The Elder Gi-vu and the Elder Gi-no.

Sung by Yang Zhi


This is the first of the two songs concerning the Elder Gi-vu and the Elder Gi-no, and it is the longest and most elaborate of all the conflict songs. Two Chinese attacks, one over land and the other using boats, were heavily defeated before the Golden City was finally given up, and when the Chinese advanced south towards Rice City they were again beaten back twice. In the end, what turned the tables against the Miao was the use of gunpowder. "Fire-crackers" are mentioned quite regularly in the conflict songs. Together with shouting, foot-stamping and blasts on various kinds of horns, they were a means employed by the Chinese for striking fear into the enemy. The same word is used here, but, whatever they were, these "fire-crackers" were buried, and detonated when the Miao soldiers were passing, with devastating effect. Nowhere else is this particular device mentioned.

In this song and the next there are notes of criticism, not found in any subsequent piece, of the Miao soldiers and their leaders. Here they are rebuked for their lack of vigilance which allowed the Chinese to seize the Lionís Throat pass, and led to the loss of Rice City and the fertile Plain of Li-vu.

Literal Transcription

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