采莲曲 Lotus Picking Song
汉代 （Han Dynasty)
江南可采莲，river south can pick lotus
莲叶何田田，lotus leaf how field field
鱼戏莲叶间。fish play lotus leaves among
鱼戏莲叶东，fish play lotus leaves east
鱼戏莲叶西，fish play lotus leaves west
鱼戏莲叶南，fish play lotus leaves south
鱼戏莲叶北。fish play lotus leaves north
We pick lotus south of the Yangtze
Lotus leaves so fresh and so green.
fish play among the lotus leaves
fish play in the leaves to the east
fish play in the leaves to the west
fish play in the leaves to the south
fish play in the leaves to the north.
This is a folk poem that was popular in the Han dynasty (202 BCE to 9 ACE). It was sung as a gentle metaphor for the relations between the sexes, with the men singing one line, and the women singing the next line. “South of the river” means south of the Yangtze, which is a common way of referring to the southern part of the nation. This folk poem was adapted as one of the songs sung by an emperor’s concubine in a Chinese television series “Empresses in the Palace”. The concubine won the emperor’s favor with her singing. The song could be found here.