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Mongolian Madrigal-Symphony by Li Tai-Hsiang (蒙古牧歌-李泰祥)


I.    Lyrics (translated from Chinese)

Riding horses outside the Great Wall, there is good scenery at the border-fortress. The grass is long and horses are strong.
The Mongolians pasture cattle and sheep. At the river bank of the Yellow Sea and beside the Mt. Yinshan, a hero is riding a horse to pass the bridge.
With loneliness, he looks over the setting sun. The tinkling camel bell adds even more miserable feeling.
The horse continues running but the road seems even longer. The sky is grey, the field is vast. Hero rides his horse to go down the hills.
On the Mongol grassland, enermy troops are crossing the border. The sand dust spreads boundlessly and northern wind is so strong.
But the enemy troops are even wilder than sand and winds. The Yellow Sea is deep, the Yellow Sea is violent; however, the enmity is deeper and longer than the Yellow Sea.
There are storms in homeland. Jackals and wolves are walking on the range lands. The bosom grass has turned yellow.
Hero drives away jackals and wolves at roots of Mala Mountain. The storms are put down and jackals and wolves are driven away. Hero rides his horse back to homeland.

Anonymous lyric writer (無名作者)

策馬長城外 塞上好風光 草兒長 馬兒壯
蒙古兒女牧牛羊 黃河岸 陰山旁 英雄騎馬過橋樑
寂寞望夕陽 駝鈴兒響叮噹 更淒涼
蹄兒覽赴路更長 天蒼蒼 野茫茫 英雄騎馬下山岡
蒙古草原上 敵軍越邊疆 沙無垠 北風狂
敵軍更比風沙狂 黃河深 黃河狂 仇比黃河深又長
祖國起風暴 牧野走豺狼 知己草 經霜黃
馬拉山麓趕豺狼 風暴息 豺狼完 英雄騎馬歸故鄉

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Mongolian Madrigal (Europe version)-Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

II.    About this Song

Summary / Story:
The grassland is big, but it is not as big as the sky and earth. While mounting on a horse, Mongolians are the most agile and bravest riders. Just like instructions given by Genghis Khan to Mongolians, “When climbing the roots of a mountain and pointing at ferry point of the ocean, do not hesitate the great distance; just go and you will arrive there. Do not draw back because of heavy burden; just carry on the shoulder, you will lift it up. The teeth we use to eat meat are in our mouth, but the teeth that eat people are in our heart.” With such domineering power, the Mongolians developed political power that united the Eurasia in the thirteenth century. However, after Genghis Khan passed away, the strong Mongol Empire also soon became the past. In memory of ancestors’ heroic spirit, the Mongolians sing this “Mongolian Pastoral Song” to appease the regret of untimely existence and also call to mind ancestors’ boom period at the time.

III.    Manuscript

Copied manuscript (page 1) of “Mongolian Madrigal” for violin I (1981)    Copied manuscript (page 2) of “Mongolian Madrigal” 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