‘High Song’ by Huang Ling (Isabelle Huang)

Huang Ling 01

Huang Ling 01

Huang Ling (Isabelle Huang) is a Shanghainese singer most notable for her ethereal voice and achievements in independent music. She published her first album Itch in 2007 and the second album Special in 2010. In this song’s title, “high” means “elated”. As a popular Chinese slang term, “high” describes excitement rather than a state of altered consciousness induced by alcohol or drugs.


Composer: Chang Shilei
Lyrics: Chang Shilei
Singer: Huang Ling/Isabelle Huang

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


Mountain top 就跟着一起来
Mountain top, jiù gēn zhe yì qǐ lái
Mountain top, just come and follow me

méi yǒu shén me zǔ dǎng zhe wèi lái
Nothing stands in the way of the future

Day and night 就你和我的爱
Day and night, jiù nǐ hé wǒ de ài
Day and night, just the love between you and me

méi yǒu shén me zǔ dǎng zhe wèi lái
Nothing stands in the way of the future



Yi yi yi 你不在 我不在
yi yi yi, nǐ bú zài wǒ bú zài
Yi yi yi, [if] you’re not here, I’m not here   

[Note: “Yi yi yi” is an imitation of the sound of the morin khuur, a traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument.]

Yi yi yi 谁还会在
shuí hái huì zài
Yi yi yi, then who would be here?
Yi yi yi 你不在 我不在
nǐ bú zài wǒ bú zài
Yi yi yi, [if] you’re not here, I’m not here   

Yi yi yi 谁还会在
shuí hái huì zài
Yi yi yi, then who would be here?


Mountain top 就一起来
Mountain top, jiù yì qǐ lái
Mountain top, just come together


Zhang Wei’s version of ‘High Song’ on the popular The Voice of China singing competition, the Chinese version of The Voice of Holland:

Many Chinese netizens have remarked that Zhang Wei’s rendition was better than Huang Ling’s.

On September 30th, 2012 Zhang Wei and Isabelle Huang sang ‘High Song’ together on the final contest of The Voice of China:

Huang Ling 02

Huang Ling 03

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Written by Rensi

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

  • Rod

    Yi yi yi, then who would be here on my sofa?

    • leo

      sofa on the mountain top with you!!

  • hooots

    Yeah, the dude owned that song. She’s prettier though. …just a little prettier.

    • And according to her albums, she has a “Special” “Itch”

      Is it the kind that needs scratching or a cream is the real question.

      • Saddle sores, but from actually riding horses in the traditional manner (on a saddle on the horse’s back). Being a recent hobby, she hasn’t yet grown accustomed to the stresses of prolonged horseback riding. Completely innocent cause to the itch, buts still, yes, in need of cream.

        • Dr SUN

          simbian ?

  • I love it and her for that matter. It’s refreshing to hear a modern sound admixed with some (I think) traditional Chinese music. I’m no expert but my experience with my Chinese wife reflects a different taste in music. She doesn’t appreciate Western folk, pop or rock. Most of the songs on the radio are solo artists with big voices. This piece is hip-hop-ish but there are parts which are somewhat dissonant from Western standards but I think reflect the Chinese 7 tone scale.

    If someone could explain to me the differences in Chinese musical preferences and what they think is the favorite style in China, I’d appreciate it. I know that a generalization as to preference is difficult and perhaps insulting as you cannot speak for 1.3 billion people. Do you think the differences are regional like are they different in Shanghai then say ShenZhen or GuiLin?

    • Rensi

      I observed that China has a number of sad love songs. Those love songs depict breakups, infidelity, unrequited love, living single looking for love, nostalgia for ex-girlfriends/ex-boyfriends, long-distance relationships, etc. with pessimistic words and phrases like “I had no choice”, “pity”, “regret”, “hurt”, “tears”, “longing/missing”, loneliness”, “heartbreaking”…

      I think this is because there are so many people in China that people naturally have more chances of encountering complicated relationships with others. Listening to sorrowful love songs, therefore, helps them contemplate the dark sides of their relationships and learn that they are not alone.

      I prefer the non-Chinese love songs which touch upon the cheerful parts of a romantic relationship or address the dark sides with a sense of humor, e.g. “Somebody that I Used to Know”.

      I started translating Chinese jokes and quips partly because I was bothered by those heart-wrenching Chinese love songs. I wish to remind people who don’t speak Chinese that Chinese people do have a sense of humor.

    • Mengkong

      As you already pointed out somewhat, the overwhelmingly popular music of choice in the mainland seems to be these sort of saccharine, bland love ballads. It’d say it’s kind of reminiscent of American pop music in the 50’s, except it seems to have gotten stuck in this style for decades and decades. Not many in the mainland entertainment industry really want to experiment with anything new. Just part of the status quo oriented culture…

      However, if you’re in Shenzhen, or most places in Guangdong for that matter, you’re likely to encounter more music from Hong Kong, which is a bit more…”vivacious”, “western”, “fun” than most of the popular mainland music. Again, I’d say this Hong Kong / Cantonese style is reflective of the difference in culture between the mainland and Hong Kong / Guangdong.

      • linette

        I don’t know who she is but she looks sexy. I like her look. I love her cat eyes and sexy tan skin. So hot! Some Chinese have pale skin. Some Chinese have tan skin. The tan ones always look much more sexy!

        • Dr SUN

          linette you must be a farmer girl to say that

          • linette

            linette you must be a farmer girl to say tha………………


          • If it’s about the tanned skin, I’m in agreement. Tanned skin is so much better.

          • Dr SUN

            if you don’t know you cannot be a Chinese women.

            Tanned is good, are you kidding !!

          • Mmm those coffee-with-milk skinned girls…

      • Rensi

        My undergraduate university is in Guangdong. I did immerse myself in Cantonese music and mandarin Chinese music from Hong Kong and Taiwan for the better part of those four years. I wonder which HK singers/bands you listen to, but most of the Cantonese songs (especially those popular songs) I heard are still pretty saccharine.

        I don’t think the mainland listeners will accept “vivacious” songs like 黄龄’s 痒 and 软绵绵,张悬’s 如何,郝蕾’s 明明之歌,高晓松’s 旧的童年,王韵壹’s 偈,陈伟伦’s album 夜之色 etc. anytime soon–because popular songs have to look for the lowest common denominators to appeal to the listeners.

        For now, those lowest common denominators are singleness and unrequited love in the context of China’s lopsided sex ratio, increasing standards for choosing a spouse, and a variety of work pressures caused by those increasing courtship standards, and the country’s eager for a stable, if not greater, GDP surge.

        The songs I mentioned above are for people who are 1) excellent at modern and/or ancient Chinese and 2) have a lot of time to kill, but in today’s China, those who satisfy the first requirement apparently have to work their butts off or they would be killed by this era.

        • linette

          Hong kong music industry sucks so bad. It’s controlled by mafia. There are no talented composer musicians like Lady gaga or Jay chou. No talented bands like linkin park or evanescence. There are no talented singers like Whitney houston or Mariah Carey. All the so called popular hk singers are just promotion products of the HK mafia…none of them can sing or compose or play any instrument well. Terrible!

          As a matter of fact, I see most East Asian singers are not really musicians or professional dancers. Many are plastic surgery packaged idols. Their music companies plagiarize songs from USA. They manufacture boy and girl idols.

          I really wish they focus more on promoting young talents with creativity in songwriting.

  • Mao Ze Shenme Dong Dong

    Strange what a bit of makeup does.

    Second picture from the bottom shows her as quite pretty even though she doesn’t look older than about 15.

    The bottom photo shows her true eattot bat faced snarl and highly reflective under ‘flash’ light face whitening cream. She looks about 45.

    That is a good 30 year reduction.

    • Capt. WED

      You never heard of the term photoshopping magazine covers? Did you bunk with fucking bin-laden last 10 years (till Obama merked him)?

  • Dr SUN

    Great girl, dynamite in bed, nice hairy pussy, pert little boobs and tight body and knows how to use it.

  • Foreign Devil

    horrible song . . but the lady singing it is just gorgeous!

  • DRaY

    why does she look so dark in the glamour shot pic?… Chinese people aint feeling that shit!!!!!…..

    • cb4242

      Who cares, if she looks dark, she looks hot, period!

  • Movie and music in the Chinese online for free

  • Dutchman

    MOUTAIN TOP !!! its soooo difficult to write or translate !!???