Monday, 13 May 2013

A Chinese Joke / Folk Song - Updated on Valentine's Day 2016

There seems to be no translation into English, nor explanation, of this funny Chinese song on Youtube: 





so here's the gist of it and some background info at the end!

The song is sung in the Yunnan dialect, which I had to decipher with the help of subtitles. It features three characters: Little Big Brother, Fat Sister and Younger Sister.

[Update, Valentine's Day 2016: This is apt for Valentine's Day methinks. A source from China has provided an explanation into Standard Chinese here, and my updated translation into English is based on that source's explanation. AND THAT SOURCE HAS PROVIDED THE FINAL VERSE OF THE SONG!!! :-D Enjoy! :-)]

先打斑鸠现钳毛
Title: Hit the turtledove first to reveal its plier-plucked feathers 

小哥哥来听妹来说,莫嫌妹子瘦戳戳,瘦人的身材多苗条,你闻干屁都闻不着
Younger Sister: Little Big Brother, come and listen to Younger Sister as she tells you / not to laugh at Younger Sister for being a bag of bones / skinny people are so very good-looking / [Update: (you're such a plonker that Younger Sister) isn't willing to even let you smell (her) farts]

太阳出来红丢丢,有一窝小斑鸠,这只斑鸠嘴最搀,专吃妹家小泥鳅
Man (Little Big Brother): The sun is red when it rises / I have a small turtledove nesting at home / the mouth of this turtledove is most clingy [Update: (selective?)] / it only eats little mudskippers from Little Sister's home

小家伙来听我说,咋个撒尿当水喝,妹子脾气生得怪,把你拿了透根割
Fat Sister: Listen to me, kiddo / how can piss be drunk as water? / Younger Sister's in a strange mood / [update: (she'll)] take and cut you up

这个胖婆不知羞,咋个要来逮斑鸠,小心斑鸠飞起来,啄着你家小泥鳅
Man: This fat cow has no shame / why should the turtledove be caught? / be careful of the turtledove taking flight / and pecking the little mudskippers in your home.

[Spoken interlude: I'm guessing the guy is asking Fat Sister to continue the song.]

小哥说话给害羞,你说有窝小斑鸠,当心小妹逮着你,挨毛拔光身体补
Fat Sister: Little Big Brother is shy when he speaks / you say you have a nest with a small turtledove / be careful of Younger Sister catching you / and [update: helping to] pluck the feathers (hairs) off until your body is bare

胖婆娘来莫嚣张,我有一杆小手枪,我把枪口对准掉,打在你的脑门上
Man: Don't boast, fat cow / I have a small handgun / I'll aim the gun squarely / at your head and shoot
 
妹家房前为你开,只要你敢飞过来,不信你就试试瞧,先打斑鸠现钳毛
Fat Sister: Younger Sister's house is open to you / if only you dare to fly over / if you don't believe this, take a look / hit the turtledove first to reveal its plier-plucked feathers

站在高山打一枪,枪声响起震四方,捂着耳朵听见响,震得胖妹喊心慌
Man: I'll stand on a high mountain and shoot once / the shot will reverberate everywhere / ears will be covered to listen to that noise / which will cause Fat Little Sister to quake so much, she'll shout that she's flustered

你有一杆小手枪,我也有得手一双,你有枪口对准我,撕做两半丢一旁
Fat Sister: You may have a small handgun / but I have a pair of hands / if you aim the barrel of that gun at me / I'll rip the gun in half and toss it aside

管你甘心不甘心,白日青天发神经,今晚闹到你认输,三日不想吃顿饭
Man: It doesn't matter if you're satisfied and willing or not / you go crazy in bright daylight / I'll kick up a fuss tonight until you admit defeat / and will yourself not to eat anything for three days

不甘心来心不甘,妹子想你好几晚,今日总算得见你,问你给会打干绊
Younger Sister: Not being willing equals not being satisfied / Younger Sister has been thinking of you for a few nights now / at least she got to see you today / and to ask if you knew how (to set traps? [Update: my source says they have never heard of 打干绊.])

前晚我到小妹家,望见小妹生娃娃,粗脚大手就仿我,细皮白肉像他妈
Man: I went to Younger Sister's house the night before / and saw Younger Sister giving birth to a baby / whose rough feet and large hands were like mine / but whose fine skin and paleness was like his (or her) mother's

[Spoken interlude: I'm guessing Younger Sister is asking Fat Sister to continue as she can't rebut Little Big Brother, but Fat Sister tells her to keep on singing.]

这个小哥莫自夸,年小身体实在差,不信你就等着瞧,整了胯乍胯乍喊爹妈
Younger Sister: This Little Big Brother shouldn't boast too much about himself / he's too young and his body is reedy / if you don't believe this, wait and see / him running around and shouting for his parents

劝你小妹莫去嫖,嫖上性病难治疗,小妹生病我见着,阎王要你命一条
Man: I advise you, Younger Sister, not to prostitute yourself / if you prostitute yourself you'll catch an STD that's hard to cure / I can see that you'll be very sick,
Younger Sister / and the King of the Dead will want to take that one life of yours

昨日我到大哥家,望见大哥切干巴,大哥干巴你不切,一直按着胯裆抓
Fat Sister: I went to Big Brother's house yesterday / watched Big Brother cut up some beef jerky / you didn't cut the beef jerky up, Big Brother / instead, you kept holding onto it

胖婆娘来胡乱说,当着观众撒烂药,你神经错乱来勾我,脱掉裤子来吓我
Man: You're talking nonsense, you fat cow / when this audience starts spreading rotten medicine (the wrong medicine) / your nerves will get frazzled and you'll try to hook me / you'll take off your trousers to scare me 

[Update:  撒烂药  literally means 'spreading rotten medicine / the wrong medicine' and my source says that this is a metaphor which equates to 'spreading malicious gossip about someone', in this case the man.]

[update:
劝你小哥莫贪花,贪出病来多肉麻,姐姐我来见着你,脑髓不重把杆爬
Woman: I advise you, Little Big Brother, not to be a skirt-chaser / your lust will lead to illnesses which will cause flesh to become numb and devoid of sensation / Elder Sister, I will visit you / treat (?light, as in 'not serious'?) brains like a pole (that is) to (be) climb(ed)]

Background:
This style of music is called shange 山歌 'mountain song'. The tune and lyrics are improvised, and whilst the lyrics will always differ, the tunes have a characteristic flourish to them. It's like listening to country and western, or blues, or rock and roll, and knowing what genre of song you're listening to.

Each song may be a love song, a verbal duel of wits or simply a means of communication between two or more people who are great distances away from each other. It used to be sung by peasants, and always consists of rhyming couplets.

The leader and the respondent can either be an individual or a group. There's a refrain between verses, like 'ey', 'hey ya ya yo', 'heeeeyyyy', 'hey hey yo', 'yo yo ee', or 'Eeyore, Eeyore', which serves the same purpose as the the 'na na na' bit in Kylie Minogue's 'Can't Get You Out of My Head'.

Spoken interludes which either egg someone to continue the song or tease them are present, and sometimes there will be a message at the end, with the beginning and middle consisting of metaphors and allusions.   

My grandparents used to sing similar songs with much blander lyrics than this one, which is from Yunnan 云南 in Southern China. 

I actually think this song is a new and most unusual way of preventing STDs :-) so to the person who uploaded it first, you have all my respect :-). And if anyone has the lyrics to the last verse, that'd be cool, too :-). [Update: Found it! Thank you for posting the last verse, mate!]









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