water. The moon rises over the mountains east, its silver beams on the river glimmer like
snow. The river shakes, and leaps like a flying dragon traversing ten thousand miles each day, emptying into the vast eastern sea. From Hukou to Longmen, strange battle formations are displayed in the sky. People do not dare lean close to the riverside even a poisonous dragon does not dare dwell on the river bottom. From ten miles away see the thick plumes of smoke rising upwards as from a large blazing fire, blanketing the entire sky. This cauldron brings our lifeblood to a rolling boil. In fact, when the cold air closes in your whole body trembles. The river groans and quakes emitting the power of a billion horses, shaking the earth’s crust and dispersing the dark clouds in the sky. Ah, Yellow River! The king of rivers! When enraged, it is a mad wild beast worse than ten million poisonous pythons. making waves, stirring up storms and wrecking the people’s embankment. Therefore, on both shores of the Yellow River terrible calamities took place: The river devoured people on both shores it leveled over hundreds of miles of villages causing tens of thousands of fellow countrymen to be exiled into an unfamiliar land. Old and young struggling on the brink of starvation, hanging on the verge of death. Today, people on the two shores once again suffer unprecedented calamities. Pirates from the East are letting out murderous fumes of death on Asia’s level plains. starvation and death are like the cachectic fever spreading infection on the shores of the Yellow River. Ah, Yellow River! you nurture our people’s growth: you have seen with your own eyes the calamities that this ancient nation has suffered for five thousand years! Since ancient times numerous bloody battles have unfolded on the shores of the Yellow River. Piles of white bones fill your body and your surface is stained dark red with blood! Yet, you have never seen ruthlessness like that unleashed today nor have you seen the Yellow Emperor’s sons and grandsons mobilizing the entire country as they do today. On the shores of the Yellow River scores of guerilla fighters and field units are scattered like stars, spread out like chess pieces behind the enemy from within the green muslin tents, valiant battles are launched amid the cluster of ten thousand mountains! Ah, Yellow River! You record our people’s history through the dynasties. From ancient to present many heroes rose along your banks! However, never before have you seen four hundred million fellow countrymen united like steel and iron. Hundreds of thousands of heroes spill their blood to defend the country of their forefathers. The brave and honorable tales of these heroes are your raging waves, strong, intense, and awesome! Ah, Yellow River! Have you ever heard victory’s triumphant songs sung on your shores? Have you ever seen the iron army of our home country ambush the enemy spread out like a net that covers both earth and sky? They guard your shores, preventing the enemy from crossing over! Their goal is to bury the ferocious enemy beneath your billowing waves! Ah, Yellow River! You rush and roar angrily ridding the fascists’ evil demons singing their burial song! Your deafening roar travels across our homeland’s plains. A triumphant song to honor our people’s great victory! Roar out loud, across our homeland’s plains the triumphant song to honor our people’s great victory! We are sons and daughters of the Yellow River who arduously strive toward victory with each passing day! But each day that the enemy is not destroyed is one more day that we cannot rest. If you doubt this then listen to the painful groans of the multitudes of people on the river to the east. Yellow water, rushing eastward flowing for ten thousand miles. Swift waters, high waves racing rapids sound like the cries of tigers and wolves. Open canals and build embankments for to the east lies level soil fertile for sprouting wheat and fragrant soy flowers. Men and women, young and old, live in happy prosperity. But since the enemy came, these common people have suffered great calamities! Treachery, wickedness, burning, and murder create a desert of desolation. People escorting the elderly and carrying the young disperse in all directions to
flee death. Losing fathers and mothers, they are unable to return to their home villages! Yellow waters rush along day and night as families are torn apart! Families torn apart, wives and husbands, children and parents! Will we forever be refugees? Listen, as two villagers dialogue on the Yellow River’s bank. Zhang thirdborn, let me ask you Where is your hometown? My home is in Shaanxi three hundred miles from the river. Let me ask you, in your hometown did you farm the land or trade? I held the hoe, plowed the fields, planted sorghum and millets. Why then are you here wandering the bank, lonely and sorrowful? Please don’t bring up painful matters my home was destroyed and I know not the fate of my family. Zhang thirdborn, don’t be sad my fate is worse than yours! Why, Wang seventhborn, where is your hometown? I used to do business in the northeast. Eight long years I’ve had no news from home. All this said, you and I both have homes we can’t return to! Within our hearts, enmity and hatred swirl like the rapids of the Yellow River! On the Yellow River’s bank, let us both resolve to fight back! For our country, we will become soldiers go up Taihang mountain to fight as guerillas! From this day, you and I together will fight to regain our homeland! [REPEAT] Friends! We will fight and regain our homeland! Our country is in such disarray! Can any man with wife and children bear the enemy’s humiliation? Dear compatriots, listen to a woman’s sorrowful and tragic singing. Oh wind, do not howl! Oh clouds, do not hide! Oh Yellow River, do not whimper! Tonight, I stand before you in tears, to pour out my hatred and grief. Oh fate, so bitter! Oh life, so hard! My enemy, you have no conscience! My precious child, you died so horribly! There was no hatred or grudge between us yet you left me to a nameless existence in this world! Oh wind, do not howl! Oh dark clouds, do not hide! Oh Yellow River, do not whimper! Tonight, I will throw myself into your embrace to wash away my myriad sorrows and sufferings! Oh husband, you’re as far away as the the horizon! We shall reunite again below the earth! Think how your wife and children died so tragically! You must settle this blood debt for me! You must have this debt repaid for me! You must have this debt repaid for me! Sons and daughters of China who is willing to be slaughtered like pigs and sheep? We must resolve to be victorious to defend the Yellow River! To defend northern China! To defend all of China! The wind howls, horses neigh the Yellow River roars! To the west stands a towering hill. East and north of the river, sorghum has ripened. Amid thousands of mountain clusters are many heroes! Inside green muslin tents there are valiant guerilla warriors! Armed with local guns and foreign-made guns waving large knives and long spears they defend our hometowns! Defend the Yellow River! Defend northern China! Defend all of China! [REPETITION] Listen, the Pearl River roars angrily! The Yangtze River is raging on! Ah! Yellow River! Raise up your angry waves, let loose your wild bellows sound the battle cry for all of China’s oppressed people sound the battle cry! Roar, Yellow River! Raise up your angry waves, let loose your wild bellows! Workers across the land cry out for battle! For such an ancient nation to suffer so much! Our cruelly oppressed people can no longer bear the torment! But for China, a new day is already dawning four hundred and fifty million people have united pledging their lives to defend this soil! Listen! The Songhua River is calling! The Heilong River is calling! The mighty Pearl River roars its defiance! All along the Yangtze River, beacon lights are burning! Ah! Yellow River! Roar on! To all of China’s suffering people sound the battle cry! To laborers all over the world sound the battle cry!

6 thoughts on “Xian Xinghai 冼星海 – Yellow River Cantata 黃河大合唱 (Audio + Score)

  1. What a gigantic upload! I love the use of subtitles, that must've been a lot of extra work. Well worth it. Also, I didn't realize anyone other than me was using that python script! I'm very flattered that someone else could get usage out of it 🙂

  2. Where can I find the sheet music? My Students are interested in playing this.

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