‘I Crossed the Ocean to See You’ by Liu Mingxiang

Liu Mingxiang, 3rd season contestant on popular singing talent show The Voice of China, performing "I Crossed The Ocean To See You".

“I Crossed the Ocean to See You” was a song written by well-known Taiwanese singer and songwriter Jonathan Lee on a placemat while eating beef noodles. First published in 1991 and sung by Wawa, this love song has deeply touched the hearts of millions of people.

In this past season’s The Voice of China, a popular Chinese television talent show, the song was sung by contestant Liu Mingxiang (aka Rose Liu).

At time of translation, this cover has been played over 24 million times on popular Chinese music website Xiami, and ranks top among the over 200 songs performed during the third season of The Voice of China. Liu Mingxiang also gained the title of “uncrowned queen” among Chinese fans and netizens.


The Song on Xiami:

Composer: Jonathan Lee
Lyrics: Jonathan Lee
Singer: Liu Mingxiang/Rose Liu

Liu Mingxiang’s Rendition on The Voice of China on QQ:

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


wèi nǐ wǒ yòng le bàn nián de jī xù
For you I spent half a year of savings

piāo yáng guò hǎi de lái kàn nǐ
to cross the ocean to come see you.

wèi le zhè cì xiàng jù
For this meeting between us,

wǒ lián jiàn miàn shí de hū xī
even my breathing upon meeting you

dōu céng fǎn fù liàn xí
has been repeatedly practiced.

yán yǔ cóng lái méi néng jiāng wǒ de qíng yì
Words could never

biǎo dá qiān wàn fēn zhī yī
express even a bit of my affection.

wèi le zhè gè yí hàn
Because of this regret,

wǒ zài yè lǐ xiǎng le yòu xiǎng
I’ve thought and thought in bed at night,

bú kěn shuì qù
unwilling to fall asleep.

jì yì tā zǒng shì màn màn de lèi jī
Memories, they always slowly accumulate,

zài wǒ xīn zhōng wú fǎ mǒ qù
unable to be erased from my heart.

wéi le nǐ de chéng nuò
Because of your promise,

wǒ zài zuì jué wàng de shí hòu
even at the darkest moment of life,

dōu rěn zhe bú kū qì
I’ve held back my tears.


mò shēng de chéng shì ā
In a strange city,

shú xī de jiǎo luò lǐ
in a familiar corner,

yě céng bǐ cǐ ān wèi
we’ve consoled each other,

yě céng xiāng yōng tàn xī
and embraced while sighing,

bù guǎn jiāng huì miàn duì shén me yàng de jié jú
not caring about what sort of ending we would face.

zài màn tiān fēng shā lǐ wàng zhe nǐ yuǎn qù
Watching you walk away in the whirling sand,

wǒ jìng bēi shāng dé bù néng zì jǐ
I was so sad I was beside myself.

duō pàn néng sòng jūn qiān lǐ
How I wished I could accompany you wherever you went,

zhí dào shān qióng shuǐ jìn
till the ends of the earth,

yī shēng hé nǐ xiàng yī
a lifetime together.


duō pàn néng sòng jūn qiān lǐ
How I wished I could accompany you wherever you went,

zhí dào shān qióng shuǐ jìn
till the ends of the earth,

yī shēng hé nǐ xiàng yī
a lifetime together.


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  • Amused

    So many Chinese people have GREAT voices. One day the songwriting here may contain fun stuff like hooks and soul, and when that day comes, maybe people who aren’t Chinese and/or old women will dig their music. Till then, here’s hoping the gang of Celine Dion wannabe songwriters they have now all trip and tragically choke to death on a microphone in the name of making the world a better place :)

    Seriously, most of this shit makes Michael Bolton sound almost palatable…

    • mr.wiener

      Different strokes bro.
      I sure do like beef and noodles though.

      • Amused

        Who doesn’t like beef and noodles? Besides vegetarians

        • Kai

          It’s okay, beef and noodles don’t like vegetarians either.

    • ClausRasmussen

      I’ve noticed that Chinese music often doesn’t follow the ABACAB skabelon of Western pop music (ABACAB means A-part, B-part, C-part ie. “the break”, and then back to the A and B-part again). I thought this formula was universal but apparently I was wrong

  • ESL Ninja

    Sometimes, what Chinese netizens are talking about just isn’t worth sharing…

  • Donald Med

    Can’t tell if her yabos are big or not.

    • SongYii

      Chinese girls seem to try to hide big tits and put small tits out there about as far as they will go.

    • Jahar

      herein lies the true beauty of the English language. I had never heard that expression before, yet I immediately understood. you could have said “Can’t tell if her yabosiwmboanrlrels are big or not,” and I would have gotten it.

  • Rick in China

    Inspiration for song:

    Some girl who fell in love with a laowai here on some short-term assignment who she met on momo.

    • Thor

      Yes, this song is obviously about long distance relationships. The only missing piece in the lyrics is the name of the internet dating service.

  • SongYii

    Oceans were pretty easy to cross even in 1991. If this were written 500 years ago, I’d be much more impressed.

    Why is Chinese pop music so sappy and melodramatic all the time?

    • Kai

      Not enough love as children.

    • Jahar

      not allowed to sing about anything else.

  • Brent

    Why is the singer’s whereabouts written as 中国台湾 and not something like 台湾台北? Isn’t Taiwan a Chinese province? Why the emphasis?

  • comradewang

    I went to high school with Rose. I remember her performing at the school talent show and it blew everyone away. It’s crazy to see her famous now.

  • Amused

    “Americans too dumb to realize the natural talent that was in their own backyard…”

    Not so much dumb as dealing with lingering issues of segregation. And even while dealing with that inventing the rock ‘n roll the Brits invaded with…

    And I’d go one step farther in my hopes for China man. I hope they DON’T copy the Japs. I hope they find their own muse. And that it is hopefully good enough to share with the rest of the world. The voices are there…

  • Mihel

    Not related to this topic, but does anyone know some good chinese metal?

    • Ken Morgan

      Yeah gold or silver (just kidding)

  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    There is only one genre on the mainland, and it is sappy, love songs. Don’t they get tired of the same sh#! all the time?! Also could this be any more of a knock off the UK/US American idol show? At least change the background or something.

    • Kai

      Click the link. It’s part of the Voice franchise, originally from Holland, brokered into China by the British. It premiered two months after Chinese Idol came to China, which is part of the British Pop Idol franchise. If it’s a knock-off, blame the Dutch and then the British. Both are singing competitions but the formats are somewhat different (arguably more suspenseful on the Voice franchise).

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        Ohh i see, i should have looked into that a bit further. Thanks.

  • carmouflagger

    Name of the song is Darude – Sandstorm.

  • Millbrae

    this girl is accurately not Chinese. She is a Taiwanese ABC. She was my high school classmate. Mills high school class of 04.

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