Lyrics Translation: Hua Mulan selection

Photo (use only if you're not logged in):
Missing Attachment
Caption (use only if you're not logged in):

Brother Liu, you speak without reason
How can one say women enjoy leisure without labor?
Men fight on the borders,
while women spin and weave at home.

Lyrics translation for one of my favorite pieces of Chinese opera, a selection from Yu Opera Hua Mulan. The piece is a rare take on Mulan that points out the strength of women lie not just in their ability to succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields, but also in the often over-looked importances of traditionally female occupations. Plus, it’s easily one of the most catchy opera pieces.

Performance of the selection by Peng Liyuan:

Brother Liu, you speak without reason

How can one say women enjoy leisure without labor?

Men fight on the borders,

while women spin and weave at home.

Farming by day,

spinning by night,

working and toiling day and night

so that soldiers have things to eat and wear

If you don’t believe in me,

take a look at yourself,

our shoes and socks

and robes and shirts,

every stitch is sewn by them.

There are also many heroines

who are decorated with honors

In every generation,

there are those who fight for their nation,

there are those who are brave and wise.

Tell me, how are women inferior to men?

Leave a Reply