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Sincerely sing the love songs 09-08-18

  Among traditional Tongshan folk songs, the song which is spread most widely, the most plentiful, with the largest number of the richest content and the singing crowd is love song, which is a true portrayal of the love lives of people in mountain area. Tongshan folk songs are rich in imagination and sincere feelings, and the artistic features are also strong. It is based on the love life of people in mountain area as a theme, vividly presents the whole process of young men and women from strangers to lovers, from the marital lovers to the parting lovers, expressing the rebelling struggle of the young men and women against the bind of feudal ethical code, and their yearn and pursuit for the gorgeous romantic relationship.

  Tongshan love songs are rich in content, which can be regarded as omnifarious, is called “Brothers Communicate with Sisters,” traditional plays are the Ten Thoughts, Ten sighs, Ten Advices, Ten embroideries, Ten Times Seeing Inamorato Off, Ten Times Seeing Maiden Off, Crabapples, Seasonal Flowers, Pomegranate Blossom, Record of Lantern, etc., the songs are made up by themselves and improvisational aria are too numerous to mention. For example, the love songs with five sentences, “In the sky clouds catch clouds, on the ground magpies catch quails, under the river carps catch troubled waters, eighteen-year-old tender lotus rushes to live singly, and walks all the way. The clouds in the sky indicate the weather will change, my lover is busy plowing alone, seeing the maiden passing the edge of the edge, too many whips the buffalo is beaten, quickly plows to the lover…” Moreover, “On the loquat, the morning glory climbs and intertwines the tree and never gives up, I now wrap around the girl to be married…” This kind of song with the rhetoric of metaphor, appropriately, vividly and naturally sings the mentality of the young men and women’s first love.

  For another example: “Opposite the door, there is a beautiful lady with oval face and red string, both the elder and younger brother nozzle, the tender lotus is so charming.” These love songs, most of which have a relative complete plot, basically obey the development from acquaintance to tease, from acquiescence to an appointment. The lyrics are forthright, but not dirty, and the words and sentences are close to life, which are profound in meaning, teasing and absorbing, reflecting the pursuit and longing toward the love lives of the people in mountain areas. 

  The contents of the love songs in the folk mostly are tunes, which are the most common form. Generally four sentences are made up of a paragraph, resembling with metrical poetry, but the oblique and the antithesis is not strictly required. For example, “From the eaves, the rainwater drips and waters the flowers, girl and boy love each other, the girl loves the industry of the boy, and the boy loves the house keeping of the girl.”

  In Tongshan love song ditties, those seeing lover off or marital separation take a main part, such as one section in Seeing Inamorato Off, “See inamorato off till the gate, inamorato climbs the horse while maiden climbs up stairs, inamorato looks back, maiden shakes hand. It is rare that my inamorato looks back”. The lyrics are sincere, portraying penetrate the emotion of lovers, possessing a strong artistic appeal.

  “…Ten cups of wine to watch the lover, treading on the fence and ratcheting drill, yesterday watching lover and enduring a hitting, a lot of wound on the body of tender lotus, willing the flesh injured could not bear to lose lover”. The maiden has no way but to miss the lover, even the thousand doctors can not cure the disease, just wanting the lover to touch a while…” This kind of love song is so simple, funny without being feigned that can penetrate the cerebral cortex, shocking the human mind. The singers are enchanted, and the listeners’ hearts leap up, making people have a sense of soul stirring that is unmatched by any of a modern love song.

  Tongshan is the hometown of folk songs, and the custom “on folk songs” is very active in the folk-custom. Love songs are the most popular among masses, many old songs can be sung all night long, and even for three days and three nights with non-repetition. Therefore, the love songs have a strong vitality, it’s the most unique in the Tongshan folk songs.

  (Reported by Xia Fawang  Address: the Cultural Service Center of Xiapu Town, Tongshan County)

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