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Classic WWII Songs
    2007-08-15 11:02:40     CRIENGLISH.com

Anchor:
Music has the magic to soothe and heal, even during wartime. Many excellent musical works appeared during the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression some 70 years ago. These songs have accompanied the Chinese nation through some tough times. Some of them are also deemed as classics of China's musical heritage. Manli has more ...

REPORTER:
This is a melody familiar with many Chinese people. Its called "On the Songhua River", one of the favorite arts songs in the 20th century in China. The song was composed in 1936 by Zhang Hanhui, who originally came from Northeast China where the Songhua River is located, but had to flee home after it was seized by Japanese troops in the "September 18 Incident" in 1931. While living in exile in Xian, Zhang Hanhui composed the song to express a nostalgic feeling as well as a strong will to get back to his homeland.

"On the Songhua River"

Now you are listening to the "Song of Meiniang". It was an interlude from the 1935 stage play The Song of the Returning Spring by playwright Tian Han and composer Nie Er. The heroine of the song, Mei Niang, was a young Chinese girl studying in Southeast Asia when the Japanese invaders launched war in China. Meiniangs boyfriend, who came back to China to fight the war against Japanese aggression, lost his memory after being injured in the war. Meiniang came back to China and she sang this song to her boyfriend at his bed. The song of Meiniang became an instant hit after the stage play was shown both at home and abroad.

"Song of Meiniang"

Many of the songs composed during the war 70 years ago were inspired by true-life stories. The song "Wang Erxiao The Herdboy" is just such a song. It tells a story about a 13-year-old herdboy called Wang Erxiao. In order to save his villagers and wounded soldiers, the boy lied to the Japanese invaders and led them to the ambush of the Chinese army. He was then killed by the angry invaders. As the song is passed on from generation to generation, Wang Erxiao is also remembered as a hero by the Chinese people.

"Wang Erxiao The Herdboy"

One of the most easy-to-follow songs composed in the 1930s is a song called the "Song of the Guerilla". Part of the lyrics go like this"We have no food and uniforms, but enemies will deliver them to us, we have no guns and cannons, but enemies will make them for us." It was composed by the famous Chinese musician He Lting and was loved by people back then and even nowadays for its brisk tempo and uplifting spirit. Please enjoy!

"Song of the Guerilla"

Back Anchor:
Thanks Manli for sharing these wonderful melodies with us. Coming up next, we'll enjoy a song and dance drama called "Dance to the Yellow River" which has wowed audiences on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Don't go away!

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