Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flowers): the symbol of Chinese Music
Vocal version by Vienna boys choir, 2002
Mo Li Hua: the symbol of Chinese Music. How?
Let me tell you some facts about this Chinese folk song:
2008, an adaptation of the melody by Tan Dun was played during the medal ceremonies at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
2004, played at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece to represent the next host city – Beijing, China. It was also used in lots of promotion materials for Beijing 2008 Olympic games.
1999 & 1997, when China regained sovereignty of Macau and Hong Kong, this music was played in the ceremonies.
1926, included by Giacomo Puccini in his last opera Turandot, where it is associated with ‘Turandot’s splendor’.
1896, used as temporary National Anthem by the government of Qing dynasty when Chinese officials visited Europe.
Overall, this folk song is well recognized to western listeners because of Puccini and is played at many formal situations, kind of like our second national anthem.
Mo Li Hua means “Jasmine Flowers”
Mo Li Hua (茉莉花), which means ‘Jasmine Flowers’, is a popular Chinese folk song. It was created during the Qianlong Emperor period of the Qing Dynasty. There are two versions of the song, the more well known one from the Jiangsu Province, and the other from Zhejiang Province. They have different lyrics and a slightly different melody.
Chinese Lyrics and its literal English translation
|A good beautiful jasmine flower
A good beautiful jasmine flower
Sweet-smelling, beautiful, stems full of buds
Fragrant and white, everyone praises
Let me pluck you down
Give to someone
Jasmine flower, oh jasmine flower
[References] 1. Mo Li Hua on wikipedia
Vocal version by Chinese singer Song Zu-ying at J. F. Kennedy Center, 2006
Instrumental version by 12 girls band.