It’s been so long since I’ve loved one of Jane Zhang’s theme songs, and this one is a work of genius.
The theme song to the eponymous film Land of Beauty 西游记女儿国 combines probably the two most beautiful love poems depicting the conflict between earthly love and eternal salvation, one told from the woman and one from the monk’s perspective, to create this beautiful duet.
The first, Love of a Maiden 女儿情 , tells of the ruler of the Kingdom of Women (Land of Beauty) begging for her beloved, the monk Xuanzang, to stay with her in the 1986 version of The Journey to the West .
“Speak not of thrones and fortunes,
fear not the commandments and precepts,
What are those compared to love everlasting,
and a life accompanied by you.“
The second is a classic poem of a monk caught between his longing for a lover and his wish to remain the Dalai Lama. You might recognize one line from this poem as the the source of title of the upcoming drama. I love how Li Ronghao sings it almost like many Buddhist hymns in pop music.
‘Is there a path in the world,
that forsakes neither the Buddha nor you?”
The final duet, all original lyrics, take on the styling of both poems to make it almost a conversation.
LRH: “If I were born to journey to the West”
ZLY: “Seek not the path to enlightenment. ”
LRH: “Then why were you born a beauty?”
ZLY:”Let my body burn to ashes in the next world”
LRH: “How can I erase the shadows of your figure.”
ZLY: “in return for spending this life in your shadows”
LRH: “imprinted on me as if it was my name.”