夜来香 (歌词) Lyrics and English Translation
夜来香 can be translated as Fragrance of the Night or Tuberose, a night-blooming plant, extracts of which are used as a note in perfumery. The song title has also been translated as Evening Primrose. The lyrics expresses adoration for the tuberose and its fragrance in the night.
This is about the most well known of Chinese classic song from the 40s era before the communists took over power in China. Thereafter, songs were banned except for those prasing the dictator Mao. Singers, actors, artistes and those in the arts industry were condemned and persecuted, bringing a tragic end to centuries of Chinese culture. Fortunately, beautiful songs continue to come out from Taiwan, especially in the 80s.
Although a well-known Chinese song classic, the original singer Li Xiang Lan (李香蘭) is actually Japanese, born in 1920 in Manchuria, China, to Japanese parents. At that period, Manchurai was under Japanese control and many Japanese civilians were sent to Manchuria to work. Her real name is Yoshiko Yamaguchi. The name Li Xiang Lan was given by Chinese close associates of her father. Yoshiko learn to speak Mandarin at an early age and took singng lessons to strengthen her breathing due to childhood tuberculosis. She later started a singing and acting career, mostly in Japanese propaganda films. After the end of World War II, she was repatriated to Japan where she eventually became a politician. She died in 2014 at the age of 94.
夜来香 sung by 李香蘭 (Li Xiang Lan – original singer, 1944):
夜来香 in Japanese, sung by 李香蘭:
夜来香 sung by Teresa Teng:
Lyrics with pinyin:
na nan feng chui lai qing liang
na ye ying ti sheng xi chang
yue xia de hua er dou ru meng
zhi you na ye lai xiang
tu lu zhe fen fang
wo ai zhe ye se mang mang
ye ai zhe ye ying ge chang
geng ai na hua yi ban de meng
yong bao zhe ye lai xiang
wen zhe ye lai xiang
ye lai xiang wo wei ni ge chang
ye lai xiang wo wei ni si liang
a wo wei ni ge chang
wo wei ni si liang
ye lai xiang (夜来香)
Tuberose / Fragrance of the Night
The southern wind is fresh and cool,
The nightingale's cry is sad.
Beneath the moon the flowers dream,
Except for the tuberose, whose fragrance fills the air.
I love this boundless darkness
And I love the nightingale,s song.
Most of all I love a perfumed dream
I embrace the tuberose.
I kiss the tuberose.
Tuberose, I sing for you.
Tuberose, I think of you.
There is also a Korean version , which is more upbeat and quite nice.