The name of the singer of this song is not recorded in Document A, but the vocabulary and the poetic construction strongly suggest that it was Yang Zhi.
The song is a lament for the loss of the ancient homeland, and the Miao clan leader concerned is called "Zi-gyu-zyu-lao". This is an abbreviation of the name "Zie-lao-no-syu-gyu-zyu-lao" in the previous song by Tao Zi-gai. The introduction to that song explained that the name could be transcribed into English as "Zie-lao-no from Lord Syu-gyu". Here the personal element of the name, "Zie-lao-no", has been replaced by "Zi" which means "the male person", that is, "the Man", and "Lord Syu-gyu" has been shortened to "Lord Gyu", resulting in the title "The Man from Lord Gyu". This, however, does not imply any personal relationship with Lord Syu-gyu, but merely that its bearer originated from, or had lived in a region controlled by Lord Syu-gyu.
This song concentrates on the hardships and deprivations experienced after the homeland had been lost. These are depicted in two metaphors. The first describes the shortage and inadequacies of the food available, in fact, insufficient to keep even the clan-leader's stallion strong and virile. The second compares their arduous travelling to the long journeys of migrating swallows on earth, or of courses of the stars across the sky.
Translation in verse
You can see the original documents for this song.
You can also see these pages as Word97 documents
Return to Index of Songs
Return to First Page of the Archive