Old Miao songs about marriage. 3.
A match-making song.

Collected by Wang Ming-ji.


Sometimes, before instituting the formal marriage negotiations conducted by middlemen, male members of the two families concerned might meet for some preliminary discussions. These would take place over a drink of wine. During such discussions the virtues of the prospective bride and bridegroom would be extolled by their respective relatives as bargaining counters in their haggling over the marriage settlement. The present song makes the somewhat cynical comment that, if they are really to reach a satisfactory agreement, a considerable quantity of wine will be consumed first! Throughout, the parties concerned are called "the brothers" and "the brothers-in-law".

A notable feature of the song is the manner in which an exact scheme of parallelism is maintained, line for line and word for word, between the two seven line stanzas.

Literal Transcription

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