‘Fahai, You Don’t Understand Love’ by Gong Linna

Gong Linna and Laoluo performed 'You Don't Understand Love'.

《法海你不懂爱》 “Fahai, You Don’t Understand Love” is one of the latest songs written by German composer Robert Zollitsch and sung by his Chinese wife, folk singer 龚琳娜 Gong Linna. He is known as 老锣 Lao Luo (literally “Old Ro”) in China, having established himself as an expert in traditional Chinese, Mongolian, and Tibetan music, influences he incorporates into the contemporary Chinese music he produces, and that his wife sings.

They are perhaps best known for their song 《忐忑》 Tan Te “Disturbed” (video) which became extremely popular several years ago.

Chinese netizens’ reactions to “Fahai You Don’t Understand Love” are mixed. The song is based on the Legend of the White Snake. Fahai was a Buddhist monk who tried to separate a white snake-turned woman Bai Suzhen and her human husband Xu Xian. Gong Linna explained in her blog that this song discusses how to resolve the conundrum of conflicting values on the way to true love with optimism and a sense of humor.

Official Music Video:

Gong Linna’s performance of “Fahai You Don’t Understand Love” at Hunan Satellite TV’s 2013 New Year’s Eve Gala:

Composer: Lao Luo aka Robert Zollitsch
Lyrics: Lao Luo aka Robert Zollitsch
Singer: Gong Linna

Lyrics (Original Chinese, Pinyin Romanization, and English Translation):

fǎ hǎi

nǐ wèi shén me bù tóng yì wǒ men de ài
Why don’t you assent to our love

你不想让我们幸福吗 自由自在
nǐ bù xiǎng ràng wǒ men xìng fú ma zì yóu zì zài
Don’t you want us to be happy? (And) carefree?

yì shēng nán dè zhēn chéng de ài
In one’s lifetime it’s hard to encounter true love

nǐ xiǎng zūn xún nǐ de dào lǐ
You want to stick to your principles

nǐ bú yuàn yì tīng wǒ men shuō
You are not willing to listen to us explain


fǎ hǎi nǐ bù dǒng ài
Fahai, you don’t understand love

léi fēng tǎ huì diào xià lái
Leifeng Pagoda will collapse

fǎ hǎi nǐ bù dǒng ài
Fahai, you don’t understand love

léi fēng tǎ huì diào xià lái
Leifeng Pagoda will collapse

wǒ men zài yì qǐ
We are together

yǒng yuǎn bù fēn lí
[We] will never be apart

fǎ hǎi nǐ zhēn de bù dǒng ài
Fahai, you really don’t understand love

你说 我们不能一起吧
nǐ shuō wǒ men bù néng yì qǐ ba
You say, we must not be together

dàn nǐ bù liǎo jiě wǒ
But you don’t know me

一千年 我不停的改变
yì qiān nián wǒ bù tíng de gǎi biàn
A thousand years, I never stopped changing

xiǎng nǔ lì dǐ zuò hǎo rén
trying hard to be a good person

wǒ zài rén jiān zhǎo dào wǒ de ài
I found my love in the human world

许仙 许仙 我的爱人
xǔ xiān xǔ xiān wǒ de ài rén
Xu Xian, Xu Xian, my love


wèi shén me

wèi shén me ài qíng zǒng shì nà me nán
Why is love always so difficult?

qǐng nǐ fàng wǒ gěi wǒ zì yóu
Please set me free, give me freedom

bú yào fēn shǒu
[We] don’t want to break up

qǐng ràng wǒ men zài yì qǐ
Please let us be together


'Fahai You Don't Understand Love' by Gong Linna

Gong Linna and her husband Lao Luo

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  • Anon

    It’s not too bad of a song, if a bit repetitive, but her husband just looks like a creeper in the video. Especially the eye-seizure part.

    • deep love do that to your eyes

    • Chang Liu

      Hahaha I think he is mimicking a typical over theatrical smile which was poplar during Maoist ‘Revolutionary Theatre’ Days which some-how found a new lease of life post reform China, in particular state sponsored spectacles such as the Spring Festival gala. The mind boggles as to why…


    Creepy laowai + ugly Chinese lady = a CCTV powerhouse.

  • Barack Obama

    crappy song. ugly facial expressions. Why is this popular?

    • carmouflagger

      Because there’s a Low-why in it. Duhh!

      • quake

        tell mr. President of usa that this is a form of aryanisation by an ugly laowei with a slut whore from our race

        • mr.wiener

          Not a fan of the music, but that was a little nasty don’t you think?

    • Chang Liu

      Have you heard Chinese pop? Makes me ashamed to be Chinese….

  • Dr Sun

    Well hate being the only dissenter but I liked it .

    • Chat2Arseholes

      I didn’t like it

  • curl of the burl

    Nice peaceful song. Interesting vocal rhythm.

  • nintendo-nerd

    That white man is very creepy looking…
    looks like one of those white dudes that touches little kids (0____0)

  • Hongwu Emperor

    Why the f— they need to say that the Leifengta will come down?
    I mean, if it was a ugly business building, or burning the stock exchange to the grund, that’s awesome but…

    • Anon

      It’s part of the White Snake story– I guess it means that even if you imprison her, their love will break through..

  • Shanghai_deli

    There is a mistake in the first sentence:

    “[…]having established himself as an expert in traditional Chinese, Mongolian, and Tibetan music,[…]”

    It should read:

    “[…]having established himself as an expert in traditional Chinese music (Han, Mongolian, and Tibetan),[…]”

  • Biao Ma

    Gong Linna, I repel you with the power of Fa Hai

  • PerseusW

    Funny. Original. Beats the current plague of hyper-narcissistic mandarin pop videos.

  • PerseusW

    China’s answer to Bjork.

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