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A Porter's Song (2012)

for SATB a cappella choir


Program Note

A Porter’s Song was commissioned by Classical Movements, Inc. as part of the Erik DanielHelms New Music Program in collaboration with the Yale Glee Club. The work was premiered on November 16th, 2012, at Yale University, by the Yale Glee Club, conducted by Jeffery Douma.

A Porter’s Song is based on two Chinese folk songs from northern Shaanxi Province, both shares a sadness of being separated from the loved one. The text is in Chinese, notated in a transliteration of a northern Shaanxi dialect.



Lyrics

腳夫調 Jiao Fu Diao

(A Porter's Song)

I

三月里(的那個)太陽紅又紅,

san yue lee (dee na ger) tai yang hong you hong,

為什麼我趕腳的人兒(唷)這樣苦命?

wei sher muo wuo gan jiao dee ren er (yo) zhe yang ku mir?

II

哥哥走來妹妹照,

ger ger dzou lai mee mee zhao,

眼淚兒滴在大門道。

nian lei er dee dzai



Translation

A Porter's Song

I

The March sun is red and hot,

But why is a porter’s life so bitter and sad?

II

Oh, my love, you are disappearing under my gaze,

My tears trickle down at the village gate



——Translation by Bright Sheng