‘Alive’ by Sa Dingding

Sa Dingding.

Alive by Sa Dingding.

Song and Music Video:

Composer: Sa Dingding, Huang Yi
Lyricist: Gao Xiaosong
Singer: Sa Dingding

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

从前冬天冷呀 夏天雨呀水呀
cong2 qian2 dong1 tian1 leng3 ya xia4 tian1 yu3 ya shui3 ya
The winter was cold in the days of yore, and the summer alive in the downpour

qiu1 tian1 yuan3 chu4 chuan2 lai2 ni3 sheng1 yin1 nuan3 ya nuan3 ya
The fall sent me the warm voice of yours far and away

ni3 shuo1 na4 shi2 wu1 hou4 mian4 bai2 mang2 mang2 xue3 ya
You said back then the backyard snow was white all the way

shan1 gu3 li3 you3 jin1 huang2 qi2 zi zai4 da4 feng1 li2 piao1 yang2
and the golden flag was flapping in the vally of the wind


wo3 kan4 jian4 shan1 ying1 zai4 ji4 mo4 liang3 tiao2 yu2 shang4 fei1
I see the condor sliding over two fishes as lonely (as me)

liang3 tiao2 yu2 er chuan1 guo4 hai3 yi2 yang4 xian2 de he2 shui3
which are swimming through the river as salty as the sea

yi2 pian4 he2 shui3 luo4 xia4 lai2 yu4 jian4 ren2 men po4 sui4
The river breaks into pieces as it bumps into people

ren2 men zai4 xing2 zou3 shen1 shang4 luo4 man3 shan1 ying1 de hui1
who are walking with the dust spilled by the condor

Sa Dingding.

Sa Dingding.

Sa Dingding.

Sa Dingding.Sa Dingding.

Sa Dingding holding apple.

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Written by Rensi

A translator of trending Chinese Internet humor and Chinese pop music.

  • Susan

    Susan has made her mark

  • White Thrash

    territorial pissings…

  • eattot

    her live show in england is better…she has very good stage style and special music style…she and Dadawa are both from the same music teacher,and they all got fame from the world.i like both.Dadawa is better at skill and gas control,she is better at stage and style,especially her clothes style.

    • Xiongmao

      Nothing is more important than gas control.

      • mr. wiener

        LOL, true dat!

      • pervertt

        I think it’s eattot’s endearing way of referring to breath control.

    • Castro

      gas control. from the Ass Master.

      • 平凡人

        Yes, the Jews suffered a lot as the Germans has totally no control due to their diet.

  • Tenzing

    There is a trend in China for new age music, which appropriate Tibetan folk music. Here the imagery, the tune and stylistic costumes base on Tibetan thangka are lifted from Tibetan traditions. The tune started with a popular Tibetan folk music and even the lettering is styled on Tibetan script.

    • Rod

      It’s a conspiracy to make Han Chinese think that Tibet is a part of China.

  • [email protected]

    she’s got some wicked style, I will give her that. having said that, I do not know who this fuck this woman is, nor do I care to.

    • 平凡人

      Likewise, I have no clue who the hell she is. Looks creepy and “spaced out” to me.

  • coala banana

    don’t know her, and never heard of her…however, reading the lyrics and listen to the song…they don’t match each other…i mean the music in general, rhythm and melody compared with the context of the lyrics….

    in addition she looks cold blooded, like a ghost, might be her style and i know for sure that chinese man like this kind of women for whatever reason….the video also satisfies the new devotion to the ancient times and all the girls now a days which dream of being one of the emperors concubines…..all tv channels in china are also on the very same trip,….half of them showing emperor/concubine soap operas and the other half is still fighting and at war with japan (and the chinese always win, which is surprising considering the FACT that the japanese fucked them up good in record speed)…however…

    • White Thrash

      I second that !

      Bread and games !
      Understand who does…

    • donscarletti

      It’s a fact, universally acknowledged, that Japanese soldiers are stupid and cowardly.

      Their awe inspiring victories in Korea, Manchuria, Eastern China and Malaya were more down to Magoo-esque blind luck than actual military prowess. The cry of “Tora Tora Tora” (tiger tiger tiger) heard on the radio after the Pearl Harbour attacks was misinterpreted as a codeword, but it turns out that the idiot pilot actually thought he was in Siberia hunting tigers and didn’t realise he had blown up half a fleet.

      Silly little Japanese.

      • Boris

        Call yourself a musician? Get back on topic, you blighter! Two albums in my personal CD collection never cease to touch me. The first is a compilation of ‘traditional’ songs from Xinjiang which contain the gem, ‘Chairman Mao sent his men to free us’; the second contains Tibetan ‘folk’ songs such as the catchy ‘Song of the emancipated serfs’.

  • Matt

    Pleasantly surprised to see Sa Ding Ding here. She’s a great musician. Probably the best female singer-songwriter from the mainland, past or present. That said, she’s only got two albums, neither of which are truly that memorable, so hopefully she’s still a blossoming musician with an even greater future ahead of her, rather than having already reached her artistic peak.

    Another song of hers I’d recommend is “Ha Ha Lili”, as well as “Famous Friends (Ha Ha Lili remix)” (the former which is more “New Age” with an interesting music video, and the latter of which is an excellent electronic remix, though with no video).

    • Matt

      By the way, it’s worth noting—since I just realized that it’s not mentioned in the article or the comments—that there’s also a Tibetan-language version of this song, as Sa Ding Ding has sung not only in Tibetan, but also Sanskrit, and the nearly extinct Laghu language, in addition to of course Mandarin.

      • Tenzing

        Matt, I have listened to her supposed song in Sanskrit and Tibetan, she is not just singing in any of these language. Since most of in China don’t know these languages, she can say what she want, but the songs are neither Tibetan nor Sanskrit.

  • addicted

    I <3 sa ding ding

    I read about her in an article in a german newspaper (spiegel.de) and since then I'm a fan!

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    • terroir

      Sa Dingding is just like the “12 Girls Band” — she is the perfect encapsulation of what Chinese culture is like – to Westerners, and has nothing to do with most everyday Chinese.

      So, no: she isn’t the Bruce Springsteen of China; more like the David Hasslehoff of Germany.

  • Vonskippy

    1980’s MTV called, they want their production values back.

  • jeffli

    I don’t understand it.

    Dadawa was more skillful and traditional
    but seriously the costumes……..I’ve seen old drag queens dress with more common sense!
    and lighten up, put a bit of “Everybody in tha house let me hear you say hey-ey!”
    “Yo! dingding is in tha house, check it!”
    one can tell ding ding is a product from the PLA academy (conservative!)

  • jeffli

    do singers fart while performing?
    gas control = sphincter control?

    Spleen control by the spleen patrol:-
    wo fang pi = put down….. dropped my spleen?
    fa pi qi = make spleen gas?
    pi hua = spleen talk?

    I can’t help but think there is something wrong with traditional Chinese anatomy.

  • terroir

    A condor is a “秃鹫”, or a “大秃鹫”; in the lyrics, the mentioned “山鹰” would be a “mountain eagle”, or just an eagle. And anyways, eagles are just more “metaphoric” than condors (last relevant with the hit series “Condorman”).

    That said, this translation is rather generous of what really is an insipid pop song. I’m not sure how “夏天雨呀水呀” becomes “the summer alive in the downpour”, but then there isn’t much hiding the fact that this performer is more about her looks than about her music.

    If you’re taking requests, a great song that is actually deep and so be great to translate would be “但愿人长久” by the grandma of weird, 王菲.

  • DRaY

    Wow, no crazed foaming at the mouth Hongjian sightings today?

    • Matt

      Unfortunately this pop song isn’t giving him enough material to work with. I bet he hates these kinds of articles…

  • Andrew

    This is brutal.
    Props for the costumes and cinematography.
    But her singing voice is like listening to an annoying prepubescent girl trying to be cute and affected.

    I just want to head butt her.

  • well done dear sa
    only evolved or enlightened souls understand just who you are and what service
    you are providing humanity .its great you understand sanscrit the eternal language
    please continue your journey and remember your divine parents with every beat of your heart they are your very life breath
    love you

  • Some Guy

    I think the lyrics to this song is terrible, and prefer the original Sanskrit version also by Sa Ding Ding. http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjE4OTE1MDAw.html

    There is something about the sound of the vowels and the “r” sounds that just sound better.