Friday, December 2, 2011

九九歌 The Song of Winter

This song shows us how the weather changes in the winter from the coldest days to the early spring. Chanting it cheers you up and gives you hope when you finish with the last two lines. It's also helpful for reviewing numbers in Chinese, since we count the days in units of nine in winter.

yi1jiu3 er4jiu3 bu4 chu1shou3,
san1jiu3 si4jiu3 bing1shang4 zou3,
wu3jiu3 liu4jiu3 he2bian4 kan4liu3,
qi1jiu3 he2kai1, ba1jiu3 yan4lai2,
jiu3jiu3 jia1 yi1jiu3, lao3niu2 bian4di4 zou3.

In the first and second nine days (in winter), we hate to take off our gloves.
In the third and fourth nine days, we walk on icy roads.
In the fifth and sixth nine days, we admire the (budding )willows at the river bank.
In the seventh nine days, the ice in river melts,
In the eighth nine days, the wild geese fly back.
In the nineth nine days, plus another nine days,
(We see) cattle ploughing in the fields everywhere.

Click the following link to hear one of the versions of this classic.

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