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"My Motherland" (simplified Chinese: 我的祖国; traditional Chinese: 我的祖國; pinyin: Wǒde Zǔguó) is a song written for the Chinese movie Battle on Shangganling Mountain (1956). Lyrics were written by Qiao Yu (乔羽). Music was composed by Liu Chi (刘炽). Both of them are well known for a number of songs since the 1950s. It remains a popular and famous patriotic song in mainland China, and the signature song for the famous operatic soprano Guo Lanying.
Lyrics and music
"My Motherland" was initially called "A Big River" (《一條大河》) by the author, in order to represent the hundreds of rivers that flow in China. The title was changed when it was published with the movie. The song is divided into 3 stanzas. Within each stanza, the soloist sings first before the chorus sings its refrain.
Although the song was written for a movie about Korean War in the 1950s, there is no explicit mention of the war at all. It describes a soldier (or anyone who is away from home) thinking about his home and his family.[original research?]
|Traditional Chinese||Simplified Chinese ||Pinyin||English translation|
Zhè shì měilì de zǔguó
Dàochù dōu yǒu qīngchūn de lìliàng
Tiáo tiáo dàlù dōu kuānchàng
Péngyǒu láile yǒu hào jiǔ
Ruòshì nà cháiláng láile Y
íngjiē tā de yǒu
A great river flows, its waves wide and calm
This is the beautiful Motherland
How flower-like are the young ladies
This is the heroic Motherland
This is the mighty Motherland
Controversy about Lang Lang playing "My Motherland" at state dinner
On January 19, 2011, Lang Lang played "My Motherland" as President Barack Obama welcomed Hu Jintao at a White House state dinner (many famous Chinese celebrities, including Jackie Chan and Yo-Yo Ma attended, as well as some others.) Lang Lang received widespread criticism from the American media for performing a song at the state dinner which referred to American soldiers as "wolves" to be met with "hunting guns."
On Lang Lang's blog, he put pictures that performed at the White House and wrote that "I played 'My Motherland' in mind of the Chinese people, one of the most beautiful songs. I was able, in front of many foreign guests, including the heads of state from around the world to play this song that praises China's music, and to tell them of our powerful China, our Chinese unity; because of this, I am deeply honored and proud. And in addition, I am proud to share that day in the White House."
- "革命歌曲《我的祖国》歌词歌谱.jpg". Sina (in Chinese). Sina iAsk. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- Zhang, Hong (2002), The Making of Urban Chinese Images of the United States, 1945-1953, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, p. 161, ISBN 0-313-31001-7
- West, Philip; Levine, Steven I.; Hiltz, Jackie (1998), America's Wars in Asia: a Cultural Approach to History and Memory, Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, p. 193, ISBN 0-7656-0237-7
- Pres. Obama Hears Anti-American Song.
- Chinese Tiger Ate US Dove For Lunch
- 华盛顿当地时间1月19日，奥巴马在白宫举行晚宴欢迎胡锦涛，成龙、邓文迪、华裔冰后关颖珊、大提琴家马友友、华裔设计师Vera Wang、华裔演员黄荣亮和母亲等众多华人知名人士出席。
- Commentators from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal soon questioned Lang's music choice after the state dinner. Michael Wines from the New York Times described the situation as "regrettable," while Cathy Yan from the Wall Street Journal commented that Lang was "blissfully unaware of the political minefield he was stumbling into". In an interview broadcast on Phoenix TV, Lang Lang was quoted saying "I thought to play 'My Motherland' because I think playing the tune at the White House banquet can help us, as Chinese people, feel extremely proud of ourselves and express our feelings through the song."
- Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington - as it happened
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- Chinese Pianist Plays Anti-American Song at White House Dinner