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How Great Is Our China

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How Great Is Our China

Music of China
General topics
Genres
Specific forms
Media and performance
Music festivals Midi Modern Music Festival
Music media
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem
Regional music

Historical Chinese anthems comprise a number of Chinese official and unofficial national anthems composed during the early 20th century. Today, there are only two remaining:

Three Principles of the People
March of the Volunteers

Tune of Li Zhongtang

Quasi-official

For purposes of diplomatic missions to Western Europe and Russia, Li Hongzhang (Zhongtang being a term of respect for a vizier or prime minister) employed in 1896 political lyrics combined with classical Chinese music—later known as "The Tune of Li Zhongtang" (李中堂樂).

金殿當頭紫閣重,
仙人掌上玉芙蓉,
太平天子朝天日,
五色雲車駕六龍。

With a golden palace above his head, and fold upon fold of purple pavilions,
Like a jade hibiscus on the palm of an immortal,
The Son of Heaven of Perfect Peace pays homage to the sun in the sky,
Riding on a five-coloured car of cloud pulled by six dragons.

Praise the Dragon Flag

Quasi-official

After the Department of Army was established in 1906, it became the army song, and had been played at formal occasions overseas.

於斯萬年,
亞東大帝國!
山嶽縱橫獨立幟,
江河漫延文明波;
四百兆¹民神明冑,
地大物產博。
揚我黃龍帝國徽,
唱我帝國歌!

Here for ten thousand years,
Great Empire of East Asia!
The criss-crossing mountains stand alone,
The wide-spreading rivers are the waves of the civilization;
Four hundred million¹ people under the auspice of the gods,
The land is large and the produce great.
Wave my yellow dragon emblem of the Empire,
Sing the song of our Empire!

¹兆 usually means one trillion (1012), but it could mean one million (106), and should have that value here in the song for factual accuracy. See Chinese numerals for details.

Cup of Solid Gold (1911–1912)

Official

The Cup of Solid Gold became the official national anthem of the Qing Empire in less than a month when the Wuchang Uprising occurred in 1911. It lasted for about one year until the end of the establishment of the republic. It is in classical Chinese.

Song of Five Races under One Union

Provisional

After the establishment of the provisional government in Nanjing, the Ministry of Education under Cai Yuanpei asked the public for possible anthem (as well as coat of arm), and the one whose lyrics was written by Shen Enyun (沈恩孕) and music by Shen Pengnian (沈彭年) was released as a draft in the newspaper. It was called the Song of Five Races under One Union (五旗共和歌)

亞東開化中國早,
揖美追歐,
舊邦新造。

飄揚五色旗,
民國榮光,
錦繡山河普照。

我同胞,
鼓舞文明,
世界和平永保。

China, earliest civilization of East Asia,
Admiring America and chasing Europe,
The old nation is under new construction.

The five-coloured flag flutters,
The glory of the Republic
shines over our beautiful mountain and rivers.

My compatriots,
let us sing for civilization.
The universal peace will forever be protected.

How Great is Our China!

Unofficial

Also called "Patriotic Song" (愛國歌), "How Great is Our China!" (泱泱哉,我中華!) has lyrics written by Liang Qichao and music by overseas Chinese in Datong School (大同學校), Yokohama. Released in 1912, it was widespread especially among students.

泱泱哉,我中華!
最大洲中最大國,
廿二行省為一家,
物產腴沃甲天地,
天府雄國言非誇。
君不見英日區區三島尚崛起,
況乃堂堂我中華!

結成團體,
振我精神,
二十世紀新世界,
雄飛宇內疇與倫?

可愛哉,我國民!
可愛哉,我國民!

How great is our China!
The largest nation of the largest continent.
Twenty-two administered provinces are one family.
Rich products and fertile land are the first in the world.
Calling this strong nation heaven on earth is not boasting.
Don't you see: Britain and Japan, only three islands, still prosper.
How much more our great China?

Join as one body.
Excite our spirit.
In this new world of the twentieth century,
Strongly soar among fellow mankind of the universe.

How lovely is our people!
How lovely is our people!

Song to the Auspicious Cloud (1913–1928)

Official

The Song to the Auspicious Cloud has two versions, one is used in 1913 while another after 1920.

First version

On April 8, 1913, the national anthem used in opening ceremony of the 1st regular council, the last line is added by Wang Baorong (汪宝荣), others lines are from Shang Shu, and set to music by Jeans Hautstont.

卿雲爛兮﹑ 
糺¹縵縵兮﹐
日月光華﹐
旦復旦兮。
時哉夫,天下非一人之天下也。

How bright is the Auspicious Cloud!
How broad is the brilliancy!
The light is spectacular with sun or moon.
How it revives dawn after dawn!
Now, the country isn't one man's country.

Second version

In November 1919, Tuan Chi-jui established the National Anthem Research Committee (國歌研究會), which adopted:

  • The lyrics (1920) by Zhang Taiyan (章太炎) from the classic "The Song to the Auspicious Cloud" (卿雲歌) from Shang Shu
  • The music (1921) by Beijing professor, Xiao Youmei (蕭友梅).
The anthem was released in July 1921 by the Department of National Affairs (國務院).

卿雲爛兮﹑ 
糺¹縵縵兮﹐
日月光華﹐
旦復旦兮。

How bright is the Auspicious Cloud!
How broad is the brilliancy!
The light is spectacular with sun or moon.
How it revives dawn after dawn!

¹糺 (jiū "collaborate") is sometimes written as 糾 (jiū "investigate") or 織 (zhī "to web")

China Heroically Stands in the Universe (1915–1921)

Official

After general Yuan Shikai became head of state, the Ritual Regulations Office (禮制館) issued the new official anthem China Heroically Stands in the Universe (中國雄立宇宙間) on June 1915. Its lyrics were written by Yin Chang (廕昌) and music by Wang Lu (王露).

中國雄立宇宙間﹐
廓八埏﹐
華冑來從崑崙巔﹐
江河浩盪山綿連﹐
共和五族開堯天﹐
億萬年。

China heroically stands in Universe,
Extends to the Eight Corners,
The famous descendant from Kunlun Peak.
The rivers turn greatly, the mountains continuous.
Five nationalities open up the sky of Yao,
For millions of myriads of years.

Song of National Revolution

Provisional

Written by officers of the Whampoa Military Academy, The "Revolution of the Citizens" Song (國民革命歌 Guomin Geming Ge), sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques (commonly known as "Two Tigers" in China)," was released on July 1, 1926.

打倒列強,打倒列強,
除軍閥,除軍閥;
努力國民革命,努力國民革命,
齊奮鬥,齊奮鬥。

工農學兵,工農學兵,
大聯合!大聯合!
打倒帝國主義,打倒帝國主義,
齊奮鬥,齊奮鬥。

打倒列強, 打倒列強,
除軍閥 , 除軍閥;
國民革命成功,國民革命成功,
齊歡唱,齊歡唱。

Overthrow the foreign Powers, × 2
Eliminate the warlords; × 2
The citizens strive hard for the Revolution, × 2
Joint affair to fight. × 2

Laborers, farmers, students, and soldiers, × 2
Make a great union! × 2
Overthrow the imperialism, × 2
Joint affair to fight. × 2

Overthrow the foreign Powers, × 2
Eliminate the warlords; × 2
The Revolution is successful; ×2
Joyfully sing in unison. ×2

[1]

The Internationale

When the Chinese Soviet Republic was established in 1931, the Internationale in Chinese was decided to be its national anthem, since it followed the ideals of Communism, especially the Soviet Union.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ (Chinese) Xinhua Net: Collections of military revolutionary songs
  2. ^ (Chinese) People's Daily: History of Chinese national anthems in a hundred years

External links

  • This links to several of these anthems, including Audio, lyrics, and sheet music
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