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Folk Song Fair in Tongyang Bridgehead:Sings and Echoes Leisurely 09-08-11

  Reported by Du Peiqing and Song Zhiqiang (

  As soon as autumn begins, fans will be thrown out. In the evening, after a burst of cooling autumn rain, Tongshan County is even more hot and humid than usual. Walking along in the street, we can inadvertently hear the folk song, which is a pure folk and rustic sound. Obviously it has been almost forgotten as a kind of folk plant, but now it should be ported to the city away from the village, making us who live long in the city forests have a fresh feeling as if we saw the countryside rape and wheat fields.

  Chongyang County describes the pomp of the performances of Tiqin Drama as this, “From autumn- winter to Spring Moon, people from door to door who welcome the god who is supposed to drive away pestilence, and people who are engaged in dramatics under night-light round like a wall.” However, people in Tongshan are not surprised with it, because they also have their own way of entertainment—to sing folk songs.

  In Tongyang Bridge, at 8pm, folk song lovers spontaneously come to the bridgehead to sing folk songs, the elderly are nearly eighty years old, while the youngest is around forty. Some of them stand by leaning on the bridge railing with a rush-leaf fan in hand, or sit together in twos and threes by picking up benches, while others sit on the bridge railing. They sing antiphonally, enjoy themselves, and occasionally accompanied by sweet silk string, making the travel-stained county full of various styles.

  “Tongyang Bridge is a place for folk song lovers gathering to learn from each other, the folk song fair has come in vogue since eight years ago.” In the circle of folk song lovers, 42-year-old Yu Shenqing is the youngest, standing out among the crowds. After repeated rounds of singing, the microphone was passed to him, instead of declining, he stood in the crowd and began singing, the vast hearty songs outpoured, cutting through the night with a boiling voices.

  “In my childhood, my grandparents loved singing folk songs, I liked them very much after listening and then followed suit. I had learned the ancient poetry when I was seven years old, imagining that I would sing folk songs as freewheeling as my grandparents.” Two years ago, Yu Shenqing knew about the folk song fair of Tongyang Bridge, every night he will come here and sing folk songs regardless of the weather. “I do not like playing mahjong ,when I am idle I will come here, and I feel more comfortable. If one day I do not come, I will always feel that I have not finished the things today, and the heart cannot be relieved.”

  “We do not have stereotypes in folk songs, mostly when we hear some melodious tunes we will learn after. Tongshan folk songs are mainly divided into accent of Tongyang and Xiapu, etc. The former sometimes drags for a long time, while sometimes sings very short; however, the latter is very different, it sings the high note, and the last syllable drags long. The folk songs they have sung include Long Songs, such as the fables Yingtai Biography, Huilong Pavilion, and A Story of Zhu Yuchuan and Zhu Lun’ao as well as something which is exploded with personal comments and sung casually.” Yu Shenqing said.

  In this circle, there are many “professional singers”. Wang Xuesong who comes from Xigang Village, Dalu Township of Tongshan County, and Zhu Quebao who comes from Zhu Jiaqiao of Fanni Township, have loved the literature and art since their childhood, and become the famous singing master in the local place, whenever there are weddings or funerals in the village, they will be invited there to sing. This year, the fifty-year-old Wang Xuesong has mastered different kinds of songs from divine songs to epithalamium songs and funeral songs, and he has sung the folk songs for ten years, he is one of the launchers of folk song fair in the bridgehead. He said that: “Material living conditions have been improved, so people are inbpursuit of spiritual satisfaction, singing folk songs is just the spirit of enjoyment.”

  In order to hand down the folk songs better, Wang Xuesong forms the art team of twenty or thirty members in Shuangquan Community of Tongyang County with YuShengqing and Zhu Wangbao, who have got to know each other in Tongyang Bridge, when they are idle, they will rehearse dance, practice drum, step lotus boat, and sing folk songs, etc., and they are often invited to take part in commercial performances. At the same time, together with the folk lovers, they club together to rent a small facade in the street of Fan Jialong Rode as the hall for singing. Every winter season or when the weather is bad, folk song lovers naturally come to sing in this house with no more than eight or nine square meters. With a pot of boiling water and a few benches, the number of people varies from tens to hundreds coming here together to sing folk songs and enjoy themselves until 12 o'clock at night.

  “Now the young people have many forms of entertainment, nearly no longer learning folk songs. However, some young people still know how to sing. I often find that some 30-year-old housewives come here listening to us singing folk songs, actually they are willing to sing, but they just come here for the first time and are a little shy, and don’t daring venture a word.” In the opinion of Zhu Wangbao, folk songs have its own charm, naturally there will be folk song lovers coming here to sing and transmit.

  To the spontaneous folk song party in Tongyang Bridge, Tongshan County Sports Bureau Director Ji Sigui said in an interview: “The folk song fair which is organized spontaneously by the non-governmental organizations in Tong Yang Bridge is a good phenomenon to build a harmonious society. The folk songs of sung by the singers are rich in content and have bright artistic characteristics. Singing folk songs can express feelings, and enrich the life and heritage of outstanding traditional culture, and we have been very concerned about this. In future, we will guide and organize the people together to sing folk songs by the folk song fair, folk song hall, and folk song competitions, etc. Moreover, we will publish folk song sets in the name of the whole county, explore and nurture the talents of folk culture, compose and create more and better works. Meanwhile, we are to build a business and tourism edition for The Depth of the Clouds, promoting the development of folk songs through the Culture and Tourism Festival.”

咸宁市人民政府主办 咸宁日报社承办
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