An orphan’s song.

Sung by Zhang Wei-qing.


The theme of this song, a simple kindness being rewarded with undreamed of riches, is a favourite one among the Miao storytellers. The orphan is given no name, but is characterised as "the sighing youth", here translated "the sorrowful youth".

There is nothing to identify the orphan’s benefactor. His name, "Yeu-vang", or in its full, four syllable form, "Yeu-jio-li-vang", probably means "the yellow man". Since by entering through his "door", which is the same thing as his "great lips", the orphan found, inside his "body" and in his "heart", silver and gold for the taking, the probability is that Yeu-vang was in fact a great rock which opened magically to reveal its treasure.

In the last line the Miao reads "white head", in English it would be "grey head", but it simply means an older person. Age was respected by the Miao, and white hair was the badge of wisdom. At any feast of festival, the "old folk" always ate first. His newly gotten wealth conferred upon the orphan privileges usually accorded to age.

Literal Transcription

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Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
Word97 Notes

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