‘Through Our Lives’ by Deserts Chang (Zhang Xuan)

Zhag Xuan, aka Deserts Chang.

Zhang Xuan 01

如何 (Literally ‘How’) is translated as “Through Our Lives” in Taiwanese singer Deserts Chang/Zhang Xuan‘s recently released album 神的游戏 (literally God’s Games, while Sony Music translated it as Games We Play). This album crystallized Zhang Xuan’s life experiences over the past three years. Zhang Xuan explains that ‘Through Our Lives’ is a very important song for her, as it touches upon her inner feelings about the permanence and impermanence of life. For her, impermanence is permanent.


MP3 Version:

Live Performance at Huashan Golden Music Exposition on June 17th, 2012:

Composer: Zhang Xuan
Lyrics: Zhang Xuan
Singer: Zhang Xuan

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

nǐ yào rú hé yuán liàng cǐ shí bǐ shí de yú chǔn
How would you forgive the stupidity in the past and present

rú hé yuán liàng fèn lì guò dàn wú shēng
How would you make peace with the efforts that remain unheard

在苦心之后 看潮汐的永恒
zài kǔ xìn zhī hòu kàn cháo xī de yǒng héng
After the painstaking efforts, watch the eternity of tides ebbing and flowing
岁月在这儿 温凉如丝却也能灼身
suì yuè zài zhè er wēn liáng rú sī què yě néng zhuó shēn
Time is here, as cool as silk, but it can also burn and hurt

青春是远方 流动的河
qīng chūn shì yuǎn fāng liú dòng de hé
Youth is a river flowing afar
nǐ yào rú hé yuán liàng shí guāng yí shī de guò chéng
How would you make peace with the changes lost by time

yào rú hé cái néng róng rěn tā fā shēng
How would you be able to tolerate its happening

yào rú hé cái néng xiǎng ér bú wèn
How would you be able to think but not to ask
ér wǒ zài zhè lǐ děng
And I’m waiting here

děng shī tòu de xīn tīng yǔ shèng
waiting for a drenched heart to hear the rain

děng shēn tǐ huí wēn
waiting for the body to regain its warmth

hā a
Ha ah~~
城里 夜如海洋
chéng lǐ yè rú hǎi yáng
In the city, the night like an ocean

suǒ yǒu zài míng miè de chuāng
All the windows, lit or dark,

xū ér bù jiǎ
are vague but not fake
Ah ~~ah~~ah~~ah~~
nǐ yào rú hé lí bié réng xū yóu dàng de lǚ rén
How would you part with the wanderer who has to keep wandering

yào rú hé ràng yuán fèn jiù shì yuán fèn
How would you let chance [the chance of encountering each other throughout our lives] stay as chance

如何凝视缘份看我们 的每种眼神
rú hé níng shì yuán fèn kàn wǒ men de měi zhǒng yán shén
How would you gaze at each and every way it looks at us

ér wǒ
And I

ér wǒ
and I

bù tíng de

wú huǐ de
with no regret

yǔ nǐ de
[For] the bond with you

zǒng yǒu de
will always be.

Zhang Xuan 02

Zhang Xuan 03

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Written by Rensi

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

  • Pop music huh? I want to see a thread about mobs of retards attacking cars or Wallmart managers and their cars…

    • sern

      I want to see Eva, Vivian, Coco, A mei etc fight it out in a steel cage w machetes

      (my money’s on A mei)

      • Dr SUN

        naked and mud wrestling would be better.

        • Winter B4 Spring

          …erm…wrong website =P

          btw, just saying…”Deserts” is not a common name used by people, but generally refers to areas, and plural too, that are full of sand and dry. o.O
          like…i could name myself –> “Cities”
          but that would be strange

          • mr. wiener

            Maybe she wanted to call herself “dessert” as in something sweet. I agree though, “desert” makes her sound kind of dry and inhospitable.
            What are some other geographical names she could have taken? Alluvial? Sedimentary? Basalt?…the list is endless

          • Winter B4 Spring

            “Alluvial” sounds more like a “real” name <.<

          • grovesman

            How about Fluvial or Dendritic (as in drainage).

            How about that…I was finally able to use some of my Physical Geography from university…heh-heh-heh

          • sern

            Mr Weiner I believe you mean geological, geographical would be more in the form of Virginia or Brittany

          • mr. wiener

            I stand collected :)

        • sern

          Not if you’ve had to listen to any of them for any length of time

          I’m expecting once A mei starts taking a few green bottles of the Taiwan pijou she pushes, she’ll revert to her aborigine headhunting instinct & take out the lot

          • mr. wiener

            Were the Paiwan into head hunting?

          • sern


  • Winter B4 Spring

    The hardest, deepest and most intelligent part of the song is this:

    “Ah ~~ah~~ah~~ah~~”


  • david

    Hmmmm… I guess I’ll give this a song a try, maybe.

  • Cleo

    Destroy the goblins for good and I will feel much better. That’s HOW.

    • starting
      • tai wai

        Wow. Large protests in Chengdu, overturning cars in Shenzhen…

        If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Chinese people hold an irrational hatred towards Japan or something.

        • sern

          that’s it, next time they crash into one of our planes I’m not going to get any gong bao ji ding for a month

          • mr. wiener

            Where the Paiwan into getting head[s]?

          • sern


  • Pong Lenis

    I often play Chinese music in my place, it keeps it pest free.

  • Thanks for sharing some more Chinese musical genres with me (us). I am intrigued by the diversity of musical taste which seem to be as vast as the different foods in China.

    Deserts music is quite Western somewhere between Folk and Pop. Her lyrics are her strongest feature. Thanks for the Pinyin and translation. The finger style guitar is reminiscent of James Taylor while her voice and melodies are a little like Stevie Mix. I am amazed at how well she plays the guitar (I do) as she is so petite and has such small hands.

    One thing that I haven’t heard much of in Chinese music is harmony. It seems like usually there is a single, powerful voice without accompaniment.

    If anyone is interested in the topic, I would love links to other styles.

    I will leave comments on for a while until trollish insults supervene.

  • An Ng

    I love these song posts. I really use them to help me learn chinese and (some) are really good ear candy. This song in particular was so beautiful.

    • sern

      Make sure you’re not listening to singers like Sammi who sometimes revert into barbaric languages like cantonese

    • Rensi

      Great! I love this song too! Zhang Xuan is a vegetarian, and I hear a Buddhist in this song.

  • MrT

    God she so fake. She been hitting the coke? doing a lot of sniffing and driveling at the beginning.
    To many backhanders going on CS to get these crap videos more viewers.

  • Foreign Devil

    I really like it. Love haunting sad songs. She is not a vapid singer like many other Chinese pop singers, she is a true singer songwriter. Original.

  • Cleo

    She looks like Tarcy Su but with a wider mouth. I hate this aesthetic that is popular these days. Ugh. she looks like she was kidnapped and forced to do unspeakable things. Very messy.

  • Guest

    hi… do you know where i can get the guitar chords for this song???

  • Timed Indie

    hi… do you know where can i get the guitar chords for this song??? thanks