Friday, January 30, 2009


Hann's Mummy said...

I'm no fan of TCS dramas but recently, like most Chinese Singaporeans, I was hooked on 小娘惹 The Little Nyonya even though I didn't think it was fantastic. even Hann can say, "小娘惹" in a gang-dang slang when he sees it on tv.

Love the theme song though, cos it speaks to me, about broken promises, letting go of yesterday, etc.

ru yan - Olivia Ong


编曲:Terence Teo
演唱:Olivia Ong









一首《如燕》唱红了Olivia Ong, 可是欣赏的是写歌的陈佳明, whom most (if not all) people overlooked.

when I 1st hear the song, I thought it was sung by Mavis Hee (
许美静) .
It was no surprise when I realised that the song
《如燕》 is written by 陈佳明 cos I'd say he was the one who 带红 许美静 by writting many beautiful songs for her.
Everybody knows 李偲菘, 李偉菘, even 梁文福 as Singapore's top Chinese pop song writers, but think not as many knows 陈佳明. He is super 低调 (low profile). You can hardly find him on the net, even on Wiki, where you can find almost any artist, dead or alive.

well... one day I decided to look for the lyrics to the song
《如燕》 and to my "horror", it was super chim. 陈佳明, 你好有墨水!one guy even said it's more difficult to translate then Jay Chou's 菊花台 (written by Taiwanese 方文山). soooooooooo many words I don't know. I wonder if seemingly gang-dang Olivia knows what she's singing.

Chinese teachers, can consider using this song for ya lessons.

Found a few translations but found them unsatisfactory so decided to DIY.

    《如燕》 ru yan
    词曲:陈佳明 Chen Jia Ming
    Translation:Ariel Leong

    only if you are willing to close your eyes, will you have boundless beautiful dreams
    don't let the smoke of regrets darken the past

    maybe it's the the broken pieces which give free rein to the colours of memories
    [cí] 花拼凑明天
    Why use fragments of porcelain to piece tomorrow
    OR why not allow the fragments of porcelain to piece tomorrow

    Who lead me to search and have found the mold of happiness
    but trapped and locked in the mystery


    Who left me deeply attached til ends of the earth
    The token of pledge is a passing cloud at sunset

    Longing, like a swallow, flutter at the tip of my tongue
    If it's true love, it's fit to taste a bit of bittersweet
    OR if only true love is worthy to taste a bit of bittersweet

    [pósuō] 时间里推磨
    My will whirling, grinding in time
    following me, where will it bear fruit

    swallow, like needle and thread, sewing and weaving on the young (or green) sky

    how many works of embroidery are going to be decorated with tears

    [bānbó] 情雾只是经过
    Promises mottling with age, fog of love is but bypassing
    In the storm, for this moment, allow me to increase my pace gracefully

Was wondering why he used "青空" instead of "晴空". Perhaps it's the colour of embroidery he wanteda paint. Very 诗情画意, 有画面 indeed.

Click for AhDoe's music sheet for 《如燕》

Special thanks to,


Adeline said...


Thanks for the translation. Even though my chinese isn't great, I was hooked on the show too. I didn't pay much attention to the song honestly though I agree it was sung beautifully.

The words you've translated makes it even more meaningful to me and I want to thank you for it!

Hann Hann said...

my pleasure. =)

thanx for the feedback.

Ah Doe said...

I thought this blog was run by a two year old boy...

until I saw "Contact Mummy"

Lol, great blog though~

Anonymous said...

WOW you've done a really good job! i couldnt understand it at first but now i realise the connection of the song to the show:DD

JC said...

You probably has the best translation so far I have seen.
But allow me to say that it's still too literal, and you could have missed the aesthetics.

'Porcelain' is a borrowed reference and it relates to the 'broken pieces' in the previous verse. Therefore it is the broken memory rather than a vase, if you know what I mean.

If it's true love, it comes with its share of bittersweet.

My will whirling through the passage of time. When will this ever come to an end ?

Fleeting promises, fleeting mist of love.

Let me walk through the trials of life with grace.

Hann Hann said...

not hann but Hann's Mummy said...

Yup. mine is quite literal. but I find that's the best way to keep the "aesthetics".

the song is very 有画面. like "誓言斑驳" if just translate to "fading promises" or the like, then lose the 画面 of "斑驳" leh.

且 has a meaning of temporary woh.

JC said...

Point's taken about '誓言斑驳', but I think the banpo here might be quatitative, ie. too many variants along the way, .......... so 情雾只是经过, none is for real. As such, fleeting at best.

As for '风雨中且让我盈步婀娜' let me try again. I beleive it's retrospective and not happening now.
Mind you I'm in KL and have not seen the show, so I can only be guessing all this.
So alternatively translated as :
'Allow me to walk through the trials of life with grace'.

Yes it's a very good song and I haven't come across one in a while. Quite a while since 城里的月光 :)

aDeLiNe said...

Came across your blog while searching for a translation for this song and couldn't find one until I stumbled my way here. The show is definitely a good one, and so is this song. My appreciations for your translation, good one. =)

Hann Hann said...

thanx, aDeLiNe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hann Hann, thanks for sharing. Nice song. On your question, I think 青天 because next line 女红. GBU.