烧肉粽 (台语歌词) – Hokkien Lyrics and English Translation

Written in 1949 by Zhang Qiu Dongsong (張邱東松) at a time of high inflation and unemployment in Taiwan; the original song title is 卖肉粽 (Selling Meat Dumplings), but is today more popularly known as 燒肉粽 (Hot Meat Dumplings), a Hokkien song made popular by Kuo Jin Fa (郭金發) in the 1960s. Today, people tend to remember this song as a Teresa Teng's song due to her silky and smooth rendition of the song. The lyrics tell of the woes of the educated man who resorted to selling meat dumplings in order to survive as he could not get a suitable job after graduation.

 

Lyrics (台语歌词):
燒肉粽 / 卖肉粽

    作词:张邱东松
    作曲:张邱东松

自悲自叹歹命人
父母本来真疼痛
乎我读书几多冬
出业头路无半项
暂时来卖烧肉粽
烧肉粽烧肉粽
卖烧肉粽

要做生意真困难
若无本钱做袂动
不正行为是不通
所以暂时做一项
若着认真卖肉粽
烧肉粽烧肉粽
卖烧肉粽

物件一日一日贵
厝内头嘴这大堆
双脚走到要铁腿
遇着无销真克亏
认真再卖烧肉粽
烧肉粽烧肉粽
卖烧肉粽

Source: https://www.justsomelyrics.com/1122295/%E9%82%93%E4%B8%BD%E5%90%9B-%E5%8D%96%E8%82%89%E7%B2%BD-lyrics.html
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English Translation:
Hot Pork Dumplings (燒肉粽)

I am feeling sorrowful; this is an unfortunate life
My parents took pains to take good care of me
They let me go to school for a few years
But I have been unable to get a suitable job
For the time being, I have to sell meat dumplings
Hot pork dumplings! Hot pork dumplings!
Selling hot pork dumplings……!

Doing a business is difficult
If I don't have enough money for capital
And doing something illegal is not right
I have to do this for the time being
Now I am working hard to sell meat dumplings
Hot pork dumplings! Hot pork dumplings!
Selling hot pork dumplings……!

Everthing is getting more expensive day by day
There are many mouths to feed in the house
I have been walking till my legs are sore and stiff
But if I don't sell any, I have much to lose
So I have to try harder to sell my meat dumplings
Hot pork dumplings! Hot pork dumplings!
Selling hot pork dumplings……!

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English translation by admin, peachberries.com

Hokkien lyrics:
Sio Ba Chang (燒肉粽)

Chu pee chu tharn pai mia larng
Pei bu pun lai jin nchia tan
Ho gua tak zer kwee lo tang
Chu giap tau lor bo npua harng
Chiam see lai buay sio ba chang
Seo ba chang, seo ba chang
Buay seo ba chang

Bay chuay seng lee, jin koon narn
No bo poon nchee  chuay buay tang
Bu jieng heng wee see mmm thang
Sore yee chiam see chuay jid harng
Nta teo lind jin buay ba chang
Sio ba chang, sio ba chang
Buay sio ba chang

Mee kia chid li chid li kwee
Choo lai tau chui jia tua tui
Siang nka nkia kau bay tia thui
Tu teo bo xiao siong kiad kui
Lin jing zai buay sio ba chang
Sio ba chang, sio ba chang
Buay sio ba chang

*******************
Hokkien lyrics by admin, peachberries.com

Dressed in a hot red, sexy outfit to an all male audience, Tersa Teng sang the song at a 1981 army concert while dishing out meat dumplings, much to the delight of the Taiwanese soldiers. She was known to be highly patriotic and had held several concerts to support the morale of the Taiwanese army. Her father was an army officer in the Naitonalist army who fled to Taiwan after the communist takeover of China.

Think about it – if the father have not fled to Taiwan, we wouldn't have a Teresa Teng today. Under communist rule, all songs were banned, except for those extolling dictator Mao and communism. All singers and actors, including famous ones, were all condemned, persecuted, jailed or sent to political re-education camps. China became a cultural desert. No songs came out of China for decades while Taiwan produced many famous singers and great songs, especially in the 80's. It's such a tragedy, that years of civil war overthrew a dictator (Chiang kai shek) but only to be replaced by another dictator (Mao tse tung) who turned out to be many times worse than Chiang. You can read about the Cultural Revolution and Mao's great famine that killed tens of millions of his own people to understand the horrors and cruelty of the communist regime that placed no value on basic human rights and dignity, not even life itself.

 
Teresa Teng – Live in concert (1984)


 

Before Teresa Teng, Kuo Jin Fa (郭金發) made this song popular in the 1960s, which more or less became his trademark song. The singer collapsed and died on stage while singing his popular song in 2016, at the age of 72.

 

陳佳 (Chen Jia)

There are a few Teresa Teng sound-alikes, but Chen Jia, from China, is the closest in terms of voice and song rendition. Her face and voice is soft, sweet and tender, almost like Teresa Teng.

 

 

Crystal Ong

2 comments

  • Thanks so much for collating and publishing all this information. It’s one of my favourite songs (the 鄧麗君 rendition) but I’d been struggling with the lyrics as my 臺語 is not exactly perfect (to say the least). I hadn’t seen these other versions before and I didn’t know the history. I was particularly amazed at how similar the 陳佳 version is, clearly she has tried to copy Teresa Teng’s rendition exactly, which is not very imaginative but she sure did a great job emulating the pitch and tone of one of the world’s greatest popular artists of our generation. Or our parents’ generation, in my case. 

  • sampan

    It's nice to know a Caucasian who is a fan of Teresa Teng's old Hokkien songs. You must have some conection to Taiwan since you have some interest in 臺語, a lovely dialect. There are a few Teresa Teng sound-alikes, but 陳佳 (singer from China) is the closest in voice and rendition. Thank you for visiting the blog.

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