Home » Music

Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flowers): the symbol of Chinese Music

Apr 5, 2009

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.

Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flowers): the symbol of Chinese Music

Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flowers): the symbol of Chinese Music

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 the Sydney Opera House in 2002

Celine Dion & Song Zuying – Jasmine Flower | My Heart Will Go On @ Spring Festival Gala 2013

Instrumental version by 12 girls band.

[Chinese Keywords]
民乐 茉莉花

Rate this:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
  1. April 10th, 2009 at 11:36 | #1

    This song should be choosen as the second national anthem.

  2. April 10th, 2009 at 11:40 | #2

    I totally agree. It’s a very good complement to our national anthem, in style & meaning.

Comments are closed.