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Carriage Driver’s Song-Symphony by Li Tai-Hsiang (馬車夫之戀-李泰祥)

I.    Lyrics (translated from Chinese)

The stone road in Da Ban City is solid and flat, the watermelon there is big and sweet.
Girl there has long braid and very beautiful eyes.
If you want to get married, don’t marry other people, I want you to marry me.
With million dollars and bring your little sisters, quickly come to me at this carriage.

Anonymous lyric writer (無名作者)

大板城的石路硬又平呀 西瓜大又甜呀
那裡住的姑娘辮子長啊 兩隻眼睛真漂亮
假如你要嫁人 不要嫁給別人 一定要你嫁給我
帶著百萬錢財 領著你的妹妹 趕著那馬車來

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

II.    About this Song

Summary / Story:
“….with million dollars and bring your little sister, quickly come to me at this carriage” There is no doubt, this is a very vivacious and pleasant song. But, in the lyrics, the sentence “bring your little sister” always gives an impression of unreasonableness; why he marries a woman and he wants his wife to bring her little sister with her? Well, if you think of the fact that people in the Uyghur believes in Islam, your doubt will be solved. Because the religious doctrine of the Islam allows Allah’s people having more than one wife, so when a man marries a woman, it is reasonable to also marry the woman’s sister.
“Carriage Driver’s Song” is also known as “Da Ban City Women”; it is a song that is sung by carriage drivers in Turpan, when they go after girls. The lively music shows Uyghur folk song’s enthusiastic and colorful characteristics, arousing people’s heartfelt admiration for Xinjiang, the “hometown of songs and dances.” However, the original lyrics of “Carriage Driver’s Song” were dully stating carriage driver’s desire to have a wife; it was hard to be something presentable and widely acceptable. Therefore, lyric writer, Wang Luo-bin (Wang Luo Bin), re-arranged it with lively Chinese lyrics and made appropriate modifications on the tune. Hence, just as expected, the song became the most popular frontier ballad.

III.    Manuscript

Handwritten symphony manuscript (page 1) of “Carriage Driver’s Song” for violin I (1981)    Handwritten symphony manuscript (page 2) of “Carriage Driver’s Song” for violin I (1981)


To view the story of Li Tai-Hsiang, please go to Li Tai-Hsiang, the Native Musician of Taiwan.
Text and images are provided by The Native Musician of Taiwan-Tai-Hsiang Li Digital Archive, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan