Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Don't Ever Be a Chinese Child.

By Cindy M. Carter, published

There's a song that's been making its way around the Internet: Zhou Yunpeng's "Don't Ever Be a Chinese Child" (不要做中國人的孩子 by 周云蓬) - if the above link is blocked, try this. I've been working on a translation, but felt it was too depressing to post. Maybe it's time:

Don't Ever Be a Chinese Child

Don't be a child of Karamay
whose burns would scorch a mother's heart

Don't be a child of Salan Town
who finds no rest beneath dark waters

Don't be a child of Chengdu
who waits for mum's return
after her week-long binge

Chorus (children laughing)

Don't be a child of Henan
where AIDS cackles in the blood

Don't be a child of Shanxi
where mines turn dads
into baskets of coal

Chorus (laughter)

Don't be a child of Karamay
Don't be a child of Salan Town
Don't be a child of Chengdu
Don't be a child of Henan...

Don't ever be a Chinese child,
or the grown-ups will
eat you when they starve

At least in the wild,
mountain goats are fierce
enough to protect their kids

Don't ever be a Chinese child,
because mommy and
daddy are cowards

When the theatre caught fire,
they steeled their hearts
and let the cadres exit first.

不要做中國人的孩子
周云蓬

不要做克拉瑪依的孩子,
火燒痛皮膚讓親娘心焦
不要做沙蘭鎮的孩子,
水底下漆黑他睡不著
不要做成都人的孩子,
吸毒的媽媽七天七夜不回家
不要做河南人的孩子,
愛滋病在血液裡哈哈的笑
不要做山西人的孩子,
爸爸變成了一筐煤,
你別再想見到他
不要做中國人的孩子,
餓極了他們會把你吃掉
還不如曠野中的老山羊,
為保護小羊而目露兇光
不要做中國人的孩子,
爸爸媽媽都是些怯懦的人
為證明他們的鐵石心腸,
死到臨頭讓領導先走

Zhou Yunpeng is a blind folk musician - singer, songwriter and guitarist - now living in Beijing.

Comments

# 1.   

fk me

an antidote to the exultant and voyeuristic play I translated about the earthquake

 Rachel Henson, May 31, 2009, 12:26p.m.

# 2.   

The Sugar Jar! I know this place! Run cooperatively with the Blue Goat, a cafe, video store and by far my favorite place in all Beijing. Tucked away where most will never find it. I love those guys.

 Canaan Morse, May 31, 2009, 8:20p.m.

# 3.   

Yes, long live the Sugar Jar and the great indie Chinese music they promote! Someone just sent me an e-mail asking if Sugar Jar offerings are available for purchase or download - I'm not sure, but will look into it.

Cindy Carter, June 2, 2009, 2:11p.m.

# 4.   

hello, i really enjoy Zhou YunPeng. Heard him on The World - PRI on the radio. Do you know where i can buy his CD?

Lam, June 12, 2009, 3:40p.m.

# 5.   

Lam, are you in or outside of China?

 Canaan Morse, June 14, 2009, 8:52a.m.

# 6.   

Hi Cindy, your translation is excellent except for one possible misunderstanding. Let me put it into context: The Chengdu mother did not return home not because of "week-long binge" but for that she was detained by police for taking drug for a week. The three-year-old daughter of the single mother, locked in home, then starved to death. It was a case in 2003. See this

Fu Lei, July 28, 2010, 7:18a.m.

# 7.   

Thanks, Fu Lei, for your informative comment. I wasn't familiar with the story behind that incident - makes more sense now. Cheers.

Cindy Carter, August 6, 2010, 5:50a.m.

# 8.   

Thanks, Fu Lei, for your informative comment. I wasn't familiar with the story behind that incident - makes more sense now. Cheers.

Cindy Carter, August 6, 2010, 5:50a.m.

*

Your email will not be published
Raw HTML will be removed
Try using Markdown:
*italic*
**bold**
[link text](http://link-address.com/)
End line with two spaces for a single line break.

*
*